barry lopez flight essay
Yet I am as comfortable in this place as one hand would be resting in the cradle of the other. I mime putting food in my mouth and point sharply with my mitt to my chest. We’re at a point in the expedition where a question like this often arises, during the closing days, when what still needs to be done comes under scrutiny. (When we’re weathered in we still must leave the tents to get ice to melt for water. Our solar-powered radio communications with McMurdo are rudimentary, and ­McMurdo’s policy with deep-remote camps is to not pass along any personal news except a death in the family. Field portraits of meteorite specimens recovered from the ?Graves Nunataks ice fields. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. One can unfurl a thought without fear of interruption, unfurl it until one decides one is finished with it. And of these, most weather and erode into fragments quickly. At the refuge, time can be spent at the visitor's center, the bookstore, renting canoes and. Barry Lopez One way to think of katabatic winds is to picture them as gargantuan cataracts of air moving over the ice sheets. It’s in Earth’s atmosphere that the meteoroid becomes a meteor, because of its friction with the air. There are no intrusions here, no unexpected inquiries or announcements. No birds fly across the sky. A Story Inspired by my Grandmother, Jean Keene, In Barry Lopez's essay, A Reflection on White Geese, This is a wildlife refuge that has been developed and maintained to house and manage waterfowl including ducks, snow geese, and ring necked pheasants. Diminishing animals land further and further and creating a land "for them" for our enjoyment? It’s eleven-thirty at night according to my watch, but this far south the hour of the solar day is of no help in trying to understand the situation we’re in here, or our work rhythms. The light is flat because the sky is overcast. In Barry Lopez's essay, A Reflection on White Geese , found in his book Crossing Open Ground, he introduced me to … Each one is slowly shedding its weather-exposed face, which falls to the stranding surfaces below as rocky debris. Need to create a login? Descriptive, eponymous, fanciful, memorializing, and valorizing nomenclature has not made it this far. We also always refuel our cookstoves out there, to be absolutely certain we’re not close to anything flammable in case of an accident.). Courtesy NASA/Jim Yungel. pottery-firing, the need for people to work with the elements - to stroke We didn’t need nineteen days to stage the expedition. We’re camped in an abiotic ocean of seemingly stayed time and nearly undifferentiated space, beneath a fall of Archean light. I’m the fifth of the group, almost motionless at the moment, a hundred yards south of the tent cluster, kneeling on a patch of bluish ice in the midst of a great expanse of white. And it’s the pressure of accumulating snowfall that turns snow to ice in the firn zone below us. A place to take a scenic, hunting vacation. They all face north, their backs set against a prevailing wind from the south. No plants grow. acutely observant, too, of the relationship between people and the land From a conversation with Bob Fields, Lopez writes, "he is candid in expressing his distaste for a type of hunter he still meets too frequently - belligerent, careless people for whom hunting is simply violent recreation; people who trench out and rut the refuge's roads in oversize four-wheel-drive vehicles, who are ignorant of hunting laws or who delight in breaking them as a part of a "game" they play with refuge personnel." Once scientists came to understand how this concentrating mechanism worked, they began systematically searching old aerial photographs of the Transantarctic Mountains for blue-ice fields, as stranding surfaces are sometimes called. The name of the individual who finds a particular meteorite is not entered into the collection record, out of respect for the spirit of equality and common cause that the treaty embodies. Photograph of a meteorite foot-search showing flags that mark the locations of collected specimens. Endless waiting. It has not yet been snared in a catalog of designations and coordinates, of metes and bounds. No doorbell, no automobile horn, no PA announcement intrudes. Lopez calls this essay Many of the 17 ‘essays’ in Barry Lopez’s About This Life are fragments of memoir: snapshots of the day of a mother’s death from cancer; early road trips up and down America; Jesuit prep school in Manhattan; childhood years in California; a tributary career in photography. I tell John about the meteorite I found on my walk around the perimeter of the camp that evening. These winds do two things that make Antarctica a mecca for meteoriticists. We were each towing two or three fully loaded sleds behind our snow machines as we climbed moderate slopes in thirty-knot winds, which became more and more disruptive as the day went on. As the mammoth ice sheets move downhill toward the sea, they encounter bedrock obstructions, the most formidable and prominent of which is the continent’s spine, the Transantarctic Mountains. Photograph of the ANSMET campsite at Graves Nunataks, 1998–99 season. On our first day here, then, we climb up to the exposed ridge of one of the nunataks to examine and memorize the color and grain patterns of the rock. His reverence for animals can, 'Effleurage: The Stroke of Fire', and the organic nature of this There are rumors enough around town, of course, without this.) And the strangeness of this place. a strange occupation, too. (Because of the long delay in McMurdo, Ralph would not make it to Graves Nunataks with us. As it turned out, we would get in only eight more full days of searching for meteorites before our scheduled pull-out date. He is also a quiet, meditative man who values Our original plan had been to have our camp set up at Graves by December 12. In the absence of any other kind of life, these rocks seemed alive to me, living at a pace of unimaginable slowness, but revealing by their striations and cleavage, by their color, inclusions, and crystalline gleam, evidence of the path each had followed from primordial birth to this moment of human acquaintance.


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