1. For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been without internet, which isn’t great, but it also means that I’ve picked up more books. With that being said, I finished Annie Proulx’s Barkskins, a 700-page historical fiction about two boys from France who found their way to the New World with the thought of starting a new life. One escapes his master and helps create a logging empire that stretches into modern times, while the other works for his master and leaves a family legacy that is quite different. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I picked up Barkskins, but I very much enjoyed it, even though this wasn’t some sort of inspirational and lovely read. Well, maybe it was, but not in the traditional sense. The books focuses on these two families through a few hundred years and the logging industry that either made the United States what it is today or broke the United States because trees were harvested without any consideration for what would happen in the future. Last week I posed a video about the old growth forests in British Columbia and harvesting those trees by the logging companies. It’s what they do. Of course, the other idea here is that there’s so much that is dependent on the other, the ferns, the saplings, the old growth, it is an amazing ecosystem, one that you would think we’d all want to preserve because hiking among trees that are hundreds or thousands of years old seems like something that would benefit us all. I do recommend the book. It’s not something that ecologically is going to beat you over the head. It’s historical fiction, so there’s literary license, but there is no denying the removal of trees and not having a plan when they are gone that was true for hundreds of years.
2. I love these raw moist dawns with
a thousand birds you hear but can’t
quite see in the mist.
My old alien body is a foreigner
struggling to get into another country.
The loon call makes me shiver.
Back at the cabin I see a book
and am not quite sure what that is.
— Another Country, Jim Harrison
4. Texas Monthly’s Aaron Chamberlain is circumnavigating the perimeter of Texas, which is a shade over 3,000 miles, starting in Brownsville. You can also follow Aaron on Twitter for updates and photos.
5. Via SideTracked Magazine, the photos alone are terrific, two rock climbers take their 18-month old baby boy bike-packing through France.