Monday, May 28, 2007

Pee Dee River, Georgetown County

I feel renewed. We worked hard on the farm, and everything was so hot, dusty and dry I dove in to the river with my workclothes on. As I pulled up on the dock, I noticed two alligators floating chin deep back in the cypress.

My brother cooked a feast of fried chicken, and we celebrated the end of a fine day with beer out on the dock. I think I saw Jupiter near the moon. Sleep came easy.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Carolina Gold

It is Friday, late May. That means it is time to go to our farm near the South Carolina coast and check on the rice crop. The seedlings are about five inches tall now, and if all goes well we should have a wonderful crop this year. This is not normal rice, though. We are one of three small farms that are producing this heirloom variety of aromatic rice. So, what I am getting at is this: I am off to plod around in the mud and beat back mosquitoes.

I like this a lot:

by Kathleen Jamie, from Waterlight: Selected Poems.


Piled high in a corner of second-hand store
in Toronto: of course,
it's an immigrant country. Sometimes

all you can take is what you can carry
when you run: a photo, some clothes,
and the useless dead-weight

of your mother tongue.
One was repaired
with electrician's tape—a trade

was all a man needed. A girl,
well, a girl could get married. Indeed
each case opened like an invitation:

the shell-pink lining, the knicker—
like pockets you hook back
with a finger to look

for the little linked keys.
I remember how each held a wraith
of stale air, and how the assistant seemed

taken aback by my accent;
by then, though, I was headed for home,
bored, and already pregnant.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Golden Gate

Rare Coastal Sequoia, that, by the way, shares genetic similarity (one of five relative species remaining) to South Carolina's Bald Cypress. This is in Golden Gate Park's Japanese garden. A quite impressive display. Also, the Acer palmatum sp. (Japanese Maple) to the side is a specimen shipped from Kyoto after WW II, or so I was informed by the kind botanist in the garden that day.

Also note species of grumpy mule attempting to smile in a self conscious manner.

Above the Yellowstone Caldera

Friday, May 18, 2007

Monday, May 14, 2007

I am back. Part of me, at least.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Permian Fate

Muir (below) and Galen Clark -- they both drew in to the high sierra range, stretched meadows and glacial ruts; riparian lull, sequoia trees. Sheer rock. Yosemite. This was the middle 1800's and train tracks were just stretching across America.

Muir was a Scotsman, a keen observer with a bent toward science and an eye for how things came to be. Good with the pen. Clark was a roustabout in old boots and worn leather. He was one of the first white men to venture in to Wawona, the giant redwood grove. The Mariposas. Both men carried solid walking sticks and, I feel certain, a bitter drive to keep the un-thoughtful from tearing the place apart. It still stands.

I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to see the place for myself. I can't recall being more excited for a trip. I will take a clean writing pad, a couple changes of socks, and my hat. Be well. Wish me luck.