Lean Times

Sleep came late last night, after fireworks and thunderstorms finally drove me into the basement with my sweet old lady Jessie (on the left).

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And morning came too soon thereafter, since my little lady needed to get up with the sun to empty her bladder.

An hour later I tried out my legs and my lungs on a slow morning run.  Last night’s rain still sat heavy on the forest canopy, and the wind that was with us all day started early, so I ran through mini-rain showers with the deer flies cheering me on with their “teeth” (more like blades, actually).

I cut off the main trial to follow the brook path for a quarter of a mile and was glad to see that we’d had enough rain in the night to quicken the flow of water.  I am humbled by the power of moving water to sooth me.  Research in the field of neuroscience and similar fields of study has consistently documented a connection between proximity to water and overall well-being.  (Marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols explores this concept in his 2014 book Blue Mind; the book has received solid reviews and is probably worth reading this summer.)

I followed up my run with  errands and visits, and it was mid-afternoon before I was back in my yard with my eyes to the sky.  We hadn’t been outside long before osprey overhead  caught my attention. I watched with interest and then concern as first two and then three and finally four adult osprey circled our yard and the adjacent fields, as well as several thousand feet of waterfront, for over four hours searching for a meal.  I am guessing that the wind on the lake made it difficult to see the fish.  I’m not sure why the rodents in the fields were so hard to find today.  I do know that the song birds that nest in our woods had a long afternoon of nest defending.

The osprey still have nestlings and I wonder if they’ve had a meal today.

Eventually I turned my attention from the sky above to the ground below. Earlier in the afternoon my younger dog had nearly lost her marbles because a painted turtle had scooted under the deck to use the loose soil for egg laying.

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In addition to being a turtle sanctuary, the back deck is also the location of a phoebe nest.  Finally today patient mama phoebe welcomed a clutch of babies today.  (Her first nest was raided before the eggs hatched.)

This time around there were four eggs, though only three have hatched.  I was able to see their tiny beaks by peering through the space between two boards.  (Last week I crammed a bit of corn husk in between two boards to give me a quick visual cue for where to look.)   I wish I could capture this on camera for you but it cannot be done in any responsible way.  I will be eager to check on them in the morning.

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