Pirr, a light breath of wind, a cat’s paw on water

Robert-McFarlane

This is a book about the power of language – strong style, single words – to shape our sense of place. […]

The ten following chapters explore writing so fierce in its focus that it can change the vision of its readers for good in both senses. […] A book that brilliantly shows how such seeing might occur in language, written as it is in prose that has ‘the quivering intensity of an arrow thudding into a tree’. And for over a decade I have been collecting place words as I have found them gleaned singly from conversations, correspondences or books, and jotted down in journals or on slips of paper. […]

Many of these terms have mingled oddness and familiarity in the manner that Freud calls uncanny: peculiar in their particularity, but recognizable in that they name something conceivable, if not instantly locatable. Ammil is a Devon term for the fine film of silver ice that coats leaves, twigs and grass when freeze follows thaw, a beautifully exact word for a fugitive phenomenon I have several times seen but never before been able to name. Shetlandic has a word, af’ rug, for the ‘reflex of a wave after it has struck the shore’; another, pirr, meaning ‘a light breath of wind, such as will make a cat’s paw on the water’; and another, klett, for a ‘a low-lying earth-fast rock on the seashore’. On Exmoor, zwer is the onomatopoeic term for the sound made by a covey of partridges taking flight. […]

There are experiences of landscape that will always resist articulation, and of which words offer only a remote echo – or to which silence is by far the best response. Nature does not name itself. Granite does not self-identify as igneous. Light has no grammar. Language is always late for its subject. Sometimes on the top of a mountain I just say, ‘Wow.’

~ Robert Macfarlane, from Chapter 1: “The Word-Hoard” in Landmarks


Note: Portrait –  Wharfedaleobserver

Good Morning Rio!

rio-olympics-2016-landscape


Notes: The 2016 Summer Olympics kick off tonight.  Photo: Rio de Janeiro’s mountaintop ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue at sunrise. (wsj.com by Pfaffenback / Reuters)

 

The DroneScape: Outback SA

outback-south-australia

Drone shot over the Outback in South Australia.

Don’t miss Gabriel Scanu’s other amazing shots at Fubiz Media: Amazing Drone Landscape Photography.

Find his website here: Gabe. And his Instagram site here: Gab Scanu


Source: This Isn’t Happiness

 

He blows on the painting as if imbuing it with life

russell-chatham-painting-hayfieldsapril-the-seasons-russell-chatham

In his studio, I get to watch him scrape down and then sand lightly a painting he’s been waiting to finish: sitting with it for days, the way a good writer will sit with an ending, even when he or she is certain. Waiting to be sure—waiting for the delightful vapors, the adrenaline fumes, of completion to wear off—and then waiting a little longer.

The painting—maybe 6 inches by 9 inches— has taken him a month.

“No one spends a month on a small painting like this anymore,” he says. Later he’ll take it to an auction in Great Falls, like a rancher with a prize bull, but carrying it onto the plane like a magazine under his arm.

The blade is rasping, the paint is falling to the bottom of the easel, rasp, rasp, rasp. He blows on the painting as if imbuing it with life, shakes it, puffs on it again, then sands it lightly, holds it out at arm’s length, and is satisfied. And it is beautiful.

~ Rick Bass, on Russell Chatham, 74, who he describes as the greatest living landscape painter in America.


Notes:

  • Thank you Rob Firchau at The Hammock Papers for pointing me to his work and the article.
  • Paintings shown above by Russell Chatham: The Seasons, April and Chatham Hayfields, 1995

Everywhere the cliffrose is blooming, the flowers shivering in the wind

flowers-desert-mallow-atacama-chile-santiago

“Mallow blooms in the Atacama region of Chile, 466 miles north of Santiago de Chile. Every five to seven years, the arid Atacama desert becomes a flower carpet. The amount of rain that came down in recent months has led to the most spectacular blossoming of the past 18 years.” (Maria Ruiz, European Press Photo Agency, October 25, 2015)


Post inspiration – “Everywhere the cliffrose is blooming, the yellow flowers shivering in the wind” by Edward Abbey in Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness.

Drive. And come alive.

Grant-haffner-1 Grant-haffner-2

East Hampton, Long Island-based artist Grant Haffner paints vivid landscapes inspired by the beautiful country roads and bodies of water of his hometown. Using acrylic, marker, and pencil on wood panel, the painter deconstructs the road scene into a striking series of graphic lines and eye-catching colors. Each image captures the exciting feeling of driving for miles down empty highways—watching power lines pass by in a blur, feeling the dips and turns of the road beneath the wheels, and enjoying the boundless expanse of sky overhead.

“When I drive I feel completely alive,” Haffner says on his Saatchi Art profile. “For a small moment, in between this place and that, I am free from reality. My truck and I become a motion of blurred color, barreling through space and time. I like to keep my window open to listen to the sounds that traveling makes, to enjoy the smell of the landscape. Every trip is a new one, not one sunset is the same. On the road I am a part of the painting. I am movement, color, sound, adventure and emotions. This is my landscape.”

~ Jenny Zhang, Gorgeous Pastel Paintings Capture the Endless Freedom of the Open Road


Notes:

 

Go, and Be


In a word,
she is empty,
untouched with inescapable beauty.
She is pure,
free from advertisement
and the need of distraction.
Within the slips of her land
there are fallen rocks still asleep
where they originally made their bed.
Her livestock craw without concern of time or where to go.
They call the ground home without need for a door.
No lock, or key.
Waterfalls find their way where ever needed,
Down the sides of the mountains green and
across the dirt paths
carved by wandering admirers.
The ground, this home, smells so rich.
The soil doesn’t stick or crumble,
it molds to the hand as the hand becomes one with the land.
For she is kind.
She is genuine.
We pilgrims come here to pay our respects,
And she repays us with peace.
And once here, you are home,
you find silence,
a glimpse of heaven,
A place where you can go and be.

~ Josh Brine


Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration

Thomas-Haney-paddleboarding-glacier-national-park

Paddleboarding in Glacier National Park, Montana by Thomas Haney


Source: Mashable – Nature Never Looked so good: U.S. Parks, in all their beauty. 2015 Award Winning photographs of U.S. Parks.

 

Jon Wyatt

sound of jura, scotland

This photograph is the Sound of Jura in Scotland by Jon Wyatt. Wyatt explains that “the Sound of Jura is the name given to the straits of water separating the Isle of Jura in the Inner Hebrides from the Scottish mainland. The Gaelic name is ‘An Linne Rosach’ meaning the ‘Sound of Disappointment’.” (Note to self: I don’t understand what can be a disappointment about this magnificent location…)

Wyatt is an award winning photographer from the U.K. Do NOT miss Wyatt’s other shots of the Sound of Jura and the Portfolio of his work: Jon Wyatt.


Photo Source via Precious Things

Sunday Morning

bird-hand-gentle

It is one of the perils of our so-called civilized age that we do not yet acknowledge enough, or cherish enough, this connection between soul and landscape — between our own best possibilities, and the view from our own windows. We need the world as much as it needs us, and we need it in privacy, intimacy, and surety. We need the field from which the lark rises — bird that is more than itself, that is the voice of the universe: vigorous, godly joy. Without the physical world such hope is: hacked off. Is: dried up. Without wilderness no fish could leap and flash, no deer could bound soft as eternal waters over the field; no bird could open its wings and become buoyant, adventurous, valorous beyond even the plan of nature. Nor could we.

~ Mary Oliver, Home from Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Credits: Photo – The Lilac Road

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