Peeking through a frame of snow topped peaks, we find Telluride, Colorado in transition to summer…lingering snow, some fairly fresh, reminds us of the temporal nature of Spring as Summer rapidly approaches.
Crossing the Colorado River at Page, Arizona, we watch the arrested flow of the river push against the arched back of the Glen Canyon Dam. With what little remaining view we have of the walls of Glen Canyon, we get a hint of the magnificence this canyon displayed prior to the construction of the dam. When we built this dam, we let go of some of our past, sacrificing geological and archeological treasures for the sake of saving water and extracting energy…perhaps, someday we will let go of that idea too and set the waters free so that we may once again marvel at the canyon and explore its hidden treasures.
As though nibbling on the edges of the Sierras, mining operations deconstruct the earth as they appear to pull down the mountains toward the desert floor from which they sprang.
We bring a constant newness to an old landscape…on the plains, dry streams and shallow hills and valleys are subdivided with grid lines, crops are planted while other fields lay fallow, the colors of seasons, purpose, and time dye the patterns of the landscape while the nature of the land imposes its will on those who seek to control it, as evident in the underlying patterns left by furrows and wheels that echo the contours of the earth like the moire of fabric shimmering in sunlight…now in this place, we seek to harness the wind and we raise towers and lines above the plain, playing to the nature of airflow across that irregular landscape…another pattern for another time.
Traveling along a horizontal plane, the twists and turns of the road seem the only threat as the road is level and immovable…From above, that immovable roadway begins to look like a delicate ribbon clinging precariously to the contours of the mountainside…each curve, the ebb and flow of shifting earth.
We wandered in and out of clouds, catching glimpses of the inspired terrain beneath us. Lost in the brightness of the white vaporous aerial landscape, we resigned ourselves to the sensory deprivation of a weather day, but kept the hunters’ sense of what lay beneath us unseen…and then, as though a well of inspiration opened in front of us, the hot earth reflection burned away the weather to reveal Navajo mountain at our feet and the rising vapor appeared as if dancing in rejoice.
Paiute Mesa stretches into the San Juan River dividing brown water from green.
Visit the collection of black and white western landscapes
Through the hazy filter of a thin mid altitude cloud layer, the terrain beneath us appears as an old photograph of an aging planet…With a nod to Albert Einstein, we contemplate the “twins paradox”…our time above the planet slows our clock while time while time marches on at a comparably faster rate on earth. We knew this place when it was imprinted on our DNA, we learned it’s shape and contour as we matured together, and now we look upon our aging mother as though the years have accelerated. Earthly wrinkles of stone highlight her age but endear her to us all the more. Soon we will land, our clocks will be synchronized, and our folly of neverending youth will fade into memory.
Fighting our way through showers and freezing rain, we worked our way up to altitude…Breaking out on top, the morning sun shown in the sky above, while the earth remained blanketed in weather. Somewhere over middle America, the back side of the weather dropped off abruptly, flowing into a white vapor train trailing gently across the fields.
Abstractions are often found in the fluid space of our imaginations, but when we find ourselves in very special places, those abstract notions transcend the thin barrier between dream and reality. There the abstractions are the material embodiment of earth’s spirit, both whimsical and concrete, they are fuel for our dreams. Crossing the high desert of Utah into the canyon lands, we follow the path of Muley Twist as it meanders in tight curves along the base of dreamlike white sandstone cliff walls, creating a colorful and abstract aerial topoglyph for our enjoyment.