It has been very...very...busy and big around here. You may have guessed as much through my radio silence. I’ll share at some point, or if you know me, you know what’s going on. Not to worry, it’s all good.
So the main thing is the soundtrack to today’s post. I beg you: watch/listen to this. This is Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna”, which was commissioned by the very folks performing it in the video below. Well, the video itself is actually an inspired series of breathtaking astronomical photographs which alone, will knock you clear into next week. This is what the concert choir I’m a member of just performed last night and this afternoon.
See if you can let yourself get to the three minute mark of part I, above, and if you’re hooked, you may as well to listen to the whole thing – it’s in three parts on The You Tube. Here’s part two. And here’s part three. It’s just...gorgeous. A true spiritual journey, the perfect melding of meaning and music. The fugue bit in part three – around the 4:55 to 5:55 minute mark in, just builds and builds, the tenors and sopranos tossing the line back and forth, the basses and altos having at it, the orchestra taking a turn – it just soars and soars. There is a moment in there where, as I was just describing to Kevin, we were all in this place of, “Take me now, God, I’m ready.” I may have accidentally leaked bodily fluids through my eyeballs at the end of the piece in performance this afternoon. Oops.
Music can be a most wonderful thing, yes?
Yesterday was my first chance to get out with the camera since the last time I posted. It was a completely flat gray sky – utterly still – not a leaf moving. I saw a ton of deer and fox tracks up in the woods, as well as the indentations where deer slept (a first for me!) At one point some chickadees and – gasp – cedar waxwings had a look at me. But once I ventured out of the zone they seem to enjoy, it was pure silence.
The day’s confounding mystery: a downed young ash tree, maybe forty feet tall and running horizontally at chest height.
See anything funny here? Thorns? On an ash?
A ton of thorns. I was vexed. Maybe it’s not an ash? But it is: the terminal bud – the tippy top of the tree, in fact – is no question an ash:
Crappy photo, but in the interest of full disclosure, here ‘tis.
Another young tree had crashed into the ash. Maybe the same event took ‘em both down. This one had shelf mushrooms = sure sign of death. This, and what I saw next, gave me an idea of what the thorns might be.
See the little gray buttons next to some of the thorns? I wonder if this is a fungus eating the ash’s bark. I will have to consult more learned people.
Here we have some cup lichen...or we can just pull focus and look at the moss right in front of it...
Reflections in dew drops = alternate universes.
It took at least fifteen tries to see if this was a drop of water sitting in cup lichen. Answer: yes. (Reflected moss is nearly in focus.)