If I hold my head perfectly still, I can watch the sun move through the winter woods, climbing from limb to limb toward the untrammeled sky.


  1. What I didn’t know, until I looked it up, is that the origin of the word trammel is from a triple-layered fishing net, which makes me think of the tangle of branches.

    1. Yep. (Only reason why I know that is because of my involvement with wilderness preservation. The U.S. Wilderness Act of, I think, 1964 used the word “untrammeled” as part of its definition of wilderness: not necessarily unaltered by human activity in the past, but presently not subject to any kind of trammeling. Legally, the perfect word. The etymology of the word “wild” too suggests something similar: self-willed, not under the control of another’s will. Of course, as Language Hat would remind us, arguments from etymology don’t prove anything about correct usage, but they’re fun nonetheless.)

  2. Just read your guest blog on A River of Stones and wanted to pay a visit to your porch, Dave. This observation speaks to my own experience living at the edge of wooded wilderness where sun and moon lead me from day to night.

    1. Hi Barb, I’m glad this speaks to you. Thanks for stopping by.

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