Tuesday, April 26, 2016

May Walk - soundscapes

For our May walk (Sunday, may 15) I want to propose a theme of "soundscapes". Our April walk found a much friendlier forest (for me) because it was filled with the voices of birds. I would like to take a walk where we spend our time listening, taking note of the sounds of the Preserve, taking note of where and when we hear various things. Here is a quote from a recent article on conserving sound:" we need a nuanced sense of the terrain - the park hidden inside the park - land conservation must include the conservation of soundscapes." At the CREA Preserve the soundscape is constantly changing - so I would like to try and start making record of that, to concentrate on hearing for a little while, rather than seeing.
John Muir said that he could identify every tree species in the Sierra Nevada by listening to its "wind-music". What do you hear?
Some things we have already talked about - the road sounds, the river sounds, the bird song, the frogs, echoes, the music of trees (dry leaf rattle, wind in needles, branch against branch...) squirrel, chipmunk, water tributaries flowing, ice sounds, wind on water, footsteps, thunder, your own breath and heart, voices in the distance, that dragonfly whizzing by... What do you hear?
Here's a little poem by Wang Wei:

Empty mountains:
no one to be seen.
Yet - hear-
human sounds and echoes.
Returning sunlight
enters the dark woods;
Again shining
on green moss, above.

(Wang Wei)

What do you hear?

Gary Lawless

Sunday, April 17, 2016

"Vernal life is upon us!"

photo by James McCarthy

(for Janet Galle)

turtles basking
basking in the sunlight
(every stump
basking in moss, lichen, light)
basking in birdsong, riversound
quiet, basking in quiet

Gary Lawless


A riverbank
to sit beside
in tranquil contemplation
of turbulence and roil
defying explanation
but always flowing freely
without reservation
like the family bond between
the mountain and the ocean
we drink the same pure water
in timeless resignation
to receive the very blessing
of the river in submission

S R French


A mini-collaboration inside of a collaboration

we stumble down like leaves
called to the river's edge
the water calls to me
and echoes from the trees
It is the earth I feel
sending power up my knees
Driving me onward into the Beauty
the Great Architect has created.

Abby, Bonner & Faith

For a blog posting on how "Studying Moss is like making a poem":

partridge berry photo by James McCarthy