08.03.21: Suislaw NF, Oregon

There’s an ethereal quality to the light in the fog and big trees…

Woke up yesterday with murrelets again; ruminated on the way they bring the ocean to the forest in voice, in the anchovies they carry to their young, in their excrement’s marine remnants—fertilizer. Wondered if they notice the clear-cuts and eroded soil and tree-farm monocultures when they’re journeying between land and sea…

Took a barefoot walk (it’s a very good way to NOT step on banana slugs!) through some really lovely coastal forest—turned 7 miles into half a day: so many snags to imagine Spotted Owls sitting on; so many rocks in the stream to turn over for dragonfly and mayfly nymphs; so many Pacific Wrens (I doubt I was ever more than 5 feet from one!) to trade insults with. I love them.

Slow time has been a dominant theme of this season in the west: it’s been an undoing of instant gratification, of being bound to a schedule, of the angst of trying to hasten things that shouldn’t be. And it’s been good for me. A few days back, I was taking it easy on a mountain road, being gentle on my brakes and transmission. I pulled over often to let those with more urgency get around, and was amused to later pass one of these because their kid got carsick. Faster isn’t always better.

Pacific Wren, one of my loves 🙂

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