Wednesday, November 30, 2011

non-human marks in the world

Behind my house in my backyard, there is a small slope. On the slope are a number of boulders, and underneath the biggest one is a chipmunk hole. The little hole looks like a cave, or maybe like a large tree trunk that had been hollowed out.

Also behind my house is a large tree that got damaged during hurricane Irene. During the hurricane one of the branches fell off, and now the branch is covered with decaying leaves and even an abandoned squirrel nest.

Hurricane Irene also left its mark on a large tree down the street from my house. During the hurricane, the trunk of the tree split down the middle. The one half of the trunk now leans against another tree, caught in the crook of some branches, and the other half is still somehow standing straight up. The inside of the tree is dead wood.

On my lawn there are random spots where the grass is dead, patches of about 5 inches in diameter. These patches are caused by my dog. In the fall the grass on my lawn starts to die, and often when I take my dog out for a walk I see brown patches on the grass the next day.

On my lawn are also multiple holes and piles of dirt. I noticed these yesterday when I saw what was causing them - squirrels in my backyard have been digging little holes and burying acorns in them. The holes are scattered around the lawn, but all of them are surrounded by a little mound of dirt.

My driveway has a large crack in it that goes from one side all the way across to the other, a crack caused by the change in weather from hot to cold and back again. It is wider in some spots and narrower in others, and even small patches of grass growing in a few spots.

At the park near my house there is a path that often overflows, because it is the place where the stream used to flow. The stream now flows down the hill a few feet away, but there are still stones lining the bottom of the stream-bed, and it is usually muddy, like the past few days after it has rained.

Below the path is a small pond. The water level constantly changes, and because of this the banks are always muddy. Over the past few years, the water level has dropped so much that part of of bank has fallen into the water.

Across the path between my neighborhood and the nearby one, there is a dead tree. The tree has been there for months, and it is slowly falling apart. Pieces of the trunk litter the path, and large pieces of bark are breaking down as part of the pile of leaves underneath.

The house across the street from me is made of brick, and covering the outside walls are vines. The vines have become so thick that it is impossible to see the brick underneath in some places, and the wall is completely obscured on the very bottom.

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