Following up on yesterday's posting, I'm very happy to report that today's southbound road trip on the township road yielded no sign of a squished Blanding's turtle. I assume that means that he or she is back in the nearby pond. Because so far this year I've seen few turtles and even fewer snakes on the neighborhood's roads, yesterday's sighting was a real treat.
Blanding's turtle sunning on township road
Photo by J. Harrington
For obvious reasons, it put me in mind of Gary Snyder's 1975 Pulitzer prize winning book of poetry and essays, Turtle Island. The location where this turtle was photographed happens to be near the border of the Dakota/Ojibwe land ceded in 1837. Looking at the domed shell made me think of the Native American Turtle Island creation story. Last, but far from least, although they don't show in the photo, the domed shell shell also contains what look like a number of teeth marks, making me wonder if this particular Blanding's has survived an encounter with a neighborhood dog or coyote. It was all enough to remind me of the turtle hunts I undertook in turtle haunts along stream banks in southeastern Massachusetts, when I was a youthful explorer of country as undomesticated as I could reach on my bike and return in time for supper.
“Against its will, energy is doing something productive, like the devil in medieval history. The principle is that nature does something against its own will and, by self-entanglement, produces beauty.”
Izanamigave birth to rocks, trees, rivers, mountains, grassand last, a blazing childso burned she died.In the land of darknessa mass of pollution.Ah wash her clear stream—skinny little girl with big earswe have passed throughpassed through, flesh out of flesh.●“Shining Heavens,” Goddess of the Sun,her brother flungmud and shit and a half-skinned pony throughthe palace,so she entered a cave—shut it up with a rock—made the world dark.●Ame-no-uzume, “Outrageous Heavenly Woman,” wrappedthe numinous club-moss of Mr. Kagu round her hips, madea headband from the leaves of nishikigi, bound bamboograss for her wristlets, and put a sounding-board downbefore the cave where the Sun Goddess stayed.She danced and she stamped til it echoed around, shedanced like a goddess possessed, pulled out her nipples,pushed her sash down til she showed herself down below,and the Plain of High Heaven shook with the laughs andthe cheers and the whistles of thousands of gods who weregathered to watch.Jean Herbert●
The whole river. Clear back to each creekletrock-rimmed,all one basin drawing in the threadspacing down dry riverbeds the dance,mai, stomping, stepping on the gravelly barstep, stop, stamp of the foot. Glide and turn,headwaters, mountains,breathing icy blissdiamond-glittered bitty snowcreekeating the inorganic granite down.Trees once cooled the air, and clouds, ah, ghost ofwatersprings gone dry. Hills of Yugoslavia clearcutfor the Roman fleet—don’t think all that topsoil’s goneit only waits.—slept on river sidebarsdrank from muddy streamsgrains cooked in rock-flour glacier water,—dirt left on bouldersfor a sandy heap of years,and creeks meander just because they swing.Stamp of the masked dancerpacing tangled channelsputting salt and gold dust in the sea.●Ame-no-uzume-no-mikoto bound up her sleeves witha cord of heavenly hi-kage vine, tied around her head ahead-band of the heavenly ma-saki vine, bound to-gether bundles of sasa leaves to hold in her hands, andoverturning a bucket before the heavenly rock-cavedoor, stamped resoundingly upon it. Then she becamedivinely possessed, exposed her breasts, and pushedher skirt-band down to her genitals.Allan Grapard●Laughter roared like thunderthrough the plains of heavenand the hiddenGoddess of the Sun,Amaterasu,peeked out round the rock.All the little faces of the gods gleamedwhite in the light!omoshiri.●Herbert GrapardAround her head: nishikigi leaves masaki vinesIn her hands: sasaAs wristlets: bamboo grasssleeves tied w/: hi-kage vinearound her hips: club moss●Ame no uzume.What did she wear?What leaves in her hair?How far did she push her skirt down?
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.