I have to share a video (see below for YouTube link): please watch billy barr’s deeply moving short story of snow. It’s a Gothic tale of a man living in a cabin in the woods, in winter – all those clichés, but for real and with a difference. I take my hat off to this man and self-styled snow guardian (who you’ll find has his own collection of headwear).
If you follow this blog you might know that one of my favourite ecopoems is Robinson Jeffers’ “All the Little Hoof-Prints” (in Such Counsels You Gave to Me, 1935-38). billy barr – lower case is his chosen orthography – in some ways, but only some, reminds me of the man living in the woods near Pigeon Gap. Like Jeffers’ fictional solitary, he cares quietly and with will. Rocky Mountain snow is the dust at his feet. Take two people, one living in a poem set in California and the other in Colorado, for whom land ethics are plain and simple common sense. If the parallels between them end there, so be it. I’m also reminded of the river keeper in Patagonia film’s DamNation, who at the time the film was made had spent 13 years quietly monitoring endangered steelhead trout in the Umpqua River.
These are stories for our time, on a small scale but with a big message. Thanks to billy barr for caring and sharing.
The film is by Day’s Edge Productions, a company that specializes in “telling stories about science, nature, conservation and adventure.” I also note that the University of Wyoming, who so generously made me Honorary Fellow in Literary Studies in their Department of English, was involved in the production. Thanks to the people at Day’s Edge, UW, and everyone else who made these 5 minutes of powerful viewing.