02 Jul 14. Yesterday it was announced that the ice pack at Antarctica was growing faster than anytime in recent history and that it was experiencing its 18th straight year of ever cooler temps, a record being set last Wednesday or Thursday, breaking the record set in 2013. And while the Arctic ice pack has been gradually shrinking for the last two decades, it grew by 40 % in 2013 compared to 2012. With one pole growing while the other shrinks, one might consider the possibility that the earth has either shifted or is continually shifting on its axis by the tiniest fraction of a %, but enough to cause a change in hemispherical temps. Something like this could account for the record wherein we "see" ice ages followed by warming periods and it repeating. And something we may not be able to control with carbon credits, "experts" opinions to the contrary. Back in 1980 when Mt St Helens blew her top, all the experts were talking about how it would be a minimum of 10 years before anything would even begin to grow in the blast zone. By the following spring the hill sides were covered in wild flowers, and among the very first to appear was the plant commonly called fireweed. Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) is native throughout all of N. America and is a very lovely magenta plant. It grows all over where we are and this was taken in a neighboring yard on Sunday. As today is supposed to be a fine art type image, I thought this shot might be appropriate. I took the original and cropped off some from both the top and bottom, and then added a wee bit of contrast enhancement to just a few select petals. As it was somewhat breezy when I took the shot, the background is naturally blurred and saved me the work of doing it myself. Otherwise, this shot is right out of the camera. Nikon D300s; 18 - 200; Aperture Priority; ISO 200; 1/320 sec @ f / 5.6.