Over The Hills


Centuries-old beech finally felled by disease, another part of our historic community vanished into memory.
  • I accuse myself of increasingly ignoring the wider world.  Digging into my own patch of paradise to appreciate it more, I screen out tragedy and portent and disengage from guilt.  This is, perhaps, wrong. There are small chores to be done, family matters to handle, our own daily routines. 
  • But what our civilization increasingly seems to lack is a well-developed personal center.  All the running and shopping and eating and entertaining and confusion appears not only shallow, but unsatisfying to deeper instinct.  Like most, I have been too busy in life to deeply contemplate.  Now, if ever, is the time I can do do.


Joan and the neighbors decorate yards and porches with reminders of the season.
  • Happily, some bats are back, darting about overhead in twilight.  They had almost disappeared for a few years, victims of white-nose disease.  There was apparently nothing anyone could do to save them, and if indeed they are recovering it will be from their own biological processes.
  • This is how it is with many things.  Can any one of us save local bats?  A friend who has bat-houses on his home also noticed the severe decline, but remained helpless.  Like so many things, we seem to have power to spare and knowledge to fix, but we have both less power and less knowing than our hubris would have us believe.  Not much more to be done than to take notice and hope.  


Like turning leaves, boats will soon mostly vanish from scenery as winter preparations continue.
  • The farther you go …
  • It is possible to learn more, but also possible to be blind to what you see.


Unexpected morning glories glow in late morning deep into the season.
  • There are current fads to apply scientific methodology to our interior ecologies.  I am always amused at this or that latest finding in such things as selfishness or happiness.  None of those experiments can be easily replicated, and even the conclusions are debatable depending on how one interprets the results.  Humans are much too complex for such things to work.
  • I wish our electronic age would start to put some real effort into a modern philosophy.  The moldy scraps we still use _ ancient Greeks and more ancient prophets, discredited economists, the confused babblings of the enlightenment writers _ do not provide much comfort in these unsettled times.


Flashes of color here and there can be stunning, but usually we are in too much of a hurry to notice.
  • In this later than usual season, I have been pleasantly surprised to finally notice a few monarch butterflies.  I was even more astonished at a hovering hummingbird seeking nectar from a purple phlox right outside the window.  Here, then suddenly gone, as if hallucinated.
  • I wish to believe that even now there remain wild spaces beyond this narrow heavily populated zone.  Somewhere butterflies romp freely, hummingbirds congregate, and fish thrive.  But I know all too well that is more an illusion than reality.  I fear some of these visitors who bring me such joy are the last of a declining multitude, and that each must be cherished as possibly the last one.


Autumn becoming more obvious with each passing day.
Out in late twilight putting garbage at the end of the driveway.  The sound of insects and tree frogs is overwhelming, so different than the birdsong of early morning.  Nobody else around, but glows emanate from windows everywhere.  It is easy to imagine what sounds would be coming out, if anyone had windows open.
“Three dead in latest shooting incident …”
“Korea threatens and the president responds angrily in spite o
f …”
“More bad news from school scores …”
“Police reports claim that …”
“The latest massive study of the effects of red meat and avocados reports that …”
“Hurricane gathers strength, latest in series of natural disasters to strike Florida tomorrow.”
A faint siren wails from town.

Troubles all around, apparently troubles everywhere but here.  I gaze at final glimmers of deep red in the western sky, take a deep breath, and try to restrict my perceptions to my own personal space.  The rest will intrude soon enough.


Low warm morning mist softens the sky behind glowing aged foliage.
Ancient wizened sage
Ignorant on mountain

Insight and wisdom

One thought on “Over The Hills

  1. Love the vivid color of this week's photo collection. I share your feeling that each monarch may be the last…or a red fox. I rejoiced at seeing schools of fish (snappers?) along the shoreline of late, leaping into the water and making amazing zigzag patterns as they sweep across the harbor. A sign that all is not over…yet.


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