The Summer Day
Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
We watched this bald eagle fly from a very small island on the lake to one of the largest – and there we found his (her?) nest. Didn’t get a clear photo of the bird in the nest.
Reid State Park – February 2019
“Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth.”
2:30 a.m. and I am out in the driveway with my little old lady dog. We’ve been at this schedule for many months now, and I do my best to remain partially asleep while also not slipping on the ice that has been plaguing us all winter. On nights when the sky is clear I steal glances into the twinkling heavens, then dart my eyes back to my dog, watching her maneuver ice on arthritic joints.
Tonight I heard my old friend the barred owl. Owl sightings have been non-existent this winter. We’ve not even heard them calling in the distance. But now – finally! – my friend is outside in the treeline that hugs our waterfront. Small blessings. A bird calls in the night and a weary woman feels the corners of her lips turn up in a genuine smile.
Several cardinal pairs have been with us this winter. The male cardinal’s blood-red plumes always draw my attention. Typically animals survive by blending in, going unnoticed, keeping under the radar. Not so, male cardinal. Wearing the most audacious outfit in a bleak landscape and not even worried about the hawks and eagles that come to my land to find lunch.
I did a little research on why the cardinal has survived despite his flamboyant coloring: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/why-so-red-mr-cardinal-nestwatch-explains/
The bottom line seems to be that his enjoys using his fancy gear to show off for the ladies more than he cares about dulling down and hiding out from danger. Living on the edge, then.
Last winter I stood in the woods for forty five minutes, snow lightly falling, and watched this pileated woodpecker fling chunks of wood from this tree. I could spend happy hours every day wandering the woods and watching the winged and furred and slippery creatures that share this land with us.
If ever you can’t find me look to the woods. You’ll find my laptop bag will lead you into the trail. I will have dropped its heavy weight from my tired shoulders and left it for ants to explore and ferns to grow around.
I will be stepping lightly, so you won’t be able to locate my by listening for tromping feet. Rather, listening for my singing. Then walk until you come to a bend in the trail where you’ll find my cracked cell phone lies ringing. Don’t answer it. Just veer right. Ten paces and you’re over a knoll and deep in an old pine forest. See the water in the distance? You’ll find me at its edge, crouched or bent or otherwise scheming to capture a photo of a lovely creature – or a footprint or just the water slipping by on its way to somewhere else. You won’t be able to mistake me for anyone else. I’ll be the grinning girl clutching a camera.
Missing my blog but renewed my subscription for another year. The mad rush of summer and weddings and starting my own business will subside enough for me to post again. Until then….
While boating this weekend my husband and I eagerly scanned the lake for the domestic goose on the loose. (It’s probably a Toulouse.) My husband spotted an inflatable swan and declared that we’d found my friend. Moments later I saw that my goose had indeed found his friend. With apologies to the stranger in the photo. His belly and beer can shall remain anonymous for all time.
Four phoebes have hatched out in the nest under the deck. So excited to see them.