Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

suspendedreason

Well-known member
One of the premier nature writing collections. The section on Fecundity is seared into my brain.

Re-reading, now that I'm out in the country again, and will post excerpts, thoughts, animals, stories as I go along. If you don't have a copy, you should pick one up, there are useds on AbeBooks and similar for $4-5.

Copy I'm working off:

 
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suspendedreason

Well-known member
my twisted summer sleep still hung around me like sea kelp

Ants don't even have to catch their prey: in the spring they swarm over newly hatched, featherless birds in the nest and eat them tiny bite by bite

About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four-story building. It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star

The whole show has been on fire from the word go... everywhere I look I see fire; that which isn't flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames

An infant who has just learned to hold his head up has a frank and forthright way of gazing about him in bewilderment. He hasn't the faintest clue where he is, and he aims to learn. In a couple of years, what he will have learned instead is how to fake it: he'll have the cocksure air of a squatter who has come to feel he owns the place. Some unwonted, taught pride diverts us from our original intent, which is to explore the neighbourhood, view the landscape, to discover at least where it is that we have been so startlingly set down, if we can't learn why
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
Certain Indians used to carve long grooves along the wooden shafts of their arrows. They called the grooves "lightning marks," because they resembled the curved fissure lightning slices down the trunks of trees. The function of lightning marks is this: if the arrow fails to kill the game, blood from a deep wound will channel along the lightning mark, streak down the arrow shaft, and spatter to the ground, laying a trail dripped on broadleaves, on stones, that the barefoot and trembling archer can follow into whatever deep or rare wilderness it leads. I am the arrow shaft, carved along my length by unexpected lights and gashes from the very sky, and this book is the straying trail of blood.
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
This is one of the most consistent, cross-domain effects I've noticed. How much things seeming boring, monotonous, uniform is a product of lacking the exposure/experience to notice the details (the differences that count). I remember feeling that way for sure about country music, reggae, metal as a teenager. I hear it as a complaint about classical music a lot also.

Annie Dillard said:
Probably some people can look at the grass at their feet and discover all the crawling creatures. I would like to know grasses and sedges—and care. Then my least journey into the world would be a field trip, a series of happy recognitions. Thoreau, in an expansive mood, exulted, “What a rich book might be made about buds, including, perhaps, sprouts!” It would be nice to think so. I cherish mental images I have of three perfectly happy people. One collects stones. Another—an Englishman, say—watches clouds. The third lives on a coast and collects drops of seawater which he examines microscopically and mounts. But I don’t see what the specialist sees, and so I cut myself off, not only from the total picture, but from the various forms of happiness.

 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
The lover can see, and the knowledgeable. I visited an aunt and uncle at a quarter-horse race in Cody, Wyoming. I couldn’t do much of anything useful, but I could, I thought, draw. So, as we all sat around the kitchen table after supper, I produced a sheet of paper and drew a horse. “That’s one lame horse,” my aunt volunteered. The rest of my family joined in: “Only place to saddle that one is his neck”; “Looks like we better shoot the poor thing, on account of those terrible growths.” Meekly, I slid the pencil and paper down the table. Everyone in that family, including my three young cousins, could draw a horse. Beautifully. When the paper came back it looked as though five shining, real quarter horses had been corralled by mistake with a papier-mâché moose; the real horses seemed to gaze at the monster with a steady, puzzled air.
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
Starlings came to this country on a passenger liner from Europe. One hundred of them were deliberately released in Central Park, and from those hundred descended all of our countless millions of starlings today. According to Edwin Way Teale, “Their coming was the result of one man’s fancy. That man was Eugene Schief-felin, a wealthy New York drug manufacturer. His curious hobby was the introduction into America of all the birds mentioned in William Shakespeare.

Thanks, England!
 

catalog

Well-known member
Annie Dillard said:
I cherish mental images I have of three perfectly happy people. One collects stones. Another—an Englishman, say—watches clouds. The third lives on a coast and collects drops of seawater which he examines microscopically and mounts.

💚💚💚

Have been meaning to find a place to post this sequence of seaweed photos i took in cornwall this summer.







In case not obvious, it's the same piece of seaweed. I got tired of looking at the clouds and sea that day, just looked down and it was some whole other level of awesome.
 
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