The Balsamean Blog

Visit my other blog, The Balsamean™header3-balsam-spires-summer-txt-2014-1000x288 (Ball-sah-MAY-en)– Balsamea is the forest refuge I live in, named for Abies balsamea, the balsam fir tree.  Living there makes me The Balsamean, of course.  The blog is about my forest-dependent lifestyle and the nature of things here.  It’s a biophilia thing.

I am immersed in Balsamea and it in me.  It would not be Balsamea without my influence.  It would be just woods.  Balsamea is the product of the union of my relationship with these woods.  There are not two natures, human and non-human.  There is one, and humanity is part of it.  I am a sylvan, meaning of the forest, not merely in the forest.

However, I am no Daniel Boone or Tarzan.  I’m more inspired by John MuirJohn Burroughs, Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, Barry Lopez and Thoreau than by Jim Bridger, Kit Carson or fictional Jeremiah Johnson, although I love the movie, and some of the frontiersmen said funny things, like Jeremiah’s “I’m a fine figure of a man.”  I am only a reasonable figure of a man.

I’ve never been lost, but I was mighty turned around for three days once.
― Daniel Boone

I’m an amateur naturalist and nature photo-tinkerer, and a Naturalist with a capital N.  That is, I don’t believe in the supernatural.  The universe operates on natural laws, subject to Murphy’s Law.

I’m a better person when I am in the woods, and I improve with every hour spent in it.  Then I go inside and get online and sink back into my ugly self if I stay there too long.  So if I don’t get out into the woods a lot every day, it’s bad for the world.

It’s not about escaping to solitude.  It’s about immersion in the company of trees.  Balsamea has a motto:

There is no solitude in a forest.
When in doubt, have a campfire.

10 thoughts on “The Balsamean Blog”

  1. Hi Dennis, The GOLDSMITH story has been published in the Franklin County Historical Review for Dec. 2016; authored by me. It starts around page 20 and is about 7 pages long.
    Thank you so much for introducing me to Goldsmith and the North Branch of the Saranac River. I hope to be back up there drowning worms sometime between June 1st and the 8th; probably with one or two of my sons.
    Thanks again for your friendship.
    PS: Solitude is great, especially if you have living things to talk to; trees, birds, raccoons, deer and a babbling or roaring river.

    1. Hi Wally. Right, that’s what I mean. There is no solitude in a forest! As to roaring rivers, last night the air was nearly dead still, so the trees were silent, and I could hear the rapids on the river half a mile away — when I stopped crunching through the noisy frozen snow.

      Franklin Co. Historical Museum does not have the 2016 review accessible online, because they don’t give them away free (understandable). In their online shop they show 2014 and 2015 available to order, but not 2016. I called. They are emailing me an invoice to order it.

      Didn’t catch her name, but the woman spoke highly of you from her experience with your doing research there. No doubt you wrote the piece pro bono. It was generous to put in all that time writing it, and researching it on-site so far from home. I’ll have the review in my hands within a few days, I suppose.

      1. Dennis, Glad to hear that you found a way to get your hands on it. It was pro bono but a labor of love. I had so much fun researching it that I would be ashamed to take any recompense. Yes, I met a nice woman there last June. She was a big help on getting me started. After that it was all old 1800’s newspapers and census records plus a few old books. I hope to run into you this June. I am never sure which day my son(s) will want to fish Goldsmith. They love the Salmon and the Chateaugay.
        Take care,

  2. I slept well and am not in a painting fog, but I found no comment box on today’s post about the march. Sometimes with slow internet, all items on a page do not load, but a ‘refresh’ provided nothing extra…

    Tomorrow I’ll be with a tour group, but I’ll keep a constant awareness of what’s happening in the USA. I don’t like to get bogged down in reading redundant current events so am thankful for updates from bloggers tht summarize what’s happening… It provides a buffer…..

    1. Thanks for the heads-up on the comment box. I created that post using WP PressThis. Apparently it shut off my default comment setting … guess I’ll have to watch out for that. Normally comments are automatically on for all posts here for 6 months.

      That buffer you mention … since election day I’ve withdrawn from paying much attention to the news, but the surreal inaugural we face this week has stirred concern again that I have to make an effort. On the redundancy … yeah, it definitely gets old having the same thing shoved in your face by every media outlet every day. I’m being selective about the ones I follow, and while I will be active “for the cause,” I won’t let it overwhelm other important things in life, of which there are a few!

      Best wishes for Zeebra!

      1. Si, those prompts take you to a horrid page for designing a good post.. Sometimes the insert image option is hidden or absent, and I have trouble finding my way through the maze… Why do they fix things that were working well?

        No need to answer/!

        I hope that all is basically ‘quiet’ and well tomorrow in the USA….

    1. Hi! Sorry, that post wasn’t intended to go here. I have a private-only-me-access catch-all blog where I throw things I want to follow-up on later, using WPPress to put them there. In this instance, I put it in the wrong blog.

      You didn’t ask but …

      As for the slashing, bashing, crashing and mashing going on in U.S. government, politics and spirit … hard to pick ones to talk about because there are too many and new ones every day. But I am working on materializing a few primary, focused areas to do my civic duty to resist and counter the flow: support a few orgs I like (such as NRDC, a law firm with natural resources as its only clients), voter recruitment, turnout and education, and working to get my local Republican congresswoman thrown out of office for refusing to repudiate Trumpism. The easy one is to increase donations to orgs, which I am doing even if I do nothing else. I confess to feeling often disheartened nearly to the point of apathy by the heaviness of the air in the culture of this part of the world lately. But that may be the biggest reason to actively resist, right?

      1. si. i have lots of posts saved as drafts, and like you, hold my reins with sharing …. on a ‘strong backbone’ day, i feel like sharing and on more sensitive days, i think perhaps it’s not appropriate to push my oft-atypical views on others… like giving power away to gadgets /calculators, gps navigation, etc… losing our natural instincts for knowing which way is west or how to add a column of numbers, etc…. those posts sound as if i’m judging others, and that is wrong.. but i also feel like mankind is being slowly drugged out of brilliance thru gadgets… and don’t get me started on television’s effect!

        feel free to keep these comments in moderation…. thanks for lobbing your thoughts in this direction..

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