Our Living Planet

In the course of our lives we focus on personal needs to survive and thrive. But often we forget that we live on a planet that has a life of it’s own and there are many times when we humans, like any other creature, have to adapt.

A great example of this is Mt. Etna on the Island of Sicily in southern Italy. I had a great pleasure of visiting Sicily earlier this year. My wife Julie and I stayed in Cefalù where my paterneral grandmother is from and we spent a day in Palermo where my paternal grandfather was born and baptized.

It’s an amazing place with a human history that runs back thousands of years.

Main boat docking cove in Cefalù Sicily. Photo by Marty Coniglio

However, the highlight for me was a quick tour of Mt. Etna. Unfortunately it was snowing and blowing the day we went and visibility was so poor that it was too dangerous to tour the crater areas. We only got up to 8,200 feet on the 10,925 foot mountain. It is impressive rising that high from the nearby coast of the Ionian Sea. By the way, there are two ski areas on Mt. Etna!

Marty & Julie Coniglio on Mt. Etna in front of the “Lava Bus” transportation. Photo by Marty Coniglio

Etna had another major eruption on the 13th of August, spewing lava and ash over the nearby city of Catania. The mayor of Catania banned bicycles and motorcycles on the streets because the ash was too slippery to safely ride!

Mt. Etna eruption on August 13, 2023. Photo by The Guardian media group.

Catania is only 15 miles from the main caldera on Etna and has been in place for at least 2,500 years.

Thick volcanic ash covering everything in Catania, Sicily August 14, 2023. Photo by The Guardian media group.

It’s a testament to human resilience and perhaps a cause for optimism as we face new serious environmental challenges all over the world.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: