And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
— William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II, Scene I
It’s been a while since I last shared any interesting links with you, so I thought it was time to do it again:
Dana has been writing profiles of trees in her region (Eastern/Midwestern United States), and the most recent tree she has profiled is the hawthorn (which was the first tree she included that I’m also familiar with in western Canada – although our hawthorns are usually shrubs rather than trees). She includes information on the trees’ ecology, folklore, and uses in herbalism. I’ve been enjoying her tree profiles, and would love to complete something similar one day for my own local tree species.
I enjoyed this article on how many of our historical documents may be lost because they are stored only digitally, in file types that our computers will one day be unable to access. As a lover of books and writing by hand, this was not a surprise to me. I own a few 100-year-old books that I can still read as easily as the day they were printed. In another 100 years, the books will still be readable – but I highly doubt that any of the files currently on my computer will be. We tend to think of digitizing material as a way of preserving it, but in fact digital files are relatively ephemeral. And if we’re going to consider preserving material for thousands of years (as the end of the article suggests), I think that we should also consider the possibility of an apocalyptic event or some collapse of our civilization (I read lots of science fiction novels, so I can’t help but consider these possibilities!). If our far-future descendants no longer have the technological capabilities to use computers, they may still be able to read our books (just as we have been able to translate inscriptions and documents from long-vanished civilizations).
On a lighter note, check out this list of 25 words you should have in your vocabulary. All are lovely words with intriguing meanings, but I think my favourites are nemophilist (I am one of these), fernweh (I experience this sometimes), ostranenie (this is something I try to do a bit of through this blog), acatalepsy (I believe this), and tsundoku (I try not to do this too much). If you want to know what I’m talking about, you’ll have to read the post!
I’m always fascinated by macro-photographs, and I love this set from Mary Ann Moss. Her photos are from this spring, and what better thing to look at on a dull November day than photos of bright and colourful flowers?
Finally, Joanna Paterson ponders being alone in photography. I also find it easiest to take photos when alone, and I agree very much with her realization that to be alone is “to be reminded, over and over, that you are not.”