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Ukiyo-e

 

Spirit and flesh limn each other

 

 

Bashō might have caught

In his net of three short lines

This torrent of trills

 

 

Attadīpā viharatha

 

The world so vast   tangled, hungry   and I so small

I take this place for mine   for so long we both

And […]

Proof of spring?

 

Gloomy Winter’s Now Awa’ soft the westlin breezes blaw … and ilka thing is cheerie, O!

~ Robert Tannahill

 

Notwithstanding bud-shaking bluster and thermometric vagaries, evidence mounts to confirm that vigorous life returns to the shivering landscape.

Eat hearty, and may blues speedily dispel […]

Unsure footing

Fresh snow is often an ideal medium on which diverse passages may be recorded and revealed, though their makers may remain mysterious unless actually witnessed. In this case, paw-prints are fairly distinct, but the rest? Sweeping tail, run-on landing, violent sneeze?

And more of same,

for a short span resolving into a reasonably […]

Table for one

Bird and small mammal alike often choose eminence over shelter, or (when available) both:

Relaxing on a warmish afternoon,

keeping curious eye on photographers

or conducting a visible-but-private conversation,

up may provide more and safer options than down. But food often obeys the law of universal gravitation, and concentrates […]

Ice fishing

Near the bottom of winter, dawn comes late and low.

But where the sun’s elevation daily increases, open water wanes inconstant:

Some waterfowl, like the mute swans that now overwinter here, favor the pond so long as there beckons even a wing’s-breadth of open water, retreating to the rarely glassed-in river only when […]

All Hallows’ Eve

“Si da el cántaro en la piedra o la piedra en el cántaro, mal para el cántaro.” – Sancho Panza

Windows open; no-one home

Farrar Pond and its environs teem with ghosts: Nipmuc displaced by settlers or cleared by imported disease and alcohol, native wolves and turkeys long extinct, […]

Mid-drought at the oasis*

And still they camped beside the hole, and still it never rained …

A few days of drizzle refresh the late wildflowers, helping them and their partners

to slake various hungers

and prepare for winter. But absent a hurricane to follow, these meager inches will not soon reach the deeper roots, leaving […]

Timing is everything

Small pond above a larger:

Permanent rather than vernal, but amphibians don’t know that. –Nor that, as a human artifact with no direct connection to any natural pool or stream, it is free of egg-devouring fish. (Tadpoles, snakes, salamanders, dragonfly nymphs and other predators… Well, it’s tough world, even submerged.)

Through the winter, […]

High water

Provision of an artifical puddle so close to a much larger (if somewhat less limpid) reservoir might seem redundant.

But smaller birds

 

and mammals

tend to dine and drink local, by preference. Even a hundred yards’ trek through broken woodland and across muddy bank consumes some effort, and even the […]

Dawn treaders?

Some passages are made in the wee hours; others are revealed in waxing sun and rising breeze. Here a family of raccoons went out a-foraging after dark from their brushpile den,

while smaller mammals (including meadow vole, lower right) left lighter tracks before daybreak. Then the pattern was made noisier as warmed lumps of […]

Transitional tanager

Though scarlet tanagers favor the kind of oak-rich mixed forest that prevails around Farrar Pond, they hang about in treetops and—despite dramatic coloration—are not often seen. This male

Piranga olivacea

was apparently driven into view by extreme local drought and perhaps itchy feather mites

(note eye-protecting nictitating membrane here and below), two […]

Spotted

Lone adult white-tailed deer tend to be fairly accepting of human presence, especially in full daylight

Odocoileus virginianus

and when we move slowly and smoothly (predictably?). Well-defended with hoofs and sometimes antlers, not expecting hereabouts to be shot from afar, and easily able to outrun us, they often tolerate fairly close approach;