When blasting rock for a new building foundation in a densely packed urban area, some means of containing the blast’s shrapnel is necessary. In this case in downtown Victoria they used these large woven mats of recycled rubber (tires perhaps). They were quite effective. Watching them work from our fifth floor hotel window across the street, I never saw any stray material flying anywhere. Too bad they were not effective at all at containing the blast noise or the more constant machinery noise as the rubble was being cleared away. The unpleasantly noisy environment did yield this quite pleasing abstract composition–another case of suffering for my art I guess. 🙂
Death Valley is big; big in size (the largest national park outside of Alaska), big in elevation change (over 11,000′ from the highest point to the lowest), and big in views (with that much elevation change and no trees to block the view you can see forever). But it is also very small and intimate as can be seen in this photo. I actually had to crawl under a pile of boulders that blocked the route into this narrow slot canyon.