Saturday morning was getting its Gerhard Richter on when baby and I walked down to the river after daybreak, a thick fog telegraphing a warm and muggy day, the white herons moving through it like phantoms on our arrival. Almost as if nature didn’t want you to see what it had done to all the plants of early spring that had already come up out of the ground when last week’s back to back snowstorm and ice storm humbled Texas and left a lot of suffering and a fair amount of death in its wake.
We found one of the casualties there in the shallow lapping at the bank, a slider floating on its back.
It looks like the snow and ice may have set back some of the invasive plants around here, including the brome grass in our yard. The spiderwort in the ruins looks beat-up but still green. The bluebonnets coming up on the rock breach where they used to dredge gravel look better than ever.
I’m going to make it brief today. I haven’t missed a week since I started this newsletter a little over a year ago, we are still recharging from the intensity of last week, and I have a book proposal to finish and some weeding to do. If you have any requests for the kind of material you’d like to see in the year to come, let me know—you can reply to this email, leave comments on the post, or email me through the link on my main website.
In the meantime, on this last day of Black History Month, I encourage you to check out some of these pieces that consider the Underground Railroad as a path through 19th century urban nature:
Through Darkness to Light, a remarkable photo essay by Jeanine Michna-Bales featuring contemporary images of sites along the main routes of the Underground Railroad
“A Hike Through History,” about a recent trip a group of Black outdoor enthusiasts took tracing the path of the Underground Railroad from the Mason-Dixon Line to Harper’s Ferry
Over at Audubon, this remarkable piece on Harriet Tubman’s use of owl calls and her general mastery of nature to guide fleeing slaves through the landscape at night—a piece I shared here this time last year, but is worth sharing again.
And if you are looking for some Sunday puzzles to solve, I have been stumped in my effort to identify this apparent fungus that sprouted from this old wasp nest after the snow melted:
And I’m still trying to piece together what went down at this Micronauts crash site the dogs and I found in the empty lot behind the dairy plant Tuesday morning:
Have a great week, and we’ll back to our regular programming next Sunday.
I liked,”getting it’s Richter on.”