Friday, February 16, 2007

Good Planets are Hard To Find, Feb. 17, 2007

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter ... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring--- these are some of the rewards of the simple life.

- John Burroughs
Welcome to "Good Planets are Hard to Find", February 17th edition!

Today's theme; the third of our 4 ancient "elements", air, what Shakespeare called, "this most excellent canopy, ... this brave o'er hanging firmament..." (Hamlet) That most essential of all the amenities of this nurturing earth.

It has been hard to find photos of "air", hasn't it? Of course, since the stuff is invisible and we can't photograph its touch, its smell, its power. The way it fills our lungs and ruffles our hair. The rustling of the grasses, the rattle of dry leaves, the howl of a storm. The games it plays.

Oh, but we have an albumfull, in spite of that! Just look:

To start us off right, Bev Wigney, at Burning Silo, sends us a dawn photo of Tule Lake (N. California).

Skylar gives us a mistier view, a foggy afternoon south of Big Sur, CA along the Pacific Coast Highway.

From Bev, again, an old white house in central Oregon under a blue and white sky.

But it's not all quiet, empty skies; they're full of singing, screeching, honking life. Here is a flock of shorebirds (sandpipers?) racing over the water on a windy day. Off the Ladner Dikes, Delta, BC

Starlings. Some people call them a pest. TheFatLadySings says they're "Pretty cool".

Mary Ferracci, at Mary's View, "saw a Cooper’s Hawk overlooking my North Carolina back yard feeder."

And a photo C. Corax calls "impressionistic". A crow in full flight, wings a blur.

Liza Lee Miller, at Egret's Nest sent a photo of "Honkers" flying over New Melones Reservoir, California.

Sometimes they land: "This guy or gal (Red-breasted Sapsucker) has been hanging out everyday in the same spot, right where I can see him easily from my computer. Life is good!" says Dawn Bailey

Skylar sends an unusual photo; a seagull in flight, from above, looking for breadcrumbs. On the central Oregon shore.

A juvenile Peregrine Falcon, wings spread in the air, sent by Robin, at DharmaBums

And here's what we do with the air, especially when it's in motion:

Flags in Bermuda, near one of the old forts, sent by Donna Wenger, at KGMom Mumblings.

Kites fly over Oregon's Pacific coast on July 4th. Skylar, again.

On Boundary Bay, last summer, swimmers and waders. And kite flyers, always. This one was unusual.

Hard at work: aermotor windmill in front of a windfarm in central Oregon. Sent by Bev, at Burning Silo.

More windmills, from C. Corax, who tells us, "this is in upstate New York off Route 12. I forget what town they're in. This shows the tiniest fraction of the wind farm, and definitely gives no idea of how mind-blowingly HUGE these things are. Honestly, the things give me the creeps, they're so huge."

"Another view of life on the Navesink River in NJ. Not the greatest of pics, but I was so taken with this one particular iceboat - it was the largest on the river and if you've got a good imagination you might hear the WIND billowing through the sails. I think every kid in town had a ride on it that day, but I was too hesitant myself to step out on the ice or I would have liked a go!" Laura, Somewhere in NJ.

"Here's a windmill from Volendam, Netherlands, just outside Amsterdam. It is a fully operating windmill, that is 350 years old. When it is in full operation, it pumps 12,000 gallons a MINUTE. It pumps water from the lowlands out to the sea. The arms of the windmill have an amazing sweep, and you can feel the whoosh as they go by. Also, they are lethal, and visitors are cautioned not to get near them." Also from Donna Wegner.

There is no air on the moon. Not enough to count, anyhow. But the air around us modifies how we see it. Here are a couple of samples.

A yellow moon...

... and a pink one. The Fat Lady Sings says, "That pink color is unusual - especially for winter. I've seen pink moons during hot, summer weather; but this was quite different."

And with the photos, two separate contributors sent along this well-known poem.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing thro' 
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.
That's it for tonight, folks! And a Big Thank You! to all who took the time to sort through and send along these marvellous photos.

Next week, the theme is the fourth element of the ancients, "Fire". And people are already sending in amazing photos. I look forward to seeing what else my e-mail brings me; you can send them to me at susannah at dccnet dot com, or through the carnival widget on the sidebar.

P.S. One more quote; a short one.

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.- Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. Great Job, Wanderin Weeta! Thanks for taking the time to put this together for our eyes to see. Lovely.

  2. Actually the windmill near Volendam photo came from Donna Wenger. I don't know if Laura HinNJ has been to the Netherlands. I know if she would take a photo of a windmill it would be much better than mine!

  3. Anonymous9:12 am

    thanks WW!! lovely job this week and last! this is a fantastic collection of photos.

    thanks for hosting!


  4. Beautiful set of photos, portraying the element of air; thank you.

  5. Sorry, Donna. Checking back into my notes, I see where I jumped a line. It has been corrected. Also, I forgot to link to you with your first photo. I'll do that immediately.

  6. Beautiful representations of the air that is so essential to life. Nicely done again!

  7. C. Corax1:32 pm

    Everyone's photos are marvelous. I couldn't pick a favorite if I had to! And especially, thanks to Wanderin Weeta, since I'd guess the bulk of these pics came in on Friday. You're a real trooper.

  8. Susannah-- these are such fine representations of air. So creative, and they truly capture that elusive element. Wonderful poetry and quotes. Fantastic.

  9. great job! you put this together so nicely and ended with a nice collection, though submissions might have begun slowly. next week should be exciting!

  10. Super collection of "air" photos everyone! Thanks for putting it all together, Susannah. I'm really enjoying the "theme" approach this month.

  11. Great collection of "air" photos, everyone. Thanks for putting this together Susannah -- This month's theme has been very interesting.

  12. Beautiful photos and good job collating them all.

  13. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Some of those photos literally took my breath away. That one of the gull looking down! I would love to know how that one came to be. I look at it and feel like I'm hovering in the air with him!

  14. Fantastic, Susannah! What a great job you did collecting and organizing all the amazing pictures. I was so impressed with the variety and beauty! Wow!


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