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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Downy Woodpecker Nares

"To lay his brain upon the board And pick the acrid colors out, To nail his thought across the door, Its wings spread wide to rain and snow, To strike his living hi and ho,  To tick it, tock it, turn it true, To bang it from a savage blue, Jangling the metal of the strings….."
Wallace Stevens - The Man With The Blue Guitar

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Waxing Moon in December

"When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name."

From T.S. Eliot's poem: "The Naming of Cats."

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Coyote the Trickster

"I saw the danger, yet I walked
Along the enchanted way
And I said let grief be a falling leaf
At the dawning of the day."

Van Morrison - From "Raglan Road"

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Reflecting on Snow Management

Absence of Evidence, is Not Evidence of Absence.

This winter, we are still without snow as I write.  But I'm thinking about snow and lots of it after last winter's wrath.  It may still come as an avalanche in January.

Our society's recent expectation and low tolerance for anything except perfect, unfettered, snow free access despite living in a temperate climate where snow is a seasonal reality is a strange symptom of the neuroses of our times.  In it, we cheat ourselves and each other of good company, stories and real sharing in the light of a crackling fire.  Sustaining this delusion of perfect winter access at all costs creates jobs but perennial drain on limited public coffers.  Alas, with the horse long out of the barn, beyond view and hearing distance, it seems that there is now no turning back the clock.

The above photo taken over 110 years ago shows clearly how extreme snows could crown a main town street that was unpaved.  Notice the height of the man on centre, relative to the two boys on the right hand side.  In the spring rains of April, flooding was sure to follow leaving shop keepers scrambling to protect their livelihood.

For those of us who have ploughed winter roads, or lived in rural areas on 'dirt' roads in winter - cumulative 'crowning' or 'domed" roads of late winter are the most dreaded.  Irregular road surface and inefficient plough blades lead to snow on the road thickening with each successive storm, sometimes reaching a foot or more in depth.  If the ground beneath is frozen, all is well for a time through the main months of winter, but when the March rains begin the road becomes a 'mucket' of slush, 'smow', muck, 'smuck' or a glare of ice.  In the days before auto-mobiles were common, when spring break-up began, road conditions like these would cut and freeze a horses' feet.  Most people just stayed home for March and April.  It was a welcomed time of rest before the spring and summer work seasons.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Greatest of These...

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Friday, October 9, 2015

When the Last Apple Falls

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there."
Richard Feynman

Excerpt from the poem: "Why Crows Are Black"

"And why, rainbow crow, do you talk to yourself?"
The crow jumped, and noticed the Shaman, himself.
Appearing like a spirit, with guile, and with stealth.
"To which question might I have the answer?"

"Tell me why I am black, if you feel that you can",
squawked the crow, "I'm not happy, as black as I am!"
And the Shaman just smiled, and he lifted a hand,
and the crow became suddenly coloured.

"It's a trick of the light," spoke the Shaman to crow.
"A crow's brightly coloured, but people don't know".
"Since they live in the dark, then they can't see a crow."
Which almost the crow's question answered.


For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations for nature cannot be fooled.  -  Richard Feynman