. . . and it will reward you with wonders.
Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico is currently in an active phase and I am live-blogging that. As part of the process, I save webcam images, from the three online volcano cams CENAPRED has set up around the volcano, and make time-lapse movies.
Anyone with a fairly recent computer (mine is four or five years old) and at least DSL speed on their Internet connection can do this easily.
One of movies, with images from the Tianguismanalco cam, is shared here to show how totally worth it is to be patient when nature watching. (Note: This is not a continuous span of images from the 12th to the 15th; I did cut out some of the dark night shots, and in a couple places, I accidentally turned off the recorder. You’ll get the general idea, though.)
It’s not formatted for viewer delight – this is just a research camera, after all – and there are large, boring spans of darkness and clouds, but we also see typical things that Nature does over and over that are wondrous when viewed this way.
The sun sets behind the volcano twice – on May 12 and May 14.
The Moon flirts with Popocatépetl’s summit on the 13th and then shamelessly sets right on it the next night, not too long after the star Sirius has set over the right flank of the volcano.
A bit later, the volcano’s dome explodes (early this morning, May 15th) and Popocatépetl then sputters and grumbles on through the rest of the night and early morning, glaring a little bit.
It’s not pretty, but it’s absolutely real, and you can watch it in the comfort of your own home.
Was that blast too quick? Here is a still image of it, up close, as seen in a black-and-white camera at Tlamacas:
The entire summit was covered that way, around 2 a.m. local time this morning – just briefly. There were no lava flows down the sides.