thaddeus stevens mountain laurel

On Graeffenburg Mountain the ghosts of the ironworks linger.  Four flat, barren places mark the location of Thaddeus Stevens’ charcoal hearths – and the scars are deep.  Here a great industry exchanged the hardwoods for iron – until General Jubal Early declared the great abolitionist an enemy of the South – and, in turn, burned the ironworks down

It’s taken one hundred and fifty years, but the mountain has healed.  The woodlands have reclaimed the burned places, the broken places, the scarred places.  Here the sunsets set the hemlocks aglow, and the evening mists renew the mosses and ferns. 

The traveler renews herself, too, and forgets her own scars.

old wheels
under the mountain laurel – 

Mountain Laurel Charcoal Hearth Trail

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #47



21 thoughts on “old wheels (haibun)

  1. Pingback: lightfall | Blog It or Lose It!

  2. So nice to learn more about the park’s history, having been ‘visiting’ the place for a while now 🙂

    And so many fine, detailed images that I think the haibun could easily, and profitably, be expanded; after all, I think you have another two 2/3 of wonderful haiku here:

    here the sunsets
    set the hemlocks aglow

    the evening mists
    renew the mosses and ferns

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Blake!
      Hmmm… You’re quite right … There may be material for quite a few haiku in the future. Enough to escape the long cold winter ahead, too – when everyone will be sick of snow!

      Woodpecker’s call
      And the scent of damp earth –
      Hemlocks aglow

      evening mist –
      the first drop of dew

      piercing the canopy
      hemlocks aglow

      dividing the canopy
      hemlocks aglow

      Maybe the last one?


      • Yes, I like the last one and the ‘evening mist’ – there’s a nice hint of mystery in the word ‘released.’ Quite how you manage to spin haiku like that, at the drop of a hat… the mind boggles!

        Who was the classical haijin that turned out 100 haiku at a party one night…?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!
      Yes, Caledonia has quite a history, that’s for sure. During the Civil War much of the local areas served as field hospitals. But today? So incredibly peaceful. Thankfully!

      Liked by 1 person

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