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February 15, 2012 / Rae Spencer


By decay, I mean death and its attendants. Detritus and carrion. Decomposition. The rank rot of demise invades every corner of life, a weltering profusion of scavengers overhead and underfoot. They sort and clean, engineering life from death in dank procession, so that leaves grow anew and grass sprouts fresh for the grazers. Scavengers both hasten and stem entropy’s tide, converting order to chaos to order again. Rapid and ageless, decay is our most accurate measure of time, and our most pervasive reminder that time is measured.

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The hawk attack prompted me to pull this piece out of my files. The writing is old, but some of the photos are new.


  1. kathrynmartins1 / Feb 15 2012 5:11 PM

    Rae, in particular, that last sentence is incredible…

    • Rae Spencer / Feb 15 2012 5:30 PM

      Thank you! I remember when I finally got this one “right”. One of those writing moments that makes the five-hundred previous attempts/failures worthwhile…

  2. Angela / Feb 15 2012 10:14 PM

    Love this, Rae. I am fascinated by the decay, decomposition, and death in all of nature. It is so absolutely essential. Through death, life comes, as you so beautifully write. Thank you for this. And as always, the photographs are a delight.

  3. anaslense / Feb 16 2012 9:52 AM

    I really enjoy reading your posts! Thank you for sharing!

    • Rae Spencer / Feb 16 2012 1:29 PM

      Thank you for reading! I’m delighted to have found your blog through this comment. I enjoyed your recent photos and plan to spend some time going through your archive.

  4. jeaniemac100 / Feb 16 2012 7:11 PM

    Beautiful; vivid, Rae, the writing and the photos.

  5. Sharon Poch / Feb 17 2012 7:48 PM

    It may be that the “writing is old” but the words are eternal. The new photos only add to the wonder of life’s cycle.

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