Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day. ~ W. Earl Hall (Always Look on the Bright Side: Celebrating Each Day to the Fullest)
April Comes like an idiot, babbling, and strewing flowers. ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay (Selected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay)
Blossoms will run away — Cakes reign but a Day, But Memory like Melody, Is pink eternally — ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1614)
Spring comes on the World — I sight the Aprils — Hueless to me, until thou come As, till the Bee Blossoms stand negative, Touched to Conditions By a Hum — ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #999)
A little Madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King, But God be with the Clown — Who ponders this tremendous scene — This whole Experiment of Green — As if it were his own! ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1356)
Beneath these fruit-tree boughs that shed Their snow-white blossoms on my head, With brightest sunshine round me spread Of spring’s unclouded weather, In this sequestered nook how sweet To sit upon my orchard-seat! And birds and flowers once more to greet, My last year’s friends together. ~ William Wordsworth (The Complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth)
Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment. ~ Ellis Peters (Spring Meditations)
On Saturday afternoon my sister and I did some hiking in the uncultivated part of the Connecticut College Arboretum. It was like being in the woods we played in and rambled through as children. We encountered a doe along our path, she stopped short when she spotted us and then darted off sideways into the woods.
Nature — sometimes sears a Sapling — Sometimes — scalps a Tree — Her Green People recollect it When they do not die — ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #457)
When I was at the doctor for a check-up last week he said it seemed like he was treating nothing but rashes from these little villains. Why do people even touch them, I wondered? But they can dangle from invisible threads and I was startled when I walked right into one. No rash, so far…
Death is like the insect Menacing the tree Competent to kill it, But decoyed may be.
Bait it with the balsam Seek it with the saw, Baffle, it cost you Everything you are.
Then, if it have burrowed Out of reach of skill — Wring the tree and leave it. ‘Tis the vermin’s will.
~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1783)
For some reason I am drawn to trees that seem dead, but sculptural, and yet still have a few green leaves up near the crown. Sometimes dying is a very gradual process.
And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything. ~ William Shakespeare (As You Like It)
One will see roots while looking down (photo above), of course, but also when looking up (photo below). The tree below decided it could grow sticking out of a rock face, high above the ground. There must have been just enough soil between the layers of rock for it to sustain itself. Maybe it is strong enough to move the rock some to give the roots more space.
One impulse from a vernal wood May teach you more of man, Of moral evil and of good, Than all the sages can. ~ William Wordsworth (The Tables Turned)
Ferns (above) with visible roots growing on the rock face. Plenty of moss to soften the surface, too.
A tree (above) seems to have been blown over in a storm and left with a large cavity between its roots and the rock below. Stones and boulders, dumped by receding glaciers eons ago, are so ubiquitous in Connecticut and it seems the trees have no choice but to grow above, below, around and between them.
I wondered if someone might have set this stone deliberately pointing up as a benchmark for future hiking adventures. It’s amazing to contemplate that these stone walls deep in the woods once surrounded fields and pastures in colonial days. Farmers used the stones cluttering their land to build the walls but in the end, growing crops was difficult. Many eventually abandoned their homes and headed west for better farmland. The woods slowly came back and claimed the landscape once again.
I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. ~ William Wordsworth (Poems in Two Volumes)
If you look closely you can see Tim’s arms reaching out from behind the tree’s trunk. Wise guy! I didn’t notice this when I was taking the picture! It looks like some buds are just beginning to come out. Here is a better picture of the trunk surrounding the stone corner post I spotted last week:
I wonder what kind of plant (below) is coming up at the base of the tree!
On this day I found some new twigs with little buds on them (below). They will probably be be pruned away, considering what befell the dead twig below the new ones.
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. ~ Herman Hesse (Trees: Reflections & Poems)
The monument below tells a brief story about something that happened locally during the War of 1812 (1812-1815), which was fought between the United States and the British Empire.
Here rest the remains of Mr. Thomas Barratt Powers, aged 18 years, late Midshipman of H.B. Majesty’s Ship Superb, who was killed in action in a boat on the 31st July 1814, a Native of Market Bosworth, in the County of Leicestershire England.
On the side of this monument these words are inscribed: “This Monument was erected by the Hon. Capt. Paget, and his Brother Officers as a tribute of respect and esteem.”
No doubt “Hon. Capt. Paget” is British Vice Admiral Sir Charles Paget (1778-1839) who was appointed to the HMS Superb for part of his naval career. According to Wikipedia: “In 1814 he was employed on the coast of North America … entrusted with the command of a squadron stationed off New London and took part in an attack upon Wareham, Massachusetts during the War of 1812.” Wareham is about 100 miles northeast from New London. I wonder how this young sailor came to be buried in this particular cemetery. I wonder if Thomas’ parents were devastated to have their son buried so far away in foreign soil…
Under the cross placed at the bottom of the monument are the words: “British & Colonial G.W.V.A.” The only organization I could find online with an GWVA acronym is Canadian, the Great War Veterans Association, which was formed in 1917, way after the War of 1812. But perhaps they decided to honor the veterans of past wars with plaques, too.
One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one. ~ Agatha Christie (An Autobiography)
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, The earth, and every common sight, To me did seem Apparelled in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. ~ William Wordsworth (Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood)
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape Lay as if new-created in all the freshness of childhood. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie)