Chapter Thirty-Nine: The Woods From Camp

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Wednesday 29 May 2002 -A few days ago, I was listening to some program on NPR where they were talking about different ways of looking at the same thing. A poet read a poem describing thirteen ways to look at a blackbird, It was pretty obtuse, and parts of it weren’t understandable to anybody but the poet, I’m sure, but it was a nice way to show that a thing isn’t just one thing. I tried one on how the woods appear from our camp.

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They’re gray and lifeless; no movement, no sound, no color.

They’re gray and almost lifeless; no movement, no sound, but white and maroon trillium flowersemerge from last year’s leaf residue.

They’re gray-green as tiny leaves appear on trees that still look almost lifeless above the greeningforest floor. Sparrows occasionally “chip,” blue jays call once or twice.

They’re green, white, blue, and yellow below, as violets, blue bead lilies and others join the earlytrillium and hobblebush. Warblers flit and sing, sapsuckers drum, and early-nesting robin call.

They’re multi-shades of green above and below. Early and late flowers add a variety of colors to theforest floor. Birds are in full song, and chipmunks scamper.

They’re multi-shades of green above and below. Flowers have completed their bloom. The air is humidand heavy, and few birds call. An occasional chipmunk scurries through the forest floor debris.

They’re green above, browner below, with patches of red and gold. Flocks of migrant birds appear foran hour or so, silent but restlessly active, then are gone.

They’re red, gold, bronze and brown. Small flocks of birds still move through the mostly silent woods.Blue jays call occasionally.

They’re red, gold, bronze and brown, but each gust of wind and each rain shower moves more of thecolor from above to below. There is little sound, and no movement except for the swirling,falling leaves.

They’re gray and lifeless above, white below as snows drift and add to the silence. Snowshoe hares,mostly invisible in their winter camouflage, leave tracks.


They’re gray and lifeless. No movement, no sound, no color.

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Sanford Wilbur 2022