March 16, 2001
The above Landsat (Thematic Mapper Instrument) satellite image of eastern Ireland was taken just 11 days ago on March 5. Even in early March, Ireland appars as an emerald isle. This scene shows Dublin, Ireland's capital, at the top center. It's the dark smudge adjacent to the Irish Sea and just north of the large patch of melting snow (turquoise) in the Wicklow Mountains. White cloud streets can be seen in marching order to the south and west of the Dublin area. This is about the only marching being done in Ireland since the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin was cancelled because of the concern of spreading "hoof and mouth disease." Although this malady rarely effects humans, it has been devastating to England's livestock, and since it can be spread by humans, most planned activities involving large numbers of people, like parades and rugby matches, have had to be cancelled. Spirits may be down in old Ireland now, but on the 17th, they always soar (and flow).