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Often, the landscape still seems to lie in winter even when the sun says spring. But the season takes on its character from many cues and signs, or what anthropologist Keith Basso calls “mnemonic pegs.” A person might use such pegs, formed by objects or events, like blooming daffodils or singing birds, to formulate what anthropologists call a “topogeny,” a listing of phenomena that creates maps or paths. In his On Trails , Robert Moore explains that topogeny “is the summoning, in the mind’s eye, of a mental landscape….” Like the technique of singing the names of landmarks for navigation, used by the aboriginal inhabitants of Australia and described by Bruce Chatwin in The Songlines, the naming of flora and fauna, in context, becomes a sequence of markers with which one can plot time and place. In the coldest springs, it often seem I am lost in a monotony of rain and gray, but then if I walk about and look closely, I might see May apples pushing up in the woods, bluebells, twinleaf,

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