Let us bid a fond farewell to January. With its low-angled light and unpredictable conditions, it’s always the best time of year for spotting oddities. Icicles, for example, can grow feet from walking on the water. (more…)
High winds. I press an ear
to the trunk of a ridge-top oak
and hear nothing but wind.
My footprints in the snow
are more than erased;
they’re raised up, scattered like ashes.
The woodpecker must hear any sound
an oak can make.
It taps out a response.
The sound of porcupine teeth
in the oak’s crown,
as lethal as mistletoe.
Ahead of me on the path,
the tracks of three deer
braiding and unbraiding.
I reach inside my coat
and find a twig. It’s happening
sooner than I thought.
Less than 1 percent of the ancient Caledonian forest remains, much of it in the Abernethy region, where Rachel and I camped for a week in mid July. She wanted to prove to me that real forests still existed in the British Isles. Our first evening there, I went for a walk and discovered this dead sheep. (more…)
Yesterday morning’s lovely, quiet snow turned to freezing rain in the afternoon. In the evening, it really began to rain hard, and continued for hours. Around 11:00, I started to hear crashes from limbs breaking up on Sapsucker Ridge — the side of Plummer’s Hollow dominated by black cherry, red maple, and other weak, fast-growing trees. By two in the morning, when I finally went to bed, the rain had almost stopped, but there was still a constant barrage of crashes. I feared the worst. (more…)
(Read Part 4.)
After a week in the highlands of Scotland, we took a combination of buses and trains down to Glasgow and out to the west coast, where we caught the ferry to Arran, an island about which it is often said that it resembles Scotland in miniature: very mountainous in the north, with more rolling, agricultural land in the south. (more…)
A new addition to my series of gripping, action-packed films of porcupines in trees chewing and moving slowly about. This one’s kind of shaky (I forgot the tripod), but the view is novel — almost straight up. Here are the two earlier videos with links to the original posts where I blogged about them: (more…)
This day I put on first my new silk suit, the first that ever I wore in my life. This morning came Nan Pepys’ husband Mr. Hall to see me being lately come to town. I had never seen him before. I took him to the Swan tavern with Mr. Eglin and there drank our morning draft. Home, and called my wife, and took her to Dr. Clodius’s to a great wedding of Nan Hartlib to Mynheer Roder, which was kept at Goring House with very great state, cost, and noble company. But, among all the beauties there, my wife was thought the greatest. After dinner I left the company, and carried my wife to Mrs. Turner’s. I went to the Attorney-General’s, and had my bill which cost me seven pieces. I called my wife, and set her home. And finding my Lord in White Hall garden, I got him to go to the Secretary’s, which he did, and desired the dispatch of his and my bills to be signed by the King.
His bill is to be Earl of Sandwich, Viscount Hinchingbroke, and Baron of St. Neot’s.
Home, with my mind pretty quiet: not returning, as I said I would, to see the bride put to bed.
The fir is never seen in draft
but among the greatest company.
I turn to her
and find in a garden
the desire to be quiet as a bride.
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 10 July 1660.
All the morning at Sir G. Palmer’s advising about getting my bill drawn. From thence to the Navy office, where in the afternoon we met and sat, and there I begun to sign bills in the Office the first time. From thence Captain Holland and Mr. Browne of Harwich took me to a tavern and did give me a collation. From thence to the Temple to further my bills being done, and so home to my Lord, and thence to bed.
The palm is
a navy of
a sign from Holland,
to a hen.
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 9 July 1660.