An isolated, buttresslike projection of rock, often from a cliff wall, flaring as it descends and ending abruptly, suggesting the human nose. Anthony’s Nose, a classic example, juts prominently from a cliff face above the Hudson River at the east end of the Bear Mountain Bridge, near Westchester County’s boundary with Putnam County in New York. Like the mouth of a stream, finger lakes, an arm of the sea, the crotch of a rock, the brow of a ridge, rock nipples, elbow canyons, a neck of land, and les grands tetons of Wyoming, another reminder of how we see ourselves in the places we inhabit. The Nose is a famous climbing route up the granite cliffs of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Another type of nose is the downwind part of a parabolic dune, which trails twin upwind arms as it advances.

Terry Tempest Williams