... is a star forming region in the Carina Nebula some 7500 light years from our tiny vantage point in the universe. The mountain consists of massive regions of dust and gas and although this is how the region looked some five thousand years before Socrates was born, I rather suspect it is still much the same ... or perhaps not. About the same time this image began its journey through space to us, early farmers were migrating into the areas of central and eastern Europe after the ice age and humans began drinking milk and in Baja California Sur, giant rock art murals were being created and in the Arabian Peninsula humans first began diving for pearls and the total population of earth was about six million people.
The setting of this image is over the caldera of the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff, AZ. About four hundred thousand years ago, San Francisco Mountain had a massive eruption and the top six thousand feet of the mountain was lost. I always liked to think of the top blowing off like Mt. St. Helens and like to visualize that as I am flying up there, but alas friends at NAU tell me there is credible evidence that the mountain simply collapsed into itself during/after the eruption.
And the heron? I just like them and it seems a throwback to ancient times and it would be fun to fly on his back ... and the eight climbers on the remnant of San Francisco Mountain seem to be taking it all in.
Have a wonderful day and dream of all that is and remember from whence we came. I wonder what the scene on earth will be when the image of us today reaches Mystic Mountain ...