For a couple hours each afternoon the goats make their way from the pasture back to the barnyard to be milked. And then off they go again, back to the fields. The pasture this week is by the beaver pond and the goats have quickly set to work making goat paths throughout the thick brush.
We’ve largely forgotten the incantatory and invocational use of speech as a way of bringing ourselves into deeper rapport with the beings around us, or of calling the living land into resonance with us. It is a power we still brush up against whenever we use our words to bless and to curse, or to charm someone we’re drawn to. But we wield such eloquence only to sway other people, and so we miss the greater magnetism, the gravitational power that lies within such speech. The beaver gliding across the pond, the fungus gripping a thick trunk, a boulder shattered by its tumble down a cliff or the rain splashing upon those granite fragments – we talk about such beings, the weather and the weathered stones, but we do not talk to them.
Entranced by the denotative power of words to define, to order, to represent the things around us, we’ve overlooked the songful dimension of language so obvious to our oral [storytelling] ancestors. We’ve lost our ear for the music of language – for the rhythmic, melodic layer of speech by which earthly things overhear us.
—David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology
American Coot, I don’t usually photograph Coots because it is so hard to get any detail, its basically a black bird with a dark eyes and a white bill. Not a lot of contrast, but an American Coot with a chick, especially one with all that color now that I will photograph. Besides I never seen an American Coot chick before.
William Finley Wildlife Refuge, Beaver Ponds 08 May 2016