Monday, February 20, 2012

Fire and Ice—Some Images

Yesterday was time to burn the wood stacked in piles since last fall on the grounds of the house in North Carolina where I am staying winter. As we burned the sky began to respond, with wind and sleet that soon turned to snow, and by night all was transformed. Double click images to enlarge.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Walk in Winter Woods

In winter the bones of trees are visible like skeletons. It is a good time to walk through the woods. The sun slants through the bare branches unlike summer when it filters down through a canopy of leaves. In winter the bark, knots, twists and vines stand out in relief. You can see what the the forest is made of. Delicate giants as subtle and carved as driftwood.

By mid-February the sap is rising. There is a silent hum of new life.

Roots deep in the earth are pulling up the water that soaked through a carpet of leaves, leaves that have become soft and pliable. My footfalls are almost silent now. My dog runs ahead to see what is around the corner and now runs back to see why I am tarrying.

This magic season is really no longer winter but an in between time when Spring waits in the wings to make her entrance. Nature is still asleep but stirring, and there is a bright light coming through the window, and days like this she yawns.

I walk on ahead and the small stands of spruce and cedars that have not lost their plumage wave. I look up and am greeted by clouds moving quickly across the sky. Their are birds. Cardinals, hawks, wrens, turkey buzzards, an occasional robin. They too like I are on the lookout for spring.

Off in a nearby field there is a flock of wild turkeys.

There is another reason to enjoy a winter walk. There are  no mosquitoes, gnats, stinging flies, few nettles and little underbrush. The path is easy, open and clear.

Wee get to a meadow where the trees give way to field. Wildflowers are in bloom. And here there are signs of insect life.

See the bee?

Look again.


And for those who haven't seen it check out MSNBC's Gallery of Beloved RVs for some sweet Rvs and their owners


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bus Notes From All Over — "The Road Is A Song"

There are RV's and vans, motor homes and pickup trucks, camper tops and Fifth Wheels, tent dwellers and van dwellers, old school buses and ice cream trucks turned into homes on wheels—even a truck converted to a mobile home?—and more, all singing the songs and reciting the poems of the open motorized road. But the one that got it going, the Swiss Army knife of compact motorized live-in transportation is the venerable VW bus, now 60 years old.

Movie trailer
The news is that now there is a movie, The Bus, about the history, flavor and peculiar beatification of this American and global icon of peace, freedom and the open road,. After some years in production, and scraping together the funds to make it happen, The Bus opens February 23rd at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana.

A click on the link above takes you to the movie website where you will find two short film takes. View both. Because there is a good chance you will never get to see the movie in a theater, still viewing them will convey a feel of what the bus, the spirit it evokes and the bus community are all about.

There is also a possible second bus movie, Circle the Wagens. The folks doing this low budget production are trying to raise $20,000 to turn a lot of raw footage into a finished film. Currently they are about 1/3 of the way there. This movie documents ..... well, check it out for yourself. Here is the link to the video.

Another VW bus site worth favoring is that of the The Full Moon Bus Club. With membership mostly in the mid-Atlantic (of the US), it was started in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1998, where many of its original members still bus and live. But today it is more than a regional bus club, Today the FMBC has 1270 members around the world, and membership is free. The club hosts 10 camping get togethers annually, beginning in February on the pristine island of Edisto Beach, SC,  and late into the fall.

There is one April not to miss if you can get there:  Everybus 2012. This year will be the 13th year that the gathering that attracts campers from as far away as Canada, Texas and Florida will be held at the comparatively small Hagan-Stone Park in Greensboro, NC, where as many as 170 buses have been known to squeeze in to the park, two or three to a single camp site. Here is the link to this Everybus 2012.

Buses jam the infield at Stone-Hagan Park during Everybus
What makes VW busing special?  The buses, their drivers and their passengers.

What other icon of the open road has such devoted followers, so many gatherings and a community that stretches around the globe?

To the best of my knowledge none.