Cairns #65 – Cat Twist – Lead on a slower path


Helping turn the prow of our entropyship, the Earth, back upstream so that Earth’s evolving consciousness may explore the vast headwaters of the Universe for billions of years to come.

Cairns #65 – Beginning of the Long Days, 2011 

Cat Twist – Lead on a slower path

My college physics textbook had an illustrated sidebar showing the elegant way in which a cat does a double twist in mid-air so as to land on its feet without violating the Conservation of Angular Momentum. I remember this elegantly “legal” circumvention of an assumed constraint each time I make a play like this one with runoff.


In this picture, runoff is flowing from right to left, from the slope behind me towards a drainage off to the upper left of the picture. My divergence, however, is leading this runoff over to the adjoining ridgetop at the upper right. Many people assume runoff can’t flow from a drainage to the adjoining ridge because that sounds like water flowing uphill. But any channel, if it is angled only slightly down from the contour will lead water away from a channel towards the adjoining ridge. In most places, such a play is so complex and tenuous that it is not worth it. But in places such as this, it is straightforward and powerful. Runoff that would have flowed off the ridge in a matter of minutes will now soak into the ridgetop in the upper right background and nourish growth for several weeks.


Just learning how to play with all of this.

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