Flora, Fauna, and Vistas of Berkshire County Massachusetts.
"The gilding of the Indian summer mellowed the pastures far and wide.
The russet woods stood ripe to be stripped, but were yet full of leaf.
The purple of heath-bloom, faded but not withered, tinged the hills...
Fieldhead gardens bore the seal of gentle decay; ... its time of flowers and even of fruit was over." -Charlotte Brontë
"The leaves fall patiently
Nothing remembers or grieves
The river takes to the sea
The yellow drift of leaves."
"When the blackberries hang swollen in the woods, in the brambles nobody owns, I spend all day among the high branches, reaching my ripped arms, thinkingof nothing, cramming the black honey of summer into my mouth; all day my body accepts that it is. In the dark creeks that run by there is this thick paw of my life darting among the black bells, the leaves; there is this happy tongue." -Mary Oliver
"January cold and desolate; February dripping wet; March wind ranges; April changes; Birds sing in tune To flowers of May, And sunny June Brings longest day; In scorched July The storm-clouds fly, Lightning-torn; August bears corn, September fruit; In rough October Earth must disrobe her; Stars fall and shoot In keen November; And night is long And cold is strong In bleak December." -Christina Giorgina Rossetti
The Three Fates
Sleeping In The Forest
I thought the earth remembered me, she took me back so tenderly, arranging her dark skirts, her pockets full of lichens and seeds. I slept as never before, a stone on the riverbed, nothing between me and the white fire of the stars but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths among the branches of the perfect trees. All night I heard the small kingdoms breathing around me, the insects, and the birds who do their work in the darkness. All night I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling with a luminous doom. By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times into something better.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river? Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air - an armful of white blossoms, a perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies, biting the air with its black beak? Did you hear it, fluting and whistling a shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall knifing down the black ledges? And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds - a white cross streaming across the sky, its feet like black leaves, its wings like the stretching light of the river? And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything? And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for? And have you changed your life?
- Mary Oliver
Ginger Holser, WDFW photos
Word Play with Animals
A sloth of bears A murder of crows A romp of otters A pack of wolves A rafter of turkeys A skulk of fox A scurry of squirrels A gaggle of geese A bevy of swans A trip of goats A labor of moles A parliament of owls A convocation of eagles A nest of snakes A hover of trout A leap of leopards A pride of lions A bouquet of pheasant A cloud of grasshoppers
February we celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day, so I offer the following partial list to honor those animals that mate for life. Only about 3 percent of the 4,000 mammal species are monogamous (and Homo sapiens are not one of them).
Canada Geese Gray wolves Coyotes Red foxes Barn owls Bald eagles Mourning doves Bats Beavers Red-tailed hawks Wild pigs
And sadly, the beautiful Trumpeter swan, that will mourn the death of their mate until they die of grief.