Lost (and found) in space

Flying into the unknown:

‘During a circuitous ten-year trek across the Solar System, Rosetta will cross the asteroid belt and travel into deep space, more than five times Earth’s distance from the Sun. Its destination will be a periodic comet known as Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko..’

Rosetta approaching comet

Rosetta approaching comet

More info and images at the European Space Agency’s website http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta

Philae phones home:

Philae, the lander deployed by the Rosetta mission, became the first spacecraft to land on a comet in November last year. It promptly went into hibernation, but ‘woke up’ and phoned home for the first time seven months on Saturday 13 June.

philae wakes up

Image at https://twitter.com/ESA_Rosetta/status/610047662856007680/photo/1

ET Phones Home:

See the original movie clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_YZuYESaoo

Space Odyssey becomes Space Oddity:

Watch and hear David Bowie perform the original version of Space Oddity in 1969 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D67kmFzSh_o

Hearts in hiding

‘…my heart in hiding/Stirred for a bird’

from Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins

https://i2.wp.com/wainwrightprize.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2015/01/hforhawk.jpg

A story of love, grief and wilderness, of inner and outer landscape, of hearts stirred by a bird.

Published by Vintage 2014; winner of the Costa Book Award 2014

The Song of the Caged Hawk

High in the hiss of shrill chill winds, in league with roughneck frost,
The skyward-striking scouring goshawk veers through dawnlit day.
Thick mists are riven, closed clouds cleft, the rainbow hacked in half.
He thunders by, bolts, blazes, skims low hills and is away.

The fell swoosh of his killstroke quills cuts through the thorn and bush,
He falls to poach a fox or hare then soars, long gone, in gray.
With fur-flung claws and blood-drunk beak, scourge of a billion birds,
He stands alone, and scans the world- the fierce, proud Lord of Prey.

Then molten months and blistering winds burst on him unawares.
His moulted feathers fall. Hewn in the heart, he broods at bay.
The grassborn rats and cats he prized become his persecution.
Ten times a night he stares about in shellshock and dismay.

by Liu Kongyuan, 773-819AD

Flights of fantasy

Shan•gri-la (ˌʃæŋ grɪˈlɑ, ˈʃæŋ grɪˌlɑ)

n. an imaginary paradise on earth, esp. a remote and exotic utopia [after the fictional Tibetan land of eternal youth in the novel The Lost Horizon (1933) by James Hilton]

definition at http://www.thefreedictionary.com

 Peach-blossom Shangri-la

peach blossom shangri-la web

 Image at http://www.chinancient.com/peach-blossom-spring-chinese-shangri-la

‘During the Taiyuan era of the Jin Dynasty there was a man of Wuling who made his living as a fisherman. Once while following a stream he forgot how far he had gone. He suddenly came to a grove of blossoming peach trees…

…The peach trees stopped at the stream’s source, where the fisherman came to a mountain with a small opening through which it seemed he could see light. Leaving his boat, he entered the opening. At first it was so narrow that he could barely pass, but after advancing a short distance it suddenly opened up to reveal a broad, flat area with imposing houses, good fields, beautiful ponds, mulberry trees, bamboo, and the like. The fisherman saw paths extending among the fields in all directions, and could hear the sounds of chickens and dogs. Men and women working in the fields all wore clothing that looked like that of foreign lands. The elderly and children all seemed to be happy and enjoying themselves…

…After several days there, the fisherman bid farewell, at which time some villagers told him, “It’s not worth telling people on the outside about us.”

The fisherman exited through the opening, found his boat, and retraced his route while leaving markers to find this place again. Upon his arrival at the prefecture town he went to the prefect and told him what had happened. The prefect immediately sent a person to follow the fisherman and look for the trail markers, but they got lost and never found the way…After that no one else ever looked for the place.’

From Peach Blossom Shangri-la by Tao Yuan Ming, naturalist, poet and government official, c365-427

Read the full text at Project Gutenberg: www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2090/pg2090.html

Lost Horizons: other versions of Shangri-la

 The novel:

Lost_Horizon_(James_Hilton_novel)_coverart

 First edition 1933, MacMillan

 The film:

LostHorizon1937

LH1937

Directed by Frank Capra, 1937

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt79tqEzt1o

The musical movie:

lost-horizon-1973

Directed by Charles Jarrott, 1973

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTFS4MSKgH8

 

 

Odysseys

odyssey /od-i-si/ n. (pl. -eys): a series of wanderings; a long and eventful journey [from Greek Odusseia, title of an epic poem attributed to Homer describing the adventures of Odysseus]

definition: Oxford Compact English Dictionary

The beginning of the Odyssey


odyssey text Bibi Saint-Pol

 Image Bibi Saint-Pol/Wikimedia Commons

The beginning of a different odyssey

‘As you set out for Ithaka

hope your road is a long one,

full of adventure, full of discovery…’

from Ithaka by CP Cavafy

The journeys of birds

 travelling birds film 1 web

Travelling Birds (also known as Winged Migration): a 2001 documentary film that follows northern hemisphere birds on their spring migration to the Arctic Circle.

Birds on the itinerary

Destination Flyways is an initiative of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

‘In 2012, a record one billion tourists crossed international borders…By providing an adequate framework for sustainable tourism management and diversifying the tourism offer along the flyways, Destination Flyways will generate revenue for improved management of biodiversity and spread the benefits of tourism to local communities, while creating attractive experiences for tourists.’

http://biodiv.unwto.org/content/flyways

birdwatchers broome 1 kimberley birdwatching

Birdwatching at Roebuck Bay near Broome, Western Australia

Morley Beach birdwatchers 1

Birdwatching at Morley Beach, Denmark, Western Australia

Images: top, kimberleybirdwatching.com.au; bottom, Basil Schur

Stopping along the way

‘shhh I can make myself invisible

with binoculars in moist places…

…whisper I wear soft colours/

whisper, this is the naturalist

she’s been out since dawn

dripping in her waterproof notebook’

 from Dart by Alice Oswald