Yesterday when I pulled a length of arugula out from one of the hoop houses, there was an amazing show of earthworms in and around the plants’ roots. I had never seen so many worms. I kept stopping to watch them, to bump them along with my finger, to smell their soily home. Earthworms are no geniuses, maybe, but they do know what they want. Yet the thing is, what worms want is likewise what I want. Is it possible that man and worm can somehow hookup over some common need? Some life force?
It is possible. This:
soil rich in organic matter
One night about two weeks ago, there erupted an astonishing brouhaha in the vicinity of our fire ring. It was coyotes, a great gathering of them, maybe ten or so, the most I’d ever heard so close to the house. Our dogs, which usually go crazy when they hear coyotes on the mountain, went mute; after an initial rush to the door, they returned to the fire, flopped down, and didn’t move. Turning off the lights, I slipped out onto the deck. Continue reading
For the last five minutes or so, six wild turkeys have been reaching for the last of last year’s fruit from one of our dwarf crab apple trees. Back-to-back snowstorms have elevated the birds such that with heavy hops up they can occasionally score fruit.
But mostly they miss. Mostly the turkeys have been going slowly around the tree, necks up-stretched, only to plunge time and again through snow up to their bellies. That and in-fighting, shoo-shooing each other away from the tree. Continue reading
Because even with seven billion of us notwithstanding, there’s always enough anxiety. And because barefooted, she’s noticed, is how lettuces do it. No matter the winds, the suns, the mid-morning spiders, no matter the hails that slice them down…it’s always earth they reach for, their tiny toes pushing down down. And kind earth, ever longstanding, holds them. That’s why, see. That holding. That’s why so she often stands barefooted with lettuces.
This is how it went with birds in the snow the other day at my house, the snow, although April-born and thus fat and wet and not so confident, still reaching to two inches and redressing everything.
I was at the kitchen window looking out when suddenly small, black birds appeared, instantaneously above our herb garden, banking left and down, and dropping in. Black manna. This snowy revelation. Continue reading