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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Cherry Birch.


Speaking of “you are what you stack,” I was doing my usual winter work of splitting wood and I couldn’t help but admire this stick of cherry birch, Betula lenta.  This birch was known as “mahogany birch” for its beauty as a furniture wood, which you can see in this picture (look at the lovely […]

A Long Time Ago In a Galaxy Far, Far Away…


This morning I was starting my fire with bits of newspaper, and it so happened that a copy of The New York Times from some months ago contributed to these pyrogenics.  No headlines are quite so interesting as old headlines – I sometimes find that it takes me a few extra minutes to get the […]

On the Feast of Stephen.


My bike trip this past spring brought me through Nauvoo, Illinois, a Mormon town. It is a tourist town, and a pleasant place, with the prosperity and wholesomeness once thought proper to all rural America but now almost the exclusive property of the Mormons. The lawns are crisply mowed, families walk blithely down the streets […]

Table Mountain on the Solstice.


Life Without An Editor.


I was reading Thoreau’s essay “Walking” – which is still one of the great things – and I was amazed by the paragraph below.  How in the world did he arrive at the last sentence in the paragraph?  It appears to be apropos of nothing at all.  Any editor would have reduced him to some […]

The Hunter.


I love how the snow of winter produces, like a court reporter, a continual transcript of all the events that take place on the ground.  I wouldn’t have known the property was visited continually by a bobcat two winters ago, or that there was a bear to track, were it not for the snow that […]



I don’t like to linger very long on what human beings do to one another – it’s not really the kind of thing that makes one better.  I don’t like Holocaust Museums, and Holocaust Studies, and all that.  The only decent reaction I can come up with is something like the Nuremberg Trials – put […]

Ownership and Strangerhood.


I walked back home from town through the woods two days ago, taking a route I had never taken before.  As I came to my own property, clothed in the strangeness of the winter woods, it seemed so weird to me that I “owned” this place – that on some map somewhere it was known […]



Kerouac, in this the original scroll version of On the Road, tells of the time he was a security guard in a construction company’s barracks.  The description of police brutality and interference in people’s lives is interesting to say the least.  And timely.  I think this culture still exists. These barracks were for the temporary […]

The Woods of Wildcat Mountain in Early Winter.