Barbed wires on rusted nails can’t hold
lone bulls at home when they smell pasture.
They thrust their bone skulls under barbs,
tongues quivering for a taste of strange
and shove until the post gives way. Days later,
we find wires sagging, reset the post,
and tighten bent wires like a fiddle
and rope the worn-out bull,
wishing there was only a fence
between us and our heart’s desire.
But something with spurs and a rope
would find us, cursing and yelling on horseback,
cutting us from escape down arroyos,
dragging us frothing and wild-eyed
back to the sun-bleached yellow range,
the same whirlpool of buzzards.
– “Riding Herd” by Walter McDonald
“Pale, without name or number,
In fruitless fields of corn,
They bow themselves and slumber
All night till light is born ;
And like a soul belated,
In hell and heaven unmated,
By cloud and mist abated
Comes out of darkness morn.”
– Exerpt from “The Garden of Proserpine” by Algernon Charles Swinburne
O the days gone by! O the days gone by!
The apples in the orchard, and the pathway through the rye;
The chirrup of the robin, and the whistle of the quail
As he piped across the meadows sweet as any nightingale;
When the bloom was on the clover, and the blue was in the sky,
And my happy heart brimmed over in the days gone by.
– Excerpt from “The Days Gone By” by James Whitcomb Riley
Alone I stare into the frost’s white face.
It’s going nowhere, and I—from nowhere.
Everything ironed flat, pleated without a wrinkle:
Miraculous, the breathing plain.
Meanwhile the sun squints at this starched poverty—
The squint itself consoled, at ease . . .
The ten-fold forest almost the same . . .
And snow crunches in the eyes, innocent, like clean bread.
– Osip Mandelstam, “Alone I Stare Into the Frost’s White Face”
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
The Badfish Creek in southern Wisconsin was originally named Waucoma by the original Native American inhabitants.
This account of how the Badfish mistakingly got its name comes from the Cooksville Blog:
“The name, “Bad Fish,” appears to have been applied, perhaps mistakenly, in late 1833, when the U.S. government land surveyors were moving through the Wisconsin part of the Michigan Territory from the east and the Rock River to the west past the Yahara (Catfish) River and on further west in Rock County (then part of Brown County), through a “Rolling Prairie,” as their sketch map called it. When the surveyors came upon a large creek in the northwest corner of what is now Rock County, they apparently thought they had reached a part of the Bad Fish River (later the Sugar River) system.
The Bad Fish River was the name of the upper branch of the Sugar River at that time. The land surveyors presumed, mistakenly, that the little creek flowing from that direction was a small tributary of the Bad Fish River. Thus, they named it the Bad Fish Creek.
For whatever reason, the name “Bad Fish Creek” was recorded in the early 1830s survey.”
The Badfish Creek is now a favorite paddling destination in the Madison – Oregon area.