Symphony of the Land
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Symphony of the Land

Composer Chris Thomas is brilliant.  He listened to the land and wrote a story in the form of an extraordinary symphony about a place.  One day soon, I, along with Clay, am going to visit that place.  For now I savor from afar and explore from home.  The place:  Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon.  This is a departure from our normal offerings on EarthWise and the Alabaster Horse, which will happen from time to time.  In this piece, there are several web links and videos to view.  I encourage you to take the time, not all at once…

Impressions ~ Walking II
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Impressions ~ Walking II

Vignette \vin-yet\ Etymology (a word’s history) 1)  1751, “decorative design,” originally a design in the form of vine tendrils around the borders of a book page, especially a picture page, from French vignette, from Old French diminutive of vigne “vineyard” (see vine). Since transferred from the border to the picture itself, then (1853) to a type of small photographic portrait with blurred edges very popular mid-19c. Meaning “literary sketch” is first recorded 1880, probably from the photographic sense. https://www.etymonline.com/word/vignette#etymonline_v_7784 2)  Definition of vignette (noun) vi·​gnette 1a: a picture (such as an engraving or photograph) that shades off gradually into the surrounding…

Impressions ~ Walking I
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Impressions ~ Walking I

July 12, 2020 8:53AM. East side of Lone Pine Rd, Crook County, Oregon. On the sidehill of a butte, at the top of a favorite trail. My hair is loose today.  I feel witchy.  Witches were among the first of the wise women, connected directly to the land.  Men and fear turned the word into how it is perceived today. The last quarter of the moon floats high in the southwest sky.  A sky-blue and alabaster white translucent pearl. The moon, high in the upper right corner. Almost a forgotten cloud fragment. Above and behind me, the butte is a…

ETCHED
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ETCHED

Today, I walk in a sapphire sphere.  Under a brilliant, crystal sky.  The air a clear shatter of light.  Everything is etched upon this canvas. My dictionary app defines “etched” as:  1) to outline clearly or sharply; delineate; 2) to fix permanently in or implant firmly on the mind; root in memory; 3) to cut (a feature) into the surface of the earth by means of erosion. But, when I think of etched, I think of a picture scratched in black and white onto a hard surface.  Each line is embedded into the surface.  No ink floating on the surface…

...And There Was A Bone
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...And There Was A Bone

It took me by surprise.  Resting on the steep backside of a ridge whose top was ringed with a black rock outcropping that gave it the feel of a fortress, the white bone snapped into view just before my foot landed on it.  Whoa!  I managed to redirect my footfall.  Not only to avoid hurting the bone, but also to keep it from rolling under my foot and sending me on a tumble down the hillside.   I’ve seen plenty of bones in my life.  In a life lived amongst livestock, you get familiar with death and bones.  You also…

Spiral Horizon
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Spiral Horizon

The sky lightens.  Delicate coral pink at the horizon fades to a delicate shell blue, if there is such a shade, and flows up the arc of the sky to become cobalt.  The horizon is not a flat line any more, with its southern horizon punctuated by the irregular rounded buttes of the Bear Paw Mountains of north central Montana.  Now the horizon is humped with bristly hills, all around.  Cows still bawl in the distance, though.  I think this sound was born with me, embedded in my bones.  And one of my horses munches contentedly within easy sight of…