The presence and absence of sunlight…
The presence and absence of sunlight…
Or, am I under illusion?
…clouds, mountains and forests…
Railing about what?
Once upon a time…and then it was yesterday…and you are reading this today.
In a land of mountain trains–funiculars, cable cars and narrow gauge cogwheel trains. They are slow and they get you high.
Why? Why get high?
I’ll let the following photos tell the story. You will be in the Bernese Highlands of the Jungfrau Region, the northern pre-mountains, above 2,000 meters in the Swiss Alps. Why build these mechanical contraptions to get high?
Here are the trains that get you high.
What are landrace clouds? I made it up. Combination of words to describe the reality of cloud appearance in my neighborhood.
My neighborhood. According to the Swiss National Meteorological office, my Swiss neighborhood is the Northern Alps, the north facing slopes of the northernmost range of Alps in Switzerland. Using more common tourist and environmentally friendly vocabulary, my neighborhood is in the Jungfrau Region of the Berner Oberland around Interlaken. I live in the north-facing drainage basin of the famous Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountain triumvirate.
Now all that aside, over my years of walking this neighborhood, I have noticed that barely observable, minimal fluctuations in temperature, humidity, pressure and wind create quite dramatic formation and dissolution of very low level clouds. Please do not confuse them with fog. For a patient viewer, a dance reveals itself. And where there is dance, there is music. Not in astronomical time, but in real time. See it. Feel it. Hear it.
Unmistakeable to a person on foot.
So for me, landrace clouds are very specific, locally generated occurrences. That is my starting point. That is real. Then the fiction begins. I call it fiction because of the reality that what we call ‘fixed’ or ‘settled’ science is not really fixed or settled or permanent. I like working and writing on the edge of the fixed because every edge is fuzzy and invites exploration, as do these landrace cloud phenomena.
I ask myself, what really happens at the point where a cloud begins its formation in touch with the earth? My response is a bit alchemical, a bit old school. I theorise that point as the interaction of earth, air, water…kind of special already, no? But what about ether? What happens at the moment of generation and the final moment of dissolution?
So, I go hunting in my neighborhood for generation points of landrace clouds. Following are eleven images from recent forays.
All of the above represent a ‘typical’ walk in my neighborhood. And that is why fiction is just too close to fact.
Every country and culture has a different interpretation of Christmas, trees and Santa Claus.
After the passing of the Christmas and the New Year, our local neighborhood, in the Jungfrau Region of the Swiss Alps, furnished these three image examples.
Have no fear, Happy New Year!
This is not fog.
What is fresh air?
Settled science? Humans and animals–oxygen in, carbon dioxide out. Plants–carbon dioxide in, oxygen out.
In cold weather those are small clouds coming out of our nose when we breathe.
Does the earth breathe out clouds like we do?
Mountains, creeks and lakes come together with temperatures just above freezing and a light drizzle from cloudy skies…that makes my day.
The play of air, water and earth can be visualized best by observing the visual interplay of low level clouds–they appear and disappear with a rhythm and frequency that reminds me of my own breaths.
On a calm day, the very low clouds come and go as if breaths from a huge giant–the earth itself.
What is fresh air if it is not air that has been filtered by plants …or filtered by earth…or filtered by both.
Think about it the next time you inhale a deep breath of fresh air.
Think about it the next time you exhale a cloud.
I am obsessed with the magic of clouds rising from nothing.
But what is that nothing?
Imagine what you might see, feel, hear underneath that dark, 100 foot tall forest canopy as a cloud just begins to emerge from around you?
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