No upgrades in the woods.

Here’s another reason to go in the woods: No computers.

And no computer problems. This underscores how good it feels to wander the anti-techno world of wildness.

There’s a Cardinal on a snowy branch. You’ve seen a thousand Cardinals, so seeing him doesn’t make it a red-letter day. Just a red bird day.

And you think: now there’s something that never needs a system upgrade.

The Cardinal on a branch in front of you could be the same Cardinal that was on a branch in front of John Audubon, a tough guy who walked across Illinois in 1811.

No kidding about the walking: he’s said to have crossed the bottom of the state in a couple of days. A hundred and fifty miles without roads.

Crows fly over, making noise, and you’re glad to see them. Audubon might’ve seen the same kind of birds. He also might have seen Passenger Pigeons, now discontinued. But, you’re in no mood for annoying thoughts of discontinued systems just now.

There’s a lot of prints on recent snow. You hope there’s bobcat or even mountain lion tracks in with the coyote and deer. They were here in Audubon’s time, and they’re rumored to still be here. So you look.

Not today. But the word “lion” brings to mind a new Mac operating system that’s a fierce son of a bitch, and you don’t want to go there.

Forget it. You see a surprising spot of blue at the edge of the woods. A Blue Jay? You check it out.

No. Turns out to be an Eastern Bluebird. Not uncommon, but early when snow’s on the ground. You lean against a tree and enjoy the quiet. This is a pretty good place. You never want it to change.

And it doesn’t. Some things need no upgrades.

5 Responses to “No upgrades in the woods.”

  1. joy says:

    Exactly what i say every time i walk in the woods, which i try to do every day! thanks for making it blog-worthy

  2. Two-Fisted Bird Watcher says:

    Rob, perceptive comment. Your last line is satisfying –“you make the woods seem like a great antidote to these and all worries” –nice to see that the point of all this hits home.

  3. Rob says:

    Partly planned to milk extra profit…but also partly unplanned, unplannable and inevitable, more like evolution run amok. OS evolution is evolution, just like the evolution that begets cardinals, which are certainly an upgrade of something. With tech it happens much faster…and faster. If we think Lion is fierce, we should shudder to think of the beasts lurking on the horizon, things that make Lions look tame. Great thought-provoking post. You make the woods seem like a great antidote to these and all worries.

  4. Two-Fisted Bird Watcher says:

    Jeff, the name Mountain Lion is great, but this procession of system upgrades is just a hi-tech reincarnation of a cynical commercial ideology once known as “planned obsolescence.” Might make sense from a corporate viewpoint, but it can drive a person into the wilderness where mountain lions are real and preferable to anything with an “OS” attached.

  5. Jeff says:

    coincidentally, OS 10.8 Mountain Lion is scheduled to come out this summer as an upgrade to 10.7 Lion.