Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Threatening Skies

I drove through a long steady rain to get here.  It let up and looked hopeful as I arrived, if one considers a lack of rain to be hopeful.  I myself enjoy the rain, but would rather not deal with the possible lighting in the forecast.
Lightning in my mind, I hug the forested hillside shoreline trying not to be the highest point in the surrounding terrain.  My eyes watch the trees for osprey and herons and kingfishers, but I put more concentration into listening for and sensing the bandicats and drumheaded stumpthumpers and rock people and groundslithering leafrustlers....the things you hear but never quite see in the best parts of the forest.  They are the best parts of the forest.
Out west, Eagle Creek is is in a narrow steep sided 3000-4000 foot deep gorge.  S and I backpacked it one time, a five day round trip that returned on the ridge that forms the east side of the gorge.  On the north end of that ridge in an area called, the Benson Plateau, we wandered into a forest of identically sized trees.  They are the new growth from a scorching fire that occurred just over a hundred years ago.  That fire left nothing behind. 
The current fire was started by teenagers tossing fireworks off of a cliff into a tinder dry forest.  Besides starting a fire that has grown to over 20,000 acres in 2 days, they almost killed 150 hikers that were on the trail, most of whom escaped by an overnight forced hike in steep terrain.  There were witnesses and the teens were apprehended.  In some respect, it is not much different than how big corporations treat the environment...without a deep connection, it's just a bunch of trees.
Green Heron
On my return I detour out into the main river watching a passing dark cloud that is at my back.  It comes my way, the temperature dropping 5 degrees or so and I pick up my pace heading for the high shore.
Water Snake

Broad Winged Hawk
 Lord's Cove in the Connecticut River

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