Sunday, August 10, 2008

History, Natural and Otherwise

The spiders who had been creating lovely webs outside my bedroom window have moved on and been replaced by some non-orbweaver webs. Before they left, I did get to see the female (much larger and less interesting in appearance) once and one day of a very successful web which caught three small blue dragonflies.

The beautifully colored rabbit who had been using the brush pile before I found him dead on a nearby sidewalk has been replaced by a less attractive rabbit. Glad to see the space being put to use. Yesterday, a few feet from the brush, two squirrels were maneuvering along the thin branches
of the small trees (elders, I think) eating the not yet ripe berries.

Farther afield from my window, many of the northeastern bats who have managed to survive the white nose fungus are being left with damaged wings, making for a doubly deadly problem.

Another great benefit of globalization--an infestation of Asian longhorned beetles has been discovered in central Massachusetts. In the three previously discovered infestations in Brooklyn, Chicago, and New Jersey, over 40,000 trees have been removed. The beetles will destroy a wide variety of trees including maple, birch, willow, ash, and sycamore. Add these to the woolly adelgids destroying my favorite stand of hemlocks in Boston's Arnold Arboretum, and the emerald ash borers headed my way after being discovered this summer in both Wisconsin and the western part of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Lord knows what will come back from the Olympics.

I continue my multi-year project of thinning my book and music collections and plan a trip to the big city this week to sell some books. Since I began this project, I've gone from having overflow piles on the floor to empty space on all bookcases and music shelves. I find a cd I haven't listened to in years; sometimes I dump it immediately, sometimes I sample and get suckered into keeping it for now because it was very important to me years ago. I still have close to two hundred unread books and am reading a lot of first chapters to determine if I want to keep the books. In the process, I'm rearranging by subject which helps find redundant books ... do I really need four guides to tracking when I very rarely track? No, I think these two will cover everything. I've even made a few cuts to my Thoreau collection and now only have four editions of Walden, not counting the like-named cat.

It's now a few weeks past the July Thoreau-related date I had in mind for ending this blog because I continue to delay my expected moving date for the sake of that cat and because staying here is the cheapest and easiest option. This is also quite possibly the last time I'll be able to live under the conditions I prefer. In other words, no big incentive to leave other than the grass is always greener idea which got me stuck here in the first place. Today, I'm thinking that I will remain here until at least late-October, but I do need to concentrate more on what I need to get done in order to leave so I don't think I'll be writing very frequently. What I have been writing is largely memoirish which I don't like putting on here anyway, and with working titles such as Alien Nation and The Long Goodbye, you probably wouldn't like reading them either. Until next time...


Stephanie E. said...

At first this seemed like a post I hadn't read yet...but then I realized I had...but then the last part wasn't familiar...and then I realized that I started it the other day and then was pulled away on other matters and never got to finish. Sheesh.

Moving on...

Thank you for sharing what happens outside your windows. I'm envious of those moments, those observations. I don't have enough of them these days.

Regardless of the reasons, I'm glad you're sticking with the blog for a while longer. Your voice and words will be missed when you go.

greentangle said...

I'm not really a very knowledgeable naturalist but I do like to observe what's happening. It's always good for slowing down life and keeping a sense of wonder.

Thanks for the kind words.