An Introduction

I have chosen the hermit thrush for a mascot because he is one of the birds I like best and he has an admirable pedigree in American literature, appearing in Whitman’s When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom’d and in Eliot’s Wasteland.

The hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) favors the woods and unpeopled places. He is dull in color but wears a ruddy tail and spots on his pale breast. In northwest Oregon, where I live, the hermit thrush keeps a vow of silence through the lowland winter but in late spring returns to the mountains to chant a golden sanctus with an unmistakable note of melancholy.

Though the bird and I enjoy the same locales, I do not fancy myself a hermit thrush. You would do better to hike through the June woods and listen to him yourself than to read anything I may commit to this page. But I’m told that no one reads blogs anymore, so perhaps this disclaimer is unnecessary.

If you read on, you will discover there is no governing theme to this site. I’ve kept more focused blogs in the past, some for several years at a time. I begin this one because I miss the habit of writing and, as a distracted middle-aged person, the discipline of careful thought grows more difficult to maintain without it.