Earth Day 2009 (Field Notes #4)

Forgive, please, the late, overhasty and not especially informative nature of this post, but I wished to get something up for Earth Day before the opportunity passed.   As usual, consider yourself invited to  report on your own Earth Day activities  in the comments section.

Here in SE Utah, Earth Day opened gorgeously.   Warm and blue.   To the south, only a few drawn clouds showing, thin as weeds that snow flattened.   Around the Abajos to the north  rise those striking cloud formations that always provoke my wonder.   Can’t remember what they’re called, but I  think of  them as the “jellyfish formations,” because to my eye they resemble man-of-war jellyfish: small, top-heavy  clouds trailing long, wispy tentacles of vapor that appear to dangle into lower reaches of the atmosphere.   As I’ve sought to understand those cloud structures, I’ve read what’s actually happening is that the tentacles are  water vapor rising out of unstable air, seeking a more settled region of the atmosphere.   Once the vapor finds that more stable region it forms a cumulus cloud, which may in turn provide the seed of a cumulonimbus cloud, a thunderhead. Continue reading “Earth Day 2009 (Field Notes #4)”

Field Notes #3

April 21, 2009 (pre-Earth Day)

Today, as I head out for the trail into the canyon that will take me past the dead coyote, I decide to  call that trail Coyote Trail, or maybe Coyote Way, to remember that coyote mouldering at the trailhead.   As I pass those remains, I try to satisfy my curiosity about the animal’s gender, but the back legs are frozen together in a rigor of modesty.   A cloud of black flies on and around the carcass goes a-buzz at my intrusion into its community  feast and fur-lined creche. Continue reading “Field Notes #3”