One of our most environmentally-indifferent presidents once said famously that "if you've seen one tree, you've seen them all."I'm afraid he speaks for a large portion of Americans for whom nature is an anonymous blur out the car window or a diorama vignetted briefly from scenic overlooks on the way to Dollywood; or taken in frenetic gulps on family forced-march vacation hikes. Nature has no face, really, for most hurried unfortunate urban sorts.But the same seen-them-all numbness can happen to rural folk, too. If you've seen one deer, one snake, one owl, … Continue Reading ››
So as I told you, I had come through the fog, up the mountain, into the clearing populated by a grove of gargoyles, posing as if so many dozen trees had bared their bottoms in a manner both threatening and somehow playful and liberating.As I might have confessed, I was tempted to run straightway back into the shelter of the woods and take the shortest path home--if indeed I could even find that path again.But as I turned to leave, there at the edge of the forest behind me appeared a crude shed nestled back into the hillside. I had not expected … Continue Reading ››
It is in such light as this, late in the afternoon, when they are illuminated by a brilliant beam against the background shadows that they first "appear" as if out of nowhere.We always have a few marauding dragonflies that claim hunting territory along the creek from which they hatched and the edge of the pasture.When the light is low and bright, and the days grow noticeably shorter, and I am not thinking it is time for them yet at all, the migrating dragonflies descend from their travels (to where?) and congregate in our little five acre sliver of clearing in the midst … Continue Reading ››
For the first time since the summer of 2012, our pasture got a haircut.We're at the mercy of those few who both want our pasture hay and are willing unpredictably to bring all the related machinery down into Middle Earth to get it.That, and the vagaries of the season--last year, perpetually wet when the hay-folks spare time would have allowed them to come get it--makes our making hay an iffy proposition. We live from summer to summer, taking what it dishes out.Some are too wet to cut it, some are too dry to grow it.So all last summer, and this … Continue Reading ››
I was not at ease exploring whatever it was that I had stumbled upon, and yet I could not just slip back into the woods without allowing my curiosity a closer look.Here is one close-up lignified creature that I almost expected to begin moving towards me--a wooden slug with waggling antennae--just one in this menagerie of oddities.I made one other stop--that I will relate to you, anon-- before I was overcome by the overwhelming feeling that there had been eyes on me all the while.