Monday, October 05, 2009

Notes From My Knapsack 10-8-09
Jeff Gill

Movement, Momentum, Meaning
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Walking across the parking lot of Ross’ Market, a strand of silken near-nothing broke across my face.

Reaching up with my free hand, I brushed away what wasn’t quite there, and then felt one, two, then more like three more threads pull gently against my head and chest, then snap.

Just enough tensile strength to tell me that there was a connecting cord, literally “gossamer thin,” which I was pushing through.

Almost certainly spider web, the long tendril which serves as a slightly steerable parachute for some types of arachnid, this time of year found on days with still air in broad open spaces like parking lots.

We can almost feel the tug of daylight pulling away from us, with each day growing shorter with indecent speed, and leaves have been falling, let alone turning, for quite a few weeks now.

Out Newark-Granville Road, some of the tall trees along the way that have burlap treatment strips still girdling their trunks head high. It’s quite interesting to see where some old oaks , with spores securely at home for years, deep in the crevices of the well aged tree bark, have huge bracket funguses that have grown right through the mesh of the weave, sticking right through the burlap.

Out at Octagon State Memorial, near the tee for the tenth hole of the golf course managed by Moundbuilders Country Club, a “brain fungus” is hugely expanding far above the ground on the site of a dead and broken branch, high up in a beech tree.

There and over at the Great Circle of Newark Earthworks State Memorial the great old trees are almost as well preserved as the mounds themselves. Their age shelters life forms that need the unique features that only time can bring to the structure of the trunk and the soil beneath. Pupas spin their silent transformative tombs, night hour habitués perch high in cavities, lichens paint the pillars of the forest, while as in trees of any age the buds of next spring are gently but insistently pushing off the leaves now turning and drying.

Next weekend, October 16, 17, & 18, special events around the Newark Earthworks will focus on pilgrimage across the landscape, and the Native American people who transformed it in ways we still marvel at, but the annual transformations of autumn will be no less an attraction to walk out among the long embankments and stroll within the vast enclosures. Check out http://newark.osu.edu/earthworks and come feel the connections, like spider web strands tugging across wide spaces and long centuries.

They will pull at you.

Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and supply preacher around central Ohio; tug at him with a story to knapsack77@gmail.com or follow Knapsack @Twitter.com.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy your writing. You illustrate vividly with your words. It's always nice seeing a local blogger, too.

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