an unspoken law

"Backwoods" by Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898) Russian Landscape Painter
“Backwoods” by Ivan Shishkin

A lady, with whom I was riding in the forest, said to me, that the woods always seemed to her to wait, as if the genii who inhabit them suspended their deeds until the wayfarer has passed onward: a thought which poetry has celebrated in the dance of the fairies, which breaks off on the approach of human feet.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
(History)

I have learned through walking with my dogs here that there is an unspoken law. Always send a warning. Never surprise the animal life in the forest. So walking along without the noise of the jeep, it is wise to whistle a little tune and give the creatures some kind of an idea that you are approaching their area. This gives them a chance to adjust and find a place to hide, so they can watch you from their position out of your view. It is wise to follow the rule of the forest.
~ Neil Young
(Waging Heavy Peace)

11 thoughts on “an unspoken law”

    1. Now that we’ve had bears and bobcats reported in Connecticut I hope making noise will keep them well hidden from me, although I enjoy encountering deer and other smaller creatures…

    1. I appreciated the difference in the style of language each man used to convey similar ideas about how to behave in the woods, one very contemporary and the other from the 1800s. 🙂

  1. I wonder what happens when you live in the woods. Does the forest eventually cease its pausing and go on with its business? I wonder if it only pauses until it gets used to the energy passing through? Lovely post, Barbara.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I suspect that the animals do cease to pause and hide when they learn that so-and-so means them no harm. I think of Jane Goodall and her chimps. Even our cats run and hide when a new person comes into their/our home, but come out when they realize they realize they will be safe.

  2. Hi Barbara. The photo reminds me of a brook I played at when I was a child. I put logs across it and then covered them with scavenged moss, to make a kind of green garden. Jane

    1. Sounds like you found a great place to play when you were little, Jane. We had a brook and a swamp in the woods around our house – very fertile grounds for imaginative play. I used to make fairy houses with stones I found, and used tiny hemlock cones for bushes in their gardens. 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the painting, Amy-Lynn. And sorry it has taken me so long to catch up with my responses to comments!

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