North Country Press puts out Dana Wilde’s book

Summer to Fall is full of God’s creation and mystical caring in fine detail. Dana Wilde loves Thoreau’s scientific approach, quotes Emerson, thinks in connections on the page. He shows, with exquisite detail, patterns in nature’s unfathomable abundance of species, and her lack of personal caring for anything but her own. Occasionally he cautions about nature’s lack of personal caring for humans: He rounds out his superb book with mythic Nature’s profound godlike jealous hauteur over her fathomless domain. It’s important to understand this if you live on the edge of the wilderness or take up temporary residence in Washington DC in stewardship of policy. Dana Wilde, however, makes no explicit suggestions regarding the latter. All is submerged in the story he tells us of Maine’s creatures, Maine’s creation. We may not see Artemis in a human-shaped body. But we see her in everything else. Here, in Wilde’s book, mythopoeic possibility abounds.

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killing the monster…or?

above our neighbors…sounds like someone’s up on the hillside, maybe just off from the ledge? with a muzzleloader, maybe a flintlock? maybe trying to kill the monster. R. says this about the gun because of its sound, a pre-BANG bang.

a monster? but more likely they practice now at dusk, nearly dark, in hope of shooting a deer during muzzleloader season. at this time of year, we wear hunter’s orange even when going out the door. very dim, raining out there now.

Almost there!

Just keep climbing. Almost there. Life is better when there’s something on the horizon. Something like an eclipse to watch for. Elda had been counting on this for two weeks. It was movement in heaven—even if it didn’t always live up to its billing. Maybe it was the waiting and watching that mattered, anyway. Hopeful watching itself might light and animate everything. Like an eclipse, watching could show forth an inscrutable purpose … underscored in fire and blue air. Afterward, the remains of watching would be largely unintelligible, except in that kindling still moment before God slipped away.

Return to God’s House (first in The God’s Cycle)

The bear must have come up our driveway

did it come this way?

We’ve had critter encounters, sort of. The phoebe-bug-spider observation. A phoebe, in-flight, drove a bug into one of several webs, then backed off as a giant spider began feverishly winding it. But the bug escaped! The phoebe gave chase, snatched it back flit across to the powerline and swallowed it! I stood at the porch door looking through the screen, watching the web and drama, surprised.

The bear must have come up the driveway. The image, of course, is not of the driveway, but our ragged wildish landscaping.

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old settlers’ well

old-settlers-well

We live under a ridge in a narrow vale along an edge of which we snowshoe. This is a mountainous u-shaped valley with deadend road but once extending up the low mountainside to meet another road in these hills. The old settlers actually drove wagons of between the slopes. Don’t know how they did it. Anyway, it’s all wooded now and you can see the old ruts they made. Saplings grow in them. Sometimes, if I’ve “got turned around and woods” (as they say) and I come on one of these mostly hidden tracks, I have the feeling of gratitude, and can follow along until I come to an ATV trail or road.

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My Hero, Lost On A Mountain In Maine

Posting here in honor of his recent passing over the dark river.

Shipps view

One of my heroes was lost on a mountain in Maine. Not just any mountain, but The Greatest Mountain—Katahdin, it was named of the Abenaki. Highest mountain in the state and sharing with downeast coastal Quoddy Head first light each day in the continental U.S.. The mountain has a distinctive profile, standing lone and long. Its two often cloud swathed peaks are connected by a narrow path of eroding stone called the Knife Edge, some places 2-3 ft. wide, some places dropping off almost sheer to the valley below.

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shoeing

snowshoe post2

before dawn above the house

18° outside this a.m., 57° in the bedroom. Fahrenheit. Prediction is for 10° below 0n Sunday morning. Our last post was a prayer for snow. New England neighbors well south of us got more than enough at that time, but here, where there is plentiful use for it, snow on the ground was patchy, old and stiff. No good for skiing or shoeing. It’s been like that all winter. Yesterday we got a very pretty fall of 4 in. which helped some. Usually by this time we’ve posted some snowshoeing entries. We went through level woods past the snowy stream and our neighbors’ on shoes, exhilarated, impressed of the great beauty all around us. And the sun shining through trees from above the slope opposite. This picture was taken this morning at temperature check.

In previous winters it went something like this:

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The Country of the Pointed Firs

pointed firs

Backside of Buck’s Ledge

 

 

A professor of American studies taught our undergraduate class on Maine writers at UMF. When I joined the course I was a bit disappointed to discover that contemporary novels were not to be considered. Since then I’ve been grateful it was otherwise, but I would not mind taking the course I had hoped for even now. Professor Jay Hoar taught that Sarah Orne Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs was considered a realistic novel in 1896, but had since been viewed, by academic regionalists, as an example of fiction by a local colorist. Willa Cather, writing in the preface to my paperback edition, grouped this book with The Scarlet Letter, and Huckleberry Finn as lasting American novels. “I can think of no others that confront time and change so serenely.”

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