Sunday, December 31, 2017

"Barter" by Sara Teasdale

Resolutions.... And best wishes for a Happy New Year.

Related image

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder in a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

Sun Bath

At 7 degrees.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

"The Giver of Stars" by Amy Lowell

"The Sleeping Heart of Winter" Catherine Hyde

Hold your soul open for my welcoming.
Let the quiet of your spirit bathe me
With its clear and rippled coolness,
That, loose-limbed and weary, I find rest,
Outstretched upon your peace, as on a bed of ivory.

Let the flickering flame of your soul play all about me,
That into my limbs may come the keenness of fire,
The life and joy of tongues of flame,
And, going out from you, tightly strung and in tune,
I may rouse the blear-eyed world,
And pour into it the beauty which you have begotten.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The First Day of the Return of the Light

Happy Solstice, everyone.

On the day after the shortest day, the first day of the return of the light, I make one more trip to Clear Creek. This is where I want to spend my first extra minutes of daylight. I get on the bridge and my eyes wander upstream again.

There is plenty of green if you get on the north side of things.

I follow the deer trail between the ridge and the stream.

I come to the stone viaduct again. The ridge looks like a ridge, and it's too high to see any signs of a road or rail bed, so the echoing tunnel beneath it exists in a state of mystery. I walk over to it. It's long and holds four feet of water. It reminds me of a baptismal font, a symbol of new beginnings.

I reach the farthest point upstream that I have been so far, turn and begin to fish my way back.

I find a nice run with a deep pool at the end. I swing a wet fly and drift a nymph deep, but catch only leaves. The whole time I'm imagining this spot in high summer.

I leave my tracks beside those of my fellow fishers.

Down in a place like any other I get a tick on the wet fly and bring in a chub. I pull out the flask and toast it like it was a buck steelie.

And then another. This one ends up having the distinction of being the last fish of 2017. Cheers.

I fish on down past the log jam then reel in and cut up through the woods to the bridge, and the last fishing trip of the year comes to an end.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

"Limericks" by Gary Johnson

Related image
Mt. Rainier

A young man climbed up Mount Rainier
On a day that was perfectly clear
And through his telescope
He watched a big dope
Steal his bicycle and disappear.

There was a young lady of Newark
Who rode a train daily to work
Then returned to the station
For the same transportation
At six o’clock when she was through work.

An old Lutheran near Owatonna
Raised ten acres of marijuana.
It went up in a blaze
And for seventeen days
He had visions of the Blessed Madonna.

A young fellow left Puget Sound
To move to Spokane and he found
That he hated blue sky
And the air was too dry
And the coffee improperly ground.


I plan to get out sometime soon. The weather report includes some windows. Meanwhile I'll keep looking out of my windows at the local wildlife.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Outdoor Alliance December Newsletter

The Incredible Shrinking Monuments
The myths, the maps, and the legal aftermath in the wake of last week's announcement that Utah's protected land will be drastically scaled back.

See more ...
What the National Monument Rollbacks Mean for Recreation
How will your outdoor activities be affected by the recent rollbacks of protected land? Outdoor Alliance's GIS Lab crunches the data.
What We've Been Reading
All the answers to frequently asked questions from climbers on the lawsuit to protect Bears Ears National Monument
The changing politics of woods work on National Forests
Here are all the lawsuits fighting the national monument reductions
How attacks on public lands got personal
Advocacy 101: How to Get a Meeting With Your Lawmaker
You elected them, now here's how to get into their offices to talk with them.

Protect Your National Monuments
Decision makers need to know their actions have consequences. If you haven't already, speak up about last week's attacks on public lands.
Take action now...
Header photo credit: Hunter Day   
Outdoor Alliance
1255 23rd Street NW Suite 275
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Before the Cold Snap

Before the cold snap I went back to my favorite spot (so far) on Sugar Creek. The water was clear and cold and just deep enough. I hit the old familiar places and then hiked on downstream farther than I ever have. I didn't find the big deep hole into which all the smallmouth have retreated (I have this image in my head of green depths with smallmouth stacked up like cordwood) but I enjoyed swinging a fly in new water. I'm not saying this was my last trip of the season, but it may be the last of 2017. We'll see what the weather does.