Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Twelve Moons of the Year. November 02

Significant sentences from The Twelve Moons of the Year by Hal Borland, a chronology of the New England seasons. November 02.

"The oaks...making maple and ash look twice as naked and pine and hemlock twice as green." p. 305.

"Fallen leaves...the gutters and roadsides are, for a little while, almost as brilliant as were the trees themselves." p. 306.

"The leaves...the expendable leaves, the reds and yellows and russets and purples that have no meaning to the trees themselves." p. 306.

"Trees. First, a bud, then a spreading sheet of plant fiber ingeniously packed with chlorophyll and other complex chemicals, and finally a discard." p. 306.

"...maple keys, nature's original helicopters." p. 308.

"Choose a crisp leaf, no matter whether maple or oak or ash, and try to match it; and know that leaves are almost as varied as snowflakes." p. 309.

"See how goldenrod and asters add to the aerial cargo, and know a few of the meanings of infinity, numbers that make counting a meaningless mumble." p. 309.

"Hold in your hand the empty shell of a beetle or the shed husk of a locust; see the intricate parts, the ingenuity of life, now gone elsewhere...chitin, the horny substance much like your own fingernail, but only a few weeks ago a living thing...." p. 309.

"Know that life is more than protoplasm, more than fertile egg or ovum, that it is ultimate order in complexity." p. 310.

"There is no chorus of birdsong...no scratch, rattle or buzz of insects...chittery chipmunk has finished his hoarding and settled down to quiet sleep...chattery squirrels go about their treetop business without challenge or palaver...the winter crows hold no conventions, are content to announce their presence...doesn't add up to silence, but after the sounds of summer and early autumn, it certainly is quiet...that this is the quiet of the year, not the silence." p. 311.

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