Saturday, September 4, 2010

In Plane Sight (Update)

When I flew in the spring, I entertained myself by looking at the Sky Mall magazine.  Last week I entertained myself by looking out the window. 

When we left Durham we went up through some amazing clouds.

Utah August 2010 006

We enjoyed flying into Chicago and seeing the skyline.

Utah August 2010 012

Then we flew into the sunset for hours.  (Sorry, no good pic of that.)

When I left Utah we flew over the Great Salt Lake.  It is a curious place to me, probably because I’ve never been there and sometimes it’s just so stinky.

What on earth is this?  Was it part of the lake that has now dried up?

Utah August 2010 123

And speaking of dry, this part certainly was.

Utah August 2010 130

It was a relief to finally see some lake in the lake.

Utah August 2010 134

Right about this time I started noticing something odd in my pictures.  Can you see it here?

Utah August 2010 136

I saw it again a few other times.  I am guessing it must be an air pattern?!?  Whatever it is, it was cool to see.

[Thanks so my awesome brother Val, we have an answer.  This is a called a wingtip vortex, and is created as the wing generates lift.  Cool!]

Utah August 2010 156

I always enjoy looking at the ground from the plane.  Coming into the Midway airport you pass over some older neighborhoods where so many of the houses have above-ground pools.  I thought perhaps I had imagined it the last time, but sure enough we saw it again this time.  Of course coming into the Phoenix airport the majority of the houses have pools too.

I also like looking at patterns on the ground.  What on earth was this??

[Thanks again to Val we have an answer.  Who knew—these are munitions storage bunkers at the Army Depot in Tooele!]

Utah August 2010 145

This must be a video game that can only be seen from the air.

Utah August 2010 147

I was having a nice little nap on the plane when there was an announcement on the intercom that we were flying over the Grand Canyon.  Of course I had to rouse myself and try to get a picture.  It was cool.  I wished the pilot would make a nice circle there so we could see it better, but no joy.

Utah August 2010 163

I won’t complain though.  Since the announcement went something like this:

“If you’re sitting on the right side of the airplane, you can look out of your window right now and see the Grand Canyon.  If you’re sitting on the left side of the airplane, you can look to your right and see people looking at the Grand Canyon!”

Utah August 2010 170

The flight attendant was really a funny guy.  When he was going through all of the airplane safety information at some points he would throw in a “blah, blah, blah.”  Then when he was done he said, “Because that’s what you’re hearing anyway!

When he was giving the little spiel about what to do in case the cabin pressure decreased and emergency oxygen was needed, he said “if their is an emergency and you are traveling with a small child, please put on your own oxygen mask first before putting the mask on your child.  If you are traveling with more than one of your children, now is the time to decide once and for all which child is really your favorite”!! 

After we left Phoenix we passed over some interesting fields. 

Utah August 2010 196

I had wondered what would happen at sunset, since on the way home I was flying away from the sunset.  It was lovely, even if it didn’t last for hours this time. 

Utah August 2010 204

And that, dear reader, is the end of my from-the-air pictures!  I hope you have enjoyed this aerial tour of some parts of the United States!


  1. Ok I am so glad I am not the only one wondering and trying to take pictures of the circles and squares. I want to know what they are. I wonder each time I take a flight home!! You must have had the same flight attendant we had going to CA. He was so darn funny. I like those type. Much better then the grumpy ones.

    Nice pictures. Glad I am not the only one with a camera out on the plane. :)

  2. The green circles / partial circles come from crop irrigation. They have giant rolling rigs that are anchored at the center.