A Tangle of Bright Moments: A Magical Garden in Space

…for someone visiting earth for the first time, the real treasures here would all be free.  The smell of a sunlit prairie, the taste of a cold cup of spring water, the crunch of trackless snow underfoot, these are some of the earth’s supreme treasures.  On intergalactic maps, if there are such things, the place where we live must surely be designated as a magical garden in space, a place of astounding beauty.”  Steve Van Matre, in The Earth Speaks: An Acclimatization Journal


This was one of those days where I was overwhelmed by so many exciting experiences and at the same time I was frustrated and irritable because I couldn’t capture most of it with the camera, either because it happened too fast or too far away. I kept thinking to myself, this is an amazing day! What you’re seeing and feeling is magical, rare, beautiful. And yet I was crabby because I had no record of some of the birds and other animals, and without a record, I know I don’t remember what I saw and how it felt. It’s flipping through photos that brings me back to the moment; I need tangible prompts or I really will forget, and it’s always been that way. So I have a compulsion to “capture” as much as I can, to remind me, to re-mind me; but then the moment itself can become too much about the capturing, overshadowing the being, the feeling, the sensory openness and widening awareness of what’s in front of me, all around me. The balance is sometimes just off. That’s how it was this mid-May day in Concord, NH, at the Society for the Preservation of New Hampshire Forests.

Still: Look!



Baltimore oriole
yellow warbler
American redstart
eastern kingbird
American lady butterfly
wood turtle



Fringed polygala – Polygala paucifolia
starflower – Trientalis borealis
crabapple blossoms
Jack in the Pulpit – Arisaema triphyllum (one of many)
Nodding trillium – Trillium cernuum
inside nodding trillium – Trillium cernuum
bluets – Houstonia caerulea
hickory (Carya spp.) sapling
lady’s slipper – Cypripedium acaule





Featured image: path along Merrimack River
This is one in a series of posts revisiting field trips taken from January to June 2019, as described here.

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