Giants in the Landscape


Emerging Face of Mt Rose                                Mt Rose Spring Photo

The Hudson Valley School of writers of the turn of the century talked about Giants in the Landscape which always intrigued me.  They meant this term more ideologically in a literary reference to the personality of nature, wind and weather.  It reminds me of being in my single digit age of life and lying in the grass on a summer’s day and watching the clouds float by.  As they whisked by you could see faces or animals as if the clouds were presenting you with a Rorschach Test.

To me landscapes are like large human figures in various poses.   I travelled along a mountain range in rural northern California a few times in the late afternoon.  The sunset shadows stretched long across the hills made dramatic shapes and colors.  The quiet softness it provoked reminded me of sleeping puppy dogs.

In Reno a prominent geographic landmark is Mount Rose.  Legend has it that a crusty Trapper guy named her since it reminded him of a woman lying down, looking up from her feet.  The two mounds being breasts and for the rest I need not say more.  Well she’s not quite as pronounced as the Tetons of the Wyoming range that the French explorers coined.   The view of Mt. Rose from my window is more of her face.  I see Rose’s forehead, eye, nose and chin.  In the winter she is a cameo of a white blanket of snow.  In the spring she lies under the surface of the melting snow, white patches are left appearing to be her summer garb to protect her delicate features from the intense sun of the summer; an eye patch for sunglasses and a bandana around her neck.  The underlying ground is exposed as her sun tanned skin,  Week by week the snow recedes exposing more and more.   I can hear the snow over her sighing, as did the wicked “Witch of the North” at the time of her demise in the wizard of Oz, “I’m melting, I’m melting”!




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