What's New?

Over The Trees

  The first law of Arizona aviation, according to Towhee, is that "the wind always comes out of the sun."   Trying to learn landings (long ago!) on Phoenix Sky Harbor's east/west runway, the mid-day wind shift was predictable, puissant, and always for a space of time, perpendicular. This AM/PM dither is pronounced, even in Tucson.
       Sun itself is a magician whose apparent track sidles north to south, then back, as it strides daily across Earth's stage, pulling storms and weather as if from an invisible silken hat. As pilots, we become aware of the shenanigans orchestrated by Sun, but our focus is drawn evermore toward its side-kick, Winds. Here we name it as plural, for Winds are always on the move; up-and-down and sideways in mischievous layers - confusing the staging of Sun's routine, and bewildering our free-spirited birds.
As with all magic, we can stand in awe or watch closely and take measure of the routines. Canny pilots, gamblers that we are, watch shifty-eyed wind closely, so we know "when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, when to walk away, and when to run". The backdrop of mountains makes that easier, for they wear clouds like audience-participation signs, glowering sullenly with incipient showers, or flaunting a mountain wave like a show girl's boa. When mountains are sweet and clear-complexioned, look out for a hissy-fit of turbulence. And when they're on fire, for God's sake (and yours) STAY AWAY! 

 "Over the trees lie shapes of dreams, with only dark paths to lead there
If over the trees we could rise, what wondrous things we might see there!"