Tree, tree, stump, tree

3 02 2010

Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.

I did two trail runs this weekend.  Of course, at one point I took my shoes off and tried to go barefoot but stubbed my toe and wimped out.  While I was running sans shoes (prior to the stubbed toe) it felt marvelous.

If I can find a way to keep my feet somewhat protected but still somewhat in contact with the environment I will be happy (at least in that moment).

There are things you can’t get anywhere… but we dream they can be found in other people.

What I was thinking about, in terms of this blog, was not the barefoot issue…but rather the issue of irony.  Or a couple of little ironic happenings.  At least they were ironic to me–they might not have been to you.

We were on a short trip for our twinned birthdays–sans kids (who were at home, kindly watched by my parents).  Because we are both tired we selected a close place to stay–the Salish Lodge.

This lodge was, of course, used as the exterior to The Great Northern Hotel in Twin Peaks.

The Lodge is to the left in the photo.  To the right is part of the hydroelectric plant that is run off the power of the waterfall.  The first page of the hotel guide in the room states that Snoqualmie Falls was a sacred place according to the Salish.  Then goes on to talk about the development of the historic lodge.  I assume no irony was intended–but of course, sticking a luxury hotel on a sacred site and then using the sacred nature of the site as a selling point is like naming a condo complex Quail Villas after you’ve slapped the buildings on top of birds’ last local habitat.  My sense of bourgeoisie shame was triggered although I also know anywhere I step I’m crushing someone.

(We also, incidentally, had a meal, including cherry pie, at Twede’s which is the cafe the figures in Twin Peaks–my second visit and I would indeed recommend the pie).

Sometimes owls are big

On one of the days I ran Tiger Mountain–and was alone for much of the run.  This was nice.

Shut your eyes and you’ll burst into flames.

Near the start of the trail was an uprooted tree (there are many of these around here)–the roots were strange-looking, I became enamored of them.  They were, I believe, thick and smooth because they’d burned.

Look nearby:

There was this burned stump.  And indeed other evidence of a fire.  And if you know my quail diaries you know I find the remains of fire most intriguing.  Fire is a season in southern California.

Man!  Smell those trees.

The region with burned wood was relatively small and inside an area apparently no being logged for timber.  Elsewhere, portions of the mountain are being logged.  How do I know?  There are signs:

They say “Timber Sale Boundary”

And there are places like this along the trail:

This location, if not exactly clear-cut, is something damn near that.

(Between this place and the area not open to logging I saw a winter wren.  I also heard sweet mixed flocks with chickadees and others. But I can barely see even with my glasses if I have no binoculars/scope and so I did not know who they were, only that they were loud).

It was as I just passed back through this cut area,  that I was stopped by the first people I’d seen for nearly an hour.  They wanted to know where the trail led and if there were views.  I smart assedly said “there’s a clear cut just ahead.” To which they responded, “and there are views from it?” apparently missing my sarcasm.  This is just as well, they did not deserve my cussedness.   I had to explain that I didn’t get far enough to figure out if there were any views.

They went on their way and I went on mine–before we parted, one said, “well, it is at least nice to see another living being.” Which to me was odd as I had spent the entire time so far being utterly overwhelmed by the living beings surrounding us–and the sense of strange tragedy.

I feel mean spirited writing this–because I do not despise those two–they were nice enough and they had chosen the woods rather than something else.  But, at the same time, it was an encounter that I felt thrown by and I wonder how things might be different if everyone felt as overwhelmed by all the breathing going on as I do. I suppose nothing would get accomplished.

I do not introduce the log!

There was a tree near my house, I looked up and her arms bent down to me–I felt a strange welcoming embrace, except she was so high up.  I am a biologist–a rational scientist.  I am, too, not rational.  I am perhaps a little crazed.

a logging man… he met the devil.  Fire is the devil, hiding like a coward in the smoke.


quotes are from Twin Peaks (many, indeed, are from the Log Lady herself).




One response

4 04 2013
Tree Pruning Brooklyn

I loved the ending quote… So true.

-Samudaworth Tree Service

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