Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mid-Summer, Nice Dream

Last week we had reports that one of the local does had been seen with a pair of fawns. This morning we were able to confirm those reports. (Let's pretend that the "soft focus" in the picture below was intentional and not due to the lens's auto-focus having understandable problems focusing through a screen door. The photographer didn't want to spook the subjects by opening said door.) The fawn's spots aren't evident at the "blog-scale" shown, but can be seen at a "normal" photo size.

whitetails: fawn, fawn,    Mom
Photo by J. Harrington

Although Summer isn't quite half over, we've already discovered that relying on farmers markets is more spotty than a regular weekly pickup of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share box. So far this season we've already had a couple of weeks in which we neglected to check a local farmers market. On the other hand, we've found bakers selling bread (really, really tasty bread!) at several of the markets, so that provides an increased incentive not to miss going to market very often. While we've noticed some variability in prices at different markets, It's not yet clear whether that's do to local pricing or seasonal availability. I don't think that there's a farmers market price comparison app for that yet, but wait a few years.

I have rarely (never!) been accused of being overly optimistic. The more I've been reading about local impacts of global warming, the more bummed out (psychological technical term) I've become. But then, when re-reading (again) Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac, I was once again struck by his insight and wisdom. From the Foreward: "Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question of whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free..." I fear that, in the time since he wrote that, we're starting to tread dangerously close to a standard of living where the cost includes an earth that can't and won't continue to support us by providing the oxygen, clean water and productive soil on which we all depend. Maybe, if we look optimistically at the situation we've gotten ourselves into, global warming becomes our opportunity to learn to pay attention and play nicely together, or else we'll have to come up with "World B." If you've never read A Sand County Almanac, try it. If you haven't read it for a while, dig it out and read it again. Keep in mind, please, that Peter Cole may well have grasped the situation we're all in but doesn't have to be correct about the ending.

Song of the Shattering Vessels

By Peter Cole 

Either the world is coming together,
or else the world is falling apart —
     here — now — along these letters,
     against the walls of every heart.

Today, tomorrow, within its weather,
the end or beginning’s about to start —
     the world impossibly coming together
     or very possibly falling apart.

Now the lovers’ mouths are open —
maybe the miracle’s about to start:
      the world within us coming together,
      because all around us it’s falling apart.

Even as they speak, he wonders,
even as the fear departs:
     Is that the world coming together?
     Can they keep it from falling apart?

The image, gradually, is growing sharper;
now the sound is like a dart:
     It seemed their world was coming together,
     but in fact it was falling apart.

That’s the nightmare, that’s the terror,
that’s the Isaac of this art —
     which sees that the world might come together
      if only we’re willing to take it apart.

The dream, the lure, is the prayer’s answer,
which can’t be plotted on any chart —
    as we know the world that’s coming together
    without our knowing is falling apart.

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Please be kind to each other while you can.