November

November 

No sun – no moon! 
No morn – no noon – 
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day. 
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, 
No comfortable feel in any member – 
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, 
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! – 
November! 

Thomas Hood

I am trying not to let Thomas Hood’s “November” set the tone for this walk through the old growth. It’s hard. I can check off each item on Hood’s whining list. “No sun,” check. “No moon,” we haven’t seen it for months. I am tempted to continue when I spot Aki. The little dog is trotting toward me, tail a metronome, ears flapping, tongue wagging. Something she just smelled has set her afire. 

        Aki isn’t mad at the beavers, even through it is their earthworks that are flooding the trail. Thanks to them she has to waddle waste deep across inundated sections of the path. She loves the scents that they spread near their half-submerged homes. 

          The little dog isn’t saddened when we sight the corpse of one a massive spruce tree. The death of the old giant doesn’t bother me either. It’s trunk is shot through with rot. It was time for it to fall. By next summer it will serve as a nursery for the sprouting seeds of hemlocks and spruce. It won’t collapse into earth until a new generation of trees have gotten a fair start at forest life. 

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