Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Whenever I notice trees in flower, my conception of forests suddenly transforms.  Big swatches of pithy plants all grown to seed - like an unruly backyard.  Unruly just how we like it.  Lit up from below, burning timbers of sugary xylem hold it all over our heads - smoke again.  I admit it.  Spring is here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Saw it for just a few hours in that way that makes you suspect what's under the surface.  I have no idea.  Lakes and sounds, a cleft between two massive mountain chains.  Funny how you can feel the Pacific without seeing it.  Totem poles full of whale riders, a market full of equal parts kitsch and grist.  Good people.  Wild happenings.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


"It was out there a-swirlin fer abaut a day long in that eddy.  Reckon it was about the biggest thing that's warshed up here 'bout fiversix years."  Four miles downriver from where it is supposed to be, the trusty floaty Williams Island Farm dock is marooned in an old lady's yard.  The rapids in the gorge just aren't what they used to be, but with the river an extra 15 feet deep this week it's easier to imagine.

Richard is trying to haul this thing off the rocks and get it back into service.  Ratchets and pulleys are amazing.  It'll move easier once it's in the water again.  Problem is, without a tugboat the Tennessee is still a one-way ticket to the ocean.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Under the powerlines, a swampy substation hums away.  The busy rodents have created a mote around this island of electricity, gnawing away at their own shoots and roots, energy for busy dambuilding.  This month's storms keep EPB men busy with felled trees and chaotic water.  The muskrats act busy, just soaking it up in their overflowing pond, chewing this or that.  Glad, maybe, to be ignored.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

RIP Springtime.

I know it seems like it's here - the frog soundings, the subtle leafings out, flowerings, sproutings, birthings, sunnings and all the trappings of Spring.  But there's one more thing that's missing.  Seems like every year when the season is really unstoppable you can feel the massive shuddering tilt of the Earth's axis shifting beneath your feet.  But I haven't felt it.  It's a pessimistic thought, yes, one more big heavy frost.  There have been years like this before when spring jumps the gun and winter pipes up and insists on the last word.  In 1993 we got a blizzard in March.  I hope I'm wrong.