15 May 2007

Mount Ranier Sunset

Evening Light
Copyright 2007 V1VrV2

Every so often, when you’re flying, you're granted a bit of real glory. On a recent flight into Seattle, it happened to us. No one on board was necessarily looking for it or expecting it. It was the kind of thing that made passengers get up and move over to the left side of the airplane, despite the illuminated Seatbelt sign. In this case, they were forgiven. I can assure you that the faces of the pilots were pressed against their windows, too, along with my camera, of course.

Just a quick reminder to keep your eyes open. Look for glory. It’s literally everywhere.

12 May 2007

Aerial Border Patrol

Copyright 2007, V1VrV2

They say the loftier your view, the less you can see man's impact on the earth. Astronauts say they have to look very carefully to see any of our scars, geopolitical lines and other influences. From 39,000 feet up, though, some borders are painfully obvious.

This is the U.S.-Mexico border between the cities of Calexico, California (left) and Mexicali, Mexico (right). Mexicali's population is over 800,000, in contrast to the approximately 30,000 residents of Calexico.

It's fascinating to study this image. It clearly shows what some in our society are loathe to admit: Our neighbors to the south are practically stumbling over themselves in an effort get over here. The way many of their cities spread out along the border, filling every acre of land right up to the fence line, is a metaphor for what their society is doing. Whether or not a tall border fence is ever erected along the Mexican border, immigrants will try to cross, whenever and however they can.

Another fascinating contrast, only partially apparent in this photo, is that between the color and vibrancy of the land itself. U.S. soil is rich, the crops green and lush. Mexican soil, mere hundreds of feet away, is dry, brown, and appears to be much less productive. Culture? Agricultural technology? Who knows? (I'll try to get a photo that better illustrates this phenomenon, and post it here sometime soon.)