Tocra Pass

I was wondering when someone would ask me what that picture is, across the top of my blog.  At last someone has, Rick Scheithauer.

Back when I found I could substitute a picture of my own for the abstract image that was the blog’s default “masthead,” I picked this one merely because it might fit the space: wide and not high.  Even so I had to make it half as high, by cropping off some blank sky and a lot of foreground.

This is how it should be:

Tocra Pass, Cyrenaica

(I don’t know why clicking on the picture makes it smaller instead of larger.  It’s 4724 pixels wide.)

And later I discovered that on some monitors it gets cropped even more.  On an iPad, much is missing at the right.  Please let me know if this happens for you.  If I don’t find the workaround I may have to find or paint a different picture.

Used just because wide.  It doesn’t symbolize anything.  Or does it?  I have been a long walker and hitchhiker along roads.

The road that goes winding away down to the left reappears on the right, lower and farther off.  That’s rather essential and I’m afraid it gets cut off.

Where is the scene?  It’s the Tocra Pass, in Libya.  It may be called something else now.  The road, probably built by the Italians, is descending out of the upland of Cyrenaica – the Jebel el-Akhdar or “Green Mountain” – to come down through a small place called Tocra, before running along the coast to Benghazi.

Tocra was ancient Taucheira, one of the Five Cities of Greek Cyrenaica.  This landscape is the setting of my novel about Berenice, whose hair became a constellation.


9 thoughts on “Tocra Pass”

    1. I appreciate pleasant comments, but I would ask that they mention something specific about what they are commenting on. Otherwise they can be indistinguishable from robotic spam.

  1. It is revealing to view the entire scene. On my iPad, one quarter of the full width is missing from the left, one third of the full width is missing from the right, and slightly more than half is missing from the bottom.

    It is a beautiful painting, but on my iPad it is rather like trying to identify a building in Manhattan by looking at a block of windows. (Not that I would’ve actually recognized Torca Pass!)

    1. That is a very informative response, confirming my worry. I don’t yet know what to do about it, and am hoping to learn.

  2. I assume the road that “reappears on the right, lower and farther off” is just left of the white square containing trees or bushes planted in rows.
    Is that correct?

    I noticed the road is purple ant the coastal plain is pink.
    Was it painted at sunset? Or were the colors merely used to set apart the different elements of the sketch?

    1. Yes, that’s the glimpse of reappearing road, pale and narrow because distant. It wouldn’t be so inconspicuous if the picture enlarged properly.
      The road is purple, the distant plain pink, and the nearer soil orange, because the mind heightens. Cyrenaica with its “Green Mountain” is ferticle in comparison with the Sahara not far to the south, but to those coming from Europe it seems semidesert. (I think it was almost certainly greener in ancient times, before goats and climate change. Higher parts of this scarp farther east are still heavily forested, or were when I was there.)
      I don’t like to paint roads just gray: you can notice many colors in them, especially when they’ve been patched with repairs. Violet with a sandy yellow (Naples yellow) skidded over the top of it gives a convincing tarmac.

  3. My iPad captures most of it (when rotated to catch the broader image), including the road at the right — though much is lost at bottom, left and right.

    1. Good to hear from you, Mike, and I think you still live next to Puget Sound. The email I saw immediately before was from an outfit called, I think, Other98, and was about “Kayaktivists against Shell”. Hadn’t heard of kayaktivistm before! They are protesting Shell’s intention to build a huge oil refinery on PUget Sound.

Leave a Reply to Guy Cancel reply