Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ha, that's really funny. I have 444 posts (not counting this one). That's so perfect that it's tempting to quit posting. 4 is my favorite number.

More detritus from my mind:

I kept smelling something incredibly seductive and couldn't trace it as I am pretty much alone. I finally figured it out- the scent of trees and forest on my hands. Yeah, that's right, trees. On my own hands. I am so weird!!

Today I saw: coyote, weasel, and rabbit tracks, Pinus ponderosa, monticola and contorta, Abies grandis, Thuja plicata, Tsuga heterophylla, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Mahonia repens (I think it is repens), Larix occidentalis, Oplopanax horridus, Acer glabrum, and of course the usual verbascum, etc... The weasel tracks came from and went to small holes in the crust of the snow; apparently weasels tunnel underneath the snow crust, which is pretty cool. There were almost no birds, although I saw plenty of evidence of bird activity.

And I'm finding myself more interested than I ever thought I would be in conifers. I wish that I had acerage to grow, side by side, all the Abies, Picea, Pinus, etc species (each genus in groups, I mean). The cones are incredibly interesting and appealing. Before, they were squirrel food and fire starter. I would never have imagined that I could get enthused about the same trees I've been living near, splitting into firewood, playing under, working with, climbing....well, maybe. Maybe I was this way all along and didn't realize it. I think though, that there's a tendency to romanticize about non-native species of plants while failing to appreciate what we have growing in abundance and splendor all around us.

And I still can't decide if I'd rather be a dcotor or a botanist, or what sort of botanist I'd be. In spite of myself, I still yearn to paint the pinecones, the verbascum, the patterns of the twigs. I wish with all my heart that I could make a living that way, and I know better.

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