No stopping it now

black and white

I once read of a climber who, while clinging to the face of a climb thousands of feet above an alpine valley, said he could feel the earth turn under his hands. And I have read that a person with patience could move an aircraft carrier tied at a dock by leaning long enough against its side to get it started, knowing that once it began to move there’d be no bringing it back, and it came to me that the earth behaves like that, steadily moving out into time under the common pressure of billions of hands.

No stopping it now.

~ Ted Kooser, December. The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book


Credits: Photograph – boulderporn

 

Sunday Morning: Clouds

photography

I’ve always loved looking at clouds. Nothing in nature rivals their variety and drama; nothing matches their sublime, ephemeral beauty. If a glorious sunset of Altocumulus clouds were to spread across the heavens only once in a generation, it would surely be amongst the principal legends of our time. Yet most people barely seem to notice the clouds, or see them simply as impediments to the “perfect” summer’s day, an excuse to feel “under the weather.”

Gavin Pretor-PinneyThe Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds


Notes:
  • Photograph: Photograph taken by William Eggleston. During a 1978 road trip from Georgia to Tennessee, Eggleston photographed the sky from the car window using an early instant camera. The resulting images evoked small fragments of classical frescoes. The following day, he lay on the ground and continued to shoot the sky above. “At Zenith” brings together fifteen pigment prints from the Wedgwood Blue cloud series, in which Eggleston takes celestial zenith—the point of sky directly overhead—as his exclusive subject. These meditative images of wispy clouds interspersed with cerulean blue are painterly variations on a universal theme that has inspired artists from John Constable to Gerhard Richter. The photographs represent a broadening of Eggleston’s quotidian subjects—an exploratory, sky-gazing caesura within the lush panorama of his oeuvre.
  • Sources: Photo: Time Lightbox via Radiating Blossom. (Thank you Carol.) Quote Source – Brainpickings

You don’t believe? Not possible.

sequoia-tree-light-sunrise

We live on a blue planet
that circles around a ball of fire
next to a moon that moves the sea,
and you don’t believe in miracles?

~ bohemian-vibes


Photograph: From the Land of Giants. The early morning air in the Grant Grove of giant sequoias in Kings Canyon National Park on Sequoia Road. Photographer: larrygerbrandt. Thank you Carol @ Radiating Blossom.

Put it back. Put it back.

quartz-arrowhead-rock

By the toe of my boot,
a pebble of quartz,
one drop of the earth’s milk,
dirty and cold.
I held it to the light
and could almost see through it
into the grand explanation.
Put it back, something told me,
put it back and keep walking.

~ Ted Kooser, “On the Road.” Delights & Shadows


 Image Source: Rockpiles

 

Silence of the morning rain

rain

After a long absence,
I put on a record of Bach,
inhale the fragrant earth in the garden,
I think again of poems and novels to be written
and I return to the silence of the morning rain.

— Pier Paolo Pasolini

 


Notes: Pier Paolo Pasolini Bio. Poem Source: YourEyesBlazeOut. Photograph: Jordi Gual via Yama-bato

Ungraspable

galaxy-universe-travel-light


I’m outside with Zeke.
It’s dark. Still. Quiet.
We’re both calm.
I look up.
He’s sniffing.
Yes, I sense it too.
Something bigger, much bigger here.


In quietness,
the sound of eternity
can at times be heard—
the stars somehow closer and
a sense of the earth’s moving.

~ Michael Boiano


Milky Way Fact Source: Thank you Rob Firchau @ The Hammock Papers

Sunday Morning: The Human


There are places in and around our great cities, where the natural world has all but disappeared. You can make out streets and sidewalks, autos, parking garages, advertising billboards, monuments of glass and steel. But not a tree, or a blade of grass or any animal, besides of course, the Humans. There are lot’s of Humans. Only when you look up straight up through the skyscraper canyons, can you make out a star or a patch of blue. Reminders of what was there long before humans came to be. It’s not hard going to work every day in such a place to be impressed with ourselves. How we’ve transformed the earth for our benefit and convenience. But a few hundred miles up or down, there are no humans, our impact on the universe is nil. In the last 10,000 years, an instant in our long history, we’ve abandoned the nomadic life. We’ve domesticated the plants and animals. Why chase the food, when you can make it come to you? For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. There are now people on every continent and the remotest islands. From pole to pole. From Mount Everest to the Dead Sea. On the ocean bottoms, and even, occasionally in residence two miles up. Humans, like the Gods of old, living in the sky. These days there seems no where left to explore. Victims of their very success, the explorers now, pretty much, stay home.


This is a bit of an epic fail

planets-earth-girl-bubbles

Steve Layman’s shares “7 Questions About the Universe That No One Has Answered“:

…There’s also so much mess after 4.5 billion years of geophysics that some of our best information about the planet’s origins come from meteorites and the cratering of other worlds — outsourced. Speaking of other worlds, we’re not even sure we understand where the Moon came from, maybe it was a giant impact, maybe not. For an allegedly clever species on a small rocky planet this is a bit of an epic fail…

There’s an awful lot we don’t know (far more than just the examples here). But the point is not to get despondent, because this ignorance is a beautiful thing. It’s what ultimately drives science, and it’s what makes the universe truly awe-inspiring. After the hundreds of thousands of years that Homo sapienshas loped around, the cosmos can still elude our fidgety, inquisitive minds, easily outracing our considerable imaginations. How wonderful.

~ Caleb A. Scharf, Scientific American


Image Credit. Thank you Steve Layman.


The windows of a spaceship casually frame miracles. Every 92 minutes.

hadfield,astronaut

“The windows of a spaceship casually frame miracles. Every 92 minutes, another sunrise: a layer cake that starts with orange, then a thick wedge of blue, then the richest, darkest icing decorated with stars. The secret patterns of our planet are revealed: mountains bump up rudely from orderly plains, forests are green gashes edged with snow, rivers glint in the sunlight, twisting and turning like silvery worms. Continents splay themselves out whole, surrounded by islands sprinkled across the sea like delicate shards of shattered eggshells.”

~ Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield


Precious

“One of the most boggling experiences I have is standing on a beach staring at the ocean.  It’s just a silly amount of water.  And then there’s all this water underground, and more in the atmosphere, and there are lakes and rivers and streams and marshes and swamps and snow and glaciers and ponds and puddles. So I’ve been thinking about all this water and how I don’t really have a handle on how much of it there really is.  It’s clear what needs to happen— I need to cube it.  I need to put all the world’s water in cubes so I can look at it all at once and grasp how much there really is…so if you took all of that water and put it into a huge cube, how big would the cube be if you place it on top of the U.S.?  A cube with a side of 693 miles, whose base stretches from Indianapolis to Denver.”

water cube on earth

97% of the Earth’s water is sitting in Oceans. A mere 3% of all water is fresh water…0.3% of the 3% of all fresh water is surface water (e.g., lakes, rivers)

And, if you were going to put all of the Earth’s drinkable water in a cube, how big would it be?   [Read more…]

Here comes another long Monday

Monday-Mercury-Funny


Mercury is the smallest and closest to the Sun of the eight planets in the Solar System, with an orbital period of about 88 Earth days. Mercury does not experience seasons in the same way as most other planets, such as the Earth. It is locked so it rotates in a way that is unique in the Solar System. As seen from the Sun, in a frame of reference that rotates with the orbital motion, it appears to rotate only once every two Mercurian years. An observer on Mercury would therefore see only one day every two years. (Source: Wiki)


Source: Level8000.com

To the rushing water speak

dive

And if the earthly has forgotten
you, say to the still earth: I flow.
To the rushing water speak: I am.

Rainer Maria Rilke


Credits: poem – lifeinpoetry.  Image: Hungarian Soul.  Rilke poem from “Sonnets to Orpheus

These are mind blowing large numbers

Parmitano-photo-of-earth

…Just how many planets are there?…There could be about 23 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy, each harbouring Earth-sized planets with life-friendly temperatures on their surfaces. Twenty-three billion, give or take a few…Some studies produce numbers of Earth-sized planets closer to 17 billion…Others suggest a figure as low as 6 billion or so, but these are just the planets close to Earth in size. If we extend our reach to slightly larger worlds, the places now known as ‘super-Earths’, we’re back into the tens of billions. No matter how you slice the cosmic cake, you end up with a vast wedge of planets that we’d be happy to go and study, perhaps even land on and cautiously tiptoe about. These are mind-blowingly huge numbers…

So, given the enormity of the number of planets in the galaxy, the question Caleb Scharf tries to answer in his essay is: Are We Alone?


Image Source: theorangeco.  Quote Source: Aeon Magazine

Our Home

This short trailer opens with a quote by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

“…And till my ghastly tale is told, this heart within me burns.”

It’s set in Midway Atoll, North Pacific Ocean, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.

The images are burned into my consciousness.

Those that follow this blog, know about birds and me.  No more words required.  Take a few minutes and watch.  See what we’re doing to our planet.


Thank you Olga for sharing.

Spring Follows Winter Once More

sun,sunrise, photography

Lying here in the tall grass
Where it’s so soft
Is this what it is to go home?
Into the Earth
Of worms and black smells
With a larch tree gathering sunlight
In the spring afternoon
And the gates of paradise open just enough
To let out
A flock of geese.

~ Tom Hennen


I felt my blood pressure rising after hitting the send button a few minutes ago on the “bad manners” post.  I needed something soothing…so I flipped open Tom Hennen’s new book and voila…magic.


Poem Source: Tom Hennen – Darkness Sticks to Everything (p.72).  Image Source: Thank you TogetherGreen

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Reverence for the Sun

red_grapes_bunch-1920x1200

“The Sun, with all the planets revolving around it, and depending on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as though it had nothing else in the Universe to do.”

~ Galileo Galilei (1564-1642).  Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher.


Source: Quote from Larmoyante.  Image credit.

We Say Everything Comes Back

waves, dark, blue, shoreline, beach, rock

“We say you cannot divert the river from the river bed. We say that everything is moving, and we are a part of this motion. That the soil is moving. That the water is moving. We say that the earth draws water to her from the clouds. We say the rainfall parts on each side of the mountain, like the parting of our hair, and that the shape of the mountain tells where the water has passed. We say this water washes the soil from the hillsides, that the rivers carry sediment, that rain when it splashes carries small particles, that the soil itself flows with water in streams underground. We say that water is taken up into roots of plants, into stems, that it washes down hills into rivers, that these rivers flow to the sea, that from the sea, in the sunlight, this water rises to the sky, that this water is carried in clouds, and comes back as rain, comes back as fog, back as dew, as wetness in the air.

We say everything comes back.”

- Susan Griffin


Source: moody blues by Andy Kennelly on Flickr via Sundaug.

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Sunday Morning: You never found us. It was the other way around.

forest, woods, trees, tall trees

The Moment

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

by Margaret Atwood


Sources: Poem via Growing-Orbits via chasingtailfeathers.  Image: Plagved

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Sunday Morning: Fragments of Iceland

Fragments of Iceland from Lea et Nicolas Features on Vimeo.


Wonderful short clip to put you in that Sunday morning frame of mind. The video is beautifully paired with music by The Cinematic Orchestra called To Build a Home.  Good Sunday morning…


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