"Coloring the Conservation Conversation--One Word at a Time!"

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Another Season.

Year by year we count our ages in candles and stages--but among the woods and the wetlands-- among wild things-- life's count does not stop for anniversaries. Wandering and wondering in the winter woods yesterday I sensed an urgency underneath the leaf litter. The damp mustiness hanging heavily in the decay ultimately means rebirth. Seeds and soil are a promise for another season waged against weather and chance.
 A doe's skull found bare and shining like ivory on the white oak ridge meant that something else might live to see another season.

I wonder if coyotes make wishes on such things? Did the canid skull I found in the fern-ful creek bottom mean that the god of wild things had exacted some kind of karma and taken a song dog's  life for a deer's? I let lie the evidence to become something else.

Yes, there is something lying in wait in these winter woods -lying and waiting in root and stem and shoot--waiting for the sun to shine at a more intense angle and for the light to linger a little longer with each passing day. The wild ginger blooms modestly where no one can see. A wren sang somewhere in a shaft of light  that fractured the chill.

In the depths of what we call the dormant season frogs a-peeping in secret pools and maples a-blushing against a bare-boned forest are sign certain that life will out and impatiently so--

And so today I count time cycling again.  Yes, I do so in human years but with an acute appreciation for the cycling that goes on everyday with only soil and sun and chance to meter the passage. I am another year closer to some things and yet another further removed from others. I count life's few certainties and its infinite uncertainties all as fortune I'm fated to. The years have been good. Very good in fact and I am thankful for another season of wandering and wondering among the wild things and kindred spirits with whom I am blessed to share this time and this space. Happy Birthday indeed.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Hog Hunting

A curtain of evening purples the passing sky and in that narrow gap between day and night a twittering in the twilight. A peculiar "peenting" call punctuates the end of another day's waiting in the wild wood. The birdsong catalog in my brain rolls through the memory cards of such sounds and first to mind comes a nighthawk. Common, yes-- and so I look skyward-- surprised that I cannot spy stiff oaring flight-- or wing patches flashing white. And though in shirtsleeves I sit the chill falling fast with the sun's solemn parting reminds me of the date. It is January and the bull bats have long since departed to places where palm trees grow and the wandering warblers go. And then suddenly I know. With the twittering and peenting circling above me- somewhere up there over the tangle of scrubby leavings the axe men  left to rot in the opening where trees once stood--it is the perfect place and the end of the mystery too.  It is the invisible pas de deux. It is the righteous reel of a feathered thing I cannot see through failing light that moves my heart--- and then my mind to remember the woodcock's ways. It is Aldo's sky dancers taking the stage.