October Meditations

October Meditations 22

On her birthday

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9032.jpg

 she surrendered –


Nature’s pattern
for her life was not
what she would have chosen.
She imagined
children…
Instead a deer
appeared 
 Bereft, confused,

grief stricken,

 she followed…
He led her
to black bears
who loved her.
Trees 
supported her when
all seemed lost.
 Owl becomes her
Friend…
Her beautiful brown eyes
comfort lost souls.


She is old now
Purged
of needing
Others
except for help.

An excruciating process.
Nature
leads her to

undisturbed forest

to visit her father

a beaver in disguise.

Red berries blaze
as she trembles
under the pattern
that owns her.
Her body 

never ceases

to remind her

that she is alone.

Peace she

learned lies

in the wild places.

The ground

beneath her hums

glows

synapses running

through her feet

Paradox –

Alone but connected

to the whole.


At 77 
Her days are growing short.
Poignant.
Trees lead her on
 Ruthless slaughter
puts her life in perspective
Forests survived five extinctions. 
Maybe she can
survive one.
The life she lives is
always on the edge
of not remembering
Who She Is.
But the forest
sings to her …
Barred owl greets her
Birthday songs at Dawn.


Her dreams fade
 warnings remain… 
 The pattern haunts her

Resistance blocks…
Oh how
She 
wishes that aging 
brought wisdom 
and not
a cluttered mind
leaving
even the children
she once 
longed for –

Blurred

 Silence, their indifference fading…

But she still needs

that sharp knife edge

to keep recording.

her story matters

though she can’t imagine why…


Aching limbs, exhaustion.

 shortness of breath
slow her down.
She must pay attention…
Care for Body
Give thanks
Use the Snappers Beak
Tear flesh
only in self defense.
Give up the dictates of Nice
Let forest be Guide
even when white fear
buries her alive
Hope is engagement
with the future.

That fierce
capacity for love

needs a lover
Nature
 receives.

Thrives on reciprocity.
Humans
 can’t be trusted

 Her vulnerability
is in the way
We all betray
so innocence isn’t the point
but Sensitivity is.


To feel a crackling fire

 warming
a chilled room

(her secret bower)
pale sun star
in descent

burnishing

 beloved hemlock

bittersweet gold.
Dogs sleep

as she tastes

a fish

she prepared

that morning

to end this day…

Gratitude flows –

one unbroken whole.
She’s content
knowing needs

were met.
As for the future
she cannot know.

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_8916.jpg

(Yesterday was one of those perfect fall days – not a wisp of wind- that found me in the woods following a moose who I finally met as he slid into impenetrable brush – impossible to photograph except for a hoof!

With clear cool days mushrooms abound – I snapped only a fraction of those I saw – a couple I need to look up… returning to the beaver bog I noted lots of new activity- wish I was closer – would like to visit every day – he had a new path to the water and had dragged smaller branches down the hill – the size of these poplars would require a chain saw to cut and this guy is doing all the work with his teeth! The little pond is beautiful – impossible to discern water from sky and oh so peaceful…. How I hope that he will be allowed to stay – this is a rich and diverse lowland area – lots of gold leaves…I walked so many miles my legs ache! 10/1/22) not needed…

_____________________________________________________________

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_8944.jpg

“Relationship develops when we care about the land we borrow from nature for a few decades – we don’t own her – she offers us a temporary home. When we perceive the land as a Living Being and not a commodity she speaks to us in a language beneath words” ( me)

This time of year I want to be everywhere at once! There’s astonishing beauty everywhere. Yesterday I could hear my land calling…. “Stay home” she said; you are missing the beauty here.

True, the turning is more subtle but glorious all the same and after chores I spent time appreciating all this beauty. I notice Red Deer has suddenly become shy and reclusive Little Deer too – they sense hunting days are near and perhaps the obnoxious gun blasts like the ones I’m hearing now are sounding a warning too.

My asters are peaking – no frost here yet but cold morning temperatures are slowly changing the face of the land. The partridge are sitting in the fruit trees gobbling seed and the evening light is astonishing. (10/2)

__________________________________________________________________

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9064.jpg

Leaf pictures taken here in early morning – geese are flying over the house and at the pollinator garden over the Androscoggin river – the same geese that kept Skywoman from falling into the void after she fell out of the Tree of Life in the Indigenous creation story – benign creatures geese -in the last couple of days 39 million plus birds have flown over this county alone – migration is peaking so PLEASE turn those outside spotlights off at dusk so the young fliers won’t become disoriented. The tower at the pollinator garden is thankfully not very intrusive and who knows what new information will be gleaned – though how much it will help the actual birds is still my question – people yes – we will learn more about migration for one thing – a fascinating question – there are still monarchs floating over the sunflowers – with temps in the 20s at night I worry that these might not be able to make the journey – another question I have is whether prolonged artificial feeding of these insects may actually harm them – keeping them here too long – pure speculation on my part – I do know that scientists are saying the caterpillars that are left won’t make it. My latest chrysalis has not hatched either – maybe nature knows it’s just too late… nature has the sense to abort life when it has little or no chance of surviving -so many questions !!! I do love those milkweed puffs and note the fall asters are much more subtle there – colors are more pastel – here mine startle me with their intensity – such a deep purple and gold.- just now my field is full of grouse – bird game season has begun…

_______________________________________________________________

 Monarchs floating like birds over the sunflowers at the pollinator garden – I keep hoping

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:monarch at pollinator garden.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9015.jpg

_________________________________________________________________

Once you open the door to Other Beings a tree or a deer becomes a teacher. We must not continue to silence these non human voices because the stories of the land must be told.

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9223.jpg

Brilliant leaves, falling leaves (my first, pictured came yesterday after the wind) and mountains only tipped in evergreens point out that only the most inaccessible still remain as well as telling tell us that the trees are preparing for sleep and that the trees that define ‘pine tree state’ are disappearing. With the mycelial networking destroyed we don’t know what will be able to grow next… In a month the bones of the mountain will be replete with skidder marks from the logging machines that haven’t left a birth giving ground behind. Small seedlings will struggle to return…Is this a story that speaks to the continuation of Life? 

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9074.jpg

_____________________________________________________________

Yesterday I went back to the MLT pollinator garden- one of my favorite places to visit regularly even after the season ends – last week it was the milkweed tufts – this week all the asters were still in bloom and I watched with great enthusiasm two kinds of small bumblebees sipping and buzzing around the asters – (the darkest picture of the asters I took once I got home for comparison). All are stunning especially with those bees – and the garden was full of white throated sparrows feasting on all the seeds- afterwards I walked through the beautiful field that borders the river listening to geese as they flew over and also saw great blue fishing from his usual place.

Our local land trust (MLT) has recently acquired an easement of 12,300 acres from the Stifler family and now includes more than 20,000 acres. MLT is focused on “management” – human recreation and allows timber harvesting. It seems to me that we have it backwards. Doesn’t it make more sense to preserve the land – allow it to re- wild itself ( return to its natural state) before opening it to be “used” by people? There is one postage stamp 400 acre piece that will be allowed to re – wild itself – This may be a beginning of a different way of thinking about the land and forest… at least I hope so. I have advocated for this kind of change since becoming involved with MLT.

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9084.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9199.jpg

Ah, my beloved forests…my love for all trees! There are some days when the joy of being alive is mirrored by nature’s glory – yesterday was one of those days…The peace of the forest is mirrored by a remote beaver pond.

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9124.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9146.jpg

I think we are at peak in terms of fall color – the water is like glass some days – a mirror of the sky – there are two photos included that are reflections of water and sky that are truly invisible to all but the most discerning eye! Can you see themAs much as I love landscape it is the close ups that create such awe –

scarlet crimson – these words don’t even begin to describe the revelation before me – the coming of fall – it’s hard to remember that the trees are preparing for winter sleep, their precious sap descending…buds already formed. All I can do is gaze in wonder, grateful for eyes that can see.

So many cars pouring into the area – everyone in a hurry to see the trees…I do just the opposite – return to the same beloved area each day that I can. Even then I miss changes but walking in the same places allows those colors to soak through my skin and I am in a perpetual state of awe as a result, fully present to the moment… yesterday here at home I awakened to gold – and gold was evident on my wandering – the kind of gold that stuns one into silence…. Blue and gold take on new meaning during autumn’s glory.

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9201.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9197.jpg

______________________________________________________________________

Gold On Gold

Gold 

on Gold 

tipped in

bronze

lemon

lime

ochre

rose vermillion

scarlet crimson

Bleeding through

Forest green …

Her eyes

cannot cease

peering

under Blue

Flaming leaves

torch sun star

He celebrates

 her joy.

‘Something Is Always

Watching,’

Witness

to wonder

as well

as sorrow.

Shadows are

translucent –

oh, so clear.

Trees croon

with pleasure

For once

They are seen.

____________________________________________________________________

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9248.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9199.jpg

Every year autumn stuns me senseless with her beauty. Earth celebrates being seeneven if only as background to a horizon whose trees have caught fire.

As masses of cars race by me to see the ‘scenery’ I drive like a snail to my beloved forest, day after day, to walk – to witness the ever shifting colors of the same trees as their leaves begin to fall…

 I hear them humming in the Silence…

 “We are here. We are alive. We are Sentient Beings just like you, celebrating the turning of the seasons as we prepare for sleep. If only you were capable of listening we could teach you how to live.”

_____________________________________________________________________

Today is Indigenous Peoples Day a Federal holiday not honored in all the states. Maine and New Mexico are two states that do…this is a beginning. Indigenous peoples were on this continent and lived sustainably for millennia until the colonization by foreigners began. The immigrants brought guns and diseases wiping out most of the population. The rest were stuffed into reservations. Worst of all they brought religions that no longer honored Nature and turned her into the devil. Nature became a commodity to be used – her trees were struck down – today only 2- 3 percent of old forests remain – and this is just one atrocity among too many to name. I shudder when I think that besides my Native heritage what some of my own relatives must have done… my dad was an immigrant who came to the US when he was 12 but I have English heritage too… and they were here much longer…I think it is fitting that this day occurs at the height of the flaming broadleaf trees – a time when trees are actually appreciated if not considered Living Beings as Native people did and continue to do today addressing them directly. Yesterday I walked around the house taking pictures of every tree thanking each for Being. 

Amazing how gold is so pervasive this year at least in the past few days.

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9254.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9232.jpg

Still waters as the geese that remain feed in late afternoons… last night I heard them on the wing… and I remember the final return from NM – I was wired about the trip while walking to the river at dawn until a group flew low over my head calling. I knew then the trip would be ok… in myths the helpful geese are always present. If we understand myth as basic truth twisted into mnemonics – instructions rising from the past waiting to become predictions, my experience makes sense…we have had a lot of hard frosts – more like November – The crabapples are sweet now and Little Deer feasts outside my front door at all times of the day – every day four feet away! – the grouse are in the fruit trees and of course turkeys are everywhere…still gold around the house – the little red oak is presenting the most beautiful colors … I was surprised to hear someone say they weren’t beautiful. What do you think?

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9274.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9280.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9211.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9205.jpg

Do you realize that no human has ever seen an old forest or the precious diversity of an old forest return in this country? Not ever. I’m talking about thousands of species lost. We had four great forests when the colonists arrived but they didn’t last long. We speculate that trees will grow back and of course some trees do but diversity? No one speaks to this latter issue because so few people care. For someone like me who is a naturalist this is tragic because the lack of diversity is related to the lack of health in the forest as a whole.

Now we grow trees on plantations where the soil is so polluted with chemicals that the soil itself will be dead in a few generations. Diversity is absent. It’s hard not to think about these sober ideas when spending so much time walking through cared about cut forests who are healthy enough to have plants growing on the ground. 

I have one place in the woods where I have made a little house that I work on each time I’m there. Because it’s always changing because materials change and the animals visit there I never know what I’ll find. 

The wind last weekend took down a lot of leaves but the gold and bittersweet linger on and the softer colors are just starting. We are supposed to have heavy rains later this week so I’m glad to be leaf peeping now. This season the forests are dominated by flaming orange and gold – less scarlet. I wonder if the extreme weather – summer until the equinox and then sudden plunges in temperatures is responsible for Less crimson?

Little Deer is feeding at the door – feasting on crabapples…

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9296.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9301.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9280.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9288.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9312.jpg

It is just beautiful around the house – the mosses that dominate my ‘lawn’ come into their own this time of year – a flaming maple is hidden to the right of house scenes… in the woods some brilliant scarlet and orange and lots of gold… soon to turn cinnamon rust and ochre. Also pictured one of my favorite hemlocks…this one probably almost two hundred years old – I love scuffling through the newly fallen leaves – I am surprised at how many leaves are gone – trees are bare along the roadsides but- if you only have a few trees the season is short – not so in the forest! A stunning fall day all around. The dogs and I walked together as usual and then I put them in their carriers and went off alone exploring – everyone gets to have fun! In between walks we have snacks and I sit in the back of the car which is set up for relaxing! We didn’t get home last night much before dark. Toads were trillIng and so were the tree frogs alerting me to coming rain and rising humidity. Finally! I get my first real look at a grouse – the bird’s beautiful tail is like a fan… here at home I am always flushing them but so far none are staying visible … I love these birds and haven’t seen them since summer when mama paraded her chicks through the edge of the ferns…they are the number one game bird in Maine though overall their numbers are plunging – what craziness … another young deer ran across one of the leaf strewn paths – with rain due we will lose more leaves but the softer colors will then come into their own…

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9319.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9320.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9335.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9321.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9325.jpg

Did you know that when you see two trees in a forest that look like they are joined they are! Underground their roots run into each other fusing vascular systems to become a single tree. They have thousands of miles of living fungal threads that feed and care for their young and old.

I always wondered about what was happening underground when I saw trees like this and today science confirms what I suspected.

A long time ago I lost my only sibling and ever since then whenever I see two trees growing together I think of the two of us. We were very close… today I suspect our roots are still connected somewhere outside space or time.

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:311460431_5394959787298720_3459076808959786665_n.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:311576022_5394959943965371_4535584361107645734_n.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:311306979_5394959433965422_2387568121365808485_n.jpg

Two days of rain have stripped many trees of leaves and opened the forest beyond my overflowing brook…

This is a perfect time of year to go looking for the old tree trunks left by sustainable logging (long ago now) in forests that are protected like mine is.

Did you know that an old tree trunk or rotting log is home to more living tissues than a living tree?

Everything needs dead trees…. birds, mammals and plants. tens of thousands of invertebrates, 3/4 of the amphibians in an area, reptiles and other animals that keep down the pests that kill other trees – are just a few examples.

I have a habit of stopping in the woods at these tree trunks and fallen logs to count the species of lichen, mosses, tree seedlings and ground covers that I can see. The numbers are mind bending and I know that what I’m seeing is just a fraction of what is there…

These old tree trunks are seed beds for so many trees and whenever you see a tree on a little ‘hill’ you can be sure it grew out of an old cut. In a forest where the tree trunks are left behind there really is no such thing as death – everything is in a state of becoming.

The pictures were taken in my favorite forest over the summer…

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:mossy tree trunk.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_8607.jpg

When we are fully engaged with the present the past loses power – if we have learned what we needed the past loses meaning – we allow it to take its place in the context of the whole – this perspective changes everything… (me)

Four inches of rain and my brook is deepening and widening even more – so good for the trout ! Off to the woods where the understory has come into its own… bare spires on top and gold and glowing orange below … rivers overflowed their banks…. Amazing how many leaves stayed on the trees. By mid afternoon the dogs and I were hot! They retired to carriers and me to the cozy nest in my little hatchback to write a poem – lovely day!

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9367.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9353.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9369.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9352.jpg

Robin Wall Kimmerer has my heart. She believes that we need more

 common names for plants like mosses and lichens so that we can move into relationship with them. It’s hard she says to develop a personal relationship with something that has a name you can’t pronounce!

I have Been making up my own names for so many woodland friends for years – Because I have such clear images I have no trouble looking them up. Yesterday I found a clump of ‘reindeer lichen’ – it was gray when the rain should have turned it brilliant lime green… shown is one of the babies that is bright green – it turns out this favorite has become endangered. It is very sensitive to air pollution which should be a warning to all…

Lichens are amazing ancient creatures composed of algae, fungi and bacteria.

The outrageous colors of the oak captured my attention too.

Hours of walking and me relaxing in my open car…

Water like glass!

___________________________________________________________________________

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9394.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9401.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9405.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9384.jpg

“Time is one spreading ring wrapped around another, outward and outward until the thinnest skin of NOW depends for its being on the enormous mass of everything that has already died”

Richard Powers

I had a real sense of this yesterday after visiting my friend Al – scientist/ professor researcher experimental chemist who works at the Mineral and Gem museum. He showed me slices of Time! In the world of stromatolites- the long long period where Life began – these creatures first appeared not too long after Earth was born – I had no idea. Of course they came and went but Life survived 5 extinctions up to now…. Seeing these slices gives me hope for all life to evolve no matter what we do to destroy the planet and ourselves of course, though we never bother to think about the latter. 

The stone cane from the Emmons Mine… more rain and finally this morning my first partridge is visiting under the bird feeder. They are so shy it takes them awhile to trust me enough – we go through this every year – this is a young one. My two deer were feeding at the door as usual. But mama snorted at me when I let the dogs out!

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9406.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9414.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9416.jpg

Every morning it is the same. I go to the front door and there they are eating crabapples…these pictures of Little Deer were taken yesterday morning as he rounded the house along with some mountain scenes on our walk in between the rain. Some oaks turn that deep mole brown, one here is bright orange – oaks seem to change into so many colors and the mountains are still quite beautiful if you like the softer colors. I love them all…the picture that looks like pale yellow is my oldest witch hazel that has so many finger blossoms that they cover every branch on the understory tree. The other two still have leaves. I love this tree that blooms at a time when every other tree is losing her leaves when this one loses leaves to bloom!. Many many robins and white throated sparrows and juncos and the titmouse is back – the robins are feasting on the small crabapples.

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:mountain in oct.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:little deer oct.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9436.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:mountain in oct.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:witch hazle.jpg

Did you know that hemlocks can live 800 years?

Some of Harvard’s Forest ecologists have been studying these trees for a long time – they are considered to be a “Foundational Tree” – Harvard’s 3000 acre forest contains a sizable number of hemlocks and while my brother was at Harvard I spent a lot of time visiting that forest – he and I were natural forest dwellers who loved all trees. My brother was also a well known international runner who held the record for the steeplechase until about 20 years ago – he graduated in 1971 – dying soon after –

Anyway, Hemlocks structure forest ecosystems from top to bottom controlling the streams, ponds and wetlands which is why they are considered a foundational tree. They do this by producing shady cool conditions and by laying down an incredibly thick layer of needles..I am drawn to these trees because they also create conditions for plant diversity although not directly.

One of the things I love about this time of year is that the evergreens once again come to the forefront…dark forest green also takes over more photosynthesizing as the leaves of deciduous trees fall…

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:312406880_5412366045558094_8623708758953164437_n.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:312393353_5412365912224774_6687194785150411824_n.jpg

Terry Tempest Williams writes about “ Finding Beauty in a Broken World” one way to do this is to appreciate all the beauty this Earth has to offer…I stopped at the local land trust to do just that yesterday.

 WWF has come out with a new study that informs us that 70 percent of our wildlife has disappeared in the last 50 years…. Always more studies but nothing done on a corporate level to make any meaningful change. Some days I feel like I live in a parallel universe.

I was walking through the field to the river when I spied something white in the high grass. An EGG???? It took me a moment to process this strange phenomenon before picking it up – a duck egg??? I just don’t know but I had to bring it home! Photo taken while egg sits in one of my wren’s nests!

Yesterday I counted colors – sun and sunset yellow, gold, ochre, bronze and rust… oaks are deep cinnamon or brown, beech are gold tipped in bronze and poplars are are sun or sunset yellow – other wise the forest is quite bare – most leaves on the ground… the oaks turn red in the late afternoon sun – stunning to sit in the field and watch the color deepen… I was thinking that this year the leaves were in too much of a hurry to leave… almost all are insect ridden – of all only poplar some oaks and beech are somewhat free of damage. The changes in our forests are troubling and so easy to see.

I wish these dedications to community forests didn’t include children. With all the “ right” officials present to sanction the validity and importance of these recreation spots the pressure is on. Why are the young people being taught that that all this will be there for their children and grandchildren to enjoy? Have the young people been inculcated into the collective lie that we older people are living? Pretending that all is well when earth is in crisis and we have no idea what is going to happen in the next 10 years…wouldn’t it be wiser to teach our children that difficult changes are ahead so that they will be prepared? All we have to do to begin teaching them about what’s happening to earth is to take them for a walk in falling leaves.

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9467.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9457.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9486.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9483.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9485.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9489.jpg

Terry Tempest Williams writes about “ Finding Beauty in a Broken World” one way to do this is to appreciate all the beauty the this Earth has to offer…I stopped at the local land trust to do just that yesterday.

WWF has come out with a new study that informs us that 70 percent of our wildlife has disappeared in the last 50 years…. Always more studies but nothing done on a corporate level to make any meaningful change.

 Some days I feel like I live in a parallel universe.

I was walking through the field to the river when I spied something white in the high grass. An EGG???? It took me a moment to process this strange phenomenon before picking it up – a duck egg??? I just don’t know but I had to bring it home! Photo taken while egg sits in one of my wrens nests!

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:river 0ct.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:abandoned egg.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:favorite late fall painting by nature.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:bare mountains.jpg

A golden day – the dogs and I walked up a mountain with me peering into the woods now that there is once again some depth – saw two deer and one grouse – the few understory trees were astonishing along with tall yellow poplars- I was scuffling along in the fallen leaves loving the sound when one young beech sapling caught my attention – feeling compelled I went over to touch her leaves – I often do this with trees – touching them when I get that sense – can’t explain it but it’s as if one ‘calls’ me but usually this happens with old trees…. When I was standing under her something said ‘ take a picture’ and so I did! One of the advantages of silence and walking alone is that presence – always there – seems particularly open to communication – it could be any plant or tree and always I am infused with pleasure. The forest is so alive!

When we returned to the car the dogs napped and I read 3 chapters in the back of the open car on stromatolites which are primitive structures produced by early life forms that lived 3.5 billion years ago – they were found everywhere in rocks and Cyanobacteria produced them. When I read about these ancient life forms 3.5 billion years ago I enter deep time… no matter what happens life will endure!

I am going to ‘ earth school’ visiting my friend and scientist Al once a week to learn more about the particulars! And reading in between our talks. 

A perfect ending to a glorious day…

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:beech.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:under Beech - me!.jpg

Yesterday was a river day – calm winds made being by the water a dream – I happen to love this river that winds its way through the mountains. Indigenous peoples once called it the river of rock shelters or the river to smoke fish at the falls ( Rumford )… although still not meeting clean water act standards in parts (running by the mills where our beautiful trees are ‘processed’ into pulp – there is irony there)- the water is generally clear open to all fishing etc and once it was so polluted no one could use it.… frightening how disrespectful people have been to such a magnificent body of water that meets Merrymaking Bay… in the late afternoon I walked through a primarily oak and beech forest – more gold and look at that startling red oak.

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop: Androscriver.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:red oak.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:sinling sun.jpg

The female cardinal on the ground – she blends in so well you can’t see her and either can predators. I’m certain she knows that because she comes in during the day – robins white throated sparrows and lots of juncos…lots of woodpeckers too the nuthatches and chickadees will fly on my shoulder or head unless I have a camera!

Yesterday I went to “ Earth school” again – I have forgotten how much I love to be a student with probably the best teacher I have ever had! That’s human anyway. What looks like a plain old rock is actually 2.4 billion years old and it is possible to “read” what the stone says. The striated lines show where microbes created mats – not yet photosynthesizing but alive.- the pinkish area shows blue green algae that were photosynthesizing – huge storms blot out the particulars in the middle – I’m making it sound as if this was a linear process – it was not. The rock is a slice of deep time. I keep touching it with a sort of wonder! Amazing how this brilliant scientist can teach in such a way that I can actually read the stone! I can see that this is going to be an adventure.. note the red oak – suddenly now that so many leaves are gone brilliant ..

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:dolomite 2.4 billion.jpg

A crack opens in gray sky and blue streams through after days of drizzle that I barely engaged with due to severe reaction from COVID booster – worst so far. Makes me question the “ one size fits all “ mentality of western medicine… women’s bodies are so much more complex than those of men and if medicine is tested at all it is tested on men…

Walked dawn to the brook – now that trees are bare the evergreens come into their own…I am so pleased to have so many young hemlocks sprouting up along the brook. 

These evergreens as previously mentioned in another post are a “ foundational species” meaning that their presence structures the forests around them – keeping temperatures cool, purifying the waters – they control the flow of streams and ponds as well as wetlands… maybe most important they lay down a thick carpet of needles sometimes more than a foot deep that contain seeds that might be a thousand years old or more. Some birds will not nest anywhere else. 

Long term prognosis for their survival is not good because of the wooly Adelgid infestation which so far has not reached these trees of mine or those of large forested areas that I spend a lot of time in . These places have not been logged recently possibly giving the hemlocks a better chance of survival for awhile – was talking to scientist friend on Monday about this idea and he agrees – Leave the trees alone!

And still we log unsustainably instead of creating plantations for wood products..

Worse we use doublespeak to confuse the public: 

“ Log to create habitat for wildlife “

Are they serious?

It’s hard to believe that I had about 1000 crabapples outside my door approximately 3 weeks ago…now there are none or rather a hidden one or two that Red Deer or Little Deer has missed – even the turkeys are scratching without finding tidbits…. Red Deer is absent – hunting season begins tomorrow for deer and mating season is underway – we have too many deer thanks to state wildlife inflation of population which also brought in Lyme ticks – this same organization re-introduced the wild turkeys that we extirpated about 40 years ago- now “half of Mainers are sick of turkeys” runs a headline – they want them killed. Turkey hunting season extends until the end of the first week in November – we’ve been killing turkeys all month.

 We treat the animals that we bring in as totally expendable without any sense of responsibility – these animals will be shot by trophy hunters and anyone else with a gun to satisfy some twisted need. Not for food as once was the case – for fun. Yesterday I read that a 13 year old “bagged” her first moose – a girl no less – Great. These poor animals are nothing more than pawns in a human game called ‘let’s kill because we can. It’s a “tradition” belonging to colonialism – beginning with the immigrants.

 Worst of all the animals have no dignity let alone personhood… with 70 percent of wild animals extinct hunting has become a travesty and still the killing goes on. I know one thing. To use animals to satisfy the need to kill that appears embedded in the human psyche backfires on the killers themselves because what we do to animals we do to ourselves. The urgent question to ask is who are we killing off in ourselves? Kindness empathy compassion might be clues…

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:Litle Deer.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:tureky.jpg

Robin Wall Kimmerer talks about her childhood. She says that she had woods and field but no Indigenous elders to teach her, so she went to the forest and let the woods and plants become her teachers…this is my story too…

Yesterday the dogs and I took to the woods – I was still recovering from booster but knew I had to get outdoors. With no goal in mind we meandered and then to my great surprise and pleasure I discovered a new beaver pond in the making! Since beavers remind me of my dad this discovery came at an important time… my dad died in early November one year a long time ago…. I am fascinated by the way these first ecologists work in such a way that the land is changed for the better – we so need our wetlands. I came home refreshed and more peaceful. Sometimes a simple walk can make a difference. I hear my body crying go out go out and I go….

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:new beaver bog.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_9592.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:bever bog.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:above and below mirror.jpg

the “Echo –Makers” – the glory and the blessing.

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Desktop:IMG_3160.JPG

We have them here in Maine!

_______________________________________________________________________

I had to go back….the cranes were calling…I left at first light and arrived in fog that had just risen- I looked everywhere no cranes – and then suddenly there they were. Transfixed I got out of the car – some were close by but one, a male, greeted me three times before turning to the others… brrrrr that strange guttural haunting – there were geese cranes and me transported – I lost time- more flew in and others left.. wheeling in the sky – circling disappearing and floating to the ground legs dangling – touchdown the bounce and more wild greetings. More than a hour passed before I realized I had taken no pictures! As always I enter crane-land to uncover the complex relationships. Younger cranes were sandwiched between a few parents – some were dancing – memories of the Bosque del Apache fluttered – I witnessed so many scenes like this one… there too focusing on the relationships… the geese were leaving and as they did I noticed that the cranes moved back towards the treeline – I’d seen this before too – the sky was full of birds soaring in a circles – oh it was just beyond belief – all of it. Like a dream. I spent about two and a half hours there and didn’t want to go. I did count cranes but because they flew and settled it was hard to be sure – maybe 27 in all? Hundreds of beloved geese. One male, the one that greeted me kept up his calling. His intention apparently was to get the others all together – it took him almost two hours and a few refused! I did take some close ups but haven’t downloaded them yet. There was one small group that stayed near the edge of the field close by with the general! The others were scattered…what a morning to say good bye and to wish all cranes a safe journey…

Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Library:Containers:com.apple.mail:Data:Library:Mail Downloads:35E06489-09F3-4ADB-A427-D750B4E5EC7F:IMG_9636.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Library:Containers:com.apple.mail:Data:Library:Mail Downloads:6FE49894-2638-470D-9D9C-ACDC8CA0E542:IMG_9633.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Library:Containers:com.apple.mail:Data:Library:Mail Downloads:017A25A8-D3DA-4B51-84C9-0FD1341B298F:IMG_9664.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Library:Containers:com.apple.mail:Data:Library:Mail Downloads:65CDF352-73B5-4B39-9A61-7DE4899A8A0B:IMG_9661.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Library:Containers:com.apple.mail:Data:Library:Mail Downloads:017A25A8-D3DA-4B51-84C9-0FD1341B298F:IMG_9664.jpg
Macintosh HD:Users:sarawright:Library:Containers:com.apple.mail:Data:Library:Mail Downloads:FFBF863E-2E5E-4F09-8FB3-C0DDE14182AB:IMG_9637.jpg

End of year… Nature is turning towards winter.

2 thoughts on “October Meditations

  1. I’m glad you find these tidbits interesting – I do too – this is why i posted them – unfortunately pictures don’t com when embedded so I wasted a lot of time!…. Future is best dealt with as “unknown” – agreed!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s