Thursday, October 30, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
the leaves of autumn
sprinkle down the tinny
sound of little dyings
and skies sated
of ruddy sunsets
of roseate dawns
roil ceaselessly in
cobweb greys and turn
see the fall
a signal end to endings
a gruffish gesture alerting
those who will not be alarmed
the we begin to stop
in order simply
Thursday, October 16, 2014
My Life Shall Be A Little Curling Wave by Everett Ruess
My life shall be a little curling wave
Gaily racing forth from the great blue sea.
A moment it will sparkle in the sun;
Jewelled and scintillating it will flash,
Then with a little tinkling tune
It will shatter on the cool brown sand
And turn to bubbling, milk white foam.
So, broken, slowly it will retreat,
Leaving the beach a little smoother
For the other waves that come.
|Storm Point along Lake Yellowstone in Yellowstone National Park, August 2014|
|A bee and a peony in our yard, June 2014|
|Geothermal area along the south rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in Yellowstone National Park, May 2013|
|Mountain Goat near Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park, August 2013|
|Snow accumulation on the porch railing, December 2013|
I have been one who loved the wilderness
Swaggered and softly crept among the mountain peaks;
I have listened long to the sea's brave music;
I have sung my songs above the shriek of desert winds.
On canyon trails when warm night winds were blowing,
Blowing, and sighing gently through the star-tipped pines,
Musing, I walked behind my placid burro,
While water rushed and broke on pointed rocks below.
I have known a green sea's heaving; I have loved
Red rocks and twisted trees and cloudless turquoise skies,
Slow sunny clouds, and red sand blowing.
I have felt the rain and slept behind the waterfall.
In cool sweet grasses I have lain and heard
The ghostly murmur of regretful winds
In aspen glades, where rusting silver leaves
Whisper wild sorrows to the green-gold solitudes.
I have watched the shadowed clouds pile high;
Singing I rode to meet the splendid, shouting storm
And fought it's fury until the hidden sun
Foundered in darkness, and the lightning heard my song.
Say that I starved; that I was lost and weary;
That I was burned and blinded by the desert sun;
Footsore, thirsty, sick with strange diseases;
Lonely and wet and cold, but that I kept my dream!
Always I shall be one who loves the wilderness:
Swaggers and softly creeps among the mountain peaks;
I shall listen long to the sea's brave music;
I shall sing my songs above the shriek of desert winds.
|Geothermal area in the front basin at Norris in Yellowstone National Park, May 2013|
|Red-winged blackbird on the plains near Roundup, April 2014|
|Juicy, red raspberries from the garden patch, June 2014|
|Sunset on an evening bicycle ride, September 2014|
|The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from the south rim, May 2013|
I recently finished a fascinating book about the spectacular short life and subsequent disappearance of the young artist, poet, and adventurer Everett Ruess. It was called Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer by David Roberts. It was quite a thrilling tale, particularly as it is a true one. It was a intriguing blend of mystical nature writing and adventure with an unsolved mystery thrown in for a twist. I am currently reading a second about him entitled On Desert Trails with Everett Ruess. I don't know that a life of total solitude in the desert is what I'd like to do with my own life, but I do have to admire the passion by which Everett lived. He had a dream and a vision and he lived it. I suppose it is no surprise that have my own leanings towards the joy and revelation found through quiet, humbling communion with nature, so its no wonder, really, that Everett appeals to me. His words and philosophy seem reminiscent of John Muir or Henry David Thoreau, both of whom I admire. As a person who frequently sighs and swoons at the delights of sunlight on rocky cliffs or the miniature marvel of insects Everett's letters from the wild canyonlands of the American southwest fill me up with joy, wonder, and wanderlust. They made me long for the trail. There is so much beauty in the world to see. So many cliffs and waterfalls and lakes and forests. So many rainbows and leks and geysers and canyons. I know that I will never see it all. The world is too vast and my time in it too short. But, I try to be diligent about noticing the beauty all around me each and every day--on our megavactions and on our walks around the neighborhood. There is so much beauty, so much wonder.
|A Lone Star Geyser eruption and two happy campers, August 2014|
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The hike to Storm Point leaves from right near Indian Pond where a small mixed group of shorebirds were wading. There was a handful of leggy American avocets all in their sharply contrasting white-and-black winter plumage. There were a couple bobbing, tottering spotted sandpipers.
The Storm Point hike is almost completely a loop--just under 2.5 miles total. There are a few hundred yards of trail along the west shore of Indian Pond that are traversed both coming and going, but the rest of the journey is a large loop. I like loops because they allow you to see a wider range of landscapes. We took the fork to the left following the trail out along some bluffs over the shore of Yellowstone Lake.
The views just got better and better the closer we got to Storm Point. There was a stretch of forested trail as well as a really lovely open meadow with the lake as a backdrop right before Storm Point itself. Yellowstone Lake is the star of the show for sure.
There is a spur trail out on to the point. I must say, it was not quite what I had expected. Storm Point stands much higher over the lake than I anticipated from reading about it. The elevated observation point made for sweeping views though so I cannot say I was disappointed. I'd like to go back on a day that is more clear. It was quite cloudy and misty from all the rain when we were there. In a way this added a soft, romantic filter to the surrounding panorama, but I'd like to see in on crisp, clear day sometime as well.
It was also out on this rocky point that we learned about marmot latrines.
After rejoining the main loop we followed the shoreline of the lake once again--crossing paths with one of the resident yellow bellied marmots. I felt compelled to break into a run. The wide open sky and lake, the wind, the freedom... I couldn't help myself. My boots thumped the trail and my hair flew out behind me. It was quite exhilarating. And Matt caught up eventually. (When I hit sand and running became quite challenging!)
|This is Matt catching up after my spontaneous trail run.|
|This is the lake-level rocky point, as seen from Storm Point.|
|Closer up it was even more interesting as there were so many layers and ledges from the erosive action of the lapping waves.|
The remainder of the Storm Point loop turns away from the lake shore. It was perfectly lovely, but I think I'd have preferred to stay lakeside. I was pretty enthralled with it. As we passed Indian Pond on the return trip we again stopped to watch the party of wading birds. The motion of a female belted kingfisher caught our eye as she came in for a landing on a limb over the pond from which to look for fish. We enjoyed the avian antics a while before deciding that the increasing winds and rains meant we should call it a hike.
And it was just as good as I'd hoped it might be.