Fallen pieces of the moon

Fallen pieces of the moon

A haunting way to think of icebergs, moon-pieces fallen from the sky.  Especially when lit at night by their mother-ship’s beams. ‘Icebergs … fallen pieces of the moon.’   Source: Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams, 206 Photo credit: pixabay.com –...
Ice-crushed

Ice-crushed

In this description of a 250 ton ship being crushed by the unforgiving shift and grind of pack ice, you can hear the split of trunk-thick timbers, snapping and rending like matchsticks. ‘Like a grand piano caught in an industrial press’. Source: Barry Lopez, Arctic...
As curious, as dangerous as…

As curious, as dangerous as…

It’s a long time, probably decades, since I had a nightmare, but I remember having quite a few in childhood, and danger was a recurring theme, often waking me with a jolt when it was about to strike. ‘As curious and dangerous as nightmares.’ Source:...
As voluptuous as…

As voluptuous as…

I like the double surprise of this one.  I wouldn’t easily associate clouds with fruit, nor ‘voluptuous’, though cumulus clouds can be plumply Rubenesque. Now, which summer fruits qualify as ‘voluptuous’?  Berries, no, they are too...
Wind-slabbed snow

Wind-slabbed snow

Crunching home through snow after a winter walk, we found ourselves on such wind-slabs, albeit more modest in scale, Swiss not Arctic. They held your weight up to a point, though you could suddenly find your foot sink into a slab, and the slabs had fissures between...
Water-polished shells

Water-polished shells

Lopez uses this to describe the bright whiteness of snow geese in flight. ‘Once airborne, they are dazzling on the wing. Flying against broken sunlight, the opaque whiteness of their bodies, a whiteness of water- polished shells, contrasts with grayer whites in their...
Wind-washed air

Wind-washed air

Elsewhere I have commented on a ‘rain-washed sky’, and here, wind-washed air, both yielding clarity. ‘The wealth of biological detail on the tundra dispels any feeling that the land is empty; and its likeness to a stage suggests impending events. On a...
Light-poor desert

Light-poor desert

Elsewhere I have highlighted Lopez’s use of desert images in an Arctic context. Here it’s used to refer to a light-starved winter.  He mentions that lack of light is the limiting factor on the growth of many species, far more than temperature. ‘Of the roughly 3200...
Red-tinged snow

Red-tinged snow

No, not blood-stained, but a kind of lichen bringing the red of Snow White’s ruby mouth to the snow. Source: Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams, p....

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