Dark night. At 6:15, before the sun comes up, the stars are very bright –
unblinking eyes watching.

4:33:00 PM

photo: box elder sunset

This evening we had a wonderful sunset just behind my favorite
trees, a middle-aged couple of box elder trees on the edge of
a muddy pond.

Box elders grow just about anywhere around here, gravitating toward
ground too wet and swampy for anything else. Their trunks are
twisted and misshapen. They grow soft wood, full of flaws that
break branches and invite insects. They dump endless seeds that
sprout by the hundreds. In short, they are useless to people, but
great for wildlife.

They’re real salt of the earth, box elders, and these two I find
particularly expressive – how they lean into each other, and how
they reach above the treeline for the sky.