summer_jackel: (Default)
Two Encounters

I. Woodpeckers Fledging

The acorn woodpeckers on my street
have brought one chick to fledging---
Steller’s jays took its sibling last month.
Now the child, lovely and awkward
in velvet, unmarred plumage
sits atop a telephone pole and bawls
as its parents alternately feed and peck it,
their exasperation palpable.

They take turns gliding elegantly
from pole to tree, with all the considerable
grace, precision and show of a woodpecker’s ability.
As if to say, you can do this. Feel those wings?
Clearly, you have used them at least once.
You have begun: your leaps and flight may
also end once only.
You must learn quickly how to live, my love
and yes, the world is larger than you thought.




II. Slug Sex

I’ve been looking for years,
and on this morning early in July, at last I witnessed
the courtship of banana slugs.

I noticed the length first; they were
stretched and languid in tanoak litter,
of equal size. The unmarked yellow followed
closely, brushing its spotted partner’s tail
with its radula, careful, in slowness.
I want to say “his,” thereby revealing
my own gender bias
which will not help me understand the slugs.
One may be de facto female,
but only if he did this once before,
and didn’t come out the better of it.

A long, deliberate intimacy;
each gives and receives,
though not without pain
or threat of loss.
This we have in common with the slugs, perhaps;
more likely I am reaching,
in a vain attempt to empathize with an alien act,
a perspective I cannot share,
a beauty that is not mammalian.

This much I know:
they will twine together in tanoak duff,
moist earth and slime, and winter’s rains
will call the new ones forth to tend their forest.
It will take hours; I have not the patience for the act
and am afraid to disturb them.
I admire for a voyeur’s moment and walk on,
grateful to have witnessed mystery.


***

III. Third encounter, several hours later

This was a wonderful, relaxing morning until
my brother dragged out of bed;
last night’s party ended in a fight, and
he looks like five big guys beat out the stuffing,
which is exactly what happened.

I think I know how those woodpeckers must feel.
summer_jackel: (Default)
A photopost! We'll start with the collective pack of Kyn and myself, politely sitting until released to play. All four dogs looking in the same direction omg.

Photobucket

By the way, I know that my use of "sessile" wasn't exactly correct in the last post, but it was close enough and I wanted to use it so I did. Sufficiently accurate for poetry?

dogs who love to visit surf and the things who live there. )
summer_jackel: (coy face beautiful/serious/sad)
Sunflower star

Some time ago, on a rocky shore of the Pacific, I met
a sunflower star. It was lovely, soft and many-armed;
I extended my hand to it, and quickly
it swarmed up my fingers, its tiny tube-feet questing,
its body alive with fascination. Was I food?

I hoped not. I was not expecting
so much interest from an echinoderm,
much less this eager tasting.
I removed it gently as I could, a bit pained
that it left a few stray tube feet held fast
to the skin of my hand,
More nervous and eager to part company than I might have wished.
Denied, it secreted itself
beneath safe rock, and after that withdrew from touch.

Yesterday, I met another two,
resting against each other in the cool rock-shaded water,
trying to outwait the tide. One had an arm extended,
shockingly orange against its purple outer self.
I touched it; it quested lightly and pulled itself away.
So self-aware, these fleet-moving and sensitive
predatory things. So much less sessile than expected.
I was more cautious myself, this time; I'd learned
the feel of little tube feet moving with intention
and just for a moment, an irrational fear of being eaten.

It's not a bad thing to be reminded
not to assume; to remember that
we are always on the menu
and that the splendid vastness hungers.

Photobucket
summer_jackel: (Default)
One vulture floats above;
it is spring, the earth is black and moist
snakes and snails, salamanders, slugs and scorpions
rest under almost every bit of fallen wood
and all the small things seethe with joy and life.


***

Woo, if any day deserved a poem, it was yesterday; they probably chose April as NaPo month for a reason. Kyn and I walked to Badger Hill (so the greater majority of a day) and turned up all sorts of wood and rocks (carefully) looking for wildlife, which we found in great abundance. We found no less than three scorpions, only one of whom was the same individual I found a couple of days ago, as well as a different rubber boa, the same baby gopher snake, and all kinds of salamanders, centipedes, millipedes, wood ants, etc. It was grand.

Photobucket

pretty collie dogs and interesting wildlife found in the debris )
summer_jackel: (Default)
Oh man...I just rode close to 4 1/2 hours on a trainer after 4 days off the bike...ride started off slow, but then I got really strong. Now I have the post-ride euphoria and hunger and there is really good chocolate cake and ice cream in the fridge. I SCORE.

There is a special kind of hedonism reserved for those who suffer for the sake of greater pleasures later.

Also, in the area of how COOL is nature, check out this glacier bleeding primordial ooze.
http://www.good.is/post/science-rules-antarctic-glacier-has-five-story-blood-red-waterfall-of-primodial-ooze/?GT1=48001
summer_jackel: (Default)
Have a photo post. A particularly cold storm came though here this weekend, and when hiking up on the ridge, I was startled to find a light dusting of snow on the ground. It almost never happens here, and is such a beautiful and delicate rarity.

Photobucket

This post will make your dialup cry, but it's really pretty. Plus adorable kitties and puppies.


pics )
summer_jackel: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] foxfeather's journal, a new species of rabbit has been discovered in the forests of Laos and Vietnam.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/422674.stm

The little stripey rabbit is utterly lovely. When I'm not drawing other things (I am three commissions behind right now, with three gift pics that I really want finished, two pieces that I want to do and a few pages of Bone Shard that want painting, which I'm doing right now, or rather was before I looked at LJ) I want to design an anthro-bunny based on this species. Hey, it'll be a change from my usual all-canid-and-felid-all-the-time characters, right? Although in my own defense there, I _did_ draw that red panda gal. And, uh, my wolverine characters Trixie and Bluefeather. Although I haven't drawn any of them in months.

My silly furry art aside, the world's beauty stuns me.
summer_jackel: (Default)
Wrote this one on my recent foray to Ansel Adams wilderness, as will become abundantly clear very soon.

oh, and happy Equinox, everyone! I had a great time, horseback riding, nice company and the wonderful delicious Sebastopol Celtic music festival, what more could a little jackal want?

As you approach the summit, there is far more stone than soil )
summer_jackel: (Default)
Fish, like words, can be elusive, sliding away from your hand and your intention with frustrating ease, unholdable: or, once in the hand, if you are very lucky, flash for an instant with blinding beauty, essential life. Words, like fish, can be tricky to find and to catch, and can at times hold something more mysterious and frustratingly difficult to define than their mere utility.

some words, and some fish )

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