Somewhere over the Red Cliffs

We are now approaching Nature.

Please disregard the subject-object split

Mike Roman.
Mind the Gap. Stravaig#5 Scottish Center for Geopoetics

Almost every year, I take one of my favorite walks over the red cliffs of a ryolithe massif, somewhere (remember one of the rules of Nature First – The Alliance for Responsible Nature Photography: Use discretion if sharing locations ), south of the Hunsrück massif, a long mountain range West of Germany.

It is a relatively easy hiking trail with convenient accessibility, and the woodland surrounding the cliffs has a huge number of thermophile species which remember me the vegetation of the Mediterranean region where I was born.

The path closely follows the edge of the cliffs offering incredible views of the vineyards bellow the cliffs and the surrounding valleys of he Hunsrück.

The cliffs are a very interesting landform, a laboratory for geomorphologists, a place where it is possible to study how the earth surface processes, such as air, water and ice, can mould the landscape. But as Mike Roman wrote, I´m in nature, consequently, it´s time for poetry, not for science.

Water hollows stone,

wind scatters water,

stone stops the wind.

Water, wind, stone.

Wind carves stone,

stone’s a cup of water,

water escapes and is wind.

Stone, wind, water.

Octavio Paz. Wind, Water, Stone.

At the beginning of the path, there is a view point which offers splendid views over the ravines, the pinnacles and crests that fall on the vineyards and into the river.

I try to take some pictures as I discover a pair of common kestrel flying tireless, making an incredible and beautiful dance between pinnacles and crests.

Behind me, two young couples with flaming sneakers are sitting down on a bench glued to their smartphones. Some minutes later, a middle age couple arrives, come near the edge of the cliffs, turn their backs to the cliffs, take a selfie, and quickly go back to the parking lot. – Two more picture-snapping posers – I say to me while I put the camera in the rucksack, fold the tripod and go on.

A country begins with a ground, a geology. When it loses contact with that, it’s no longer a country at all. It’s just a supermarket, Disneyland or a madhouse

Kenneth White, ‘The Re-Mapping of Scotland,’ The Wanderer and his Charts:Essays on Cultural Renewal.

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