Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fellow Watchers, Fellow Mortals

Early last week, on a bluff above the Deep River, I spied a bumblebee. It was busily nectaring at the painted buckeyes growing thick in the understory. All around and above, the riparian forest rose to the sky, centuries old tulip poplars, ash and sweet gums sheltering the shrubs below. 

Completely absorbed in my task of comparing the large-hairy-all-over-with-a-broad-yellow-band-on-its-abdomen bumblebee with the large-shiny-hairless-black-abdomen-and-white-dotted-head of the carpenter bee, my eyes absently wandered up the trunk of the massive tulip tree on which I leaned and met the eyes of another...

What wonders have you seen, wise old watcher in the woods? 
Fellow watcher, what yarns could you spin?
Timeless tales; tales of bees and flowers, tales of rivers and trees, tales of mice and men? 

The immortal Scottish poet once pondered the plight of a mouse and a man...

"I'm truly sorry Man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An fellow-mortal!"
-Robert Burns, "To A Mouse" 1875

As  I anticipate your imminent departure, fellow watcher, the poet's lament is mine.

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