Autumn 2014 is going to go down in Vermont’s weather history one of the best so far this century.
The weather has held, staying (sometimes too) warm. We haven’t had any major storms to shake the leaves from the trees.
And the color—gasp! Just phenomenal.
Just wanted to share part of the trail that we maintain along the White River that we reopened this year. We had to let it go after Hurricane Irene because there were just too many other things to attend to.
And we missed our tree cathedral, a lot.
There’s still one last part of the path that stretches down to a rocky hook that we call the North Point that remains closed. It’s where the main debris pile of trees, building parts, and other detritus built up during the storm.
It started off twelve feet high but through composting and time, it’s now “only” six feet high, and the local flora and fauna are doing their best to recycle it. (It’s quite the bird sanctuary.) But it remains impenetrable to two-footed mammals for now.
Still, having the path back this summer was so, so good.
My friend Dana was there, and she gave me this button from a website that’s been encouraging folks to do daily journals. She gave me the button because she knew that this is an effort I’ve been thinking about doing again in order to expand my creative frontiers. (I did something similar when I turned sixty, blogging every day for a year.)
We got into this conversation about how the daily routine of planned creativity sparked all sorts of good things for both of us.
Now let’s segue a bit here. I’m also reading a book called Crow Planet. It is, in part, about becoming a naturalist. I’ve long had an idea, inspired by the book PrairyErth by William Least Heat Moon, about choosing just one part of our land, and studying everything on it for a whole year. Two books pointing me in the same direction. Hmmm, seems like this is where I want to go.
Well, since Irene wiped our slate clean in August 2011, and the land which we have loved for so long is different in all ways, I think this is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. I’m going to study what we call Goldie’s Park, in minute detail, to see how it recovers from Irene.
So I’ve started. Today. No time like the present.
Before Irene, the six acres of riverside we own upstream from our house was covered with wild leeks (ramps to some) and ostrich ferns, the ferns best-known as fiddleheads.
The leeks were always first out of the ground, their graceful leaves coming up as soon as the ground was thawed. Now, most of them are buried under three feet of heavy silt, and we will not see them again.
But the silt is cracked in many places, deep cracks that go down to the level where the we used to walk. And here and there, between the cracks, the leeks persist in coming up. Like the ones in this photograph.
Aren’t they amazing?