Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

More Trees & Winter Trail

Twisted Branch

I noticed this tree the other day while I was walking along the neighborhood trail looking for birds. As to birds, I mostly saw the usual suspects, though I did see Cedar Waxwings, which was the first time I’ve seen them in the neighborhood. The Ring-necked Ducks finally returned as well, but this time, I tried to see the trees and spend some time with them.

It was cold here last week, the coldest it’s been since 1976 according to the paper, and so I set out to see if things looked different in that brittle winter light we see so rarely here.

It’s been dry so no snow or freezing precipitation, but I did see some ice along the muddy edge of the stream. I doubt I would have seen it if I hadn’t first heard my boots crunching through it. Nothing too impressive as far as ice cover goes, but ice outside of a drinking glass is a novelty around here.

This is the view looking up the stream (southwest). I still can’t get over the damage last summer’s hailstorm did. Most of the trees that lost their fight with the sky that night have been cleared away, but I like that this one was left over the creek like a little bridge for night-scurrying animals.

I wonder if a small tornado came through this part of the trail since so many trees were felled. If you draw a line from this spot to our house and a few blocks beyond, most of the roofs along that line had to be replaced (including ours). I guess the trees didn’t stand much of a chance.

I’ll write about the birds and my big medium small year that concluded with this icy walk in the next few days.

Just for grins, I recoded my site so that the sidebar loads after the posts, a thing which needed doing for quite some time. It’s nothing a reader would likely notice except that the site might load faster now, but what prompted me to do it is this nice enhanced gallery feature in WordPress 2.9. Here’s a gallery of pictures from my walk. Clicking on them will display them at a higher resolution on their own image pages.

In non, tree, bird or WordPress news, I was happy to see that my prose/poetry piece “The Man Who Spoke the Law” (originally published at qarrtsiluni back in October) was included on Adam Ford’s January 2010 Poetry Mixtape. Check it out. He says nice things about “The Man Who Spoke the Law” and there are links to some really terrific poems on the same mixtape.


  1. I just discovered that gallery-thingie, too! (wordpress can be a little problematic, when things like laundry come into play. I forget what I should be doing…)

    congrats on your poem! and I like that tree–makes you wonder how it ever got that way.

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