Thursday, March 24, 2011


driving home from work i am always getting over the day. 
i often have a headache. 
it's a 28 mile trip. 
i realize that i drive, gladly, rejoicing, into an ecotone. 
every day. 
and i live here, in an ecotone. 
and i am an edge person. 
john green first taught me about edges. i audited his class in natural history, 
and i remember him talking about the richness where two places meet. 
edges he said with delight.
coyotes and foxes travel edges, birds flourish, feed, and nest there, insects trill, 
and a huge variety of flora. 
in the edge. the ecotone.
terry tempest williams taught me the term ecotone. 
the "proper" word for john's edges. 
both are amazing naturalists. 
i think i am destined for edges. 
my place is on the edge of the adirondack forest preserve and the st. lawrence river valley. 
an ecotone. 
it's hilly and farmy, a mixture of wetland, rocky soil, 
beaver altered landscape, woods and meadow. 
it's beautiful. 
tonight i saw snow, wild cloudshines, and a late sunset with a light show.
and i heard my favorite of all spring birds. 
a woodcock. 
welcome home.
oh, and woodcock? 
they spend their days in the edges,
do their mating dance in the twilight
first in the meadow, 
then circling flight,
then back in the meadow.


iNdi@na said...

i should be packing to leave for an edge...
but just quickly
i get claustrophobic in the middle
edges are good.
i wonder, if enough ecotones are played in the right key
will they sound good on my saxophone?

Velma said...

you'll have to play that one for me since i can't, but i'll listen or better yet, i'll check with the woodcock.

Valerianna said...

I definitely live on the edge... the edge of the forest, the edge of the culture, the edge with the foxes... the edge of my budget!

Beautiful sunset shot!

Deb G said...

Ecotone...that's the word I've been trying to remember! Very special areas. It takes me an hour to get home on the bus/walking. I use that time to let go...

Maggie Neale said...

Your post here is a gift as I end this day...your mention of edges gives me pleasure and the sunset glows in my memory. Thank you!
My verification word...rests...and I must.

ronnie said...

recognising, understanding and appreciating edges and ecotones is the foundation of permaculture.... and we creek/farm/forest girlies all know an (overlapping range of) good things when we experience it!

(what lovely cloudshine!)

deanna7trees said...

...sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind...
i see a whale in that rock.

kaite said...

ecotone? why have i never met that word before?
a beautiful and edgy post.
the rock is a Queensland lung fish, they definately live on the edge as they are almost extinct and come from pre-history.

lynne h said...

velma, this post give me shivers and makes me smile...


(to everything!!)


Lynn said...

Ecotone. I'd also not heard that word before. I still remember learning the word interstitial from a high school art teacher. That space between, that boarder, that friction zone, has always stayed with me.

Cait Throop said...

Edges and! Saw that sunset last night...went for a walk in the woods yesterday saw coyote scat and a woodchuck in the pasture (grrrr for the woodchuck and their holes) your post and I love living on this edge!

jude said...

everything is an edge. is that a giant rock book? ha!

Velma said...

yep, jude
cait, keep your ponies away from those holes!
everyone, aren't we happy to belong in the ecotone?
it may be chilly here (quite) but the sun has graced us and more daylight is amazing

djmhall said...

I love this. I can so relate to you. Even though I live in town I wish I was on the edge. I try, however, to make my own edge, even in town in can be done. My favorite site in early spring are the returning Robins and Sandhill cranes. When I see them I know we are on the edge of Spring.

Anonymous said...

wonderful blog and once again, beautiful pictures. lots to think about. and thanks for a new word - ecotone.

Velma said...

d. maybe edginess is mainly mindset, and irrevovcable
jean, think shifu is an ecotone, perhaps?

Fiona said...

You take me with you in this post. Magical.

Velma said...

welcome, fiona!

T said...

hmmmmmmm loved this post velma, your descriptiong of you rip home and the greeting from the woodcock. wonderful.


Velma said...

welcome back!

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