Jackalopes and Sand Sharks: Legends of Old Arizona

July 28th, 2016 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

The Arizona Jackalope

I’ve never seen an Arizona Jackalope myself but then, Arizona Jackalopes are quite rare. Part of the reason is they only mate during lightning strikes in monsoon season.

Common jackalopes, sometimes called warrior rabbits, are native to Wyoming, New Mexico, Nebraska and Colorado. They aren’t the same as Arizona Jackalopes.
Common Jackalope mounted on a wall (wikipedia)

Common jackalopes look like huge rabbits with antlers. They’re extremely mean and fierce. The Arizona jackalope is much bigger than the common jackalope, who only grow to be about two feet tall. Ours are at least eight feet tall and weigh well over 1200 pounds.

Back in the Old West, Arizona cowboys rode jackalopes, especially during round-ups, because they proved to be more durable than horses.

Vintage Arizona Jackalopes postcard with cowboy (Jane St. Clair)

You can catch jackalopes by putting whiskey out for them, their favorite drink. Once your jackalope is drunk, he’ll move slowly and unsteadily, and therefore he’ll be easier for you to trap, although it will still be very hard to do. The problem with capturing jackalopes is they can use language. They’re known to yell, “He’s over there!” in order to throw you off track when you are trying to catch them.

The Arizona Jackalope is an endangered species. However, the little bitty ones in other Western states are not. In fact, you can still get a hunting license for the Wyoming Jackalope, although their hunting season is restricted to June 21st between the hours of midnight and 2 A.M.

Jackalopes are probably related to wolpertingers.Wolpertinger

Wolpertingers are a German species that also look like rabbits with antlers, except wolpertingers usually have feathered wings. Another distant cousin to jackalopes is the Swedish skvader, a cross between a rabbit and a grouse.

The Arizona Sand Shark

Arizona Sand Sharks Random by Jane St ClairArizona Sand Sharks are often confused with California Sand Sharks, even though they are two distinct species. The main difference is since Arizona has no ocean, our Sand Sharks swim only in washes and rivers, which are dry most of the year. Arizona Sand Sharks have adapted to land, but they can only live without water for a few days.

Arizona Sand Sharks are deadly to humans, so it’s important to remain at least three bus-lengths away from them. As you can see, our Sand Sharks have rows and rows of lethal teeth as sharp as a new Bowie knife.

(It was very dangerous to get this picture for you.)

Arizona Sand Sharks Attack by Jane St. Clair

(Especially when he jumped up for an attack!)

Arizona Sand Sharks Attacking by Jane St. Clair

You’ll only see Arizona Sand Sharks after a desert wash or a dry desert river fills up during monsoon season.

Sand Sharks Movie PosterOn the other hand, California Sand Sharks are very common. They often scoot along beaches, terrifying everyone in sight. By the way, beach balls look exactly like seals’ eggs to California Sand Sharks. Since seals’ eggs are California Sand Sharks’ favorite food, this means you have to be particularly alert when you’re playing beach volleyball.

In 2012 a horror movie called “Sand Sharks” went straight to video, becoming an instant classic among those of us who love these amazing animals.

Animation Factory Shark! Jane St ClairAnimation Factory Shark! Jane St ClairAnimation Factory Shark! Jane St ClairAnimation Factory Shark! Jane St Clair

For more silly Arizona posts, see How to Resuscitate a Lizard and Grifting Along with the Tumbling Tumbleweed.

Update: Jane’s short story, “The Man Who Liked 1959,” will be published in an anthology now available to order from Twisted Road Publications. see Walking The Edge – A Southern Gothic Anthology

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Wabisabi Lives in the Sonoran Desert

June 30th, 2016 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

The other day I was reading a crime scene investigator’s textbook about stages of bodily decay, a process used in CSI to determine time of death. It made me think of wabisabi, the Japanese idea that decay is part of beauty. I found it hard to believe in wabisabi while picturing Norman Bates’ mummified mother, until I remembered a wabisabi fable that goes like this.

Wabasabi Day of the Dead Ghost with Parasol 1

Once there was a monk-in-training who could not get his mind off a beautiful young woman. He thought about her day and night, and finally told his master, who ordered the young monk to go ahead and keep thinking about her day and night. That was a perfectly okay thing to do, as long as he meditated on how this woman would grow wizened and old, and then die and decay.

Through this meditation, the novice found out that every stage of her life is part of loving her and part of her beauty. Perfect wabisabi love is loving the imperfect. Very Zen, eh?

Wabisabi building crumbling sepia by Jane St Clair

You as a human being are NEVER going to make anything that is perfect. Whatever you make is going to rot and decay and get left behind. Perfect art is imperfect. We are ourselves imperfect wabisabi beings.

Wabisabi windowsill by Jane St Clair
If beauty is in imperfection, you’ll see the most beauty if you look at the world in an earthy and authentic way. If everything around you is shiny-new and corporate, if you have fresh paint and plastic people everywhere, your world is hard and cold and ugly. You need wabisabi for balance.

Then there’s the Sonoran desert where I live. The natives say nothing dies on the desert, and it’s true. The heat and low humidity means everything here lasts forever. Cars don’t rust, cattle skulls just lay there in the dust, and everything from rotting window sills to crumbling murals just hang around forever.

wabasabi crumbling wall by Jane St Clair

In fact, whole towns just lay there where people left them. We have one ghost town that still has a table with poker cards on it –left there a hundred years ago when the copper mine closed and all the cowboys and miners left town. The ramshackle remains of the town are wabisabi.

Wabisabi reminds us to seize this day and to be unafraid of what is ahead and changing. Wabisabi looks into forever and takes us there with it.

wabasabi garage by jane st clair

For more pictures of old mining towns, see Superior, Arizona Won’t Give Up the Ghost. vultures unite for wabisabi

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Ansel Adams’ Yosemite, Yosemite in Black and White

May 29th, 2016 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

“Yosemite’s mountains are calling me, and I must go back, ” John Muir wrote. Yosemite haunts you with its beauty, and the memory of it gets into your mind until you have to go back.

I was lucky enough to return to Yosemite this spring, and yet I felt disappointed because it was raining.

Yosemite falls in Rain Jane St Clair Black and White

After all, you go back to Yosemite, as Muir said, “to hear the waterfalls and birds and winds sing … and to get as near the heart of the world as you can.”

This is hard to do when you’re standing under a waterfall and getting soaked.

In fact, it was raining so hard that the Upper Yosemite Falls merged into Lower Yosemite Falls, creating one giant gush of water falling 2400 feet.

Then I climbed up to Glacier Point where the incredible view was so squishy and obscure with rain that the tops of the High Sierra disappeared into gray brume. I watched a dragon cloud slowly sneak up on a darkened peak until he embraced it with his gigantic arms and wrapped his fingertips around it so that the peak itself vanished.
Glacier Point with Dragon Cloud in black and white by Jane St Clair

It kept raining and raining and I still felt disappointed until I thought about Ansel Adams.

Ansel Adams was the first to photograph Yosemite, taking all his pictures in black and white because they did not have a color process in the 1920s. I found out that when it rains, Yosemite becomes a black and white image so I could see it the way Ansel Adams did.

Ansel Adams had an intention of a picture should turn out. “I had been able to realize a desired image, not the way the subject appears in realityYosemite Falls in Black and White Jane St Clair 1 but how it feels to me and how it must appear in the finished print.” He captures the beauty of the High Sierra in bold contrasts, dark and white lines, and white images of misting falling water. His Yosemite pictures are beautiful, emotional and unforgettable, even though they are in black and white.

Ansel Adams with the perfectionism of a real artist would sometimes sit in front of a mountain for hours, waiting for the right moment. But on that rainy day in Yosemite, it occurred to me that perhaps he was sitting there because he liked to, because he was listening to the waterfalls and birds and winds sing, and getting as near to the heart of the earth as he could.

For more pictures of Yosemite see Walking Through Yosemite With Mr. Muir

Ansel Adams’ pictures are copyrighted so they can’t be reproduced here, but key collections are stored at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson Ansel_Adams_and_camera

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Hail, Coyote Nation by Jane St. Clair

May 2nd, 2016 · No Comments

A day or so ago a coyote kept staring at me.

Coyote by wikipedia

He looked like a skinny German shepherd dog with a big bushy tail.

He had a noble confidence about him.

The animals you meet most often in the desert, Animation Factory bunny (Jane St Clair Coyote)like rabbits, pocket mice and ground squirrels, get these scared looks on their faces whenever they see a human. They run away or else they freeze like statues and hide in plain sight. They understand the importance of not being seen. But not this coyote. This coyote had confidence and nobility. He looked at me without fear, and I thought he was beautiful.

wile.e.coyote.02 Warner Brothers copyrightIn all the Native American legends, coyote is a trickster or the Wise One. He’s usually a mischievous prankster who doesn’t pay any attention to any rules. He’s smart, crafty, selfish and conceited. In the one and only Anglo legend about coyotes, he’s called “Wile E. Coyote.”

I never believed how really smart these animals are until I watched one cross Oracle Road. This is a big, six-lane highway with a 50 mph speed limit and a meridian. This crafty fellow took his time, looked both ways, and crossed with his head up in the air, as dignified as a Londoner on a Sunday morning.

coyote puppies from wikipedia

Like so many desert creatures, coyote sleep in the day and come alive at night. They have this magnificent howl –it’s loud and extreme and pierces through the darkness like a terrible scream. And yes, sometimes they do look up and howl at the moon.

Coyote by Jane St. Clair

People used to think coyote eat only meat, but now we know that they eat anything they find: seeds, human trash, saguaro fruit, roadkill, and yes –roadrunners. Their only real enemies are mountain lions, wolves, and us. Maybe because they’re so smart and eat everything, coyote are not on the endangered species list. They are classified “least concern” which means they”re multiplying and thriving. They’re moving into big cities like Chicago and New York, and I think they’ll do just fine there.

If you see a coyote, I hope you take this advice from Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh and make his acquaintance.

dr doolittle book Coyote by Jane St Clair dr doolittle book Coyote by Jane St Clair dr doolittle book Coyote by Jane St Clair dr doolittle book Coyote by Jane St Clairdr doolittle book Coyote by Jane St Clair

One thing to remember is to talk to the animals.

If you do, they will talk back to you.

If you don’t talk to the animals, they won’t talk back to you, then you won’t understand, and when you don’t understand you will fear, and when you fear you will destroy the animals, and if you destroy the animals, you will destroy yourself.

– Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh (1899-1981)

If you want to watch a coyote howl and hear his nighttime sound, try this little video by KB Bear:

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Dappled Things in Their Pied Beauty

March 31st, 2016 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

The first time I read Gerald Manley Hopkins’ poem, “Pied Beauty,” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. Dappled things?

Was he really thanking God for the speckles on trout? After all, that’s what “stipple on trout” means.

Trout are pretty cool looking, but really?

Dappled Things Jane St Clair Rainbow Trout

The next thing you know Hopkins is thanking God for the stripes on cows. Stripes on cows are also cool, but yet …

Brinded Cow in Iceland by Christian Bickel wikipedia 1

The more I thought about Hopkins’ words and kept looking around me, I finally understood what he meant by Pied Beauty. Gerald Manley Hopkins meant that speckled or dappled things as well as striped or brinded things are all around you, and they are beautiful in their own way.

Beautiful striped skies, for example.

Brinded sky, Jane St. Clair

Or the way that tree shadows form long wavy stripes on sand …

Tree Shadows are Brinded Dappled Things Jane ST Clair

Or even everyday striped things like an everyday striped cat …

Dappled Things Brinded cat Jane St Clair

Or the wondrous beauty of vast striped things like the Grand Canyon ..
.
Dappled Things Jane St Clair Grand Canyon

Then I began to see dappled things  … the dappled things all around us … like pebbles in speckled patterns …

Speckled Dappled Things by Jane St Clair pebbles

And how wildflowers can be dappled too …

wildflowers Dappled Things Jane St Clair

The ability to see dappled and brinded things is a beautiful revelation.. because as Simon and Garfunkel wrote, once you’re dappled, you love life. ..

“…I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep. Let the morning time drop all its petals on me. Life, I love you, All is groovy …”

Thank you, Brother Gerald, for opening us up to dappled things.

Dappled Things Jane ST Clair Finch

Pied Beauty by Gerald Manley Hopkins

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-color as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

G.M. Hopkins

G.M. Hopkins poet and monk

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Dappled Things Brinded Sky over Mayer Jane St Clair

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Tucson Architecture: Who Knew We Had It?

March 3rd, 2016 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

The New York Times recently sent a photographer and writer to do a piece on Tucson architecture. Most of us in Tucson do not even know we have architecture, much less that we are living an “unsung architectural oasis” in a “dusty outpost on the fringes of the Sonoran Desert.” See Unsung Oasis.

Now the fellows who came here from where cement grows instead of cactus did not even pick my favorite examples of Tucson architecture –the San Xavier Mission, the courthouse, the credit union at Wilmot and Speedway, and the Tucson Barrio.

San Xavier Mission was built by Spanish padres and Native Americans. As you

Tucson Architecture San Xavier Mission

can see, our beautiful mission was never finished and one tower still needs to be topped off some 324 years later but then, things move more slowly out here compared to New York City.

The other building that I personally think is a great example of Tucson architecture is the Vantage West Credit Union on Wilmot and Speedway.

Tucson Architecture Vantage West Credit Union 1

Tucson Architecture Vantage West Mirrors 1

Every time I go by this building I’m tempted to hang from one of its corners and see if I can tilt it up and down.

It looks something like a gigantic boat made of mirrors.

A lot of buildings in Tucson can look church-y, including the old courthouse.

Tucson Architecture Old Courthouse

I love all the bright colors intrinsic to Tucson architecture. You can really see them in the Tucson Barrio around 100 South Stone Street near downtown. I really love the Barrio’s neat doorways and windows.

Tucson Architecture Barrio WindowTucson Architecture Barrio Door

However, the New York Times writer mostly liked Tucson architecture because of Sunshine Mile. This is a stretch of 1950s buildings on Broadway between Euclid and Country Club. Tucson architecture Sunshine Mile

He may be on to something because when you walk along this street, you do feel as if you’re on the set of a Doris Day movie. The Times writer raved that “Tucson possesses some of the densest concentrations of mid-century Modernist architecture in the Southwest, although it’s hard to find.”

He means you have to find Sunshine Mile, for example.

I like the Sunshine Mile building that looks as if it sprouts chimneys when no one is looking.

Tucson Architecture Chimneys Multiply

Hirsch’s Shoe Store from 1954 and the Top Hat building are particularly cute, though the Haas and Solot buildings are more famous.

Tucson Architecture Hirsch's Shoe Store

Tucson Architecture Fred Astaire

The Times reporter also wrote how he liked how Tucson “boasts more about its thrift stores than its hipster brunch spots” and that he liked Tucson’s “dry clear air and abundant supply of wizened drifters right out of Richard Avedon’s ‘In the American West’ …

… and “how deeply he enjoyed the ramshackle dispersion of the city.”

Is that high praise or what?

On behalf of wizened drifters in ramshackle cities everywhere, I say, “Thanks, pardner. You’all come back real soon.”

tucson architecture tucson sign on miracle mileTucson architecture Miracle Mile 2tucson architecture tucson sign on miracle mileTucson architecture Miracle Mile 2

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Sometimes I dream I am in Sedona Again …

February 2nd, 2016 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

Sometimes I dream I am in Sedona again …

Bell Rock Landscape Jane St Clair
Usually I am standing by a vortex .. One of the seven energy votices in Sedona. Each one is sacred to the Native Americans, who have always called Sedona their home. They don’t go there to hike but rather for vision-quests or to work out their medicine.

The sky is always this bright turquoise and the rocks with their turrets and furrows are always this intense rust red ..

Sedona God's Rocks Jane St. Clair

Sometimes I look up and see the red rocks cast an enchanted jagged outline against the sky .. rocks that have this magical quality to form a dreamscape you’ve seen before .. You get deja vue the first time you stand there … even if you know you’ve never been there before … because you are looking at a place that exists and has always existed somewhere inside you … A place of “Then sings my soul… How great Thou art …”

Sedona Dreamscape by Jane St. Clair
The New Age People say a vortex is where the earth’s energy is more concentrated, and it is supposed to awaken you. The word conjures up a volcano shape and a whirlwind of energy — funneling and fierce.

The vortex at Bell Rock actually has a funnel shape …
Sedona Bell Rock Vortex by Jane St. Clair

While the Cathedral Rock vortex looks like this …
Cathedral Rock, AZ

Another vortex sets near the entrance of Oak Creek …
Sedona Oak Creek by Jane St Clair

Boynton Canyon vortex has Kachina Woman jutting out like this ….

Kachina Woman in Boynton Canyon Jane St Clair

When you stand in a vortex in Sedona, all you may feel is a lightening up … it may just be a slight feeling of relaxation … as if you are being carried along weightlessly …

I have been to Sedona many times .. And once I even went there in a dark gray rainstorm. At first I felt disappointed until I went out walking and I could see that…. even without its colors, Sedona is just as magical and just as enchanted, but in a different way.
Sedona in Shadows Jane St. Clair

Yet it is the colors that always call me back. They are a kindergartner’s colors .. a primary crayon box of bright red, green, yellow and blue.

Sedona in Authmn Jane St Clair
Love….
Boynton-Canyon-Kachina-Woman
Joy….
Sedona with fall colors Jane St. Clair
Peace…
Sedona Farewell by Jane St Clair
Sedona.

For more pictures of Sedona, see Where Castles Come From.”

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragons, Pusch Ridge AZ

December 31st, 2015 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

I have always loved the way the ocean is ever-changing and moving so that it hypnotizes and yet at the same time relaxes your mind. To me, she has light feet and dances the samba. But now I live in the mountains, and they are more sober than friend-ocean. They play great thunder music – symphony, not samba.

My own mountain is called Pusch Ridge but that is such a prosaic name for a huge everest that looks like a gigantic dinosaur.

Pusch Ridge with Clouds by Jane St. Clair

I am not the only one who sees this mountain that way. A Feng Shui master took one look at Pusch Ridge and proclaimed him to be a dragon protecting our valley. Like China we too have crouching tigers and hidden dragons in our mountains. A dragon protecting your valley, though, is considered very very lucky.

He is never the same from day to day or even hour to hour. At sunrise he wears a halo.

Pusch Ridge with Turquoise Sky by Jane St. Clair

At sunset he turns bright red and then fades to black.

Pusch Ridge Lighted by Sunset by Jane St Clair

During monsoon he is green; during dry heat, he is brown. In some lights he is purple mountain majesty;

Pusch Ridge Purple with Flowers by Jane St. Clair

in others he is maroon with a white top of snow.

Pusch Ridge with Snow Cover by Jane St. Clair

Sunlight and moonlight can drop into his holes or a cloud can turn parts of him into gray umbrage.

Pusch Ridge with Monsoon Clouds by Jane St. Clair

I greet him every day. I love him. I trust him. Like friend-ocean, he is eternal and forever.

bright light over pusch ridge shape changer1
If he could speak, he would say like the Navajo people do in their Blessingway ceremonies:

In beauty may I walk.
All day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With grasshoppers about my feet may I walk.
With dew about my feet may I walk.
With beauty may I walk.
With beauty before me, may I walk.
With beauty behind me, may I walk.
With beauty above me, may I walk.
With beauty below me, may I walk.
With beauty all around me, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty

–Navajo Blessingway Ceremony

Double Rainbow over Catalinas by Jane St. Clair

Henry David Thoreau once said it is wise to fall in love with your own small and special piece of real estate. He had Walden Pond, but I think he would have loved Pusch Ridge.

* * * * * * * * * *

Jane’s essay on Emily Dickinson placed in the 2015 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Essay Contest. See “The Colonel Catches A CatFish”. Read Jane’s funny flash fiction in The Reject File “Husky.” Jane’s story “The Man Who Liked 1959” placed in a contest from Twisted Road Publishing and will be included in a print anthology of stories from that publisher.

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Silence and Awe: A Walk With Sequoia

December 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

Sequoia Jane St. Clair - My, You Are Tall

by Jane St. Clair

Sequoia trees are colossal beings and yet they have a softness about them. Their bark swirls in a deep red soft pattern, and even their leaves look soft and furry. You might expect a “don’t-mess-with-me” hostile energy from such giants — but instead their spirits are calm, peaceful and majestic. It’s as if these trees, the largest and oldest living things on earth, have nothing to prove to anyone. They seem completely happy. Their peaceful energy makes you feel as if you’re in a cathedral where only beauty, hope, joy and the celebration of all things great and wonderful takes place.

The main thing about sequoia is that they are tall. You look up and they are tall as far as your eyes can see. They also have gigantic widths. People use to drive their cars through certain of their trunks in the Sequoia National Forest until the park rangers became more ecologically-minded.

Sequoia have enormous feet. Their feet are so big that they look like dinosaur feet. Some sequoia have dark green feet, others have red.

Sequoia Trees like Dinosaur Feet - Jane St. Clair

The oldest sequoia are over 5,000 years old which means they were already 1500 years old when Moses was alive, and 3000 years old when Christ was born. The Sequoia forest has survived fire, drought, insect hordes, floods, avalanches, and even tourists.

I like what John Steinbeck wrote about sequoia:

Sequoia by Jane St Clair (Oh My You Are Tall)

Redwoods seem to be out of time and out of our ordinary thinking. The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It is not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which shifts and varies under your eyes, –no—they are not like any trees we know. They are ambassadors from another time. The vainest and most irreverent of men goes under a spell of wonder and respect in the presence of the sequoia.

For information on your visit to the Sequoia National Forest this year, see Sequoia National Park.Sequoia Board Meeting - Sequoia National Forest by Jane St. Clair

If you like nature essays about trees, try The Noble Saguaro and Me and In My Next Life I’ll be a Tree

Jane’s essay on Emily Dickinson placed in the 2015 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Essay Contest. See “The Colonel Catches A CatFish”. Read Jane’s funny flash fiction in The Reject File “Husky.” Jane’s story “The Man Who Liked 1959” placed in a contest from Twisted Road Publishing and will be included in a print anthology of stories from that publisher.

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Walking Through Yosemite National Park with Mr. Muir

November 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

Yosemite National Park with its waterfalls and mountains and trees is the place where you stop wanting or needing anything more. It’s where you’re meant to be. When you’re in Yosemite, you keep looking up and wondering, “How can any place be so perfectly and elegantly beautiful?” … I’ve fallen in love with Yosemite National Park and the way John Muir writes about it.

Yosemite Beautiful Misty Waterfall Jane St Clair

Yosemite in the Words of John Muir

No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its walls seems to glow with life. Some lean back in majestic repose; others, absolutely sheer or nearly so for thousands of feet, advance beyond their companions in thoughtful attitudes, giving welcome to storms and calms alike, seemingly aware, yet heedless, of everything going on about them. Awful in stern, immovable majesty, how softly these rocks are adorned.

Yosemite Panorama with Forest Jane St. Clair1

Yosemite Misty Waterfall Jane St Clair

Here stands Nature’s cathedrals, hewn from the living rock, almost conventional in form, nobly adorned with spires and pinnacles, thrilling under floods of sunshine as if alive like a grove-temple …

No where will you see the majestic operations of Nature more clearly revealed beside the frailest, most gentle and peaceful things than in Yosemite.

Nearly all Yosemite is a profound solitude. Yet it is full of charming company, full of God’s thoughts,a place of peace and safety amid the most exalted grandeur and eager enthusiastic action, a new song, a place of beginning abounding in the first lessons of life, mountain-building,

Yosemite Double Waterfall Another View Jane St Clair

eternal, invincible, unbreakable order, with sermons in stones, storms, trees, flowers and animals brimful of humanity.

The sublime rocks were trembling with the tones of the mighty chanting congregation of waters gathered from all the mountains round about, making music that might draw angels out of heaven … Yosemite Waterfall Cascade Jane St Clair

This was the most sublime waterfall flood I ever saw — clouds, winds, rocks, waters, throbbing together as one. … In Hetch Hetchy Valley and the great King’s River Yosemite, thousands of rejoicing flood waterfalls were charging together in jubilee dress. And the winds were singing in wild accord, playing on every tree and rock, surging against the huge brows and domes and outstanding battlements …Yosemite Waterfall with Baby Waterfall Jane St Clair

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.
Yosemite Lake at Sunset Jane St Clair 1

Jane’s essay on Emily Dickinson placed in the 2015 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Essay Contest. See The Colonel Catches A CatFish

Read Jane’s funny flash fiction “Husky” The Reject Pile

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