Sunday, July 20, 2014

“I dreamed that I floated at will in the great Ether,
 and I saw this world floating also not far 
off, but diminished to the size of an apple. 
Then an angel took it in his hand and brought it to 
me and said, ‘This must thou eat’. And I ate the world.” 
                                      by Ralph Waldo Emerson 
This post contains photos taken during one canoe trip on the Banana 
slough a crescent shaped body of water in front of our cabin. Sloughs 
or glacial potholes are feed by snow melt and groundwater infill rather
 than actual streams. This means the level fluctuates during period of 
high rainfall or drought. At present it is as high as anyone in the family
 can remember. This has meant lots of waterfowl, this trip, more a one 
hour meander was in early June so we encountered a glaring goose mother,
 and a pair of blackbirds determined top distract us from their nest.

Why does this written doe bound through these written woods?
For a drink of written water from a spring
whose surface will xerox her soft muzzle?
Why does she lift her head; does she hear something?
Perched on four slim legs borrowed from the truth,
she pricks up her ears beneath my fingertips.
Silence - this word also rustles across the page
and parts the boughs
that have sprouted from the word "woods."

                          from The Joy Of Writing
                                       by Wislawa Szymborska

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Stand still in the middle of the world,
 let it be Missoula,
 any crossroad in the west.
 You are here, alive in this place,
 touching with sight
things that are smoke tomorrow." 

                     from Alive in the World
                                by John Haines

I am still chewing thru the photos from our trip
to the cabin. What struck me about the photos I took 
on this day was the vivid colours the green, yellows
 and blues and how the birds seemed posed in
intricate sets like actors awaiting their cues.



"we become at last like trees 
 who stand within themselves, thinking. 
And when we wake--if we do--

we come back bringing the images 
of a lonely childhood: the hands 
we held, the threads we unwound 
from shadows beneath us; 
and sounds as voices in another room 
where some part of our life 
was being prepared--near which we lay, 
waiting for our life to begin."

                  from Sleep
                         by John Haines

Friday, June 27, 2014

"Through miles of shadow and soft heat,
Where field and fallow, fence and tree,
Were all one world of greenery,
I heard the robin ringing sweet,
The sparrow piping silverly,
The thrushes at the forest's hem
And as I went I sang with them. "

from After Rain
                         by Archibald Lampman

The Phoebes as I have said in earlier posts are the first
birds wee see at the cabin surveying any movement
ant change from some high vantage point, always watchful
always busy. I think they have taken to nesting under 
the cabin which is raised above the ground on posts.

They strike me as very cheerful and make good neighbors.

" The sky so blue things must have trembled
and sunsets burned at the world-edge
-tiny three-toed horses without riders
and stone listened to stone
wondering whether to take a chance
or else remain stone forever
birds like red bonfires plunge thru trees
flying reptiles flap leather wings
attack water reflections of themselves
which are not less unreal than they are."

     from On The Bearpaw Sea
        by Al Purdy

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

 Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear.
So bitter is it, death is little more;
But of the good to treat, which there I found,
Speak will I of the other things I saw there.

I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
So full was I of slumber at the moment
In which I had abandoned the true way."

                                from  Inferno Canto 1
                                      Dante, Longfellow's Tran.

Some dour quotes hopefully the birds
will brighten this up.

We had a couple of rarer visitors to the
cabin this year and although the photos
were not great I thought I would post them.

We had lots of White Crowned Sparrows and
the Phoebes are always around keeping an
eye on things. 

" Old age is always wakeful; as if, the longer
linked with life, the less man has to do with
aught that looks like death. Among sea-commanders,
the old greybeards will oftenest leave their berths to
visit the night-cloaked deck."

                                                             from Moby Dick
                                                                  Herman Melville

Back at the farm this pine has been dying by
inches for years but it is such a popular roost
it has not been removed.

“Were this world an endless plain, and by sailing eastward
we could for ever reach new distances, and discover sights
more sweet and strange than any Cyclades or Islands of King
Solomon, then there were promise in the voyage. But in pursuit
of those far mysteries we dream of, or in tormented chase of the
demon phantom that, some time or other, swims before all human
hearts; while chasing such over this round globe, they either lead us
 on in barren mazes or midway leave us whelmed.”

                                                                  from Moby Dick
                                                                           Herman Melville

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"When he tried his eyes on the lake ospreys
would fall like valkyries
choosing the cut-throat
He took then to waiting
till the night smoke rose from the boil of the sunset

But the moon carved unknown totems
out of the lakeshore
owls in the beardusky woods derided him
moosehorned cedars circled his swamps and tossed
their antlers up to the stars
then he knew though the mountain slept the winds
were shaping its peak to an arrowhead

And now he could only
bar himself in and wait
for the great flint to come singing into his heart" 
                                                                    from Bushed
                                                                          by Earle Birney

                                     From the top, Nina, Shaun and Whateley in their run.


By day three we noted that what we believe was a bear had stuck
it's head through the chain link. Luckily we were all in bed. 
 We did reinforce the run, which was constructed with just this type 
of event in mind and a trail camera showed no sign that bear returned to
that spot.

"The hounds laid dew-laps on the ground,
With needles of pine sweet, soft and rusty--
Dream'd of the dead stag stout and lusty;
A bat by the red flames wove its round.

The darkness built its wigwam walls
Close round the camp, and at its curtain
Press'd shapes, thin woven and uncertain,
As white locks of tall waterfalls."

                       from Said the Canoe ( an old favorite ) 
                      by Isabella Valancy Crawford

Monday, June 16, 2014

"When a cold spell would come late in the spring, 
causing us to feel that some fundamental disorder was at hand, 
she would quote from a source I have never found: "The time 
will come when we'll not know the winter from the summer, 
but by the budding of the trees." And though that time has never 
come, I believed then that it would come, and I believe it still."

                                                                     from A World Lost
                                                                              by Wendell Berry

We finally arrived at the cabin to be greeted by a wide 
variety of duck species on the slough, the blooms on the 
Saskatoon bushes, the graceful swaying of the few trees
that the beavers have spared on the spit of land that juts 
on into the water

and of course Spring.

" An old terror, learned long ago from his time, returned to Andy
now and shook him—not the terror of the end of the world, but 
of the end, simply of all he knew and loved, which would then exist 
only in his knowing, the little creature of his memory, and so he would
be forced to collaborate willy-nilly in the dominance of human intention
over the world. "

                                        from Remembering 
                                                                Wendell Berry