Friday, April 25, 2008

Buffalo Trail

Every year I decide--about the last two miles--that I'm too old to take a class on the Buffalo Trail. But for seventeen years, we've hiked it, the sophomores and I. It's a pilgrimage, of sorts, which ties in with the last unit of our book in an object lesson sort of way.

The country kids remember where the water holes are and the best places to sun on the rocks midstream, catching crawdads and loving the wind. The city kids chase the lizards and scream at the snakes. Surrounded by so much quiet springtime, it's hard not to relax and laugh for sheer joy of beauty. The sign says that the trail is eight miles long; the brochure in the ranger station says six; It feels more like twelve.

I'm not sore today, but the bottoms of my feet are bruised a little. No ticks. No scrapes. What a wonderful day it was. Maybe a little too warm though. Next year we should leave at 6:00 instead of 8:00. (I always say that)

The videos are of trail views. First, a group of adventuresome crayfish chasers, (It's a little long) and then some scenery (On the high meadow, and down by the water). The trail has a lot of variety. I stayed quiet so you could hear nature sounds, but what you hear most is the wind.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dreamdays--and other Compound Flopflips

My grandson, on his walk yesterday, suddenly commented that he liked the "woodcottons".
Hmmm. Well it does take some learning to know which word of a compound word should appear first. Is cotton or wood the most important contribution to that tree name?

It started me thinking about compound words, and I decided to write a story misusing, transposing, if you will, several common compound words. There are thirteen.

(In honor of Thursday Thirteen)

See if you can spot them.

I was just a little snipe gutter, high knee to a hopper grass, when I escaped the crossing streets and found myself out in the glorious side country. There were fly butters out there, in the breeze, and on the ground by the grass crabs under the pigeon stools, I found a treasure of fish silvers and worm rings. The trees were alive with sucker saps, and between their roots were colorful stool toads. I heard a noise...a buzzing...ah... it was just a bunch of bug hums!

That was fun. I think I'll try a poem.
(Thirteen switched compounds again)

Back fiddles and will whippoors
give me bump geese
Space crawls and snake rattles terrify.
Give me a bird song or a box of plum sugars,
flake snows or bow rains through a light sky,
A dragon snap colored in cool marine aqua
or a proud, white lily water. Sigh.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Celtic Thunder

My husband and kids have been telling me about a new group of singers from Ireland. Although they know I'm not usually impressed by modern music, they persuaded me to watch a youtube video performance by the youngest, Damien McGinty. Believe it or not, I watched the entire video, amazed by his stage presence and ability to sing. Then I watched four or five other songs. It was refreshing--understandable words, songs that actually said something. These singers used the English language as it was meant to be used, as a carrier for ideas and passions; they did not merely tear language into strips and fragments of random thoughts, throw them into a blender, turn it on high and add a few screams. No. They sang: Love songs, patriotic songs, and funny songs that were not about alleys, addictions, killing cops, or seducing Satan. The songs were not meant to repel or make anybody want to beat his or her head against the floor. People of all ages in the video audience were caught smiling. I was smiling too.
Maybe people are asking for sanity in music once again.
Is the emperor wearing clothes...finally?