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The Long Run Part Two

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Such a beautiful September morning, the 23rd, and I'm out for bit of  Sunday worship in the best church I know.

I like running because I see things you'd never pick up from a car. I bet you don't know what this is.

Well, it's the stomach of an herbivorous animal, perhaps a rabbit (it was only a couple of inches long, so probably a young rabbit). Carnivores tend to detach and discard the stomachs of their prey, because they're full of vegetables and yuck! who wants those? Predator could have been anything, but I'm leaning toward an owl because it was so neatly and surgically done, and there wasn't a trace of anything else anywhere. Mammals tend to leave a mess; owls can airlift it out. 
So. A stomach.

We run on. The lady who lived here died a few years back. The property went up for auction. And the people who bought it are obviously well enough off to leave a purple backhoe parked in the front yard for a month. I wish I could afford a purple backhoe. I could put that baby to use.

The first thing they did was cut down all the trees in the yard. Not a good sign, in my experience.

This is a better sign. Left by the former resident. I used to buy her eggs.
Not any more. 

 This was her squirtle, too.

And her old-fashioned cow trough.

Anything that slips and falls into that bathtub while trying to get a drink is done for. I'll bet the bottom is covered with bones. Come to think of it I think I'll slip a board in there next time I drive by, so creatures can climb back out. 

Oh, there is some beautiful goldenrod along the old fenceline. 

I stop and look back to photograph the outbuildings. Because I'm pretty sure that somebody who'd cut down all those beautiful trees is also going to raze the outbuildings. I know I sound like a pessimist, but I've seen it all too many times. People come out here and buy up old farms and the first thing they do is start knocking stuff down. I guess they want it all to look like a parking lot. Clean slate and all that.  And oh, I love these outbuildings. Yes, they lean. Yes, they're decrepit. But that doesn't mean you have to tear them down. Time will do that for you.

The barn stares mutely at its destroyer. Me, too.

In my favorite photo from the day, some very late sweet peas light up the ditch. That is not a coyote.

 Oh, look. Your blogger. Hellooo!

Pulling back her bow, Diana on the hunt for images.

Gotta go! Har! I love this shot.

 I fear very much that he'll also cut down the trees I call The Three Graces. They remind me of sisters, each with her own personality and way of doing things.

It is a helpless feeling, to watch people come in to your home from away and ruin things you love beyond all reason or explaining.

I move on to the hayfield on the corner. I take a picture of myself with mistflower and hayrolls, two of my favorite things.

And if anyone asks me what color my hair is, I will answer "The color of sun-weathered hay, about two months gone." You're not going to find that in the Clairol section.

Whoever cut this hay keeps coming in and mysteriously and inexplicably rearranging the rolls every few days. The entire row used to have mistflower (Eupatorium coelestinum) all along it. Now they've stacked things and my poor mistflower is buried in hay. Still alive but hard to see unless you clamber around. Bah. 
Don't people know that they are supposed to keep my photo ops intact?

Oh that river Eupatorium, she is such a beautiful lavender river, flowing between the hayrolls.

A few lucky plants can still enjoy the September sunshine. Ahh. I stop to bask with them.


We have enjoyed blue mist at Spring Mills State Park in Indiana, and Sabatia not far north of you near Jackson. We have experienced the same sad frustration as our environs have undergone gentrification for decades. The east coast megapolis wants to swallow us as we hold out. The saving grace is the continuing saving of dozens of wild places in close proximity.

Part two of "The Long Run" was a bittersweet read for me. Love all the nature shots and the ones of you. Really do not like people cutting down trees!!! What are they thinking? They're not thinking. I live in a metropolis for now and whenever a tree gets cut down (3 beautiful ones came down on my block alone several years back) I think I should go to my council person and make people request permission to cut down a healthy and mature tree. I'll stop now because I get too riled up. Beautiful land you live in. And if not a coyote in that one photo was it a deer? Too light-colored for Chet Baker. And love the name of your hair color!

Love old farm buildings, they are one of my favorite things to go looking for with a camera when we are in the farm country of sw Minnesota visiting daughter and family.

Why not make friends with those neighbors and ask them to let you salvage the outbuildings instead of them hiring someone to knock them down? You could reuse the wood to build something at your place or to refinish an interior with that lovely old wood. There is enough there that you could probably get some friends to help you and split the wood. You would save the homeowner the cost of demolition and disposal so they might be agreeable to it.

Hey, you've stolen my method for putting myself in photos. Shadow shots are just plain fun, don't you think? And for the record, that's also a Usain Bolt pose, the Diana one. I particularly like the ones I get at the crack of dawn, that make me look considerably taller than I actually am. Not hard to do.

My cell phone is full of early morning art shots, including mist on Fresh Pond, ruddy ducks and ringnecks, poison ivy doing its best fall foliage show. It's a trick, to figure out how to carry both a pair of binoculars and a camera, but worth the juggling.
Some day you must come to Jackson NH and I will take you on my 16B loop.

Posted by KH Macomber October 14, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Ahhhhh. I will plan to do that if you will have me, Hodge. Just love you.

Hey! Does this mean your toe is better?

Love, love,love,xxoom

Posted by Anonymous October 15, 2012 at 8:15 AM

The best tree in our suburban neighborhood was the large oak next door. Six Aprils ago, the new owner of the property (moved from New York City) saw me looking into it with my binoculars and asked why (in a very concerned tone of voice). She then asked if warblers were "dangerous."

Long story short. Whenever she voiced concerns about her tree, my wife and I subtly attempted to lobby and educate her. For 6 years, we told her her what a great tree it was. We used numerous approaches, including: the argument from human history (planted by a wonderful man whose family still comes by every few years with the grandchildren to visit the tree); the local pride and aesthetic argument "best tree on the block and gorgeous in the fall and spring"), the economic argument(provides shade that saves on her home's AC bills), and the good-for-her-litttle-girls argument (they can watch the squirrels going up to the nest).

Last year, the neighbor had this tree cut down at great expense (big crane anchored in the front lawn lifting the big oak trunk over her house.) A perfectly good and beautiful tree. Oddly, Even the tree service guys were disgusted (I spoke with them).

Why? The tree simply made her nervous. She said she feared that a limb might fall. And she wanted more light. Perhaps also some deep DNA yearning for the open African savanna, away from the trees that hide predators, prevailed.

The kicker? She sold the house only two months later. I think her realtor told her that the property would look bigger without the tree.

Just sign me, "still angry and grieving."

Posted by John Workman October 15, 2012 at 8:42 AM

John, this story breaks my heart. People who live in fear of what might happen instead of embracing the great big wonderfully wooden reality of what IS...well, that's who they make brand new condo developments for. People like that should retreat to the kind of place where they can feel comfortable; they do not deserve to live amongst the giants. Move 'em out, stack 'em one on top of each other in clean little all-white boxes where they can hear every move their neighbors make and be comforted by living in an anthill.

I feel so deeply for you. Here's a poem for you, by Jane Hirschfeld:

Tree Jane Hirshfield

It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.

Even in this
one lifetime,
you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books—

Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.

I feel your pain! :) Up here in Whatcom County, WA, folks move onto farm land, surrounded land, build their huge mansions complete with pillars and 4-car garages, cut down all the trees and native vegetation, replant with Sunset Mag. recommended foliage and then complain about the farm smells...go figure.

Posted by Anonymous October 15, 2012 at 9:26 AM

A river of flowers, I like that.

Thanks for taking me on your run. We all need time like this in beautiful places like this. I especially love the photo of the hay rolls and the little purple flowers. Happy autumn and happy running!

Posted by October 17, 2012 at 7:29 AM

Anyone who can recognize an herbivore's stomach, and is a friend of Murr Brewster, is a woman I should get to know. Pleased to meetcha, Julie! I fled (northeastern) Ohio many years ago, but your posts cast my homestate in such a sweet & lovely light...

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