Symphony of the Land
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Symphony of the Land

Composer Chris Thomas is brilliant.  He listened to the land and wrote a story in the form of an extraordinary symphony about a place.  One day soon, I, along with Clay, am going to visit that place.  For now I savor from afar and explore from home.  The place:  Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon.  This is a departure from our normal offerings on EarthWise and the Alabaster Horse, which will happen from time to time.  In this piece, there are several web links and videos to view.  I encourage you to take the time, not all at once…

The Deer
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The Deer

When he rose, maybe 100 feet uphill of me, I was on my knees in the dusty trail. My small hiking journal teetered on my knees as my hand flew across the pages. Scrawled words in fuzzy grey pencil somehow formed into meaning.  A truth: words sometimes had to be captured before they escaped.  When my hand stilled and my mind returned to the surroundings, I thought it an unusual place for a deer to have lain.  I watched as the young buck with his small four point antlers, still in velvet, nosed about.  Odd.  He did not browse.  He…

Impressions ~ Walking II
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Impressions ~ Walking II

Vignette \vin-yet\ Etymology (a word’s history) 1)  1751, “decorative design,” originally a design in the form of vine tendrils around the borders of a book page, especially a picture page, from French vignette, from Old French diminutive of vigne “vineyard” (see vine). Since transferred from the border to the picture itself, then (1853) to a type of small photographic portrait with blurred edges very popular mid-19c. Meaning “literary sketch” is first recorded 1880, probably from the photographic sense. https://www.etymonline.com/word/vignette#etymonline_v_7784 2)  Definition of vignette (noun) vi·​gnette 1a: a picture (such as an engraving or photograph) that shades off gradually into the surrounding…

Impressions ~ Walking I
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Impressions ~ Walking I

July 12, 2020 8:53AM. East side of Lone Pine Rd, Crook County, Oregon. On the sidehill of a butte, at the top of a favorite trail. My hair is loose today.  I feel witchy.  Witches were among the first of the wise women, connected directly to the land.  Men and fear turned the word into how it is perceived today. The last quarter of the moon floats high in the southwest sky.  A sky-blue and alabaster white translucent pearl. The moon, high in the upper right corner. Almost a forgotten cloud fragment. Above and behind me, the butte is a…

Ways of Water
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Ways of Water

The wet salty mineral smell of the sea wrapped around me, held me upright and pulled me towards the waves. Sea gulls dipped and glided below clouds a shade darker than they. Their white heads stood in stark contrast to the shades of grey, and their yellow beaks glowed. Their strident calls fell in sharp notes into my ears, reddened by the fresh west wind. At my feet, dull tan sand gleamed a matte wetness, firm as each wave scrubbed it and returned to the sea. A voice behind my right shoulder explained, “Each seventh wave is larger than the…

Swan
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Swan

The beautiful photo of the swans was taken by the talented Janet Wallace. Did you too see it, drifting, all night on the black river? Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air, an armful of white blossoms, a perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned into the bondage of its wings:  a snowbank, a bank of lilies, biting the air with its black beak? Did you hear it, fluting and whistling a shrill dark music, like the rain pelting the trees,             like a waterfall knifing down the black ledges? And did you…