The Skies...

full moon over ventura

Full Moon rising a block from the beach, Ventura, CA, 2008 (Photo: K.Anderberg)

"After the clouds have all shifted into purples and the western sky has sunk into the night, then up from the east the moon - the misshapen orange-hued desert moon. How large it looks! And how it warms the sky, and silvers the edges of the mountain peaks, and spreads its wide light across the sands! Up, up it rises, losing something of its orange and gaining something in symmetry. In a few hours it is high in the heavens and has a great aureole of color about it. Look at the ring for a moment and you will see all the spectrum colors arranged in order. Pale hues they are but they are all there. Rainbows by day and rainbows by night!...Lying down there in the sands of the desert, along and at night, with a saddle for your pillow, and your eyes staring upward at the stars, how incomprehensible it all seems! The immensity and the mystery are appalling; and yet how these very features attract the thought and draw the curiosity of man. In the presence of the unattainable, and the insurmountable we keep sending a hope, a doubt, a query, up through the realms of air to Saturn's throne. What key have we wherewith to unlock that door? We cannot comprehend a tiny flame of our invention called electricity, yet we grope at the meaning of the blazing splendor of Arcturus. Around us stretches the great sand-wrapped desert whose mystery no man knows, and not even the Sphinx could reveal; yet beyond it, above it, upward, still upward, we seek the mysteries of Orion and the Pleiades." - John C. Van Dyke, 1901


Venus over the Pacific Ocean at Ventura, CA, 2008 (Photo: K.Anderberg)

"For all the toil the desert takes of a man it gives compensations, deep breaths, deep sleep, and the communion of the stars…" - Mary Austin, 1903

"I have not grown tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discomfort bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty…" - Everett Ruess, 1934


A very unusual alignment of Venus and the moon on Feb. 27, 2009 (Photo: K.Anderberg)

Was there ever such a stillness as that which rests upon the desert at night! Was there ever such a hush as that which steals from star to star across the firmament! You perhaps think to break the spell by raising your voice in a cry; but you will not do so again. The sound goes but a little way and then seems to come back to your ear with a suggestion of insanity about it…Overhead the planets in their courses make no sound, the earth is still, the very animals are mute. Why then the cry of humans? How it jars the harmonies! How it breaks in discord upon the unities of earth and air and sky! Century after century that cry has gone up, mobbing high heaven; and always insanity in the cry, insanity in the crier. What folly to protest where none shall hear! There is no appeal from the law of nature. It is made for beast and bird and creeping thing. Will the human never learn that in the eye of the law he is not different from the things that creep?" - John C. Van Dyke, 1901

"We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men..." - John Muir, 1894

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