Nature writings

Hard-Luck Henry
Quote: Originally Posted by peapod

grgrgrgrgr..yes she was struck by lightening, thats probally why she is such a great writer :P

Then it's Gretel Ehrlich, and another for my list

Another Brit:

"Sometimes, bluebells act as pure memory. I have seen them growing in the very middle of Sussex fields, a faint line of that unmistakable hyacinth blue drifted through the meadow grasses. Why here? Why that slightly wavering line, as if drawn with a crayon across the slope of the field?


Ah yes, of course, they are marking the route of an old hedgerow, dug out when the fields were rationalised thirty or forty years ago, but persistent despite everything that has been done around them.

Or even more remarkably, I have seen them in full flower on the Treshnish Isles to the northwest of Mull, surrounded by puffins, the Atlantic birds strutting and preening on the open Hebridean hillside, while the bluebells nod and blow beside them, perhaps the last remnant of a small piece of woodland that disappeared before anyone recorded it.

Or the knottiest of Welsh valleys, on the banks of Cumbrian becks, high in the Scottish Highlands, even on the ramparts of west country Iron Age hillforts: of course the bluebell is the flower of the UK.

At heart it belongs to woodland.

The British bluebell woods, if they were in some other part of the world, tucked away in the Balkans or some hidden valleys in the Tien Shan, would be the most famous of all botanical marvels. But because they are in our backyard, they were for a long time taken for granted.

Only in the nineteenth century did people begin to notice them much. Then, quite rapidly, the British fell in love with their flower, Keats near London, Tennyson in Lincolnshire, Gerard Manley Hopkins in Wales and William Barnes in Dorset all becoming enraptured with ‘the shaded Hyacinth, always Sapphire Queen of the mid-may.'

It is Hopkins who will remain the poet of the bluebell. More than the beauty of the individual flower, he noticed the wonderful, massed field of blue that the flowers create in the shade of a wood, ‘the level or stage or shire of colour they make hanging in the air a foot above the grass.'

That is something which no one had noticed before and remains at the heart of the bluebell's beauty. It is one of the miracles of this country: light pushes through in patches on to the green wood floor where the plants have just come into flower.

There are pools of last year's oak leaves still lying about. Next to them the thick green pad of bluebell leaves shimmers in the sunlight like a damask, high gloss in parts, folded over into dullness in others.

It is a half-lit green darkness and in it the glamorous and seductive eyeshadow presence of the bluebell's blue, a nightclub colour in the low lighting, beyond any sweet pink innocence the apple blossom can manage, is the sexiest and smokiest colour you will ever see in our landscape, a haze of Isfahan in the green woods of Britain.
Thanks for the bluebells henry :P Its the simple things that count

"I am bound to praise the simple life,because I have lived it and found it good. When I depart from it, evil results follow. I love a small house, plain cloths and simple living. Many persons know the luxury of a skin bath, a plunge in the wave or the wave unhampered by clothing. This is the simple life direct and immediate contact with things, life with the false wrappings torn away. The fine house, the fine equipage, the expensive habits, all cut off. How free one feels, how good the elements taste, how close one gets to them, how they fit one's body and one's soul! To see the fire that warms you, or better yet to cut the wood that feeds the fire that warms you; to see the spring where the water bubbles up thats slakes your thirst, and to dip your pail into it; to see the beams that are the stay of your four walls, and the timbers that upholds the roof that shelters you: to be in direct and personal contact with the sources of your material life; to want no extras, no shields; to find the universal elements enough; to find the air and water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk; or a evening saunter; to find a quest of wild berries more satisfying
than a gift of tropical fruit; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest, or over a wild flower in spring. These are some of the rewards of a simple life"

Your turn
Henry check this out (external - login to view)
That was beautiful, Peapod.xxxoxxxox.
YO YO edgie :P Well they are not my words, but your right they are beautiful as well as very true.
Okay henry back to some nice stuff eh?? guess who :P

"Most people are on the world, not in it - have
no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them -
undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone
like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate...
How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast
has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places
standing alone on the mountain-top it is easy to realize
that whatever special nests we make - leaves and moss like the marmots
and birds, or tents or piled stone - we all dwell in a house of one room -
the world with the firmament for its roof - and are sailing the
celestial spaces without leaving any track..."
Hard-Luck Henry
Hey P., I know all about the father of conservation,John Muir. He's right, we should "do something to make the mountains glad".

Little link for you: John of the Mountains (external - login to view)

Here's what The John Muir Trust (external - login to view) do in Scotland.
Thanks henry that is a wonderful site. Have you done any tramping on the skye :P I did not know that muir was scottish, but it makes sense I will bookmark that and keep it, like all the other great things you have shown me. You do know henry that the scots invented the modern world, I have the book that says so.
Hard-Luck Henry
I have been to Skye, peapod - what's more, Ill be there when you're on Queen Charlotte (looks great - more about that later). They have a world music festival there every summer, so I'll have a holiday music, dancing, new people, camping, mountains, the ocean, climbing, everything I like, really. I cannot wait!

btw I have a book that says the English made the modern world. And one that says the Irish did. And also one that says The Basques . I bet there are others, too (although I know about important Scots - peapod, for one ). I guess we all did it together.
true henry and I think that mine ancestors and your ancestors were great friends And my book is called how the scots invented the modern world, the true story of how western europe's poorest nation created the our world and everything in it. by Arthur Herman.
Happy aniversary henry Mrs henry is one "lucky" lady Thank her for sharing you with us :P
Hard-Luck Henry
Yo yo yo, peapod!

What do you know about this Charles Jencks, and his 'Garden of Cosmic Speculation?' I saw this programme on TV (external - login to view), but the only images I can find to show are a few here (external - login to view) (scroll down and click where it says 'visit a picture selection ... ')

And there's a bit about it

here (external - login to view).

Anyway, it's in the Scottish Borders, so I'm going to find it and take my own pictures.
Ah! the return of the sweet gentle henry :P I will go and look at that right now henry....thanks...are you trying to tame the shrew :P
awesome henry! *hugs henry* and I guess you saw that I can buy his book..
Hard-Luck Henry

“Why came I hither but to that intent?
Think you a little din can daunt mine ears?
Have I not in my time heard Lions roar?
Have I not heard the sea, puffed up with winds,
Rage like an angry boar, chafèd with sweat?
Have I not heard great ordnance in the field
And heaven’s arrtilery thunder in the skies?
Have I not in pitchèd battle heard
Loud ‘larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets clang?
And do you tell me of a woman’s tongue,
That gives not half so great a blow to hear
As will a chesnut in a farmer’s fire?”
You are one FINE man henry
Hard-Luck Henry
I say, steady on!

(*head swells* I love it, really )
Hard-Luck Henry
This shouldn't take too long.

"O SOLITUDE! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,—
Nature’s observatory—whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.
But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d,
Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee."
Heya Henry Keats and coffee, nice combination...henry did you notice joncor signature..another dickens fan
Hard-Luck Henry
Keats and cough medicine for me, pea., but yes, I did notice that. And you are the man (sorta)
Yes I can see how you would think that henry, I think for myself. Don't worry tho...there are alot of paris hiltons out there.
Hard-Luck Henry
"A Blonde was vacationing in Louisiana. Whilst there, she wanted to pick up a pair of authentic, genuine alligator boots. So she stopped in at a thrift store and picked herself a pair.

'How much are these?' she asked the owner.

'Those are $500.00.'

'What? That's ridiculous.'

'That's the going price. You want the authentic genuine thing, that's what it's gonna cost you.'

'I'll go somewhere else.'

'Be my guest. Price'll be the same all around here.' Then he quipped.
'You want them cheaper, why don't you go off into the swamp and get them

The Blonde huffed out.

Later that day, the store owner is walking past a stretch of narrow river when he sees the Blonde, chest deep in murky water, making cooing gestures.

'Jesus, I was kidding.' And he shouts out to her, 'get out the water you crazy broad, you're gonna get yourself killed.'

Just then, a huge alligator rises up behind her. Before the store owner can shout a warning to her, it strikes.

As the beast lunges for her, she spins about and grabs its jaws, holding it at bay. It begins to roll and she leaps astride the monster. The battle is furious but she wrestles it into submission, finally taking a hunting knife and burying it to the hilt between the creature's eyes.

The store owner watches amazed as she tows the hulking brute back to shore and heaves it up the bank. To his further astonishment, he notices that there are already several dead alligators strewn around.

Nimbly, she flips the beast over. 'Damn it,' she exclaims, 'this one isn't wearing any boots either.'"

"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils"
Hard-Luck Henry
:P You know Wordsworth used to tramp the same mountains that I do today? In fact, one of his poems - Fidelity the Dog - was inspired by an event which took place on Helvellyn, the mountain I'll be on next week. The poem is actually scribed into a rock somewhere on the mountain, as a memorial - I'll post a picture, if I can find it. In the meantime, this is from a poem he wrote about climbing Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales:

" … and from the shore
At distance not the third part of a mile
Was a blue chasm; a fracture in the vapour,
A deep and gloomy breathing-place, through which
Mounted the roar of waters, torrents, streams
Innumerable, roaring with one voice.
The universal spectacle throughout
Was shaped for admiration and delight,
Grand in itself alone, but in that breach
Through which the homeless voice of waters rose,
That dark deep thoroughfare, had Nature lodged
The Soul, the Imagination of the whole."
It would appearing fitting that you trample the same woods as wordworth henry. Who better to follow in his footsteps
Henry read the site of John Ikerd, I posted it in the economics of substainability. I know you will really enjoy his ideas.

Ode To A Nightingale
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,--
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain--
To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:--Do I wake or sleep?.
Hard-Luck Henry
Henry you are the man :P
Henry has your hand grown on your avatar did you see mom's avatar I am jealous :P
Hard-Luck Henry
Hey P. Here's a poem about the mountain I had my adventure on yesterday. Wordsworth wrote a poem about the same incident (The one in 1805, not the one I had yesterday). Striding edge is the ridge I mentioned to you. (A fishy anecdote - Red Tarn is the highest body of water in England, and contains our rarest fish, the Schelly). Anyway, who wrote this poem?

"I climb'd the dark brow of the mighty Helvellyn, Lakes and mountains beneath me gleam'd misty and white, All was still, save by fits, when the eagle was yelling, And starting around me the echoes replied, On the right, Striden-edge round the Red-tarn was bending, And Catchedicam its left verge was defending, One huge nameless rock in the front was ascending, When I mark'd the sad spot where the wanderer had died.

Dark green was that spot 'mid the brown mountain heather, Where the Pilgrim of Nature lay stretched in decay, Like the corpse of an outcast abandon'd to weather, Till the mountain winds wasted the tenantless clay, Nor yet quite deserted, though lonely extended, For, faithful in death, his mute favorite attended, The much-loved remains of her master defended, And chased the hill-fox and the raven away,

How long didst thou think his silence was slumber? When the wind waved his garment, how oft didst thou start? How many long days and long weeks didst thou number? Ere he faded before thee, the friend of thy heart? And, oh! Was it meet, that - no requiem read o'er him- No mother to weep, and no friend to deplore him, And thou, little guardian, alone stretch'd before him- Unhonour'd the Pilgrim from life should depart?

When a prince to the fate of the peasant has yielded, The tapestry waves dark round the dim-lighted hall With scutcheons of silver the coffin is shielded, And pages stand mute by the canopial pall: Through the courts, at deep midnight, the torches are gleaming, In the proudly-arched chapel the banners are beaming, Far adown the long aisle sacred music is streaming, Lamenting a chief of the people should fall.

But meeter for thee, gentle lover of nature, To lay down thy head like the meek mountain lamb, When, ‘wilder’d, he drops from some cliff huge in stature And draws his last sob by the side of his dam. And more stately thy couch by this desert lake lying, Thy obsequies sung by the gray plover flying, With one faithful friend but to witness thy dying, In the arms of Helvellyn and Cathedicam."
Bloody Brillant henry! guess I have been around the dibbs to much lately...blimey I will have to root around in a book and return the favor...oh I know just the one....remember I told you about it......oh and it is soooooooooooooooooooooooo good big H
Hard-Luck Henry
Hey P, check out this link: (external - login to view)

(Do the 'click here' bit)

I've looked at this page more closely, and it's not a particularly good site. So don't expect too much.

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