Alder, Wye, and Ben. Photo by me.
I am thinking about Alder fixing nitrogen at the roots next to the flowing, swirling river. They are in symbiosis with all realms of friendly powers to do this. True.
Fixed, rooted, “they have figured how to live trapped into place,” says one of Richard Powers’ characters in Overstory.*
They are stillness in the ground, and unable to outrun us. They are vulnerable to pestilences, including our terrible machines. They evolved to be hardened, poisonous and giant to all who may assault them, yet they are losing this race brought upon them. True. … Read more
It’s striking to realise a personal sense of pure elation from the effect of sunlight in its many forms. Even more so, when light and water mix, and with sounds. I find it healing.
In our rivers, shallow oceans, even at the bottom of swimming pools and upon cave roofs, we are familiar with light refracting back and forth through gentle and chaotic laps of surface waves. A lace-like dance of photons hits our retinas, processes in our brains and triggers emotions.
These hypnotic and beautiful patterns of light are officially known as caustic networks. Most of us would assume caustic is a type of chemical capable of burning, and definitely something to avoid. … Read more
Beavers are Fluminists. By Ginny Battson. First published by Zoomorphic October 9th 2017.
Spring 2005, and I peer through my living room window to check the weather. It’s looking good, the sun is out. My husband has left for a day’s work at UMaine Orono, so I lower my baby girl into her papoose and strap her in. We are through the fly screen door and out onto the road.
The residential lots of leafy Gilbert Street are studded with blue and red flags, remnants of last winter’s political war that saw Republican oilmen G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney take charge of the Whitehouse for a second term. … Read more
Heraclitus was borne from an early age of human enlightenment, at a time when the study of religion and poetry proved simply not enough to satiate a human hunger for knowledge and understanding of nature and existence. Homer’s epics, the Iliad and Odyssey, though linguistically direct, were not omniscient and, given the few bones or fragments known to us via successive writers, Heraclitus appeared unwilling to dispel spiritual existence altogether. His work may be viewed as a bridge between ancient, divine poetry and modern, philosophical and scientiﬁc thought, a radical and valuable place in human development.
Heraclitus was critical of the few great Western thinkers before him. … Read more
Vernal equinox has come and gone for the year and we tip more towards the ball of fire that is the Sun than we do away. Longer days stretch out before us.
My daughter and I chat about our hopes for dreamy days by the river, fresh sandwiches and pink lemonade moments interspersed by cool, wild swims in a seemingly perfect halcyonic existence.
We look forward to natural abundance, to the lime green glow beneath overarching alders, and to finding our feet on slick pebbles through a cool, shallow flow.
There will be the buzz of Dipper and Kingfisher wings. There will be Beautiful Demoiselles alighting on sedges. … Read more
A few words about words. Philosophical thinking is enhanced by a fine use of words. Clarity is an honourable goal. Yet there are still some things in nature, and the spaces in between, which are yet to be granted an English name.
The Welsh use a wonderful word, hiraeth, which has no direct English translation. Its meaning is quite profound: Homesickness and grief for a lost time, a whistful yearning, nostalgia for a homeland which is no longer the same. Hiraeth says it all.
No English word exists for the particular shine between wet pebbles. There’s no word for our mental well-being gained from connection to nature. … Read more