Craft Matters

Conflicting Topographies

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Conflicting Topographies over Nevada

It’s probably not surprising, when flying, I like the window seat. Flying, for me, is a little dose of transcendence. At 30,000 feet, perspective runs visually broad and contemplatively deep. Patterns that might strike me while walking along the beach or across a sloping plate of sandstone replicate themselves in swaths of mountain range, river valley and plain. The visual connection is an affirmation of the synergistic relationship of all things, whether big or small, that make up our planet.

In the photo here, taken high above the desert northwest of Las Vegas, linear roads and boundaries cut through the natural patterns of Earth, exemplifying the often conflicting nature of our efforts to “progress” human life. I generally hold to Darwinian beliefs and nothing in this image feels particularly Darwinian to me in terms of the ultimate success (survival) of our species. Instead of conflict, our future needs harmony. The human topographies we evolve going forward must better align and respect the topography of Earth. At 30,000 feet, the visual argument for such a paradigm shift seems obvious.

Mammatus Clouds over Bend

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Mammatus Clouds, Bend, Oregon

Playing some blog catch-up here in mental preparation for what should be some posting frenzied-ness this fall when I head to Zion National Park for nearly two months.

These wonderful clouds here, captured at dusk in late Spring, are called mammatus or mammatocumulus. They commonly form under cumulonimbus (thunderstorm clouds) though the exact hyptohesis for their development is still in question. They are often a warning of impending severe weather, though, in this case, they formed under dissipating conditions. Which was fine by me.

Hello Bend, Oregon

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2350 NW Lemhi Pass

It’s never easy to say goodbye to one phase of life and hello to a new one. But that is what 2350 NW Lehmi Pass represents. Starting in June. A new life, in a new home, in a new town, in a new state. Athletically, artistically and aesthetically inclined people. Great bakeries. River trails. Very friendly and seemingly supportive people. I’ll spend some time getting acclimated, doing a little photography, supporting my daughter in a new stage of our relationship and dreaming up whatever is next. Exciting scary. Scary exciting.

I will miss my friends and the Bay Area but the door will always be open for visits. And I’ll actually have a guest room to welcome you.

I know this is my right path forward. Hopefully, in time, those I love will wholeheartedly agree.

Bighorn Sheep

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Bighorn Sheep - Zion National Park

My favorite “even-toed ungulates” of Zion are the bighorn sheep. I was up canyon and up wind when rounded a bend and discovered this small band meandering across some higher terrain.

Bighorn sheep in Zion were lost to human encroachment in the 1950s only to be reintroduced in small numbers in 1973. But the re-introduced herd disappeared and the program was thought to be a failure. Then in the 1990s they were spotted again and recent biologist surveys has pegged their numbers well above 200 in and around the park.

On this recent trip alone, I encountered bighorns 4 times up different east-side canyons. And with properly bellowed “stupid human” noises you can even get them to pose for a picture.