Posts Tagged ‘nature’

big bad wolf


Big, Bad Wolf, Ikea, Milan, Italy © Jim Korpi

Sequim, Washington: 2010 Census Population, 6,606 (humans), an increase of 52% since 2000 census.

The town was given its name by the S’Klallam tribe meaning the “place for going to shoot” the elk herds and waterfowl.

Lowlands are naturally places of food for elk during winter in the mountains.

Part of the historic migratory path of the elk herd is now blocked by the local Holiday Inn Express and the Black Bear Diner, according to the Peninsula Daily News.

The most recent culling of the Dungeness Elk herd was to bring the number down from 40 to 20-25.

“We have to have a number where we are not having agricultural damage,” said Sgt. Eric Anderson of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Twenty animals do half the damage of 40 animals.” Peninsula Daily News

world without wilds


Brush Fire, Edges Wild Series, Casselle Landi, Italy © Jim Korpi

In a world without wilds no coyotes howl in the front field. No raccoons dig under the garage door to get at the chicken feed. No snakes hide in the tall grass. No deer jump in the garden. No rabbits eat the herbs. No foxes eat the rabbits.

There are cats in the abandoned building sites. Pigeon shit breaks up the monotony of the cold stone streets. Fur coats are fashionable. Hunters place poison at the edges of fields to prevent domestic dogs from stealing the stocked pheasant they chase with shotguns and their own domestic dogs. Farmers lie poison on the paths of rodents who burrow by their crops. The deep ammonia smell of spread manure from feed lots opens the top of your nose and stays there until you shower with perfumed soap.

Every place you step feels overstepped, overrun, worn. No competition is left but that which exists among ourselves. The wild within us has been fenced in, locked up, bred out, or extinguished.

knowing the breeze


Feeding the Birds, Belfast, Ireland © Jim Korpi

Seamus Murphy smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. Only, it’s not packs. He rolls his own. He prefers a specific tobacco.
Just after a meal his pouch comes out of a pocket. He removes a small filter from the bag and holds it between his lips while pulling a wrapping paper from the pouch. The paper is held with his left forefinger, middle finger and thumb to form a valley while his right hand spreads caramel colored tobacco evenly inside. The top edge of the paper is licked and both hands roll tobacco and paper into a cigarette. This all happens in one minute and 20 seconds.
Outside, the Belfast wind irons flat the conflicting British and Irish flags on their poles.
Murphy steps into the breeze. Instinctually he lifts his face to the current of air to smell it, to feel it blow across the soft hairs below his eyes, those always missed by his razor. He pauses there for a second. Then as quickly as the needle of a compass points north, Murphy turns his face away from the wind and cuffs his hand in front of his mouth for protection. His eyes and forehead are lit with a flash of orange light, smoke signals from his hands and he turns back to the breeze to take a bit of it in and then blow into it a mix of steam and smoke.
In this moment of lighting a cigarette in the wind he connects to something primal, some forgotten instinct in us all to know the breeze.

a prayer for reincarnation


Garden Fence, Edges Wild Series, Athens, Ohio © Jim Korpi

“It’s like a movie,” we say in times when we have no reference in visual reality. Our eyes communicate something to our brains that does not register.
I have no reference for what I saw last summer on my front porch.
Three barn swallows swooped in and out for about a week before we noticed four downy grey heads bobbing from the interior of their nest.
Their nest sticks against the face of a board on the right side of our decrepit porch like mud stuck to the fender of an old rusty truck.
The barn swallow is one of the most amazing creatures on the planet. Their flight is both eratic and calculated, graceful and unpredictable. Watching them makes me pray for reincarnation. “Please, Jesus, put in a good word for me up there, and let me be a barn swallow in my next life.”
The visits continued for another week and a half. The swallow parents, three of them, fed the growing offspring and then dipped off into the hills, nosediving our cats on their way to and fro.
I walked past the sugar maple guarding our house on my way in for lunch and noticed something different. A flock of 30-50 barn swallows were buzzing around the porch like bees around a hive.
I ran into the house to the bathroom window – my hunter’s blind – and looked out onto the porch without being seen.
Each swallow in the large swarming convoy took its turn dropping beneath the eave of the porch and up to the nest where it would hover for two or three seconds chirping and looking at the progress of the progeny inside before gliding back to the group.
The next day the four swallows in the nest were gone. They were ready.

hung over

World Luxury Expo, Furniture, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia © Jim Korpi

Two identically dressed blonde college students stroll down Main Street in black leggings, tan sheep skin moon boots and sweatshirts with their school logo wrapped tightly across their chests.

They pass by a young maple tree whose bright leaves recently came to rest on the ground. The woman closest to the leaves looks down as they pass. “I love Fall,” she declares. “It’s so beautiful.”

The other woman, without looking in the direction of the leaves, shrugs off her companion’s comment. “I wish I wasn’t so fuckin’ hung over. Then I’d be able to appreciate it.”