Tag Archives: Field Notes

Field Notes #13 : Spider in the hand of a goodly snow

800px-Crab_spider by RedRue

Polar fleece. One of the best.  Inventions. Ever.

My admiration for this virtuous fabric prompted me to do a bit of research on it. On Wikipedia, I came across this: “Aaron Feuerstein [inventor] intentionally declined to patent polar fleece, allowing the material to be produced cheaply and widely by many vendors, leading to the material’s quick and wide acceptance.”

What a lovely man for doing this for us.

Until recently, my polar fleece jacket has been out of commission, in need of repair. I’ve been wearing an uncomfortable coat—the shell, actually, from my husband’s coat—made of polyester. The coat is much bigger, heavier, and longer than my fleece jacket but nowhere near as warm. Continue reading Field Notes #13 : Spider in the hand of a goodly snow

Field Notes #12: Who Has Seen the Wind? (Pt. 1) by Patricia Karamesines

Crossfire in the Fall

What a mystery is the air, what an enigma to these human senses! [T]he air is the most pervasive presence I can name, enveloping, embracing, and caressing me both inside and out, moving in ripples along my skin, flowing between my fingers, swirling around my arms and thighs, rolling in eddies along the roof of my mouth, slipping ceaselessly thought the throat and trachea to fill the lungs, to feed my blood, my heart, my self. I cannot act, cannot speak, cannot think a single thought without the participation of this fluid element. I am immersed in its depths as surely as fish are immersed in the sea. 

David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous

Part One of a three-part post.

August 24, 2013. When I head out today for Crossfire Canyon, I step into a world in motion. Currents of surface wind, smooth in texture, cool to the touch, flood out of the south, curling around every solid body be it person, fencepost, or stone, leaning into every curve in the terrain. Weeds and spindly desert sunflowers undulate in it. As I pass my neighbor’s orchard, waves of wind sound in the apple and pear trees’ leaves, oceanic in temperament, noising like breakers crushing themselves against sand.

Here on White Mesa, the character of the desert air ranges widely from spring’s sandpaper winds that rattle windows and flake shingles off roofs, to the sudden dust-ups of sand spouts or dust devils, to dead still, the odd hour where the air’s quiescence reminds me of a motionless pool deposited in a stream bed after a flash flood has rumbled through. Today’s wind surges without half smothering me. I’ve walked into mesa blasts that grapple with me for my breath. This wind is respiration friendly. Continue reading Field Notes #12: Who Has Seen the Wind? (Pt. 1) by Patricia Karamesines

Field Notes #11: Winter Solstice 2010, Part One

As often happens, this offering of field notes runs long–so long I’ve broken it into parts.  Even more of interest to me than usual unfolded during this trip to Crossfire Canyon (not the canyon’s real name).  Because of the nature of this experience, some of the material leans toward the technological, so many thanks in advance to those who read the series all the way through.

In the planetary equivalent of a full house, a total lunar eclipse late on December 20th combined with the arrival of the 2010 winter solstice on the 21st to lay down a winning cosmic hand.  My family and I watched part of Earth’s occulting of the moon.  It was like seeing the moon speed through its full set of phases, waning then waxing in a few hours instead of a month’s time, with the “dark phase” played by the moon wearing a smoky red vizard. Except we didn’t make it to that climactic red phase.  When the shadow-serpent had swallowed two-thirds of the egg, clouds from a drenching storm out of the Pacific that had discombobulated parts of California rolled into southern Utah and eclipsed the eclipse. Continue reading Field Notes #11: Winter Solstice 2010, Part One

Field Notes #7, pt. one

This is the first part in a two-part Field Notes entry written by two authors.  I’ll take the first part, my son Saul the second.  It wasn’t my intention to put up Field Notes again so soon, but this story is just too good to wait for.

July 11, 2009.  As I take Coyote Way into Crossfire, I find its coyote gate keep reduced to little more than a fur doormat.  The carcass’s light bones seem to be floating away downhill.  Many are missing.  So that took, what?  A little over three months?  Three months for decomposition to the point of fur and bleached bone. 

We’ve had a run of hot weather, so I’m curious about how the beaver ponds in Crossfire are faring, especially the last one located along my route.  Around this time last year, that pond dried up completely.  Dozens of small fish locked in between its dams died in the mud as its last pocket of creek water turned inside out, summer’s heat having emptied it of its currency.

As I approach the dam, I can see the creek bed below it has run dry.  That means there’s no flow out of the dam.  That probably means … yes, the pond is empty. 

But walking to the bank and visually following the curve of the muddy pond bottom to its lowest point, I discover a puddle, three feet long and two feet wide, sunk in a crease.  Its murky, greenish-brown surface roils.  Desperate fish, I think, trapped in the last shreds of water heating up fast in the rising morning temperatures, losing oxygen, losing volume.  Continue reading Field Notes #7, pt. one