Friday, December 13, 2013

Red Rock: More Nature vs. Man-Made


Reflecting on this image from my recent trip to Red Rock Canyon National Park outside Vegas, I was wondering why I feel so connected to this place. Is it the overwhelming expanse of sky that puts me in my place? The muted palette that forces me to notice subtle detail? The spareness of plant material that reminds me of the deep meaning of adaption and sustainability? The rock formations that expose me to geologic time?
And then, there is the jet-trail, a reminder that even though I feel I am surrounded by nature, I am also surrounded by human effects on nature. And while I heard it snowed in Jerusalem today, it it forecast to be raining in Stockholm tomorrow. Something is out-of-joint...and of course, I fly to Vegas, Sweden and Guatemala. 

4 comments:

Altoon Sultan said...

For me, a great fascination of Red Rock Canyon was how close it was to Las Vegas: a short drive out of the city and you were in a beautiful rocky landscape. It's a bizarre juxtaposition, almost like a view in miniature of the opposing aspects of the US: the big untouched landscape alongside the huge manufactured city, and no city is more of a false front, more full of image, than Vegas, even more than LA.

Julie Siegel said...

Yes, Altoon, I think that extreme juxtaposition between Nature and Artifice is part of what drives my visceral response. As somebody who doesn't gamble, but was formerly inthe theater, I find some of Vegas' wonders marvelous. But nothing like Red Rock.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

A strange fact I recently learned about Las Vegas: the hospitality industry there is totally Union labor. The powers that be know the city's success depends on stable, professional, well-paid workers. Another amazing (at least to me) juxtaposition.

Julie Siegel said...

Ms. Wisconsin: interesting labor fact. Also a surprise is that much of their landscaping practices are very cutting edge re: sustainability. Not in the lawn surrounded residences but in some of the big hotels.