Five inch long American beech tree leaf resting at the bottom of a beech-leaf-shaped hole in ice, Balsamea, March 21, 2019
It’s amusing how much a leaf laying under water in an ice pocket can conjure rumination. It’s not the kind of rumination that comes with an unquiet mind, that sort of out-of-control thinking that spirals endlessly into itself. These icy leaf ruminations are just notions that sift through the synapses for no reason except that’s what we’re made to do with observations of Nature. We’re made to be inspired by Nature to see things that small minds miss because they don’t see small things, or don’t pay attention to them.
Too bad more small minds are not amused by more small things.
Hi Folks. National Take a Hike Day is Saturday, November 17, 2018. I invite you to join me in taking this challenge farther than asked by my friends at the American Hiking Society in their article Why Technology Should Take A Hike, beginning with posting this picture on your [whatever kind of] website.
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It’s a good article loaded with source-cited research results about:
After half a foot of sticky, soggy snowfall overnight, today the temperature at Balsamea rose well above freezing. Along our trails, rapidly thawing snow showered from the trees everywhere in these dense woods, especially from the pines and firs, those bearers of great snow-loads.
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It fell in droplets, spoonfuls, cupfuls, bucketfuls and barrowfuls. The still, windless air said nothing while each of these sizes played their particular sounds, all around me patting, drumming, shushing and thumping their way through tree limbs, branches, twigs and evergreen boughs, then concluding each phrase with a strike on the snow on the ground. They formed an unusual percussive symphony unique to this particular circumstance, in a special variation playing upon atypical conditions in the fresh snow cover.
When or where can you hear nature using trees and snow as instruments to drench the still air in sound this way, with a variety of visual effects, too? When do you get to sit in the middle of the orchestra as it plays? It filled the air within a great dome surrounding me, simultaneously at every volume possible to my ears. Some notes played a few feet from me, ranging out to ones played barely within hearing. Some struck funny notes on my ball cap and shoulders. Continue reading →
When in doubt, have a campfire. It has straightened my bent condition many times.
Yours truly tending a winter campfire at Balsamea in 2005
My favorite passage from the 1908 short story, To Build a Fire by Jack London (1876-1916):
“Working carefully from a small beginning, he soon had a roaring fire, over which he thawed the ice from his face and in the protection of which he ate his biscuits. For the moment the cold of space was outwitted. The dog took satisfaction in the fire, stretching out close enough for warmth and far enough away to escape being singed. When the man was finished, he filled his pipe and took his comfortable time over a smoke. Then he pulled on his mittens, settled the ear flaps of his cap firmly about his ears, and took the creek trail up the left fork.” Continue reading →