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Switching the Bubbles

I’m hearing a soft, flat whistle from somewhere in front of me, but it’s impossible to tell exactly which direction. Seep! Followed by silence. Something is making the birds anxious enough that they will no longer reveal their location. Later when we go inside, Jon Young explains that what I heard was a robin alarming. This particular call is strategically difficult to pinpoint. As he pieces together observations from others in the group, a pattern emerges. The alarms and subsequent wave of...

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The Apple Tree Episode

  My husband climbs into the car loaded with several sacs of apples and mutters, “I had an encounter with the New Boulder.” “Uh oh,” I respond. For my dear husband, late September often means apple-foraging. Through years of cycling the county’s backroads, he developed a mind map of the apple trees along the rights of way. A few years ago we planted a couple of trees on our property and foraging elsewhere has been unnecessary. But our trees, along with many others in the area, took this...

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Conscious Companionship

  Reading a few things lately by Daniel Pinchbeck, I appreciate the way that he’s willing to talk about consciousness. Even so, I find myself wishing he would go a little further. I want to step beyond the lonely, claustrophobic bubble of humanism, and frankly, the techno-utopias of transhumanism give me the fucking willies. We need to shift our consciousness to include a sensing of how we are companioned by other beings. We need to rejoin the others. This has to be something that...

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Grace

At the end of my 9 miles I saw them. Three enormous bull moose by the parking lot. So did everyone else. Part of me was annoyed that these people should get to see them too. Some old belief about the necessity of earning joy. Carloads of pale, soft-bodied Walmart shoppers shuffled over to the edge of the willows. Please shut the hell up. Please just look. The woman on my left asks her companion, “What do you suppose they’re for? We don’t use their meat… or their fur…” “You mean, what’s God’s...

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On Outdoor Re-creation

I’ve always enjoyed exploring the wilderness. I have never understood why more people don’t do it, though perhaps deep down I’m grateful not to have hordes of other humans out there.  It’s like this ridiculously well-kept secret. Why? This piece on the death of backpacking asks the same question. The author believes backpacking in particular is not popular “because younger people are leery of the unglamorous labor required for stepping off pavement, and too occupied with the easiness of TV,...

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