Monday, August 20, 2012

Driftless Region

They call it the Driftless region, the southwest corner of this state where the glaciers didn’t drift. It's a name that suggests absence but the geography is a proclamation of presence in an otherwise razed Midwest.

Left to the whims of wind and water, the land plummets and plunges, thrusting upward before disappearing into clefts created by forces no longer present.

This canyon? Once it was an ocean. The water receded and the bare beaches became stone. Centuries of flood waters surged over the sandstone flats, forging rough valleys out of the sea bed. 

Here trees grow from rocks, long trunks surging upwards until a profusion of green meets the endless blue. If you climb to the top, you could be there too.

Or so it seems.

The hard verticals and sudden shifts in altitude take my breath away.

(If only you knew how literally I mean that.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mushroom Land

We welcome you to Mushroom Land.

We wish you could stay forever.

But we all know that you can't.

(Unless, of course, you eat the mushrooms. Then anything is possible.)

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Hey there, R.J. Reynolds. You're hard to escape in this small town. 

So is the sound of cicadas, chirruping in a mechanical chorus more like a car alarm than an insect love song.

If the song is successful, the mated cicadas fertilize and die. Their hatched offspring bury themselves underground and emerge years later to sing their own love (death?) song.

It's rather poetic, despite the fact that cicadas are still insects, prone to mistaking human arms for sap-filled tree limbs. I imagine it's hard to differentiate between tall, swaying entities when your eyes are bigger than your brain.