A spring trip to the West Coast gave me plenty of time to contemplate the ever-changing US landscape from my airplane window. I'm not a comfortable flyer, so when weather permits, I distract myself by looking and photographing. On this trip, the weather was turbulent heading west, so our route went north across the Great Plains (including Nebraska, which the pilot identified when we flew near Omaha), then dipped south along the snow-crowned Rockies. The route home crossed over barren southwestern desert before entering the agricultural lands of the midwest. The shifting patterns and colors are always fascinating, but this time I was struck by the places where geography, geology, and human land use have created edges. Like the edges used by an artist to define and emphasize—hard, soft, smooth, rough—the landscape below me was contained and transformed by edges. The quilted patterns of farms, outlined by the sharp angles of roads and meandering curves of streams and rivers, gave way to the soft, fuzzy scrumble of forests and wild hills. Valleys filled with human habitation butted softly against the shoulders of mountains. River canyons carved hard snaking lines across empty plateaus. Mountains melted into flat lonely deserts. And as the plane descended into LA, the ultimate edge appeared—the ocean, edge of the continent. From my lofty seat in the sky, I could contemplate how the edges of geography become boundaries that prevent, protect, or pollute, depending on human intentions and resourcefulness. We have definitely made our marks on the land, but from the air, those marks are beautiful.