Tuesday January 31, 2012

January 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Desert Twilight


“Reach high, for stars are hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr

“We must allow ourselves to dream and to reach for the stars, for it is only by dreaming that we can discover our true potential.  Those who don’t allow themselves to dream are so earthbound that they can’t touch the stars.  Dreamers on the other hand, are the movers and shakers, the pioneers, the cosmic explorers.” – Beverly Engle


Perpetual twilight.

January 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Moon on Earth's horizon as seen from space station.

“The Moon sets in a counterintuitive way. From this vantage it moves
nearly parallel to the horizon. Once I saw it slowly set, only to
reappear in a few minutes. The Moon was visible for nearly the whole

The night side is equally fascinating. The atmosphere on edge glows
with a vibrant electric blue. Did van Gogh paint this scene? I can see
at least five, maybe six distinct layers of blue—perhaps a visual
display of the classic atmospheric strata. Just past the terminator,
rays of sunlight can be seen projected above the darkened limb of the

The most striking aspect of our atmosphere is not the palette of
electric blue colors but the thinness of it all. Our atmosphere is a
diaphanous veil; thin, fragile, transparent, and the only thing that
protects us from the harsh vacuum of space. Too much atmosphere, and
the planet is choked and suffocated. Too little, and it is exposed to
the harshness of cosmic space. My vantage on the station gives me a
deep appreciation of this fact.”



January 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Grand Canyon from Space Station


The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is simply amazing when viewed from an orbital perspective. You instinctively recognize it, even though you have never seen it from this vantage point before.  Somehow, your brain can warp all those vacation memories from visiting the South Rim into something recognizable.

Grand Canyon from Space Station Looks like Heart Arteries


But the amazement doesn’t stop there.  Sometimes your brain can play little tricks. Under some lighting conditions the Grand Canyon does not look like a canyon at all.  Instead, all you see are the arteries on a giant heart, as if someone were performing open heart surgery on Mother Earth.

So often, in the search for truth in nature, human perception masks how things really are. – Don Pettit

Basin and range.

January 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Spruce Mountain Basin and Range


The Great Basin is the vast dry region in the middle of the American west that does not drain to the ocean. Hydrographically, it has a precise definition in the same way as the drainage basins of rivers. But for the purposes of classifying mountain ranges, it can be thought of as the huge expanse bounded by the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades to the west, the Snake River plains to the north, the Wasatch Range of the Rockies and the Colorado Plateau to the south, and Mojave Desert and the Colorado River to the south.

This area includes 95% of Nevada, the entire western half of Utah, large chunks of Idaho and Oregon, plus pieces of California and Arizona. Nevada remains the heart of the Great Basin, though–no other large state is so dominated by one physiographic province and landform type.

The Great Basin is basin-and-range country par excellence, with literally hundreds and hundreds of relatively small parallel mountain ranges rising out of flat, parched sagebrush plains. Most ranges run north-south, and most are short fault block ranges.

Basin and Range Nevada


Monday January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Harvest Moon Southern Utah


Ancient tree southern Utah


“In the middle of this famously frenetic public space,  I find myself feeling oddly serene.”- David Michaelis


Sunday January 29, 2012

January 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

Red Tailed Hawk in Flight


“Hawks are visionaries and messengers. As a totem they help to open the higher chakras so that we may hear and see the visions and messages that Spirit and the Universe are always sending our way.

Hawk medicine people like many who carry strong predator totems may be shunned by others who sense and fear their inner power. Others may sense that this is a person who can see straight through them and as many folks think in terms of judging things as being good or bad, they are afraid that the Hawk person will see who they “really” are and so they strike first in an attempt to keep the Hawk person at bay. Hawk people need to learn how to veil their energy somewhat, not as an attempt to deceive others but to allow people to get to know them and understand that Hawk has no interest in judging others. Often these people have seen so much of the best and worst in life that they find they have no need to judge. All is part and parcel of Spirit’s plan and if Spirit sees fit not to judge, why should the Hawk person?” – Lynx Graywolf


Red-tailed hawk


Ancient civilization.

January 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

White House Ruin Canyon de Chelley by Greg Russell


White House Trail Canyon de Chelley


Canyon de Chelley Spider Rock


The word “vanish” cannot be used without a sense of irony. Vanishing is a magic trick, a slight of hand. Nothing ever truly disappears. There is always a ghost of movement, a twig broken on the ground, a path leading away. There was once a Neolithic civilization in the Southwest, a culture of celestial monuments and networks of roads. According to common belief, the people vanished around the 13th century A.D. The larger civilization vanished, but the culture did not. This book is the flash of motion you see from the corner of your eye, the dart of a vanished civilization. I am looking behind the magic trick and finding a story far more elaborate and driving than the “mysterious disappearance of the Anasazi.” – Craig Childs, House of Rain: Tracking a vanished civilization across the desert southwest.


Excellent Write-up:  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11828089

Childs’ books are so incredibly wonderful, I anticipate re-reading and enjoying them again and again. One of my favorite authors.

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