Forest Primeval

THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,

Yesterday as I was sitting in my car, a nice young man carrying a bow and arrow walked past my tent site, and I was reminded that I had pitched my tent next to a trailhead used by hikers and horses. I waved, as we do in the country, and after a split second he waved too. This morning I woke to a pattering sound, and for a moment wondered if it was raining. Not rain, the sun was out. It was the sound of leaves falling. Today before breakfast I spent a little time exploring the trail behind my tent. You can go up about a half hour before the trail is cut off, for me at least, by a huge tree that has torn from the side of the hill and whose unended roots stick out from a huge hole in the trail.  But the forest was lovely in the filtered sunlight, and in the sound of leaves that kept falling.


The vegetation here is slightly unfamiliar, but I can recognize some type of oak tree.  I certainly had to move a lot of acorns out from under my tent when I was setting it up.  The vine going up the trees looks a lot like the poison ivy we have in the northern part of Illinois and Indiana.  They say you should always count the leaves when you look for something to use as toilet paper in the wild.  I would add to that to look up before gathering firewood.

Here are the falling leaves and the sound they make.

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