Daily Archives: March 24, 2011

The forest at night

This is what the forest looks like at night before your eyes adjust to the darkness

Many, many people have a fascination with the forest at night.  I have learned that at my other blog, Simply Here.  Very few people visit this blog which is mostly about painting word pictures and writing about spirituality.  It is not a conversational blog at all.

Sometimes I only write one or two blogs a month on Simply Here.  Other times, in a flurry, several blogs appear in the Mind’s eye and demand to be written.  An average of fifteen people a day stop by to read.  It’s a slow-paced blog with simple headlines like “Truth” or “Storm” or “Enough“.  (Although yesterday got wild and crazy and was about Raging.  Don’t visit yesterday’s blog unless you’re prepared.  It’s about the raging games our mind plays sometimes.  Not good polite dinner-time conversation.)

After a while you start to see murky shapes, angles, outlines of trees

Google has not discovered this little baby blog exists–except in the case of one trigger.  It is the words “Forest at night.”  Anyone who stumbles upon this blog arrives because they are fascinated by the words “Forest at night.”  I swear. 

It is probably because of the blog  Life and Death in the Forest


So last night I wondered if anyone over at Lake Superior Spirit was fascinated by the forest at night. 

First things first.  Nobody around here calls it the “forest”.  Forest seems to be an antiquated word, no longer much in use.  Maybe folks in other parts of the English-speaking world use the word “forest”.  We call it “the woods”.

The woods.  Everything wild and untamed with its seedlings and sturdy trees waving in the sky without houses and roads is called “the woods.” 

I wish it weren’t so.  I like the word “forest” much better.

There is something romantic and beautiful in the word “forest”.  Something green and medieval and eternal.  I am hoping this word refuses to get lost in its own woods.  Perhaps it will sprout anew in common usage.  We can only hope.

Branches creaking softly in the wind

Back to last night’s adventure.  Headed outside with Canon Rebel and tripod.  (Yes, tripod!  Ancient tripod from the 1960′s, but it works.)

Attach Rebel to tripod.  Set camera on various settings.  It refuses to cooperate.  It refuses to flash when I want it to flash.  “READ THE MANUAL, KATHY!” Barry says with great irritation.  Kathy refuses.  We can only hope, someday, that she gets tired of writing her stories and reads the manual.

Kathy grabs the baby Sony Cybershot, long neglected at the bottom of her purse, and wheels back outside.  YES!  The Cybershot complies.  Flash, flash, flash.  Let’s see what she’ll reveal.

At night in the forest everything sometimes seems sideways, unexpected

Morning arrives.  Download photos to discover…are you ready for this?  Nothing.  Black photos.  Emptiness.  Darkness.  Perfect pictures of the Forest at Night.

I begin tossing them in the Recycle Bin with great annoyance.  I am not in a good cheerful happy mood this morning.  However, suddenly, decide to put one of the perfectly black photos in Picasa’s software program and press the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.

And look!  These are the photos (except for the first one) that appeared perfectly blank and dark on the screen a half hour ago.

What the dark hides

It’s amazing what darkness hides–and what it reveals.

What the darkness reveals

When was the last time you walked in the forest at night?  Were you afraid or peaceful?  Did coyotes yip, or spring peepers croack, or owls hoot?  Did little mice scurry by your feet, or deer paw at the earth?