Good old new

I am aged,
Never old,
In a world
Ever new.
I know it,
Or wish it?
Dead trees
Live again
With me.

(Click to enlarge us.)  September 2018, in a playground I call CADIVUS, created from half a living big white pine that fell onto my trail called Whitetail Way, at the intersection with Blueberry Pass, on the southeast corner of Maplegate Square.  To re-open the trail, I cut away all the greenery and branches that let it become this “sculpture.”  Nature loves to mess around with the trails of Balsamea.

Sometimes she just decorates them …

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NHGS and Being One With Everything

If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet,
you’ll come to understand that you’re connected to everything.
–Alan watts

This is true.  However, it need not be a far, far forest.  It can be near.  In fact, it can be your backyard.

It reminds me of the joke where the Dalai Lama goes to a hot dog street vendor and says, “Make me one with everything.”

This photo was manipulated to resolve trouble with the output of the old 35mm film camera that shot this about 17 years ago, in not enough light as the sun was slipping away from the woods, but it is still true to the original, with perhaps an artsy touch.

I have always called it, “Reincarnation of a Birch,” but this fungus decoration is only one phase of the new world that will be created from this old gray birch stump.

It was in the campground at Taylor Pond, part of the Taylor Pond Wild Forest state land complex, which includes Taylor Pond Wild Forest, Terry Mountain State Forest, Burnt Hill State Forest and the Franklin Falls, Shell Rock and Black Brook Conservation Easement Tracts, a handful of my nearby nature immersion areas within 20 miles of Balsamea.

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Creekwalking and Beaverstick, 1st Look

Cold Brook North Branch, June 2016. Click to enlarge.

Updated 20220705 20:12 – added pictures.

What’s a great way to enjoy a sweltering summer day with 90 degrees, drinkable humidity, magnified sunlight, and a chance of fast-moving wild thunderstorms?  Do a creekwalk!

It is a style of bushwhacking.  Instead of working through trailless woods, you work up or down the middle of a creek, brook or river.  It is your route, but not a trail.  Rain?  So?  You’re hiking in water.  Don’t let the weather tell you what to do.

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Uncanny Pool in Klondike Brook

This is about my all-time favorite “creek walk,” way back in August 2009.

It was in tourist country, the Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness Area that is not a wilderness anymore because it is severely overrun by tourists.  As beautiful as the High Peaks are, they are not worth sharing a few miles of trail with fifty people trashing it and even actually crapping on it.

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Hermann Hesse on Tree Reverence

Some of my beliefs, thoughts, and feelings I am unable to express as well as others can do for me.  Hermann Hesse is one example, particularly on the topic of relationship with trees.

Right: Book cover illustration by Peter le Vasseur on the 1975 Picador/Pan Books Ltd. edition of Wandering, listed new at $1.75!

“Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. His best known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi) which explore an individual’s search for spirituality outside society.” —from goodreads Hesse author page

Hermann Hesse book “Wandering” (1920) translated from German by James Wright

Below I offer a large passage on trees from Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) in his book Wandering, Notes and Sketches (1920); translated by James Wright. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1972:

There is a comprehensive review of the book at Hermitary.com.  It begins, “Hermann Hesse composed his little book Wanderung: Aufzeichnungen as fiction, but it reads as autobiography, as do most of his little sketches wherein a personable narrator reveals his convoluted emotions.  Wandering finds the fictional narrator at a psychological crossroads, and Hesse’s clear, simple, and heartfelt prose makes the book a candid and attractive reflection.”

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Girls just want to have fun (and boys want them to)

While researching the story of a famous Ukrainian song that has inspired endless versions around the world, from the ancient folk chant to epic orchestral and chorale concert works, to the latest rock, hip-hop, metal and electronic synthesis and LED and laser light shows (you’re going to love it if I ever write the post), I stumbled across this bit that said inside me, “Hey, shut up and have some different fun.”  It has nothing to do with the Ukrainian song.  It’s just a distraction.  A good musical distraction is worth its waste in gold; i.e., no waste at all.

Music is not real except as a miracle.  It is impossible.  It can’t be done.  But it happens anyway.  The more I explore it, the more impossible it seems.

It’s like learning about oneself, in a sense.  Like the beauty in any other kind of nature, beauty in music does what it does to us because of who we are, and yet it shapes us, too.  In this case, it “does me” in humor, too.

Enjoy this break from and into reality.  Watch it in full screen for best effect.

(Link to YouTube video: https://youtu.be/BKezUd_xw20)

Explore more Salut Salon music in their YouTube channel.
And visit their website.

(I wonder if they could be booked at the Upper Jay Art Center?)

From the Salut Salon website:

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Dennis Koenig, The Balsamean, from Long Island to the Adirondack Mountains

The Balsamean; Scribblements from Balsamea (thebalsamean.com or thebalsamean.worpress.com) is a blog by Dennis Koenig under the pen name Balsamea Walker, beginning in 2012.

The places and roles described here do not necessarily indicate the degree of their importance to me. The most important influences are not here.

This list is merely biographical bits and pieces to help you to determine which of thousands of people named Dennis Koenig is me. I created this identification page in June 2022.

There is more to read below the list.

  • Baby Boomer.
  • Graduated from Riverhead High School.
  • Served in US Navy for 6 years; Aviation Electronics Technician; tech school at Naval Air Technical Training Center, Millington, TN; served with Fighter Squadron VF-102 at Oceana Naval Air Station (Virginia Beach) and aboard the aircraft carrier USS Independence (Norfolk, VA).
  • Worked as service manager for computer dealerships in Riverhead, Rockland County, and Syracuse before joining the New York State Judiciary.
  • Worked for the District Administrative Judge of the ten-county Sixth Judicial District in Central NY, based first in Wampsville, then Binghamton, NY.
  • Founder and director of the first statewide information technology unit (and converted it to four departmental units) of the four Supreme Court Appellate Divisions, including their statewide agencies: Mental Hygiene Legal Service, attorney discipline units, law guardian units, law libraries, court clerks / administrative offices, judicial chambers, and assigned counsel units.
  • Worked for a large law firm based in Rochester at that time.
  • Retired to Balsamea, a private forest preserve in the Adirondack Mountains. Balsamea is named for one of the most abundant trees in Balsamea, the balsam fir (Abies balsamea). Hence, The Balsamean.
  • No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other so-called social media accounts except YouTube Channel of (pen name) Balsamea Walker mainly containing things posted in the blog, and YouTube Channel of Dennis Koenig. I do not post videos of my own creation. I only share playlists.
  • Formerly married to Jovita, then Ann. Two stepchildren.
  • To contact me, use the CONTACT PAGE. Also available via encrypted communication services by request.

As to the content of the blog:

If you disagree with me, or want to enlighten me with a candid piece of your mind laid out in plain talk, I will respect your doing it reasonably, here in public comments or in private email. Try it. We may both come out of it better than we went in. Thank you.

If you agree with me and want to heap praise and hugs and kisses on me, you’ll find a way. Thank you.

Have a great day. It will benefit the world.