The Conservation of Scenery

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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“Good farmers, who take seriously their duties as stewards of Creation and of their land’s inheritors, contribute to the welfare of society in more ways than society usually acknowledges, or even knows. These farmers produce valuable goods, of course; but they also conserve soil, they conserve water, they conserve wildlife, they conserve open space, they conserve scenery.”

– Wendell Berry

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Sowing Lightning

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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“Seize
Bolts of lightning from the sky
And plant them in fields of life.

They will grow like tender sprouts of fire.
Charge somber thoughts
With unexpected flash,
You, my lightning in the soil!”

– Visar Zhiti, The Condemned Apple: Selected Poetry

Sullen Waters

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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Here delicate snow-stars, out of the cloud,
Come floating downward in airy play,
Like spangles dropped from the glistening crowd
That whiten by night the milky way;
There broader and burlier masses fall;
The sullen water buries them all–
Flake after flake–
All drowned in the dark and silent lake.

– Excerpt from “The Snow-Shower” by William Cullen Bryant

Remembered Light

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka

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… not every man knows what he’ll discover instead.
When the weight of the past leans against nothing, and the sky

Is no more than remembered light, and the stories of cirrus
And cumulus come to a close, and all the birds are suspended in flight,
Not every man knows what is waiting for him, or what he shall sing
When the ship he is on slips into darkness, there at the end.

– Excerpt from “The End” by Mark Strand

Slow Morning Hours

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

– “October” by Robert Frost

Autumn Shade

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Slip into the autumn shade
I could sleep for days
But I like the sun when
I can hear another sound
It’s a long way down
Keep my head up

Who am I to be this way
Dreamin’ so insane
But I like the sun when
Fallin’ through another plain
Never one the same
Keep my head up

– “Autumn Shade” by The Vines

A Crown of Autumn Leaves

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Yellow fall roars
Over the ground.
Loud, in the leafy sun that pours
Liquid through doors,
Yellow, the leaves twist down

Glowing in wind and change,
The orange leaf tells

How one more season will alter and range,
Working the strange
Colors of clamor and bells

When autumn gathers, the tree
That the leaves sang
Reddens dark slowly, then, suddenly free,
Turns like a key,
Opening air where they hang

One of the hanging leaves,
Deeply maroon,
Tightens its final hold, receives,
Finally weaves
Through, and is covered soon

Holding past summer’s hold,
Open and strong,
One of the leaves in the crown is gold,
Set in the cold
Where the old seasons belong.

– Excerpts from “A Crown of Autumn Leaves” by Annie Finch

Over Fields of Fruitless Corn

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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“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

Badfish Goodnight

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.

The Most Touching of Wounded Objects

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

“A stricken tree, a living thing, so beautiful,
so dignified, so admirable in its potential longevity,
is, next to man, perhaps the most touching of wounded objects.”

– Edna Ferber