WATER, EARTH, AND SKY: The Colorado River Basin
by Michael Collier. Beautiful color photos of the Southwest by Collier.
Condition: NEW 1999 Univ. of Utah Press hardcover & DJ (in mylar jacket), no printing given.
Content: In 1996 award-winning author and photographer Michael Collier set out in his forty-year-old Cessna seeking an expanded understanding and perspective on the Colorado River Basin - a region spanning the states of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and California - which he had come to know intimately through twenty-five years of river running. Twelve thousand photographs and more than a year later, Collier hadlearned another way of knowing that magnificent landscape and now shares his altered vision. For the first time, through this astonishing collection of aerial photographs, the 244,000 square miles of the basin, including its tributaries and the lands adjacent to them, can be seen for what they are: an integrated bioregion with a natural history fascinating in its complexity and a majestic beauty astounding in its diversity. These are images that provide unforgettable lessons in transcending our often delimiting cultural, political, and scientific worldviews.
Flying over the Painted Desert at 150 miles per hour, Collier observes and photographs the entire life span of a thunderstorm: the weighty anvil cloud emptying itself on a parched redrock escarpment and, a few miles downstream, the ensuing flash flood, an erosive tumult of water and detritus. Above the Escalante Canyon, he captures the sinuous, incised meanders of the river, the choreography of a dance twenty million years old between relentless water and uplifting bedrock. The waters of the Colorado River now rarely reach the Sea of Cortez, depleted as they are by hundreds of upstream reservoirs and diversions - and Collier documents this as well: the stark, muddy delta of the river; the feathery channels that remain as the tides withdraw back to the sea. One hundred forty captivating images are accompanied by six essays, written by experts in various fields of natural history and ecology, that illuminate chosen aspects of the landscape: the life cycle of a razorback sucker; the conditions that
shape the meanders of a river; the sensory feast of rock, air, water, leaf, and bird that may nourish the human soul. WATER, EARTH, AND SKY is a mosaic of splendid parts, a unique and dynamic assemblage like the Colorado River basin itself, which, viewed from the right distance, resolves itself into the patterns that make it a marvelous and inspiring whole. [1 copy available]
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