Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A whir of wings.

I am late this year gathering next winter`s main lot of firewood. The forest floor is full of Spring flowers and ferns - Calypso orchids and Trillium sparkle amid the dry twigs, the fresh leaves of salal and the swathes of vanilla leaf. It feels strange to be thinking thoughts of chainsaw destruction now in this time of renewal rather than in midwinter`s frozen stasis.


                                                                             Vanilla leaf and trillium.

I carefully bring down a couple of dead balsams so they fall with shattering crashes through gaps between two Douglas firs and onto the mossy knoll we call Cat Hill. Brief moments of shattered tops and flying limbs. I rev. the saw before I shut it down, my usual message to let Heather know back at the house that I am still alive, and then slip the hearing protectors up onto the sides of my helmet and the screen from my face. In the sudden silence I hear the whir of wings as a hawk pulls out of a dive somewhere above the forest canopy. A brief riffle of sound; it catches me. I could try to analyze the relationship, to understand why this confluence of season, destruction and bird of prey resonates so, but I let it go free. Whirrr!

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