Eyes and Ears for South Hill
Saturday, February 12, 2011
When I walk up to my parcel, it sometimes feels at first that I am leaving behind the world of the living, walking into a timeless, dreamlike setting that is permanent and unchanging. However, that feeling quickly fades; a few steps into the forest, and immediately my surroundings burst into life. There are a thousand eyes, four thousand little animal feet scurrying across the forest trail as they rush to sense the newest disturbance.
You can always tell how accustomed someone is to nature by the speed with which this change comes over them. At first, people who have spent their lives in cities walk an entire trip such as this crashing through the underbrush, their footsteps heavy enough that they can be heard from a half mile away. To them, the forest is no different from a classroom corridor, and the life around them nothing more than the artwork which hangs on display. Yet, slowly, you can listen to a change overcome them. Where once they snapped branches, they learn to bend them, then eventually to move in ways that leave the area nearly undisturbed. Soon, those people who travel through the trails often become like ghosts, experiencing the world around them but creating only a faint stirring in their passing.
However, few ever become like the forest eyes. No matter how many times I visit my parcel, still it amazes me how the animals can appear so suddenly. I think I'm walking without making much noise, and suddenly I hear a twig snap under my foot. In the corners of my vision I see a blur of movement, and when I turn my head a pair of shining black deer eyes are staring back at me. We stand frozen for a moment, each examining the other without so much as taking a breath. Then suddenly, the deer shakes its tail twice, and immediately after darts off in the opposite direction, seeming to conjure four or five companions from the air nearby who leap away with their leader and are moments later invisible once more.
When I walk up to my parcel, I feel that I am walking into a world bursting with life. Yet, it is a subtle life, one no more evident or imposing than the flash of white along a deer's fluffed tail, or the whisper of the wind against his fur as he disappears between the sentinel trees.
- Matt Obetz
Class of 2013
Saturday, February 12, 2011
The eerie stigma of Halloween, even though a bit childish, manifests itself in my conscious this time of year, giving a haunting quality to...well… just about everything. So, Venturing into the woods is certainly a chilling experience, but of course one must uphold their steward duty.
To capture the way the forest brings out its spooky side for Halloween I brought my camera and came out with some creepy images. And, if I had let my mind wander I could have had quite a bone-chilling experience. For example, there was a fallen tree with a hollowed out trunk. To take this photo I had to wedge myself in-between two trees, facing directly into the dark abyss. All the while, the constant rustling of leaves kept me on my toes and at any moment I was ready for a bat flutter out of the trees base. Luckily, I witnessed no such occurrence and, after spooking myself out with some “dark” images, I made my way to the edge of the woods. And, like a happy ending to a nightmare my last photos were of some beautiful blue berries dancing in the wind. (Well I suppose the happy ending depends on whether the berries are poisonous or not…)
Happy All Hallows Eve
- Brian Chick
Class of 2014