Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 22 January 2007

Slipping the Surly Bonds of Earth

Grand Canyon, Arizona – January 22, 2007

We drove to the Grand Canyon this morning to get some nature shots. The 100 mile drive was interesting with black ice on the road in many spots and lots of blowing snow on the road.

Visibility at the Canyon was amazing. We can clearly see a mountain 250 miles distant. The North rim is only ten miles distant and the Colorado River is a mile below. We can see some green rapids below that are an eight on a scale of ten.

The weather this time of year often goes down to minus 30 F at night, but today it’s sunny and about plus 30 F.

We have hiked here on the rim extensively the last two visits, but we only have a three hour window today to get back to Sedona before dark. So we drive 50 miles along the rim, stopping only to take pictures at viewpoints, no hikes. I become very interested in the black ravens that wheel and soar all along the rim. Sometimes they fold their wings and dive straight down toward the river, apparently for the sheer joy of flying. For a minute I envy them, but they never get medical insurance or corned beef and cabbage.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—Wheeled and soared and
swung High in the sunlit silence

Taking their pictures is a little like keeping a Japanese Zero in your gun sights. Some of the raven pictures over the Canyon are very pleasing.

We have lunch in the Grand Canyon Bright Angel Lodge at 3 PM and drive three hours back to Sedona. I’m not confident initially about the pictures, but they are very pleasing when I see them on the computer..

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