Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rocks Which I Have Known

[from "The First November": November 2011]

November 11, 2011
Somewhere above Spier Falls, Moreau Lake State Park

When my thoughts are sensible of change,
I love to see and sit on rocks which I have known,
and pry into their moss,
and see unchangeableness so established.
I not yet gray
on rocks forever gray,
I no longer green
under the evergreens.
There is something even in the lapse of time
by which time recovers itself.
   HDT, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers 

Went a-walking with Laurie W. today, to a place she suggested.
She is a geologist by trade, and searches the ground not for blossoms, but for rocks.

She lives close by, and knows this side of the mountain
like the back of her hand. Her affection for this place is something she is passing on to her children, who just about grew up on these woods. They volunteer for trail work now, on the same trails where Laurie pushed them in a stroller when they were little.

Hunting-season had begun, and hunting is permitted in the area where we planned to walk. Laurie shook her head sadly as I stepped out of the car in my usual white cap -- and loaned me a nice blaze-orange one.

We walked upwards until we were above the river, looking down upon it on this grey day. When we weren't looking down at rocks.
I know next to nothing of the science of geology, and Laurie was patient enough to point out some interesting things to my unpracticed eye,
Like precipitates - not just a dirty rock, these are stuck on permanently
And garnets in feldspar - or is it gneiss?
well, they are garnets, anyway

I like how this shale-like rock just decided to break down

And share its space with another life-form

The line between plant and stone Is not always clear

This  apple-sized “stone” turned out to be a mushroom: Earth-Ball
A drop of morning dew on this moss looked so refreshing
And even dead leaves looked leathery-rich.

Our walk ended when some dark clouds scudded in from the west, and it seemed that perhaps we'd get the snow we have all been waiting for.


  1. What exquisite images! Thanks for helping us to see some of the wonders underfoot we often walk right by without noticing.

  2. Garnets in Gneiss...sculpture of the highest order!
    Ma Nature creates way beyond the best human artists sometimes.

  3. thanks for your comments, it's nice to go awalking together in this way - Sue