WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: THE ROAD TAKEN
Where are our roots? For plant life the relevant answer is quite simple, however these roots are normally not visible – hidden deep in the dark ground. But there is one place in the very South-Eastern part of Poland near the nice village of Kazimierz Dolny where to find an intriguing natural moment – the Roots Gorge / Wąwóz Korzeniowy, a hollow-way created by erosion over the years where a lot of exposed roots can be admired over a large distance. Some trees seem to hover amazingly in the air contrary to natural laws, another road taken from this old tunnel to the boundless sky.
“When I touch that flower I am touching infinity. It existed long before there were human beings on this earth and will continue to exist for million of years to come. Through the flower, I talk to the Infinite which is only a silent force. This is not a physical contact. It is not in the earthquake, wind or fire. It is in the invisible world.”
George Washington Carver, early 20th century
A common Russian joke told to guests from other countries is that they can meet in Russia bears as well in big towns but with a balalaika around the shoulder and a bottle of vodka in the paw. This human perspective of the bear and nature has in fact nothing to do with the real bear who likes for instance to snack honey or all kinds of berries. In any case the bear still acts all around us as a virulent archetype in our today’s life and language, so in Germany – when telling a complete false story – this is described by the idiomatic phrase “jemandem einen Bären aufbinden” meaning literally to fix a bear on somebody’s back.
‘Meister Petz und Reineke Fuchs’, etching, 1752, Allart van Everdingen
(Illustration in Johann Christoph Gottscheds’ animal epos ‘Reineke der Fuchs’)
During the Bronze Age people in Europe adored the bear for his power and strength, but besides believed in him also as a great healer because it was said that during the time of the annual winter dormancy the bears would simply disappear to the other unseen world of myths, spirits, gods and dreams. However, the common picture of the bear is a bit ambivalent because he was also regarded as a threat for farmed animals although being in reality a vegetarian most of the year. In the last 200 years the common view on the bear has changed a lot, because he hence became an important player in fables and epic works where he would represent either just a clumsy fellow or also quite often the real personalization of a friendly, good-natured, naive companion.
In Northern America the tale of “The woman who married a bear” is widely well known and most probably existing in multiple versions with the diverse tribes and first nations. And in this context and culture bears are more treated like brothers and sisters shared in a common nature. In order to preserve this old but jeopardized relationship they have found GOAL, the tribal coalition to protect the grizzly and their ancestors’ legacy. GOAL is representing 39 tribal nations in total, and you will find more detailed information under the following link:
In the last winter I attended a wolf field trip near the city of Rieschen lying in the very South-East of Germany not far away from the German-Polish borderline. Since the opening of borders in the early 90s of the last century the wolf has returned to Germany again. So in this area there are to be found a total of five wolf packs, but it is hard to see them in reality because they sleep most of the day just loafing around through the dark nights like phantoms.
So normally you will detect more easily the shred of doubt than a wolf. Are these possible signs on the first picture of this mythical being? But why should a wolf run on a forest road and chase ordinary tyre tracks of an automobile? So the expert explained to us that they do look quite like wolf trails, but are in reality sheepdog made.
Now these fresh trails here crossing the path from one side to the other look quite the same as those from the sheepdog?! After measuring and controlling the way of walking we were told by the guide that these can only be wolf trails although they do not look much different. A bit bewildering like a common tale to be honest and the respective wolf was still hiding somewhere in the thick undergrowth like a mysterious mocker while simply laughing about us human morons.
Anyway we saw finally this herd of bisons which behaved in a quite camera-shy manner and all of a sudden preferred to escape into the width of the landscape, however they always just follow hereby their own trails.
to be continued
Here, the blue winter moon has just touched the forgotten place of the legendary moving rocks which loaf through these lonely landscapes since unknown times. A layer of translucent lightnings and radiance covers immediately all trees and each lost wanderer in the shadow of spooky moonbeams. So take care at midnight when you hear the owls howling seemingly from everywhere such converting harmless forests finally into ghosty realms, because a mysterious place like this is never very far away.
“The air is full of the molecules of water vapour. Their constitution is such that in the normal temperature of the athmosphere their poles are pushed so far asunder as to be practically out of each other’s range. They do not unite. They freely flow in their swarming millions through the air. But when the temperature begins to freeze, then their motion is slowed down and their mutually attractive power, their magnetism, draws them together, they become visible, and we see chrystals made of ice. And again, the points of attraction and repulsion belonging to each particle exert such an exact degree of pull and pressure that the most delicate shapes of marvellous symmetry are built up. These are the flowers of the sky. We call them snow”
John Steward Collis in: The Visions of Glory
As midwinter’s solistice is approaching, I now have to leave again to the imaginary world.
Horizons of water
>> Weekly photo challenge: Magic >>
A bear greeding for honey somewhere in the deep forest can become very naughty, because honey is the magic mead of nature. Here, fortunately, everything is fine for him.
© transmutation.me (2016)
The magic mead