Day 363 – 500 Pieces

500 Pieces

Day 363

Picture Puzzle Piece by Shel Silverstein

One picture puzzle piece
Lyin’ on the sidewalk,
One picture puzzle piece
Soakin’ in the rain.
It might be a button of blue
On the coat of the woman
Who lived in a shoe.
It might be a magical bean,
Or a fold in the red
Velvet robe of a queen.
It might be the one little bite
Of the apple her stepmother
Gave to Snow White.
It might be the veil of a bride
Or a bottle with some evil genie inside.
It might be a small tuft of hair
On the big bouncy belly
Of Bobo the Bear.
It might be a bit of the cloak
Of the Witch of the West
As she melted to smoke.
It might be a shadowy trace
Of a tear that runs down an angel’s face.
Nothing has more possibilities
Than one old wet picture puzzle piece.

Day 354 – I Have Roots

I Have Roots

Day 354

from Moths of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter

To me the Limberlost is a word with which to conjure; a spot wherein to revel. The swamp lies in north-eastern Indiana, nearly one hundred miles south of the Michigan line and ten west of the Ohio. In its day it covered a large area. When I arrived; there were miles of unbroken forest, lakes provided with boats for navigation, streams of running water, the roads around the edges corduroy, made by felling and sinking large trees in the muck. Then the Winter Swamp had all the lacy exquisite beauty of such locations when snow and frost draped, while from May until October it was practically tropical jungle. From it I have sent to scientists flowers and vines not then classified and illustrated in our botanies.

It was a piece of forethought to work unceasingly at that time, for soon commerce attacked the swamp and began its usual process of devastation. Canadian lumbermen came seeking tall straight timber for ship masts and tough heavy trees for beams. Grand Rapids followed and stripped the forest of hard wood for fine furniture, and through my experience with the lumber men “Freckles”‘ story was written. Afterward hoop and stave men and local mills took the best of the soft wood. Then a ditch, in reality a canal, was dredged across the north end through, my best territory, and that carried the water to the Wabash River until oil men could enter the swamp. From that time the wealth they drew to the surface constantly materialized in macadamized roads, cosy homes, and big farms of unsurpassed richness, suitable for growing onions, celery, sugar beets, corn and potatoes, as repeatedly has been explained in everything I have written of the place. Now, the Limberlost exists only in ragged spots and patches, but so rich was it in the beginning that there is yet a wealth of work for a lifetime remaining to me in these, and river thickets. I ask no better hunting grounds for birds, moths, and flowers. The fine roads are a convenience, and settled farms a protection, to be taken into consideration, when bewailing its dismantling.

It is quite true that “One man’s meat is another’s poison.” When poor Limber, lost and starving in the fastnesses of the swamp, gave to it a name, afterward to be on the lips of millions; to him it was deadly poison. To me it has been of unspeakable interest, unceasing work of joyous nature, and meat in full measure, with occasional sweetbreads by way of a treat.

•••

This photo was taken in what is left of Gene Stratton-Porter’s forest, at the shore of Sylvan Lake in Rome City, IN.  Truly a remarkable place, it is peaceful even as it sits beside a “fast” lake.

Day 247 – Something to Sink Your Toes Into

Something to Sink Your Toes Into

Day 247

Bogland by Seamus Heaney

We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening–
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Encrouching horizon,

Is wooed into the cyclops’ eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.

They’ve taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.

Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter

Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They’ll never dig coal here,

Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,

Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
The wet centre is bottomless.

Not that I would want to sink my toes into this cold mess, but I did sink my shoes into it as I wandered through this marsh looking for something different.  Alas, nothing different about tree trunks reflecting in standing water, but the time of year that I am actually catching this marvel IS different.  We should be buried in at least a foot of snow now, not mired in soft mud with the warm sun shining down on us.  Not that I am complaining – I’ll take the sun shining on my face any time!
And this photo, taken before I read One Order of Ordinary, Hold the Extra by the lovely Year Struck, of an ordinary tree in an ordinary swamp in and ordinary town by an ordinary woman, makes me very thankful indeed for the very virtue of ordinariness. And very thankful for someone who reminded me that being ordinary is a good thing.

Day 182 – Stark, Stabbing, Barren. Winter Trees.

Stark, Stabbing, Barren. Winter Trees.

Day 182

Winter Trees by William Carlos Williams

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.
Scott is so small that it doesn’t have a stop light.  It doesn’t have a blinking light, unless you are counting the tail lights of Amish buggies as they slowly clip clop through in the night.  What Scott does have is a UM church, a tiny cemetery, a few farms and a county park with a nifty little covered bridge, a picnic shelter and some hiking trails.  I am not so sure I would dare to walk the trails at this time of the year with the crazy deer hunters out and about, shooting at anything that moves.  I was marginally more comfortable photographing the bridge though, since you can see it from the road (paved!) that passes through Scott.  I shot 8 frames of the bridge from varying angles and brutally pared them down, down, down until I got to three.  And then I couldn’t decide.  So, I am giving myself a camera vacation for the next two days and have decided that I simply must post the other two tomorrow and Monday.  I will not take my camera out with me, I will not take my camera out with me, I will not take my camera out with me.  That is my mantra and I’m sticking with it!

Day 144 – Unnatural Day

Unnatural Day

Day 144

October by Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if the were all,
Whose elaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost–
For the grapes’ sake along the all.
.
.
.
…And ooh la la!  Three photos stitched together – I like the painted look! Wheeeee!!!!

Day 51

Aahhhh….  Day 51.  Started out the day by sleeping in a bit – what a nice start to the day!  I got everyone a cheap greasy breakfast at good ol’ Micky D’s, which we all enjoyed; I am fond of the nice hot mocha’s they serve, because they taste yummy and let’s face it – they are cheaper than the coffee shop.  Mmmm…. Coffee.

The kids and I took off after breakfast, taking every back road we could find to Fremont, IN and the outlet mall.  Michael and I were in need of some new shoes for walking and I had promised Sam a visit to the Justice store for some new shorts and tops.  We picked a great day to go because everything at Justice was 40% off and the shoes were buy one pair, get the 2nd half off.  My new shoes make me walk way more faster and gooder!

On the way home, I took the time to stop at a nice green wooded area and snap a few photos of the lushness.  It is amazingly beautiful in this area, way off the beaten path.