Showing posts from April, 2016

Musings: Earth Day 2016

Witness I want to tell what the forests were like I will have to speak in a forgotten language
—W.S. Merwin, from The Rain in the Trees, 1988
I love the poetry of W.S. Merwin. When I came across this poem recently, the words hit me like a swift punch to the gut. The somber thoughts in those lines are the very ones I'm musing on, on this Earth Day 2016. Lately, as I write this blog I'm feeling increasingly that I'm not only sharing my photos and nature experiences for inspiration and to encourage others to get outside and see these wonders for themselves, but there's also a sense that I'm recording for posterity the beauty and rhythms and truth of a place I've called home my entire life - a place that seems to be heading toward a future wherein it will be radically changed.

And, of course, the driver of that change is climate change.

As we pump more heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through deforestation, agriculture, and burning fossil fuels, our…

Wanderings: Seeking Spring (2016)

It has become a tradition for me to take to the woods at this time each year to search for evidence of spring's arrival in the white trillium that bloom in the forest. For the past two years, I've sought out these precious heralds of spring while hiking along the aptly-named Trillium Trail in the Redmond Watershed Preserve, an 800-acre nature preserve of mature second-growth forest set aside in suburban Redmond.

But this year was a little different.

Rather than meandering through a protected and beloved forest along well-traveled and maintained paths, I was instead bushwhacking my way through a wild, pathless scrap of gorgeous forest filled with sunlight and birdsong - a doomed forest in the Issaquah Highlands that will soon be mowed over to make room for the construction of four new office buildings. And this time, I didn't just seek spring. I took it.

A few months back, I volunteered to salvage native plants with the King County Native Plant Salvage Program, and spent a…