Sunday, April 19, 2015


I am surrounded by the white stripes of birch,
The grayish brown of beech and maple.

We are the bones of my forest. 

Back field forest_Haypenny Road_Peacham VT_April 19, 2015

Dearest Readers,

I live on Hapenny Road, a half-mile of dirt that cuts through family forests along Mack’s Mountain in Peacham Vermont. Like the trees, I am a gnarly pole that has weathered a deep winter. While life percolates beneath the receding snow, the woodlands stand exposed. Leaves are not yet unfurled. The forest floor is wet and brown, lacking the ferns, flowers, greenery and bushes still to come. It is a vertical landscape.

I've named this tree The Black Tongue because an absolutely black woody tongue-shape resides inside the lower cavity.

On my walks, I see that Nature has repurposed the dead and dying trees as critter homes or a food source for mammals, bugs and birds. Pockmarked and potholed, the trunks display their times of trauma. Many are still alive. Often in summer I will see only one leafy branch bravely hoisted aloft. 
This ancient maple is fully green in summer despite the deep slit  that I'm  leaning into.
The dead ones are left to slowly crumble, and eventually fall as food for the life forms in the soil. The town does not remove them. I suppose they are not enough of a danger. At this time of year traffic means a car every half hour or so.  More travelers will arrive in the summer.

Here are a few of these poked and twisted beauties, photographed two weeks ago when the snow was more plentiful.

Cecelia and the Monster Maple spreading our arms