Reflections

Going through some old folders, I found the original set of 2005 Moose Pond Moon photos in a surprise location.  It included a scenery shot that I guess I had written off when the set was put where it belongs under photos/nature/moon.  Turns out it was worth keeping.

[This post has only 706 words, chunks of it in music quotes, and a few minutes for one song performance.]

I don’t think it’s exquisite.  It just has a way of holding my eye that doesn’t make sense.  Maybe there’s something wrong with my eye.

When I remembered the moon in Harry Chapin’s song, Circle, I was glad to have him join the moon song hit parade with this salty-sweet sing-a–long.

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Aranyaka – Part 1

George Gordon Byron

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“The end of all scribblement is to amuse,
and he certainly succeeds there.”
–Lord Byron, Referring to Sir Walter Scott in a letter to Francis Hodgson, 1810

… even if I’m the only one amused
As I say, I blog for my entertainment.

~

In my Cadivus post, I quoted Natalie Goldberg’s book Wild Mind, where she advised writers to “sink into the big sky and write from there.”  (PDF of the full excerpt.)  In my layman’s rough terms, “big sky” refers to widened awareness and/or a Buddhistic meditation practice called “big sky mind.”

In context, I believe Goldberg is talking about unleashing oneself from the limitations of overly self-critical, self-confining, ego-based/fear-driven, creativity-stifling thinking.  It may also be distorted thinking that is out of harmony with things as they are.

Like me, for instance (to a degree).

Note the subtitle of this blog, Scribblements from Balsamea.  Maybe I should have called it Scribblements of Balsamea, referring not only to these words and pictures, but also to writing myself into Nature here, and herself into my little mind-body machine.  Cadivus is the latest significant example of that reciprocal, wordless writing process.  I’d like to talk about one of the early examples, a place in Balsamea that I named Aranyaka in 2006.

NATURE DOODLE at Aranyaka, 9/24/2007. Click to enlarge.

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Moonsuch Imagery

I knew someone in the business of making and selling “fine art nature photography.”  I never saw anything fine in this artist’s work, but didn’t have the heart to say so.

I mentioned that I use my computer to “tweak” my amateur nature photos to improve what I get out of the camera.

She said, “That’s cheating.”

When she saw some of my earliest moon pix, admiring them she said, “Boy, I thought I was the photographer here.”

I said, “I cheat.”

It’s not a photograph.  It’s a wordless expression of me in the way I experience a subject, with the help of a camera and a computer.

Somebody tell Ansel Adams he was cheating when he used an orange filter to shoot his classic, Moon and Half Dome …

Ansel Adams, Moon and Half Dome, 1960, Yosemite National Park.

Cadivus

God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, “Ah!” —Joseph Campbell

… for me, even a fallen tree.

If looking at a tree can be a divine experience, or something transcendent, then what may be revealed or experienced when you spend a few days intimately connecting with every part of a big fallen tree and everything on the ground surrounding it, including clearing away many other trees that it fell on, changing it to a playground shaped from what had been a big obstacle fallen onto and blockading an important trail?  What does that intimacy reveal?

The wind snapped off this big white pine at a point where its trunk had divided and where it became infected with a fungus common among white pines. This “stump” will die and become a tall snag that will stand potentially for decades, and be a great resource to wildlife.

Click to enlarge

View of the closed trail from the south side:

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Discover the Unsearchable

Sharing this brilliant piece of work,
with gratitude to the USDA Forest Service.

Alternate YouTube link for this video: Discover the Unsearchable

More videos at the discovertheforest YouTube channel.

See much more at: Discover The Forest Campaign

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Moon

~   ~   ~
“Enchantment is the oldest form of medicine.”
– C. G. Jung, as quoted by Meredith Sabini, Ed., The Earth Has a Soul; The Nature Writings of C.G. Jung, p. 4
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If you have trouble loading all the pictures and YouTube music videos in this post, it may be that there are just too many, and the picture files are too big.  (They are big so that you can see them full-screen by clicking on them.)  Try waiting a moment or refresh your browser (reload the page).  Last ditch effort: clear your browser cache.  I’m working on alternate approaches at this end.

HERE’S THAT MOON I NEVER PROMISED YOU. The Balsamean and the moon shattering in the clouds over Moose Pond, August 2005. Click for full screen view, as with all pictures in this article.

If you want to write a song about the heart
Think about the moon before you start
Because the heart will howl like a dog in the moonlight
And the heart can explode like a pistol on a June night
So if you want to write a song about the heart
And its everlonging for a counterpart
Na na na na na na
Yeah yeah yeah
Write a song about the moon

– from Song About the Moon
Paul Simon 1981

Full lyrics on Paul Simon Official Website

Alternate YouTube link: Simon & Garfunkel Song About the Moon

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When you write a song about the moon, or dance with it alone in the peaceful beauty of night, your heart may have a counterpart right there.  Mine does, and I thank the moon for never giving up on our blessed relationship, and for the fun of creating moonlit pictures, and its help engaging enchantment and fantasy for the health of my soul.

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I live in a world of turkeys

This morning while washing hiking water bottles, one of our many wild turkeys enjoyed browsing the abundant wild food near the edge of the yard viewed from my kitchen window.

This is not an unusual sight here.  Common, really.  But not for me, and not for the turkeys, since they never get accustomed to being stalked by me.  I am never common to them.

Turkey photos at Balsamea, June 20, 2018, ~7:30 AM. CLICK ANY PICTURE FOR FULL SCREEN VIEW.

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There’s Only One Nature – Joan D. Chittister, OSB

From Sister Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B.:

Joan D. Chittister

It’s what we have when we have nothing that defines our relation to nature and the effect of nature on the soul. Then we begin to realize that we do not exist outside of nature or above nature or independent of nature; we are simply its most vulnerable part. What we learn from nature may make the whole difference in the way we go through life, and what we want from it, and what we consider important in it, and—most of all—what we are capable of learning by being alive.  —from Becoming Fully Human by Joan Chittister (Sheed & Ward)

     

(Click pics for full-screen views.)  Views looking up under American Beech trees, abundant at Balsamea, fascinating in every season.  See my post, The Junk Tree (Fagus grandifolia) for many more home-made pictures and discussion.  Some foolish person called it a junk tree, not me.  I’m not THAT foolish.

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“What we learn from nature may make the whole difference in
… what we are capable of learning by being alive.” –JDC

Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2017

Since they named this holiday for me, though people will be inclined to say to me, “Thank you for your service,” I want to say to them, “Thank you for my service.”

Naval Aircrewman Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Lanard, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron HSC-22 of USS Wasp carries evacuee off an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter following landfall of Hurricane Maria on the island of Dominica.  (As a former petty officer aboard two aircraft carriers, this picture strikes a particular chord in me.  It is so nice to see the Navy used this way.)

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Nature Writers I Follow #2: New Hampshire Garden Solutions (NHGS)

“You don’t have to fly or drive anywhere to see the beauty of nature-it’s all right there in your own yard!” -NHGS

NHGS started out as a gardening blog — by a garden and landscape professional, self-described now as, “Once a professional gardener, now a helper” — who now shares with us nature studies, photographs, descriptions and more, including personal reactions to nature as it occurs in New Hampshire habitats of the same kinds I have here in the Northern Adirondacks.

It is terrific nature writing, wonderfully illustrated, and I am grateful to be a subscriber.

It is a delightful source of education about things I see every day, written in a fresh, light, personalized style, loaded with information about the things explored, in all seasons. I’m introduced to things I did not realize I was seeing! I’m enlightened about the things I have seen and long appreciated.   Continue reading