Update no. 297 (hullo.)

Have you ever read Thoreau’s treatise on wild fruits?


I have found it in the Rutland Free Library, which has its name from a time before libraries were open to the public, and you had to be a member of the select organization, or pay a subscription, to gain access to their books. Thanks to Benjamin Franklin, who was obsessed with the revolutionary idea of an educated public with relatively unlimited access to the printed word, our public libraries are free, and just about anyone can walk into one. Nobody thinks even to mention anymore whether or not a library is “free.”

Ben Franklin also made a very interesting set of observations on the effects of oil dropped onto water; if he had extended it at all, he could very well have calculated the diameter of an oil molecule by dripping a measured volume of oil on to the top of a still pond and observing how far it spread- he was that detailed. (Crazy Ben Franklin. Who does that?) *coughchokecoughcough*

Anyways, science. It belongs in the wilds.

Thoreau (poet, writer, assiduous studier of the natural world) has poetry and essays that are fun to read. He gets very grumpy about people needlessly destroying wild plants, and makes crabby comments about their rampaging through the shrubbery, then (in my “Thoreau’s writing voice in my head”) trails off muttering dire imprecations and goes back to talking about the importance of huckleberries, which is what we were interested in anyways, because anything that gives me more edible things to stuff in my face holes on the trail is a wonderful thing and generates much rejoicing. Let us all be real; that is the only reason I am interested in plant parts. Fooooooddd.

I zeroed in Rutland today because it was raining, my stay is free here and involves food, and I need to catch up on communications with some of you — but all I have done so far is spend time with other hikers, eat copious amounts of free things, rudely bang upon the parlor grand of a hapless Congregational church just over the way, and read about whortleberries. Oh dear.

There are a couple stories, maybe for later, on trail adventures.

Happy trails, my people! Stay well.

1 Comment

  1. Chris Manzi says:

    Franklin was quite a character for sure. I had read a bit about him after high school from a friends family library ( quite extensive for a home I thought, at the time) as well as Buffalo Bill Cody. Another interesting american “character. It was nice to read you had been given time for your music, I need mine as well on occasion. We will speak again soon I am sure.

    Liked by 1 person

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