On Wonderful Skies

I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings. (Gustave Flaubert, novelist)

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. (Coco Chanel, designer)

You cannot look up at the night sky on the Planet Earth and not wonder what it’s like to be up there amongst the stars. And I always look up at the moon and see it as the single most romantic place within the cosmos. (Tom Hanks, actor)

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On Exploring Twinkles Through a Song

Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds. (Regina Brett, journalist)
Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. (Stephen Hawking, physicist)
Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations. (Alan Watts, philosopher)
Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven! (Lord Byron, poet)

On Exploring the Driest

Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance. (Will Durant, historian)

You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst. (William Langewiesche, author)

No doubt about it – deserts are dry. Because all deserts are not created equal, where is the driest desert on our planet?

Surely you didn’t guess the place in the image above, which is Death Valley in California. Besides, I’m confident the Atacama Desert quickly came to everyone’s mind.

Yes, the Atacama – a 600 mile (1,000 km) high plateau in Chile. The Atacama – sandwiched between the Andes Mountains to its east and the Pacific Ocean to its west. The Atacama – the land of stone, sand, and salt lakes. The Atacama – a land of unique flora and fauna that is sparsely populated by people.

Unlike previous posts in this series, today’s Explore provides two short looks at Atacama – an initial drive through the desert followed by the beauty of its night sky. Enjoy this journey to a land you may not have known until now.

On a Time-Lapse Collection

Always is no Time at all. (Vanna Bonta)

Time crumbles things; everything grows old under the power of Time and is forgotten through the lapse of Time. (Aristotle)

No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth. (Robert Southey)

I have often thought that if photography were difficult in the true sense of the term–meaning that the creation of a simple photograph would entail as much time and effort as the production of a good watercolor or etching–there would be a vast improvement in total output. The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster. (Ansel Adams)

When one tugs on a single string in nature, he finds it is attached to the rest of the world. (John Muir)

I enjoy time-lapse photography. Maybe I like seeing slow-motion in action because I wouldn’t otherwise notice. César Cantú is an astrophotographer in Mexico. Enjoy this video, which is a collection of his 2014 work incorporated with powerful music … and a Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

On Exploring Clear Skies

The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work. (A. P. J. Abdul Kalam)

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books. (John Lubbock)

We are a nation of communities… a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky. (George H. W. Bush)

Whether as part of our natural surrounding or from the creativity of a fellow human, our world has so much to offer – thus the purpose of the Explore series is to give us an appreciative taste of those offerings. To me, the sky is a wonderful place to activate this series.

On Exploring an Incredible Sky

I remember a flight of many years ago from Washington, DC to Worchester, Massachusetts. It was a clear night, so the lights below seemed like a continuous illuminated necklace. As much as that image of the long string of lights has stuck me with, I realized that the same lights that display our surroundings also hide the lights that are above in the night sky.

Just as I stand in awe of images from deep space, I can say the same for the night sky … and maybe someday I will see what it really offers. Enjoy and please share your thoughts.