helen99: Bird in a tree (Bird in a tree)
The tree that owns itself

Comemorative plaque

Quercus Alba deeded to itself by Col. William H. Jackson circa 1832...

Apparently this privilege was inherited by its more cosmopolitan children:

"This scion of the original tree was planted the junior ladies garden club in 1946.
National Register of Historic Places 1975
Athens Historical Landmark 1988"

Perhaps I should deed all of my trees to themselves... In order to cut them, future generations would have to enter into stiff negotiations with assorted saplings. This would make my ghost happy.

Zone 9

Mar. 24th, 2008 04:25 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
We just returned from a very long drive from Temperate Zone 6 to Subtropical Zone 9 and back again.

Road Trip™!

Ahhh, Zone Nine, I have missed thee. The Sun. The beautiful Sun. And the Salt Water... And the Ghosts... And the tiny ocean exoskeletons (sand)!

We usually like to travel overnight, since there are fewer people around. Oddly, I can see better when it's mostly dark (with starlight and moonlight). I had always thought I was night blind, but that isn't the case. Actually, I can see fine if there are no lights at all. When it was raining, windshield wipers weren't necessary as long as there were no artificial lights shining on the rain and creating reflections. As soon as we would pass a city with halogens, though, the night blindness would set in. I was glad to find that out, since I hated being "night blind". This makes it difficult but isn't quite as obnoxious (I love the night). So.. I chose to drive between 1:00 and 3:00 am when we were far away from the city and there were fewer people on the road (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] rialian who drives in all conditions, any distance...).

We mainly went to visit with friends. I didn't go swimming this time (there were rip tides). It was great to see the ocean nonetheless. Of course, our camera hid the entire time until we were already on the way back, so no pictures. :( Suffice it to say that I saw the sand, sun, and salt water, which is important, in that if I do not, I start to feel a bit dead. I did bring back a few treasures from where we were staying - a few shells that look like brains, a little kaleidoscope, and a leather sculpture that needs a photograph rather than a description. Thank you for a wonderful time to everyone who put us up for the weekend!

There was some daytime driving on the way back, so I got a chance to observe some of the terrain. Suddenly I was jolted out of a reverie of admiring the passing forests when I noticed something disturbing: A forested area had been planted with the same kind of pine tree, over and over, and the trees were all in perfectly straight rows, one after the other. If they'd been healthy it would have still been bad, but not horrible. They weren't. All the lower branches were removed from every tree, so these trees looked like toothpicks with christmas tree hats. They made me feel 'captured' and the clouds in front of the moon suddenly took the form of bars in my mind. I think it was owned by a paper mill. When it ended and the normal forest took over the scenery again, it was a palpable relief (as in, absense of pain).

We got back at around 5 this morning, so I called in to work - they were very understanding, so I'm taking the day off - should have scheduled it to begin with, but I'm always afraid that if I do, what we would do is stay an extra day (and the situation would repeat itself only later).

I really do need to plan to stay away longer when I go across country...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
When a forest becomes paved, I wonder what it looks and feels like from the point of view of the faerie realm.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I found this quote from another forum amusing in a darkly humorous way:

"Tree speak of Old Man like humans speak of Old Trees. If Trees can change what Man eats by their fruit Man would become wise again. But Trees cry they will not be alive to see Wise Man again. If humans listen to Tree and Tree listened to human they would not have to wait as long."

Sadly true. Neither the trees nor we are ever really allowed to become old enough to become truly wise. The trees used to be, but not so much now.

The above was in response to the following that I'd written:

"We've been thinking over the past couple of years that if a People has the ability and will to sink roots deeply enough into the land and the Trees, and if the Trees are allowed to become old and powerful enough to do the same with the land, the People, and each other, that a Place will Change, shift, and become Other, and the power to heal of such a People and such a place will be great indeed. We've been trying to do some of that with the beleaguered trees that are with me now, and as short-lived as these forms are. I think that neither we nor the trees near us are old enough for this to happen to its fullest extent for a while, though. One thing we've been researching over the past couple of years is how to restore a beleaguered forest or a blighted area to health. Interestingly, it is that lowliest of organisms, the Mycelium (a.k.a. fungus) which is the starting point. The gigantic mycelial mats are among the communications systems of the Wood, and are what allows the root systems to communicate. They also deliver nutrients to the root systems. It has been found that restoration efforts without Mycelium don't occur as rapidly. What I want to do is to buy a blighted area and restore the Old Wood to it. I big dream I know, but that's what I want to do. I want to first innoculate with the Mycelium that is native to the area and mycoremediate the area (the mushrooms eat the toxins and convert them to ... Mushroom). Once that's done, I'll just let nature take over on its own, first the edge species will come - the blackberries, the thorns, the "weeds" (a lot of which are healing medicines). Then a few pioneer trees, and then the older species. If I continue to take care of this form and give it a few trips to the woods every week, maybe I'll live to see the preliminary results... But I shall have to reincarnate in order to see it as an Old Wood, and I will have to write into the bylaws that it may never be sold or developed...

The drawbacks of transience."
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
This past year I've been looking into the ways in which the structure of timekeeping affects the way people think (chronopsychology?). This was the subject of much discussion and would have been a workshop if I'd been able to synthesize the information, but nothing gelled as of last June. Today I ran across this (bought myself a copy):



Aside from being very pretty, it may be useful for experimenting with differing methods of timekeeping. If nothing else, it's a very pretty calendar.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
It's an exceptionally beautiful morning. I shall go wandering... I wonder if I can go here:

http://www.geoffmurray.com/general_images.htm

Well, maybe not this morning...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I wonder what the effect of dividing the world up into little squares has been on overall human consciousness.

What if we'd chosen a different shape - a hexagon or septagon, say, for the unit of land instead of the rectangle/square. I wonder if our minds and thoughts would have taken on different shapes as well...
Triangles would be too constricting. Bees seem to like hexagons for some reason.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6765999/

Wellp, nobody ever said we were the sharpest pencils in the pack when it comes to sensing things like this...

Earthquake

Dec. 27th, 2004 10:44 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Over 13,000 dead. Some sources said it was more like over 19,000 (there are a lot of missing). Luckily, [livejournal.com profile] jolantru was somewhat away from the affected area and so was unharmed. We did a short bit of journeying last night to try to help some across. Many death images have been coming at me for the past week or so - including the "army of the dead" in the Return of the King", a dream my mom had about late friends and relatives, a workshop about the sacred ancestral dead that I attended, the sudden death of two of my mice, a couple of discussions about zombie movies, - and now this.

This earthquake was apparently so powerful (9.2?) it momentarily affected the Earth's rotation, causing us to wonder if shifting magnetics may be involved... In the event that I'm without a body (and I surely will be at some point sooner or later, preferably later, though if this keeps up, who knows...), I hope I can see plate tectonics and magnetic fields and stuff...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
We've discovered a wild park near a nature center located less than a mile away from my house, in the middle of the city. We decided that yesterday was a fine day for a little hike, so we went with a friend and hit the trails. About halfway in, we reached what looked like a dead end in the trail by the creek, and headed off into the woods in the general direction of where we thought the trail might resume. "I think it's this way," was the general consensus of the fearless woodland rangers, and so off we went. The more eagle-eyed among us spotted something in the distance, and so declared, "There's the trail!" I didn't see anything, but figured that was because I wasn't looking in just the right spot. Presently, we came upon what had been mistaken for a trail marker. This was attached to a young shrub:

http://www.rialian.com/gabriels-trumpet.jpg

What this thing was doing in the middle of the woods attached to a young shrub is anyone's guess. Much mirth ensued, featuring many jokes about confusing trail markers with misplaced angelic trumpets...

Later we did indeed reconnect with the trail but then noticed that it detoured. Being in an adventurous mood, we decided to ignore the detour and see if we survived. We came upon a stretch of trail adjacent to the creek where there was about a 15-foot drop into the creek, and the trail sloped toward the creek. Moreover, there were leaves on the trail so you couldn't really see if there really was a trail there or just leaves (and a 15-foot drop into the creek). My two companions merrily skipped across said tightrope with no problem. "Never fear", I thought to myself, "for I have Gabriel's Trumpet and can summon angelic assistance if need be." However, being slightly acrophobic, I needed both my hands to crawl across the embankment in question, brushing leaves aside as I went to make sure there really was a trail. The other two, meanwhile, waited patiently until I got across.

Thus did we survive the Rockville Nature Center trail.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
http://www.psc.edu/science/Glatzmaier/glatzmaier.html
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/earth-magnetic-04a.html

Computer-generated 3-D model accounts for geological magnetic field evidence.
Model successfully explains how the magnetic field keeps regenerating instead of decaying over time, and actually accounted for periodic reversals. From what I understand, the field of the outer core appears to be the reverse of the inner. I suppose that when the field flips, the two reverse (maybe - I'm no geologist). But what gets it started up again once it goes to 0 is a question. The model seems to account for that - in the model version, the field regenerated after it zeroed out and the flip occurred.

One thought that occurred to me is that the world is a giant millworking...

For reference, a "millworking" is a magical technique in which an outer circle is set to spinning clockwise by having seated participants grab the edge of a non-physical Well and move it clockwise. The reflected Well in the Underworld spins counterclockwise. The interaction between the two creates a column of energy from the Underworld to the Overworld, with this realm being the connector. Or maybe it creates a field that loops around like Van Allen belts in the earth's magnetic field...

Hey I wonder what would happen if a ring of people at various points around the globe did a millworking that connected in with, spanned, and reflected the spirit of the earth.

Vine

Sep. 28th, 2004 04:52 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Muin
Vine (September 2 - September 29)

"The grape (Vitis vinifera L.) is a vine growing as long as 115 feet, in open woodlands and along the edges of forests, but most commonly seen today in cultivation, as the source of wine, grape juice, and the grape juice concentrate that is so widely used as a sweetener. European grapes are extensively cultivated in North America, especially in the southwest, and an industry and an agricultural discipline are devoted to their care and the production of wine. Grapes are in the Grape family (Vitaceae)."

After the frenzied clearing activity of the last month, this month seems strangely quiet. Even though storms are passing through, there's an underlying sense of overall peace. I haven't started the woodworking as yet - doesn't seem the right time somehow. Seems like a time to listen to the wind and drink the rain...

Vines are part of what connects the plants in the wood and create a forest rather than a collection of individual plants. The underlying root systems are another part. Fungus spores and seeds are another part. Intertwining branches another.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Last night around midnight we were upstairs just about to doze off, when we heard a loud "Skidddd-CRASH!!!" and a car horn began blaring nonstop. Someone's airbags had deployed.

The last time I heard that particular noise it was 1976 and my father's Datsun B210 had been totaled by a kid sans license who had "borrowed" her boyfriend's car. They tracked her down by locating a smashed car with blue paint chips all over it a few blocks away.

More recently, a drunken idiot careened his car into the creek across the street from me, damaging a lot of saplings I'd planted several years ago. I was furious for about a year over that one. Thinking that at the very least, this must be either a teen without a license or a drunken idiot, I immediately went into battle mode, ready to call the police and have the bums locked up forthwith.

Slowly returning to the present moment, I decided to go out and see for myself what had happened and if everyone was ok. [livejournal.com profile] rialian, who had space-time-warped from upstairs to the scene of the accident within about 3 seconds of hearing the crash, returned momentarily to say they "were ok but had crashed into the yard", but didn't have time to elaborate as he had immediately gone back out to talk to them... so I was a little uneasy about what I would find...

At first it looked like nothing was wrong except that there was a van parked perpendicular to the curb - but then I noticed a hubcap and some plastic pieces here and there, but not much. I asked if everyone was ok and everyone was - nobody hurt. They were talking to [livejournal.com profile] rialian and letting him know what had happened. Their brakes had failed. There was absolutely no alcohol involved. They were nice young guys, probably college age. I didn't have to be angry at them (bonus). Their van was toast, as I found out a few minutes later.

I noticed a small tree had been damaged, but that was about it - the horn was still blaring nonstop at that point so I went inside. Finally the horn turned off, so I went back out - this time I looked at the other side of the van.

The entire front end of the van was caved in... It had skidded across the front of my driveway apron through a few blackberry bushes and into a little sapling before coming to rest against a larger tree...

Read more... )
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
http://landscaping.about.com/cs/rockgardens1/f/weathering_rock.htm

To achieve that weathered look for your rock garden, you must feed them a mixture consisting of 2 cups of yogurt, a bunch of woods moss, and 4 ounces of potter's clay. These are mixed together to form a creamy consistency and poured upon your rocks. Then you have to mist the moss as it takes hold, and thus you achieve mossy rocks for your garden.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Nice trip to West Virginia today to visit Rivendell and benefit from a rare Stove sighting. He's doing well, still studying in Bologna, and will return here after another year there. Meanwhile, he'll be visiting Jakarta next... He has a lot of plans for Rivendell, all of which sound very good - I just wish he'd be living there so he could take charge of them. We'll take care of what we can from here, but the time is limited by work and other commitments.

On the way out there, I saw something very odd. It was a family of three. The mother was vaguely reminiscent of a younger version of [livejournal.com profile] rialian's mother. The father looked a bit like his dad (only a bit younger). And with them was a boy of about 14 who resembled Eyovah. They all looked about 15 years younger than the corresponding members of [livejournal.com profile] rialian's family, and they were by no means identical to them, but the similarity was enough to induce a very wyrd feeling, kind of as if I'd time-travelled back to 1989 or something. I hoped they would be more fortunate with their Eyovah than we were with ours.

The land was lush with rains and heat. We gifted [livejournal.com profile] rialian's parents with some Dry Elven Wit (home-made dry damiana mead). It had an odd effect on his mom. After making a series of very weird faces, she became ... Cheerful. This may be one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse...

After grilled steaks and salad, we went berry picking. I found exactly one (1) berry while everyone else filled their buckets.

Finally I split off from the berry picking expedition (as clearly, I lacked the requisite expertise) and took a walk into the woods, hoping that maybe I'd find some errant berry vines hidden by the thicket. I went far enough into the trees so I couldn't see any man-made items, and after locating every type of thorn bush except the Blackberry kind, I found a faerie glen...

The only problem was that it was guarded by a big fat spider, which was ready to leap onto my hair in the event that I ran into the web (which I was about to do momentarily). I stopped about two inches away from the spider and its web. After going "EEEewwwwww YUCK!" about 10 times, I decided to approach the glen another way (this time sweeping ahead of me with a branch just in case - my vision isn't great). My stalwart wand vanquished the spawn of Shelob, and I was able to walk to the glen with no further challenge! I didn't stay long, but the short time there was renewal of spirit.

I left the woods just as [livejournal.com profile] rialian happened to be getting back from the Hunt (er... the berrypicking expedition), and as I walked up to him, he found ANOTHER cache of unpicked, ripe berries right next to the house (as if the ones he already had weren't enough!). I asked if I could please pick this batch myself, so I could return from the Hunt with more than one berry. So he generously gave those spoils to me.

We returned to our own town in time to miss the horrible traffic jam that our city becomes on every 4th of July, and spent the evening paying as little attention as possible to the fireworks (neither of us likes loud popping noises, and we don't trust most people with incendiary devices)... So it was a very happy Fourth. We picked red raspberries and a few blueberries, and drank white mead...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I went to my favorite park last weekend to visit my stone circle (something I built around 1993). I walked up to the usual spot and couldn't find it! At first I thought someone had stolen all the stones and that it was gone. A wave of loss settled over me as I tried several other spots, but eventually I returned to the original spot (where I knew it had to be). Upon looking closer, I realized it was still there - I just couldn't see it immediately. The stones were sunken into the ground so only the tops of them showed anymore, and the grasses covering it had grown to a height of several feet. But even more unexpected, one arc of the circle was taken over by bushes that had grown about 3 feet tall. It takes a while for bushes to grow 3 feet. I thought my last visit had been much more recent than it actually was.

I visited the stream and the glen and the pine grove. Lyra got her first pile of interesting rocks and bags of litter in the trunk (I took them out and brushed her off as soon as we got home...) I would have taken Smurf for that kind of work, but it still has no AC (yet) and it was hot out...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
This morning I woke up to their constant, eerie, whirring singsong. We'd been expecting them for a couple of weeks now - saw their holes everywhere, and some with more sensitive ears could hear the nymphs rustling in the trees. But this morning was the first I actually heard them.

Welcome baaaack. (Not that any lack of welcome would make a difference)...

Recipes welcome...

Walk

Oct. 22nd, 2003 02:17 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
At lunch today I decided to take a walk. The grounds of the building where I'm working may as well be a park it's so pretty, and I've rarely taken advantage of it by walking around, so decided to change that. I set out from a point behind the building and began walking toward the floodplane in back of the building, which was left wild. I discovered a small path behind one of the buildings that was lined with wild trees and shrubs, and had, to my surprise, four park bences. I never even knew that was back there. The feeling I got from it was intense relief at being in a small patch of wild land. Builders really, really, really need to leave such patches of wild all over the place. It is extremely important to mental health to be able to see, walk, breathe such areas. I only realize how the lack has affected me when I enter a wild place, and the tension of square corners is replaced by a cool breeze and breathable air. All this while walking around my building.

I've been working here for over a year, and never knew it was there.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
http://www.naturephoto.com/index.htm#gallery

This is the website of my favorite nature photographers, Mark and Andrea Kaufman. A while ago I ordered about 30 of their greeting cards - they were the most beautiful pictures I'd ever seen anywhere. Pictures of waterfalls and woodland glades, fog, and brightly lit meadows, sunsets, oceans, nature in all its most beautiful, unspoiled splendor. The center of their magic was the redwood forest around the Russian River in California. Today I found out that I can't buy any more of their greeting cards. Mark has died and Andrea is no longer accepting orders.

The land's beauty wails at the loss of one of the remaining few who loved it above all else.

http://www.naturephoto.com/index.htm#gallery

April 2010

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