POEM: Down the Valley [PoMo Day 9 – Haibun]

The air was dry and the valley was dry. Tufts of yellow grass clung to the hillside and to the edges of the valley floor -- where they joined with the barren, brown tines of bleak shrubbery. In the riverbed, smooth stones and boulders sprawled to the shoulders, far wide of the feeble stream that flowed at the moment. The water ran gray, having come from the edges of a glacier that scoured its way down a granite channel. And in the "V" far ahead, clouds as thick as the mountains were being lifted and dropped over a snowcapped peak, pretending they'd bring their moisture into this arid landscape.  
mountain clouds
may become your fog, or
may sit in wait

DAILY PHOTO: Little House on the Himalayan Prairie

Taken in Great Himalayan National Park in 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret World of Weather by Tristan Gooley

The Secret World of Weather: How to Read Signs in Every Cloud, Breeze, Hill, Street, Plant, Animal, and DewdropThe Secret World of Weather: How to Read Signs in Every Cloud, Breeze, Hill, Street, Plant, Animal, and Dewdrop by Tristan Gooley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazon.in Page

Out: April 8, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading an article discussing the numerous types of human intelligence. While I firmly believe that the traditional notion of intelligence is sorely inadequate, the social scientist in me is always skeptical when social scientists try to pack up human experience neatly into boxes [because, often times, human experience is anything but neat — thus resulting in categories that aren’t mutually exclusive, are overly partitioned, or are insufficiently partitioned.] So, I don’t know whether I believe that the current scheme, which suggests there are eight types of intelligence, is a good one or not. [Getting to the point here, I promise.] For instance, I’m not sure whether “naturalist intelligence” [one of the eight categories] is really a different kind of intelligence, or just a different field of application. What I do know, is that – either way – it is worth trying to improve one’s understanding of nature, and – also — this book will help you build these faculties.

Tristan Gooley is the Sherlock Holmes of the natural world, taking note of often subtle cues to better understand the overall picture of what’s going on in nature. This particular book examines what we can determine about weather using the variety of clues offered by the natural world – ranging from obvious weather signs like clouds to more obscure indicators such as animal behavior.

The book consists of twenty-two chapters. Many of the chapters are focused on weather phenomena like clouds, winds, fog, precipitation, dew, etc. Some chapters are about natural elements that provide indicators about what might be expected, e.g. the shape of mountains as they influence wind patters, the differential heating effects of different surfaces of the planet. And some chapters discuss specific ecosystems and their recurrent weather, e.g. forests or cities.

The book contains many graphics, mostly drawings and diagrams used to visually depict ideas that are not readily grasped through text descriptions. The book also contains notes, a bibliography, and suggested further readings.

I’d highly recommend this book for anyone who spends time outdoors or who wants to learn more about doing so. Gooley uses stories, analogies, and interesting facts skillfully throughout the book, building a work that will teach one a great deal in a fun and interesting way.


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DAILY PHOTO: Tall Grass & Trees

Taken on the South River Trail in Georgia [US] in December of 2010

DAILY PHOTO: Mossy Tree

Taken in the summer of 2012 at Fort Federica National Monument in Georgia