Nature’s soft passementerie

May 3, 2009

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Today, in rainy weather, I went for a walk in this nature preserve in my town, a scant 5 miles from Manhattan.  In the photo, it looks like a park with large soft lawns, but it’s actually a swampy marsh with a path constructed through it.  In the rain, I can see how the water fills the channels and where it flows, and the colors look soft and rich.  The birds act differently too.

The essence of a garden, or park, is the joining of the path and nature.  Nature has no paths; they are for man.  Of course, this area is “restored”, and has been much abused by man, and the path through it is carefully built, but still, one has the feeling, especially in the rain, of tramping through a place without humans.  Even though residential quarters are often only a few yards away!

Here are those soft passementeries I was thinking of.  Inviting us into it, to rummage and grope and get lost.  As in a woman’s closet of dresses.  Sloththrop gets lost in just this way with Katje, but he’s always getting lost…

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A profusion of leafy things, none of them with names that I know.

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The object of my walk.  I took a sample of the water for examination under the microscope.

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