And just like that, after painting Wood Duck last month, two have returned to the pond to paddle. Not for long though, as our dog flushes them out and they wing up through cloudy skies, circling round and round to see whether we’re gone. Every year they come from wherever they’ve been to shape a nest in the woods to lay eggs in; once hatched we’ll see the whole family paddling, ducklings behind mama and papa until dog gives chase and with a flap and a flurry, into the trees they go.
Is it winter as yet? Sure smells, tastes, and feels like spring. Three days of rain and the creek flows clearly sweet, burbling and gurgling. Continue reading
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
O will you lay with me
Beneath a shady tree,
On a ship we’ll set a sail
Row out to meet a whale,
Under the clear bright skies
We’ll swing and shut our eyes,
O will you come with me
Out to the apple tree.
summer days . . . Continue reading
It’s heating up quickly here in the Blue Ridges; showing in the garden where peas and lettuce, in past years their pods swelling with sweetness, leaves juicy and fresh at this juncture, are already beginning to bolt. We’ve had downpours, lots of rain all at one time, deluged with water after a dry warmish winter with next to no snow. Mixed up into this are mood swings, from warm to cold to warm to hot to cold and wet to hot, fluctuating differently than comfortable predictable patterns. Which asks the question, to ponder ponderously the preponderous until it’s preposterous? Or the other question comes a calling with fish in tow:: how then to fluctuate with the flow, swim with the current, surf the wave? Continue reading
Lilac has perfumed the air and blossomed; the wind and rain have blown away spent blooms but not before we gathered flowers to infuse in a syrup that’s handy to soak pound cake with, drizzle over pancakes, or add a splash to lemonade later in the year, a reminder of lovely lilac days. Spring is moving along fast. Knotweed, garlic mustard, and burdock are all big and past their tender tasty prime. Lambs quarters are popping up with milkweed shoots, asparagus is on its way to ferning, and we’re on our hands and knees turning over wormy dirt where cabbages, broccoli, chard, kale, and lettuce are being given homes. The roses have begun budding and yellow jackets are buzzing around looking for a spot to make their nests. Little Leif has come and gone. He spent many a day away from his desert home in these lush mountains, waking to the sound of Lordly Cock crowing, popping out to gather eggs. He’d put things down on the grasses, where they would disappear from sight, swallowed by the tall greenery . . . . and oh, his expression, then the search! Fingers parting the swathes, peeking, crawling nose to ground, looking for his marbles! Continue reading
Today was a golden day. The spend all day outside walking about golden honey warm sort of day where everything glows. The sit by the creek and play with leaves, make fairy homes with twigs, hickory shells, acorns and moss kind of day that comes out of the blue sky as surprising as the unexpected chirrrr of Kingfisher flying over the pond in search of fish. The kind of day that mushrooms and the next thing you know there’s mushrooms popping out everywhere, some edible, some really pretty in an intoxicating way best left to brownies and gnomes who know best what to do with them during their festivities gathered around in rings. Today was a day where the trees didn’t speak much nor did the wind sing, but the earth was wreathed with smiles and cushiony places to sit and share in her graces. Today was a golden day evoking wonder and gratitude.