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Field Notes

  • Field Notes: A Butterfly Tips The Scales

    These early September days have achieved that rare temperate equilibrium where neither air conditioners nor furnaces have anything to offer comfort aficionados like our cats. Thermometer readouts oscillate ever-so-slightly from high 60s to low 70s in the lulls between weather fronts, and we throw open windows on all sides of the house so it may breathe deeply with every shifting breeze. The cats lie on the sills leaning into the screens, nodding their noses around in the feral air to awaken their dozing hunter appetites.

  • Field Notes: Considering The Sessile Life

    A corkscrew hazelnut sits outside the back door in its winter glory. All the other plants and shrubs are looking pretty chastened, deceased even, awaiting their Easter resurrections. But this jaggedy hazelnut cuts a fine figure against the snow, having long-since jettisoned its drab, unkempt cover of leaves. Its electric personality is now fully exposed in its branches with all the manic excitement of a Kramer, a Harpo Marx, a Harry Lauder.

  • Field Notes: The Scarcity And Scattering Of November Light

    It is the law of supply and demand. The value of a commodity increases with its scarcity. So the increasing scarcity of light these days has made it silver and gold… deepening to violet and magenta at the margins of the day, when we travel to and from work in synchrony, for a few weeks, with the sun’s own daily commute.

    In November, when the landscape drops its modesty along with its veil of leaves, nature dims the lights in a deft bit of physics and stagecraft as the woodlands bare all.

  • Field Notes: Humming In The Honeysuckle

    Summer thrums.

    Life is ascendant under the summer sun, endlessly cycling in little eddies cast up in the wake of successively larger cycles of seasons, planets, stars, and galaxies. Each cycle has its own frequency, its own back and forth, hither and yon, its own signature in the guest book of eternity.

  • Field Notes: The Night Flights Of Squirrels

    Before I realized I could not fly, I would spend whole afternoons perched on the front porch rail, ready for adventure, with a towel tucked in the back of my collar, launching myself into the sky. The crashes were dramatic - as dramatic as I could make them once I concluded the towel/cape wasn't the key to flight. The costume was mere artifice; every Superman needs a gimmick, apparently. The real trick to flying is determination and belief, I decided.