Thursday, May 1, 2014

The remains of a pine woodland

I spent a few hours last weekend exploring a stand of pine trees that were in the first process of being turned into something other than trees.

I had the place to myself, so the only sounds were the cracking of fallen branches, the birdsong and the sound of the wind skimming the boughs of what trees remained.

It was an atmospheric setting, as these settings often are, so it was no chore to spend some time trying to capture the perceived emptiness of the place, although I'm sure many eyes were upon me as I trampled over the the jumble of tree limbs that a  multitude of insects and small animals called their home, and startled the few deer I happened upon.

An English wood is like a good many other things in life-- very promising at a distance, but a hollow mockery when you get within. You see daylight on both sides, and the sun freckles the very bracken. Our woods need the night to make them seem what they ought to be--what they once were, before our ancestors' descendants demanded so much more money, in these so much more various days.
― Gertrude AthertonThe Bell In The Fog & Other Stories

I wonder about the trees.
Why do we wish to bear
Forever the noise of these
More than another noise

So close to our dwelling place?
We suffer them by the day
Till we lose all measure of pace,
And fixity in our joys,

And acquire a listening air.
They are that that talks of going
But never gets away;
And that talks no less for knowing,

As it grows wiser and older,
That now it means to stay.
My feet tug at the floor
And my head sways to my shoulder

Sometimes when I watch trees sway,
From the window or the door.
I shall set forth for somewhere,
I shall make the reckless choice

Some day when they are in voice
And tossing so as to scare
The white clouds over them on.
I shall have less to say,
But I shall be gone.

Robert Frost  - The Sound of the Trees

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