Sunday, September 21, 2014

a hard mast's a-gonna fall

I am sitting outside enjoying my morning coffee—somehow I made it just right today—reading a wonderful book about living fossils by British paleontologist Richard Fortey. As he writes in the prologue, "Evolution has not obliterated its tracks as more advanced animals and plants have appeared through geological time. There are, scattered over the globe, organisms and ecologies which still survive from earlier times." Fortey then travels around the world to find living examples of ancient creatures that still survive today.

So my mind is pondering deep time as I tempt my own time, i.e. fate.

The early morning sun is peeking in from the east, skies are clear but a hard rain is falling. So heavy, in fact, I hear each and every single raindrop crash and rip its way through the canopy as it drops to the ground with a thud. Occasionally, one hits nearby to ricochet "POW" off the wooden deck around me. The slightest breeze triggers a loud barrage like cannon fire at Shiloh. 

If I stop in only means that I have been ka-bonked on the head by one of these hefty raindrops. I should go inside to find my hardhat but I choose to toss caution to the morning wind like those base jumpers. We all have to push the envelope every now and then, besides a headline in the Knoxville News Sentinel that read Local naturalist KO'd by falling acorn might be amusing to some. 

This is going to be a good fall to be a squirrel. Bellies will be fat. Larders stuffed. Globular treasures hidden.

What did Dylan sing? "It's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard mast's a-gonna fall."

Indeed. Like the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) Fortey writes about, this advanced boney head, squashy bodied animal has somehow survived another morning. 

I made it to the end of this post with my noggin intact.

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