Posted by: George | July 2, 2010

Travel Writing

The Big Sky

Hues

July 2, 2010

As I was driving north toward Mesa Verde today, I was thinking about nature writing. I don’t think I will ever move past the novice stage. I never studied Geology or Climatology. I don’t know the names of animals or bird calls. I like plants, and I know a little about herbs. I could talk about basil and thyme, but that wouldn’t help much.

Despite my limitations, I do realize there is something very different about the look of the West. The sky is actually bigger. I’ve known New Yorkers who don’t understand this. They say, “Isn’t it the same sky?” Not really.

With few trees or buildings, the vistas are panoramic. As I was driving today, I could see a 360 degree horizon. Space expands in every direction. In this kind of terrain, the sky is bigger.

Bigger but not separate. Sometimes, it is hard to see where clouds end and a mountain ridge begins. The shadows of clouds slide across the hills, merging earth and sky.

Without technical knowledge, I found myself describing the terrain in terms of hues, textures, and silhouettes. I took the pictures on the left to explain this vocabulary.

I have camp set up at Mesa Verde, where I will be for two nights. I will be visiting the cliff houses and doing a hike on a trail with Petro glyphs.

Thanks to old friends and new friends for the comments.

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Responses

  1. You can’t describe the western sky. You just have to experience it.

    Like

  2. lenny and i are enjoying following you

    Like

  3. looks like you are off to a great start!

    ~Melissa

    Like

  4. Unbelievable! I have been west, but i haven’t been there.

    Like

    • Someday, we will have to make the trip.

      Like


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