Sunday, May 4, 2014

Flames of Green and Sprites to Catch

After a visit to Pierce's Woods, a well cared for native forest patch within the great botanical gardens at Longwood in Kennett Square, PA, I took to the wild woods of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Five Points Trail meanders deeply into a river hills ravine following a stream as it builds capacity from its start at a stonewall encased spring head built by German settlers two centuries ago. The stone cabin foundation sits nearby, a short walk to the fresh, cold waters that flowed dependably from the hillside.

Two hundred years ago German settlers built a stone and log home that stood here until the 1920s. 

The trail wanders up and down the stream valley from low points to high points, five high points to be exact. Passing through tunnels of rhododendron to rocky bluffs where huge white pines touch the sky is otherwordly. It's a challenging walk of four miles and can be looped with connecting trails through the Susquehannock State Park, PA. One of my favorite local parks!

To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty . . . it beholds every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The low morning sun provided dramatic lighting. At some bends in the trail the woods looked as if they flickered in yellow-green flames, each new leaf unfurling, adding a blaze of bright color. I walked slowly, reverently along the trail. It was so beautiful.

There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as if everything is.
~Albert Einstein

The spring came suddenly, bursting upon the world as a child bursts into a room, with a laugh and a shout and hands full of flowers. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My work is to love the world.
- Mary Oliver

Many of the buds of trees and all of the ferns unfurling from their fiddleheads were swathed in fine silks like whispers of possibility. The morning sun sets ablaze a tickling of light that makes the young things smile and laugh as I go stumbling down the trail.   - Journal entry 4-17-14

Canada mayflower leaves shimmer and dance in the morning breeze. If I squint my eyes it looks like green fire licking at the edge of the trail. - Journal entry  4-27-14

At the last of the five points before I descend into the valley to catch a loop trail back along the edge of the park, I stop and admire. Just admire. I can hear the creek the whole way along, even when I can't see it. There's so much may apple popped up like a million umbrellas, when just a month ago there was still snow.  It was so still cold, so penetrating, that on this point those few week back, I turned around, shivering.  - Journal entry 4-27-14

The creek is captured by a larger stream near the point where all of it falls over the edge of the hill, and tumbles loudly over a series of rocky ledges to the Susquehanna hundreds of feet below. I don't go out there though. I have my two coonhounds who are hard-pulling and - well - you get the picture. But there are lots of sprites to catch and the dogs love snapping at spray and splash.

Against its will, energy is doing something productive, like the devil in medieval history. The principle is that nature does something against its own will and, 
by self-entanglement, produces beauty.
- Otto Rossler

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