Mississippi River Lock & Dam 15

In 2016, we traveled to Scotland. A highlight of our trip was the week-long barge journey from Inverness to Banavie. It followed the route of the Caledonian Canal allowing us to traverse Lochs Dochfour, Ness, Lochy, and Oich from the North Sea to the Atlantic side of Scotland. The canal was finished in 1822. A fascinating part of the canal is the system of 29 locks used to raise and lower boats. The highest elevation reached is 106 ft above sea level. Our post is here about the lock system. Pictured below is one of the sets of lock gates viewed with Google Maps. The water level in the upper right is higher than at the lower left.

Last week, my friend David and I traveled to the Mississippi River at the Quad Cities to do a boat tour of Lock & Dam 15 conducted by two engineers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They explained much of the history of the river and early attempts to navigate boats through this region. They also described the maintenance of the dam and locks to further their useful life. They also discussed some of the history of the Rock Island Arsenal as we passed by.

The multiple gates of the dam are on the left in the next image. They control the river flow from upper right to lower left. There are two locks for river traffic just right of center. Our tour boat passed through the smaller of the two locks. Large tugboats and their barges pass through the larger lock.

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Mars and the Moon

Another clear evening revealed the close encounter of the Moon with Mars at the bottom center. Time was 9:25 pm.

Exposures set for the sunlit lunar surface and then the earthshine. Click for a bigger view of each.

Annular Solar Eclipse | 10 Jun 2021

This morning the Sun was in annular eclipse for a small part of the world. Parts of Canada, Greenland, as well as northern Siberia, were graced with views. At sunrise here in the midwest of the U.S. I was not able to see any of it. Instead, I went to Time and Date for live telescopic views streamed from several locations. The views were excellent from Science North, a science center located in northern Ontario in the city of Sudbury. The Sun rose with the Moon covering most of it illustrated by this screen shot.

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Crystal Bridges

The city of Bentonville, Arkansas is home of the Walmart corporation. The community is supported in many ways by the corporation. One of the most popular is the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, opened in 2011, and founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. We visited recently on our way to another destination.

Crystal Bridges can accommodate up to 300 people at a gathering. Outdoor areas are available for concerts and public events. There are many nature trails on the wooded grounds. About 300 people are employed. It is within walking distance of downtown Bentonville. Admission to the museum and grounds is free except for any special exhibits such as Craft America which we attended.

Nature Trail Art

We arrived mid-morning before the heat of the day so we could walk the trails and see the outdoor works. Not many people were present. The natural areas are well-kept with many labels on the plants native to the area. Here are a few examples of the artworks we encountered.

Indoor Exhibits

Crystal Bridges has agreements with other museums to share collections. Their collection includes works from thee Colonial Era to Contemporary Art. Here is a link to some of their selected works. The works are housed in galleries in several buildings connected around a small lake. Docents are available for questions and direction. We also visited the Craft America special exhibit in a separate building. The following image gallery is from that special exhibit.

We enjoyed our visit to the museum and the community of Bentonville. The town still has some small town charm with a public square in the center. Restaurants are abundant and good. We suggest a visit if you are passing through.