climbing the mountain

a new cloud
almost in bloom

Climbing the side of the mountain toward sunset yesterday, I made it up the steep part to be greeted by the first blossoming (or almost blossoming) shadbush, that iconic Appalachian denizen of the understory with the proliferation of names: shadblow, serviceberry, sarvis, etc. Is the photo over-processed? Perhaps, but in my defense I’m simply trying to reproduce what I most appreciate about blossoming shadbush aesthetically, the way it contrasts with the otherwise still mostly bare, unadorned woods.

behind the swamp

with its skunk cabbages
an empty airport

Photo taken at the edge of an infrequently used, remote airstrip which my hiking buddy kept saying reminded her of Breaking Bad. I made a version of this with and without drop-shadow, and it took me a while to decide which I preferred. The font is something called Splash, and I like how it seems both swampy and airporty.

pruning season

View across a two-lane road of rows of recently pruned, bare fruit trees under a powerline with steel pylons.

the angel of history’s
prosthetic wings

When there’s too much to fit into a haiku — the giant pylons, each tree’s signature of knots, the scream of a red-tailed hawk circling low overhead — my instinct is to reach for some unifying symbol. The Biden administration’s apparent decision to double down on our forever wars has been preying on my mind.

Made in Snapseed with a font that’s only supposed to be used for single lines of text, but since it looks so handwritten, it’s not imperative to get each line exactly the same height, so saving one line at a time more or less works.


view of a sunrise in the Appalachian mountains

in January
only crows crow

Back with the crows again. I have noticed though that nearly every morning, crows seem to wake up almost exactly at sunrise, even when it’s cloudy.

Initially I had “January daybreak only the crows crow” but that put the semantic break too close to the center, and I do prefer the asymmetry of classic haiku. I might be overthinking it, though.