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Monday, 22 October 2012

Message in the Fog


Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens), Rockefeller Forest, Humboldt Redwoods State Park: photo by Jason Sturner, 26 September 2003

Aim high
like the sequoias --
aspire to
our most wild dipthong,

one solitary
sooty grouse


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Sooty Grouse (Dendrapagus fuliginosus), female, Deer Park Road, about 1.5 km north of Olympic National Park: photo by Walter Siegmund, 4 July 2008
File:Dendragapus fuliginosus 5527.JPG
Sooty Grouse (Dendrapagus fuliginosus), female, Deer Park Road, about 1.5 km north of Olympic National Park: photo by Walter Siegmund, 4 July 2008

Undergrowth in Sequoia sempervirens forest, Muir Woods National Monument: photographer unknown, 2005 (U.S. National Park Service)
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Sequoia sempervirens and Vaccinium ovatum in fog, Redwood National Park: photographer unknown, 23 March 2006 (U.S. National Park Service)
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Fog in Sequoia sempervirens, Redwood National Park: photo by Michael Schweppe, 24 June 2008

File:Prairie Creek Redwoods - Coastal Redwood Forest.jpg
Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) temperate rainforest, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park: photo by Owen Lloyd, 24 March 2008


vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Thanks for reminding us to give a hoot!

Nin Andrews said...


TC said...

Many thanks, Vassilis and Nin.

Though this is a city and there is a freeway feeder out front down which continuous commuter traffic rushes in a manic homicidal flood, we live in the shade of three enormous redwoods. The redwoods mean life. The largest redwood is a hundred feet high and towers over this crumbling old house. It was born as a potted plant won as a prize at the San Francisco International Exposition of 1906 by a woman who owned this hillside then. It is an ecology in and of itself; it is home to many and various critters, raccoons, squirrels, and bugs of all sorts. Its root system is as broad in diameter as its great russet trunk is tall. These water-seeking subterranean roots grow to the size of a man's thigh; they are pumping in the water that nourishes the redwood world. The tree sends out tiny intelligent tendrils which radiate through the earth until they find moisture to feed the system. Back in the day when I was capable of physical activity, I got to know those roots very well, because the tendrils inveigled themselves into our drainpipes, working industriously down there in the dark, which forced us to dig great laborious holes into the hard ground. I learned then that Sequoia sempervirens is a being of not only majestic beauty and grandeur of stature, but of tremendous capacity for transforming the immediate environment into nutrients that sustain life of an order of complexity beyond anything we could ever aspire to. Living under these trees has its problems, the great branches defy such dwarfish obstacles as power lines and the accumulation of debris is terrific, last week big offshore winds brought down a rain of needles which clogged the drains... and at the moment as I type these words an intense downpour generated by the first serious storm of the season is causing the saturated and happy boughs to droop and drip with joy.

In short, they too extend their thanks. They're having a good day. A rainforest wants nothing more than to be rainforest.

Anonymous said...

those Sequpoa reminds me of our alerce woods...wonderful pics ...beautiful words!

Susan Kay Anderson said...

The message left no question
about how to proceed--
it is rainforest duty to go
out into the elements
see what is happening
with the Beats
and their like
their wrapped-up days
making it through the storm
roots as large
as a man's thigh.

Robb said...

Basho could never work in the word "diphthong." Bravo.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Message from Tom Clark

dwarfish obstacles
reach for highest
beyond reach
but keep the drains clear
while sending out
"tiny intelligent tendrils which radiate through the earth "
happy, saturated phonetics
drip abundant
sheltered by
rainy sequoias
that stand around
not to miss out
on all the action.

Ed Baker said...

those giant trees something to see !

In 1974 I traveled up the coast on the way to Eugene,
Portland and Vancouver & camped out under those trees...

some friends who where going to I think it was REED
or maybe Rogue River Community College

where going up to the top of some of those tree they were studying the life-forms (bugs and such) that lived
(and relatives of them I guess yet do)

there were life forms there that never left the tops of those trees and nothing like them on the ground.

It was really neat to lay beneath those trees and look up
and see them gently swaying in a breeze...
the shadows the filtered light through those trees that reached the ground : PURE MAGIC !

I think that I
shall NEVER see
a poem as lovely
as a tree

(or a photo as lovely as being with one / those

and/or the smells !

Wooden Boy said...

"our most wild dipthong"

I'm imagining some glissando hid in the heights of language.

"roosting/sooty grouse/hoots"

Such subtle vowel shifts calling out.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Sunken nurse logs
wait for the others
to fall on down
to the bed of needles.

Task: repair the earth
report to the Department of Air
increment by increment
over and over. The poet
shows us this.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Echo lonely
from a small bird
dark damp
thankful for mist
draping like sheets
past the old burn
covering all sound.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Clark's Fog

drifts past lichen-covered branches
gripped by grouse
torn by bears
made heavy with rain
the routine
silent patter rhythm
everything shaking
green tongues

TC said...

Thanks to all for sharing our sodden undergrowth.

It's been teeming all night again here in the micro-climate, perfect weather for chronic bronchitis, cough cough!

made heavy with rain
the routine
silent patter rhythm
everything shaking
green tongues

The old grouse has been grousing and shaking with sooty green tongue beneath the feverish coverlets yay all through the day into the night, the silence punctuated only by intermittent coughing, a few unbearable radio-in-the-dark moments of The Debate (our would-be Next Leader, the sacred underwear guy, reassuring us "we've got Israel's back, culturally" -- now there's a relief, cough cough!), and then, through the rain, our neighbour, out beneath the redwood, calling one of his cats that had got off somewhere to shelter from the deluge...

Rainforest microclimates are wonderful, if you're a Sequoia sempervirens.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to my neighborhood. They're really 'just' giant prehistoric ferns. But your post had me leafing through On Bear's Head for this:

Amazing creatures, I was delighted
to visit them, to watch them,
languid waving those green feather frond scales
they aren't too far from being ferns

These giants make me laugh, they are young and fragile
upwards of 2000 years old, I worry about them, will they survive?
Here are more of them than I had hoped
But the odds against them are huge as themselves.