Sunday, April 8, 2007

and on the third day there was blackened oak

and freeze dried poplar trees and cherry and beech and blackened taters.
The hill sides are brown, the birds are quiet, the light is already unnatural as the leaves start letting go of the bower above and begin drifting down like an early autumn.
Spring Aborted.
I don't think it would have laid everything so low if it had not been so damned dry.
Walked up the cut-through road to cheer myself up and get some air away from the smokey stove trying to warm up the cabin. That was a mistake.
I noticed for the first time that walking up hill naturally makes your neck crane upwards, and when you lift up your eyes unto the hills to get your aid, and the trees on the hills are all brown and wilted, it sort of makes you low down sicker rather than uplifted.
And it was quiet, too quiet. Like all the critters were as stunned as me. Not one bird song, not one insect buzzing.
Got about half way up and that was when I broke down.
It was the smell of the wilted leaves that got me.
Smelled just like standing amongst the logging, and a rush of mourning washed over me.
Started back down the hill and noticed (for the first time, again) that when you are going down, you are looking down at your feet and don't notice as much the state of the world around you, or least-ways, the world looks better, guess that's why the rich folks do the boogie up on the hill.
The thing that aggravates the hell out of me the most (anger is the second stage of mourning, they say) Is that the folks I've talked to don't "get" it.
They don't get that this set back and disruption isn't just wilted leaves, it isn't just grapes and apples and what folks and critter eat.... its the whole system, its the pollination and the mast crops and all the little intricacies and inter-dependencies and so forth.
aw hell... just too tired and sad to talk about it.


Bill April 8, 2007 at 8:07 PM  

Hi, I wish you would say more about this frost. Here in Southeast Missouri it is taking a while for it to sink how serious it is. I wonder where the insects that vireos and warblers eat will be when there are no tree flowers and all the seeds are spoiled.

Cady May April 8, 2007 at 8:24 PM  

the thing is, I don't know yet. I can't figure out where the birds have gone. The day before the cold, I saw a flock of vireos, and a flock of common yellow throat eating the young elm seeds.. I haven't seen them or any other birds in the last couple of days but cardinals. Even the very common chickadees, phoebes and peewees that have been singing around the tree tops around the yard are gone. The chickadee nest in the box by the mailbox is abandonded. I don't know what happened to the wasps and bees, either. I plan to hunt for insects bodies tommorow, and what evidence I can find, if I can get my work done before dark.

Dave April 8, 2007 at 10:07 PM  

That's tough. A couple years ago, we had a hard frost in the first week of May, when things are at about the same stage here. It was also a dry year, and some of the oaks never did sucessfully re-leaf. Not many, but a few. Many more lost limbs.

Assuming the climate change models are correct, our forests will die the death of thousand cuts - freak storms, insects, fire, new diseases, invasives - and it will be agonizing to watch. I often think of the Leopold quote, "One of the penalties of an ecological education is living alone in a world of wounds."

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