Friday, November 21, 2014


I took this today through my bedroom window. 
When I turned on my camera, there were twelve wood ducks perched here. 
Wood Ducks sit on this fence all the time; they are tree ducks. 
The mallards are puddle ducks, or dabbling ducks. 
I have never seen a mallard sit on the fence before, but here she is!
It is a good indication of the size differences between the two kinds of duck.


The little Lap girl wanders around picking cloudberries
while the bluethroat sings one of his hundred songs.
There are tiny white flowers, too, angelica,
and the wild white ranunculus.
The reindeer eat lichen and moss under the melting snow.
Some of the lichen are a thousand years old
and do not recognize the modern world.
The geography lessons are young in comparison,
though this one is older than most, since
Lapland lies on no map and the little Lap girl
must be at least eighty by the looks of the book.
It is doubtful she remembers the day
of this photograph. The pencil-stroke of a birch
can be seen in the distance. Once in a while
she must still hear the bluethroat and think
of her childhood. Out of a hundred songs
he has not forgotten the one he sang
on an afternoon when the snow left and
the wild white white ranunculus took its place.
But he is the peripheral sort 
and not at the center of anything.

Mary Ruefle
Apparition Hill, CavanKerry Press Ltd., 2002, page 3.

I had a book like this many years ago. I used to look at the bright costumes in the illustrations and wonder what cloudberries tasted like. The reindeer/caribou looked friendly on the painted page.
When I think about Global Warming and The Sixth Extinction, I think about the changes in places like this. I need to find out about old lichen.

No comments:

Post a Comment