We are a house of birds. All spring and summer a family of starlings made their home outside a window, up in a hole under the eaves where a soffit fell out. They’d fly to and fro with worms for their chicks, disappearing and reappearing from in and out the hole. Later they’d hop out onto the cedar closeby and young starlings would make their first flights, cedar to tulip poplar and back again. The cedar housed a hornets nest, bald faced, one year; but we are a birdhouse not a hornet house and so they stayed in nest beneath the boughs even when the windows were open. A few sparrows have visited through those windows, they pecked at the kitchen floor before finding their way back outside, eventually. Once a bat flew in, giving rise to pandemonium. Unlike sparrows, who are welcome in our birdhouse, bats are not . . . the thought of a bat flying about at night, landing on my head, or worse, what if they went into my ear while I slept? My great-grandmother told that they folded up real tiny and enjoyed getting into one’s ears, though she also told that they’d get into hair and pull strands around themselves into a coccoon, Eeee! We got the bat out with the use of sheets, and kept the windows closed at nights after that . . . now the starling abode is home to juncos, they’ve moved in for the winter, starlings long gone. Winter’s arrived with snow and chickadees with shiny black heads, nuthatches, and cardinals. They seem to like it here when it’s cold. Up in the apple trees they peck at fruit, as well as usnea and lichen on the branches. In the garden, they gather and peck at all the flower stalks we leave till spring comes around, zinnias, dock, marshmallow, goldenrod, echinacea. We are a house of birds, imbibing as birds. Continue reading
The apple tree’s are fruitalicious once more. A welcome delight after last year when they rested with neither flower nor fruit! While gathering apples to cook applesauce and share with friends I remembered this yarn told and shaped with Anousheh from many moon’s ago . . . reposting here from my blog of poems and tales.
Deep in the woods lived a herd of deer. One day they heard the apple tree calling to them. They held council about the matter, for out of the woods and under an oak tree lived a ferocious beast. The herd was terrified of this beast who they would certainly have to pass to get to the apple tree. While they were in council the younger does and some fawns were peeking out from between the hickories, pines, and poplars. They were looking at the sleeping beast and longing to go to where the apple tree was calling. Finally, one of them couldn’t stand it anymore!
The littlest doe stepped out of the woods, and walked toward the apple tree through the leaves . . . . crunch crunch crunch crunch.
The beast with fangs as long as skinning knives, ears as big as satellites, claws as long as daggers…
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First fill water then add
An arrangement of flowers
Bring brightness inside
I started this collage before the solar eclipse in August, and just finished it during a wet spell. Cool days, chilly damp nights, and water spilling out from above in downpours and drizzles . . . while it feels like ‘so much’ rain, really it’s not. We listen to stories about flooding in Texas and Louisiana, Bangladesh, Nepal, and India, moving to Pakistan, and the versatility of water, from nourishing to devastating, it’s numerous qualities does more than amaze. Continue reading
Had to share this piecing . . .
I grew up with two imposed givens in life—education and religion. Education happened in school, a place I was obliged to go Monday through Friday. Religion, reserved for Sundays, was fortified and demonstrated by my family’s regular attendance at church and rewarded with warm donuts and scalding coffee served in styrofoam cups in the community hall. We usually skipped that part in order to be the first to get out of the parking lot.
These two obligations were not of my choice and I never really questioned either until I had children. Two uniquely designed, impossibly small bodies imprinted with years and years of genetic scrambling and combined ancestral traits and yet I didn’t see them as part of me, or as part of my husband, but rather as two free souls who chose us as parents. My husband and I have always described our children’s births as special occasions…
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A garden is such a bountiful space, I’m in awe of it, marvel often at all that it has to offer! The year before Jasper’s birth we planted the garden but didn’t tend it at all. That was the year I learned that you don’t have to. That a garden is beyond a place to plant vegetables and fruit. It doesn’t need a gardener to enliven it, rather it will enliven the ‘gardener’. Continue reading