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Archive for the ‘Geography’ Category

Heart-spotting Contest Entry

Rosemary B. spotted a BBC News story about the giant pink neon heart that now adorns the European Parliament building in Brussels – a tribute to dissident playwright and Czech leader Václav Havel, who died a year ago (December 18, 2011).

Click the image to see the full story on BBC News Europe.

The reason for the heart? Well, Havel used to put a heart under his signature (see below) as a representation of his motto:

“Truth and love must win over lies and hatred!”

Pink neon heart in memory of the late Václav Havel (spotted by Rosemary B.)

Pink neon heart in memory of the late Václav Havel (spotted by Rosemary B.)

Václav Havel, former Czech President, added a heart under his signature to symbolize truth and love

Václav Havel, former Czech President, added a heart under his signature
to symbolize truth and love

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My teenager Alex sent me this one after he spotted a picture of it on Facebook. It’s a heart-shaped hole in a seaside cliff at Maui’s Nakalele Blowhole.

"Heart hole" at the Nakalele Blowhole – Maui, HI (photo posted on flickr.com by sxates)

“Heart hole” at the Nakalele Blowhole – Maui, HI
(photo posted on flickr.com by sxates)

Interested in visiting the Hawaiian heart hole? Go straight to the A marker...

Interested in visiting the Hawaiian heart hole? Go straight to the A marker…

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A friend’s comments yesterday on some photos I posted from a recent trek through the Grand Canyon got me thinking about the heart-shaped surprises that inspired this blog. And I got to wondering if there were any I missed.

I revisited my album – especially the photos from our hike along Beamer Trail to the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers. Sacred ground for the Hopi Tribe, the confluence is a magical setting where the easygoing aquamarine waters of the Little Colorado get swallowed up in the deep green tumult of the roaring river that carved the canyon. (As you can see in the second photo below, the contrast is striking.)

Now…can you spot the perfect heart in the first photo? (You can click the image to reveal the heart.)

Aquamarine waters of the Little Colorado River at the confluence (Beamer Trail, Grand Canyon – May 2012) – photo by Stephen Lund

Aquamarine waters of the Little Colorado River at its confluence with the canyon-carving Colorado (Beamer Trail, Grand Canyon – May 2012)

Striking contrast between the aquamarine Little Colorado River and the deep green Colorado (Beamer Trail, Grand Canyon – May 2012) – photo by Stephen Lund

Striking contrast between the aquamarine Little Colorado River and the deep green Colorado (Beamer Trail, Grand Canyon – May 2012)

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For all but the past nine months of my life, I lived less than an hour away from the amazing Canadian Rockies. Who knows how many times I’ve driven past Heart Mountain, which resides beside the Trans-Canada Highway about 14 kilometres east of Canmore. Hundreds, I’ll bet.

Heart Mountain got its name from the thick, heart-shaped layer of limestone that embraces its summit. The angle of this heart-shaped crest makes for easy viewing from the Trans-Canada, especially for eastbound travellers.

I’ve never climbed Heart Mountain, but my he-manly brother hiked to the summit in a May blizzard a couple years ago.

The view of Heart Mountain from Exshaw Creek (photo by William Marler)

The view of Heart Mountain from Exshaw Creek (photo by William Marler)

On his website, My Rocky Mountain Window, Canmorite Jack Borno offers a nice look at Heart Mountain’s distinctive summit.

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My discovery of a heart-shaped island off the coast of Croatia (see my previous post) got me wondering: how many other heart-shaped wonders are out there waiting to be found?

The question took me to Google, and Google took me to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Near Whitsunday Island, Queensland, off the east coast of Australia is the aptly named Heart Reef. Beautiful.

If you want to find Heart Reef on Google Earth, pursue these coordinates:

19º46’10.53″ S 149º14’22.57″ E

My Heart-shaped World: Heart Reef in the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia (photo by vaboza)

Heart Reef in the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia (photo by vaboza)

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Less than a kilometre off the coast of Croatia is a 27-acre uninhabited islet called Galesnjak…though more recently (since Google Earth gave the world a clear look at the islet’s shape), it has been dubbed “Lovers’ Island”.

From above, it’s a perfect fit with the theme of this blog.

To see it on Google Earth, just copy and paste the following coordinates into the ‘Fly To’ field:

43º58’41.89″ N 15º23’00.86″ E

Don’t have Google Earth? Click here to see it on Google Maps.

I heard that The Bachelorette and her love-starved entourage of would-be wooers are travelling to Croatia for next week’s episode. I wonder if they’ll be setting sail from Sveti Filip i Jakov for a little ulizički gmizav on Lovers’ Island.

(“Ulizički gmizav,” you ask? Google Translate can help you out.)

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