Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Two Waders

 Two Waders / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 / $68 including shipping 


A FRIEND IS TRAVELING the country, and sent a photo of a lake near Glacier National Park, and it made me remember traveling with Peter and seeing that glacial water for the first time. It is an astonishing and very particular color, a thin and light turquoise, as in the photo below. 

According to NASA, the color happens because the glaciers, as they move and grind up the earth over the millenia, create something called glacier flour, a fine powder of silt and clay. When the glacier melts, the glacial flour is so fine that it  hangs suspended in the water. 

When sunlight hits this water, these particles absorb the purples and indigos, the colors with the shortest wavelengths. The water itself absorbs the longer wavelengths, the oranges, reds and yellows. The blues and greens are left, and that's what we see in these lakes and ponds. I think that the absence of any vegetation also adds to the luminescence. 

I remember, also, stopping by streams in northern Idaho and southern Canada, and being amazed that water that looked like it was 6 inches deep was often 3 or 4 feet deep. It was so pure and clear that you saw straight through. No particulate matter. No algae. And it was cold! 

Peter knew so much. He knew all of this, and he knew more. He knew about glaciers and the history of the Rocky Mountains, and who settled the land here and there, and fought over it, and why. He knew the dry and dull stuff, and the interesting stuff, too, and his knowledge enriched our travels and my mind and heart, as well. 


A Last Thought

Ashes of Life

Love has gone and left me and the days are all alike;
Eat I must, and sleep I will -- and would that night were here!
But ah! -- to lie awake and hear the slow hours strike! 
Would that it were day again! -- with twilight near! 

Love has gone and left me and I don't know what to do;
This or that or what you will is all the same to me;
But all the things that I begin I leave before I'm through, --
There's little use in anything as far as I can see. 

Love has gone and left me, -- and the neighbors knock and borrow,
And life goes on forever like the gnawing of a mouse, --
And to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow
There's this little street and this little house. 

- Edna St. Vincent Millay

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