Weather Watching


Weather Watching

Gorgeous dawn this morning, one of a week full. Black clouds nested low but high enough for pink slanting across the underbelly to produce more than one wow.  And ~ briefly ~ the distinct form of an eagle with pink tailfeathers. Thanks, mother nature.

We’re told an Atmospheric River is about to empty over our coast here starting about now, north getting the greatest impact. Sets me to thinking about weather. Here’s a rainy day story for you.

Just let me say that I’ve seen some weather in my life. The most intense and varied and long running was, so far, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It beat out Yosemite’s High Sierras at 5,000 feet, Vermont’s Green Mountains, Mississippi’s hurricanes, and California’s floods.

I moved from downtown Brooklyn to a teeny town called Bluemont, on a rise of about 200 feet. Not much elevation above the DC swamps, but there’s some configuring the Blue Ridge has done to produce unbelievably intense storms of enormous drama. The hills are abrupt and ferocious rivers (Potomac, Shennandoah) and multitudinous tributaries run at their bases providing constant moisture and interesting wind.

I should add that this town of Bluemont was at the base of a 1750 foot rise named Mt. Weather. A slippery, narrow black ribbonned road led up to the pinpoint of the first  U.S. weather balloon launch. If Ben Franklin had asked George Washington where to find electrified air, George (who as a youthful surveyer lived, I swear, in THAT shed right there, on every single farmer’s south forty) would have sent him south of Phili. In (numerous) winter ice storms the air would blacken right down to your feet, not just bouncing above your head somewhere. The place drew thunder and lightning to the highly forested hilltop. Unbelievable sound and light show. Gene Kruppa, Gabriel, and Michael Jackson all en flagranted on the same stage.

Trees would drop and shatter the air. Phone, electric, and wells would stop and you’d for sure have remembered to top off the cords of firewood with sturdy plastic. That was Bluemont. Two years later I rented a c.1830 log cabin on a 60 acre farm in the middle of nowhere about a mile from Harper’s Ferry. Now THAT place had what you call weather. If you survived til dawn you got an eyeful.

Violent Dawn Across the Pond. Oil on Canvas.
Log Cabin Farm, Virginia

Tasmania Dwellers, photographers


I highly recommend the photographic work and intro to a life on the other side of the planet that’s worth knowing about…this is some stunning journey…some life…some incredible adventure. The link is below, and the quote from his RedBubble page. You will be thrilled at what you find here……

http://www.redbubble.com/people/tinnieopener

“I live and work here at Cradle Mountain in the north-west of Tasmania and have been part of the small local community up here for 3 and a half years looking after the needs of people who come to stay and enjoy the area.”



Happy Birthday America


The Hawks Perch, Big Sur

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA     We’re 235 years old today. The spirit of revolution is never far from our hearts. Nor should the men who were the first American politicians be who pledged their “lives, their liberty, and their sacred honor” on that declaration of independence from European tyrants. We need a long hard look for a single politician today with any honor much less sacred. Americans are good in a crisis and excellent at accomplishing the impossible. In due course we’ll throw the scoundrels out, drain the DC swamp, and continue changing the world for the better by example. The past decade has been an educational intro to cultures which need getting up to speed, discovering the enlightenment of human potential, individualism, and independence. We’re still a beacon. Happy Birthday sweet land of liberty, shine on.

BIG SUR SUMMER      We really are in the most spectacular Big Sur summer, enveloped in gorgeous sunny blue-skied air. The recent short rain set all the aromas loose again, the potent bay, sweet fern and jasmine, sharp acacia, and dark rich riverbank earth. There’s a waft of salt mixed in from the ocean.

Big Sur is in a sweet pocket of sun with fog and cloud banks just to the north and the south of us.

Bearded Iris, Big Sur Hillside

Sold a large painting yesterday,  “Wild Bearded Iris by Riverbank”, (shown), it’s headed north above San Francisco with a wonderful couple. They didn’t say a word for a good ten minutes, walking around the gallery, looking, looking in silence, then the woman stopped in front of a painting she’d kept returning to and out of dead quiet said, “It’s beautiful! It’s so beautiful!” and I swear I saw her heart leap.

There are more pleasures with my gallery than I can sometimes count and sometimes am barely aware of. One is the joy of connecting work I’ve done with a stranger. Good day. Business coming back, roads open, campers and thrilled travelers, and the air rife with the happiness of being alive.