The Skin of the Earth

Flying to New York last week I had this amazing view of Central Illinois farmland. It was early in the season and nothing was growing in the fields yet, but they were no longer frozen. The land was unobscured by snow, ice, or crops. I noticed the naked fields were mottled, and it dawned on me I was seeing underground rivers – not unlike veins you can see under the skin – along with the obvious surface rivers. Humans parcel the land along even grid lines, and when I ride my bike through the countryside I tend to think of the land that way too. But seeing these complex, chaotic patterns underneath reminded me just how puny, idiotic, and clueless about nature modern humans really are.

SkinOfEarth2

SkinOfTheEarth1

Click to embiggen

I also got this nice shot of downtown Manhattan from the plane, because the lady in the window seat was asleep:

click to embiggen

click to embiggen

Manhattan had grown a new tower since I’d seen it last. Or maybe it was just happy to see me.

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