Ranger Kathryn's Arches

April 13, 2010

When the wind blows

Filed under: 1 — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 8:30 am
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Sporting the wind-blown look on a cliff top near Bootlegger Canyon

April is what it is. Spring winds keep blowing the dust and sand around, redistributing particles willy-nilly. It gets in our eyes, ears, and teeth, and some call it the “Moab facial.” Unlike in my homeland of Minnesota, it often does not lose its itensity after the sun goes down. One adapts.

While roving at The Windows yesterday, in the midst of this 30-mph vortex, a visitor pointed off to the heavy sky in the distance and asked, “Is that rain?” “No…” I explained, “that’s sand in the air. And it will be there for quite some time.” Last year under similar circumstances a sudden rainstorm created MUD SHOWERS as the drops cleaned the particulate matter from the atmosphere on their way down. I’d like to see that phenomenon.

After work there were a couple hours of sunlight remaining. A trip to a side canyon off Potash Road gave plenty of exploring opportunities; the accompanying wind-blown portrait comes from atop the sandstone cliffs. Hoping to find calm at the canyon head, I was drawn to the majestic cottonwood just leafing out, and the living-room-sized pond at its feet, but there was absolutely no abatement of the swirling air. I’m pretty sure it intensified in that bowl-like setting.

April is what it is.

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