Our power-mad HOA slaughtered several trees this week. I was home to hear the last of them fall to the fearsome teeth of the chainsaw.
I heard the roar of the chipper shredding life itself into mulch.
Now all is quiet.
Nature doesn’t exist
apart from us, and we do not live
apart from nature.
It surrounds us, permeates us.
We are in it, and of it.
We are no less a part of nature than
chattering wrens and howling wolves,
flitting butterflies and buzzing bees,
mountain forests and lakes and raging
rivers and meadows alive with wildflowers.
Squirrels outside a window,
birds at the neighbor’s feeder,
mule deer grazing on a hillside
take what they need to live
while we claim to be wise.
Imagine a bull moose, shy and alone, just out of sight to the left, the east. There is no fog to the south, just pine-covered rock piles, gap-toothed hills blocking your view in the near distance beyond the meadows. More distant, through the gaps and barely visible, untold miles away in the sunshine, there are mountains.
Wake up and look out the window.
Orange leaves flutter on the branches of a doomed ash tree in the foreground.
Rising sun casts the same autumn color on clouds that float far off and high in the western sky. The foothills and distant, jagged peaks are golden wheat from the plains.
If only one could paint that sunrise.
Out for a sunny Sunday morning bicycle ride, in search of good coffee and wildlife, I heard the reedy chant of the elusive Boulder County piper as I rolled into the little town of Lyons. I stopped at the corner, looked to my right, my left, ahead and behind, but could not find the source before it fell silent.
Thinking to press on to the Stone Cup and hoping to spot the wily creature on the way back home, I clicked into a pedal and pushed off only to stop again as the mournful drone and melody came right back to life.
Up. I looked up, and there it was.
God help me, I shot it. I bagged my first piper.