Showing posts with label Nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nature. Show all posts

Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Reruns#

The smooth face of a butter-cream surf-sanded shell
The marvelous smooth pre-kissed cheek of a grandchild

The starfish shaped prints in the sand after flight of a watchful great heron
The tiny hand print in sand of an elated child who came later

The familiar hand-hold of your husband at the end of the movie before you enter the car
The rose petaled floor of your son's well-planned engagement evening*

The feathery drift of dozens of yellow butterflies against a blue sky
The last smell of a sunset peach rose before the first petal fall
The earthy taste of a sun-kissed tomato

The icy sip of a glass of something cold and bubbly
The scattered song of a teenage titmouse dancing on the roof

The giggle of a toddler dancing in the grass
The jazzy rhythm of bold cicadas hidden from view
The gentle burr of a hummingbird at your back

The magical sparkle of an ever higher climbing fairy flight of fireflies
against the black silhouette of a tree before the blush of the moon.

 #Perhaps a little sweet gooey like too much pink cotton candy at the fair...but it is honest, honestly.
 *Details, perhaps, in another blog post.

(In answer to the prior post she was most amazed that the statue did not wear underpants!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I just noticed that my last post on this blog was the 1,000th.  Quite the journalistic diarrhea I have going on here.  I didn't notice or I would have made greater use of the milestone.  Certainly it was worth a poem, but it appears that both you and I dodged that bullet.

This week I am breathing and eating slowly and catching up on all those murder mysteries that I missed watching when my grandson was here.  I did get him introduced to the Narnia series and now have purchased two other DVDs for when he returns for a few days this fall.

While I was breathing like a yoga instructor and sitting in front of the computer upstairs the house began to sway and jerk.  I did have a small glass of wine at the computer, but I knew it was not that, and instead, hopped like a crazy bunny outside.  I could see the bird feeders swinging dramatically from side to side in the back yard and I waited outside at least ten minutes before going back inside.  I am alone this week as hubby is on a business trip.  I figure I would not be found beneath the rubble for days!  5.8 on the earthquake scale and the largest since 100 years ago.  Everyone up and down the East Coast felt it.

I walked carefully around the house when I got back inside and found only one broken wine glass that had been hanging in the rack beneath the cupboard.  It seems that Colorado got a similar earthquake just a short while ago.  Here in the East we rarely get quakes, so they can be very startling.  Mother earth is settling down after all the water, oil, gas, and shale we have been taking from her layers.

Next week I get the 4-year-old girl for a week.  She is much more clingy and far less in love with the great outdoors  Maybe baking, making cookies, tea parties...!  Then we are off to Colorado and Utah for two weeks.  I will be taking the laptop and hoping to post and looking forward to some dramatic scenery to preserve with my camera.  I sure hope what I have to write about is of more significance and readability than these last few weeks.  I just need some Rocky Mountain air as my gray matter has been very sluggish these days.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Day

She rests easy in the dark night sky. Her gentle face reflects the peaceful light of eternity. We are trying to shelter against war, famine and earthly destruction.  We are trying to close out angry evil sounds.  We close our ears to the cry of pain.  We close our eyes to shut out ugly visions.  We sigh and breathe in dust-filled air.  But, if you cast your eyes upward, she will remind you, that this too will pass. The beauty of our earth will survive in time.  She will return to bathe us in her silver calming light until all is healed.  Peace is patient.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Shortest Day

(Been here and done please be patient with me.)

I grab my down coat and pull it over my pajamas and then slip into my plastic clogs still wearing my woolly slipper socks.  The sun is up but it is having a tough time burning through the heavy cold winter fog although the morning is well underway.  There is no wind, so my coat will be perfect in protecting me from winter's breath.

Grabbing my ever-present camera, I plod down to the dock being careful that I do not slip on the thin coating of frost that covers everything on this early morning turning all surfaces to slippery diamond dust.  Snow is predicted, but this is lovely enough for me right now.

Winter is here and while I still marvel at its stark beauty, I also know that I prefer the other three seasons more as I age.  Winter means I have to move more carefully, I have to dress in layers before I go outside, and the dark of night comes before the dinner hour and lasts well after I get up in the morning.  I am a Mediterranean baby.

Today is my birthday and I used to wonder with resentment why I was born on the shortest day of the year...but now I think it is because my birth is the harbinger of longer days to come and the beginning of the return of spring.  I now view my birthday as sign of good things to come!  I am the bearer of good news.

And look what Gaia brought me as a present early on my day of eclipse of the moon!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Working for the Soul

I have posted elsewhere (FB and emails) about my days of work recently. The cool fall weather, the dormancy of ticks, and the necessity of the size of weeds at summers end have motivated us to clear parts of the forest on either side of the long drive to the house. The wooded view as we drove in was no longer enticing and welcoming, but more like spooky and scary, and while appropriate for the Halloween season, it seems out of place when welcoming guests at other times of the year.

We have now cleared the leaning and/or dead trees that rested against each other and formed a sheltered structure for the wild roses that in turn learned to climb to the tops of the lovely and healthy maples, dogwood, and holly trees and shaded them from sun. I pruned limbs and prickly vines and then piled them beside the road in the clearing. We had piles of dead wood and piles of scratchy brush all of which was later gathered in our arms and placed in the old wooden trailer we use for hauling large amounts of 'stuff'. Hubby bravely climbed on top and did the elephant dance to smash it all down so that we could grab more armfuls and put on top once again.

Frequently the angry roses would grab our butts and legs refusing to be dumped. I still have a tiny thorn in my arm that will have to fester its way to the surface.

Hubby and I argued about what wood to take to the dump and what to cut into firewood. We have enough firewood to last through the winter of 2012, so I was inclined to get rid of much of the wood. (This will ensure that global climate cha
nge really will be global warming.) This photo is just one of the long piles we have waiting for the first cold weather. The problem is that some of this wood is old and some still too new for burning and in our dedicated rhythm we were not as careful in stacking as we should have been.

The wrens and the flickers were not happy that we took away so much dead wood, but eventually forgave us when they saw how may broken tree stumps we left behind for them to poke through. They will have a rich larder of wood insects through the coming snows. We also left enough small bush areas for the mice and other small animals to find shelter.

The free crepe myrtle that was planted at the end of my flower bed two years ago got moved with the help of Pedro. He works for a landscape company and knows exactly how to dig and move small trees. The shape of the crepe was not long and lean but more like an umbrella-shaped weeping willow, and therefore, taking up too much flower bed space. We (actually Pedro and hubby did the work) also joined the two flower beds and I now have a good sunny place to transplant my scattered roses this fall. (More work!)

This is the crepe myrtle shape I had hoped for!

My new rose bed.

After these past three days, the old joints ache with fatigue and overuse and my arms are scratched as if I had wrestled with a mountain cat, but soaking in my jacuzzi in the late afternoon before starting dinner was a reward enjoyed so much more because of my hard work. I am thankful that I do not hate hard work. I am thankful that the goal is its own reward for me. Besides, now I don't have to do any exercises this week!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday Thoughts # 18 -- Things I Have Learned from Mother Nature

Mother Nature never throws anything away. She always recycles. But, we live in a culture where it is considered good for our society to get rid of the old stuff and make room for the new stuff. This includes housing and so a healthy economy means we build more houses and sell more houses. We buy more stuff and get rid of old stuff. This is good for the economy. When I continue thinking along this path it all looks more and more like a giant pyramid scheme to me.

The old adage about bending like the willow so that you don't break leaves out all the gray nuances in life such as when you bend, and maybe aren't watching, sometimes someone will come along and chop off your head or make you feel as if they have while you are trying to adjust to some major change in your life! (another post)

Some days I don't feel as industrious or energetic as I think I should at this elder age and then I see this:

and realize I have not a clue about industriousness and probably wasn't very high energy when I was younger either, and then I try not to be so hard on myself.

When we first bought this vacant peninsula of land a lovely swan greeted us at the dock as we ate our recently purchased Dunkin Doughnuts' breakfast. I forbade my husband to feed the swan as I didn't want swan poop all over the dock in the future. Today, years later, two lovely swans were cruising near the dock and I handed hubby a slice of stale bread and told him to go down to the dock and feed them. They swam eagerly forward, picked at the stale bread, turned up their noses and swam away. Even in nature fresh ingredients are important.

Having a good group of friends to hang out with and party all night is one honest way to make it through a long cold winter. Boy were they noisy last night!

Below is another less demanding way to pass the gray winter days but I think just as psychologically restorative. (As anal as I have been criticized for being I did not screw the containers together alphabetically!)

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Room With Walls or the Wren House

Due to the cooler evenings and my craving for a substantial dinner, I decided to roast a 4 pound chicken for our meal two nights ago. I marinated the fat bird in the early afternoon and started to preheat the oven. I stuffed the bird with onions and sliced apples and it took several hours to roast making the kitchen cozy and warm. Adding some cheese potatoes and a nice salad made the meal complete. When all was ready, hubby and I sat down to a perfect late October dinner. We threw our healthy caution to the wind and proceeded to stuff our little stomachs to the brim. With my last swallow of wine, I pushed myself back from the table and wondered if I would regret my piggyness.

Hubby graciously offered to clean up after dinner and I slowly burped my way upstairs to read some blogs. I heard him banging the roasting pan lid trying to get it clean. He called up to me asking what he should do with the drippings at the bottom of the pan. I did not want all that tempting but unhealthy fatty salty broth sitting around and suggested he may want to dump it in the woods outside.

I heard him open the front door and then I heard him bang the pan on the stoop and I heard a whuffet sound and my husband swearing softly under his breath.

When I called down asking about the commotion, he said that the new porch resident, a wren, flew into his face. We have a little wren that has tried to set up tenancy in my autumn door decoration and with the addition of the bug-filled split wood for the fire now added to the porch, she has a grocery store just beneath her new home.

I could hear the door was still open.

"She didn't get in, did she?" I asked.

"I am afraid she did." hubby sighed.

Well the next hour (or what seemed like an hour) of our leisure evening with stomachs full of food was spent trying to encourage a small wren to leave the house. We closed all the doors and cupboards and turned off the ceiling fans. I had to get out the very, very long light-bulb changing pole to make her leave her perch on the chains of our hanging foyer lights in the second story. Hubby almost destroyed the geranium I had recently brought inside and placed on a corner near the window as she tried to hide behind that plant several times.

After depositing bird doo on various walls, she eventually tucked in behind some decorative basket ware that we have on the shelf above the foyer. Hubby was determined to get out and balance on that shelf and try to catch her, but I was adamant that I was not willing to add a visit to the emergency room to this evening's adventures and insisted that we try alternatives.

We don't have a butterfly net, but in desperation, got out the fish net to see if we could capture her. Of course, the weave is too big and although we swooped it over her several times, she acrobatically made it through the holes. Once hubby and I almost bumped heads as we dived for her, temporarily caught beneath the net on the kitchen floor.

Eventually she became tired and we were able to catch her in our hands. We very gently and carefully took her out the front door where she instantly dive bombed into the shelter of the wood on the porch. I sw her hopping around the porch today, appearing none the worse for wear, but chiding me in her whistling fashion. (The photo above is of another wren, perhaps a juvenile relative, that was on our deck this summer.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

One Down, Three Thousand to Go

This is the second time in a month that our contractor has been blocked from exiting (first time was entering) the lot to work on the patio due to a fallen tree across the road. This happened just 30 minutes after he return from an errand! Please bring your trailer by if you need any firewood this winter. We have two widow makers over the path to the dock and no cash to deal with them at this time!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tabor Dancing

The weather has been so hot and muggy that hubby and I decided we just had to head to the nearby mountains---nearby being a relative term as it was about a 5 hour drive, carbon footprints be damned. We had visited and even camped in this national park many times, and thus, it was like visiting another home. Some of my blog readers will be able to identify it, I am sure.

We stayed at one of the lodges but I am proud to say that the second day we put in a 10 mile hike. I have not done that type of hiking in years and am glad that I found I still had the stamina.

The initial trails are usually clear and well worn even though you can see the summer has been wet.

The initial signs are usually quite clear for the trails as well even though the Park Service is on tighter and tighter budgets.

As we got farther into the more isolated trails, we found the signs not only less clear but even more telling!

Coming across this on the path gave us pause and also helped us understand the previous sign.

Even though we were above 4,000 feet the mid-day temperatures were pretty warm and we frequently sought shelter under the shade of trees in the high meadows. We were careful when we left the trail, because as you can see from the photo above, the trail can soon disappear. I photo-shopped it with ladybugs to show how camouflaged it could get just a few yards off the beaten path.

This lovely spruce forest floor makes for very quiet walking and that is why I stepped on a 2.5 foot snake without he/she or I being aware in time to avoid each other politely. I had paused to catch my breath when hubby came up behind me and looking at my feet said calmly but sternly, "Keep moving. Keep moving." As I lifted my right foot I glanced down to see the coils and instantly danced to the other side of some rocks skinning my shins nicely. While my legs have some lovely scabs, the poor snake got the worst of it as he seemed to be somewhat lumpy as he scooted away. We had been returning from the day's long hike, and I was being rather heavy footed with fatigue. We, of course, tried to remember what mountain rattlesnakes and copperheads really looked like as we hustled more carefully on down the trail counting our blessings only to see a smooth green snake scoot in the grass ahead and also what we identified as a common water snake just ten minutes further down the trail. We were blessed, I guess. Upon reaching a visitors center we pulled one of the guidebooks and determined that I had stepped on a juvenile rat snake.

In spite of the adrenalin rush the rewards of the hike were many including fresh blueberries for munching and...

...a blanket of wild bee balm.

We stopped at the top of the ridge for a late lunch and had some of the best views above the woods. I don't know of any fancy restaurants that can provide this kind of atmosphere.

Friday, July 11, 2008

It is starting

We are now one for one as hubby has retrieved a tomato from the garden and today I get to harvest my patio tomato.

These photos should go on my other blog about the wonderful planet earth...but I am so excited that I have this little bit to share. Everyone from Earth Home Garden to East and West at Every Turn has been posting delicious photos of their bloomers far outshowing my humble efforts. My beginning perennial garden has been a struggle this year. I read somewhere that it takes between 30 and 50 years to get a decent perennial garden established and I do not have that much time! So I will enjoy what I can while I can! The photo above is a healthy achillea (maybe vista?) that adds nice warm color to the end of a flower bed. (The orange flag shows where a soaker hose lies.)

Yes, I am cheating, by including some annual container plants below.

Here is a small chaste bush/tree that seems to be deer resistant. When left in a clear space in full sun they become big and lovely like the butterfly bush and the bees love them.

These lantana are in a container on my deck where I had a lovely crowded cover of yellow pansies. These are now suffering from summer heat and therefore lantana will replace that.

This lovely fellow bloomed last week and the rabbit ate the stem and left it on the ground with about three other potential blooms! The plant now sits behind a wire cage and is allowed to bloom once again.

Moss Rose are always perfect on the south facing heat of the back deck as are the lovely purple petunias and sage below.

The guara, below, I planted last year and although it is now in the wrong place blocking the path,(covered with bumble bees which is not good for the insect phobic relatives) it will be moved and do very well in a few other places I have planned.

My tempermental hybrid tea rose gave me a lovely first bloom in the early spring. Later I battled with thousands of Japanese beetles in early summer and lost a half dozen other blooms (but now seem to have won the war this year with a beetle trap on the back of the house) and now it is giving a lovely full bloom.

Well, it isn't much but it does warm the cockles of my heart these days.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


It has been wonderful to get outside with the little ones. Angel wiggles and tries to fly away in my arms as the warm wind caresses her face. It is the middle of January and we three dance across the crunchy leaves...I can't help but think in the very back of my mind that we are dancing at the earth's funeral.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fall Freedom

The days are now crisp and clean and clear and the sky is children’s storybook blue. Clouds are downy and plump as they drift above. Below, the water dances with light as if diamonds had been sprinkled across its surface. Nighttime brings the big fat moon smiling down in the cool of the evening. Reptiles are now seen only in the warmth of the afternoon sun. The last of the summer birds have started their long, hard journey south. The few species of birds that come to stay over the winter months from up north will be arriving shortly. The last of the Pawpaws are making forest floor wine. This is my favorite time of the year.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Waning Moon and Deer Talk

We are once again moving more 'stuff' into the house and arrived late. We headed out to dinner once we got here and then returned in the dark to be greeted by two deer (one a fawn) on the side of the road. When we got into the front yard, another deer at the side of the woods carefully and with confidence moved away from us in stops and starts staring at us as if he was trying to communicate. I decided to take the opportunity to talk to him and proceeded to explain that he was welcome in the yard, but it would be greatly appreciated if he restricted his diet to the wild food and not our planted ornamentals and vegetables. I don't know if he understood the English, but I am going to work on deer language.

I woke up at four this morning, perhaps eager and nervous to get my house cleaned and menus planned for company, or just my usual insomnia due to stress at work, but sitting outside on the deck and looking at the stars I entered the zen time zone. Far away from the land of deadlines and people needs and artificiality. Slipping into the quiet black velvet of the forest just as it is sighing itself awake, I have noticed that down here there is a showtime...somewhat predictable, but always mesmerizing. The frogs sing rhythmically to put me to sleep at night, they drift off and then the crickets are in full song in the early morning before the sun breaks the horizon.

This world goes on like this and wanes with the seasons and the moon. Even though everything is the same when I get here each weekend, it is all very different.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Longest Day

I can remember a long time ago when the start of summer meant sleeping late and then moving to the hammock outside on the lawn, still in my pajamas, with the first book from the top of the pile that I brought home from the library in my hand. And then I was lost for the rest of the morning in another world until my mother's patience wore thin and she had me doing errands or ironing or cleaning.

I miss the fresh joy of youth. The kick-up-the-heels giggle at long warm days at the small town swimming pool. I miss the bookmobile that stopped at the end of the road and, like a metal wrapped present with smells of musty paper, offered adventure and travel and more laughter. I miss the energy of chasing after the ice cream truck and licking creamy hands as the ice cream in the cones melted faster than could be consumed.

Feet were always dusty and dirty no matter how much we swam or bathed. We never wore shoes. Bikes were for racing and getting a cool breeze going in your face and then hitting the top of the hill and putting your feet up on the handle bars and coasting down the long road on the other side.

If there was errand money, I could spend the afternoon in the cool darkness of the movie theater, and then after the movie ended and the credits rolled being totally disoriented emerging in the bright light and heat of the day feeling as if I had just landed on some alien planet.

Now I only notice the details of the season in passing. I spend most of my time in a climate controlled office and hear the complaints of others about the heat. Here it is the first day of summer and the crepe myrtles are starting to bloom! They used to be the late July flowers. They were what I planted for late summer color when all the other plants had wilted or dried under the intense heat. Is this global warming? Or just because I live in the micro-climate of the city. Or am I just being forgetful?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

While They Were Sleeping

It is now 6:30 in the morning and I have been up for half an hour. I was awakened by the intermittent rushing noise outside, which I, at first, thought was a distant motor boat out in the bay with its sound carried by the wind. Instead I discovered it was the sound of the newly green trees waving their open flags in the first rays of the sun as gusts of wind pushed them down in arching bows.

The daughter, her husband, Xman and hubby are all still snuggled away in their beds missing the beauty of this morning. Yesterday's gentle soaking rains have cleansed the air of all softness. The morning sun is sharp, the leaves are kelly green, the bark and branches are crisp in the shadows and the sky is scattered with leftover racing clouds still dressed in their early morning gray and pink and lavender nightgowns.

Even the birds are dashing to the feeders instead of gliding.

My 6-month pregnant daughter now waddles down the stairs in blurry-eyed search of a cup of milk for Xman. I offer her coffee, but she is not ready and will return to bed and snuggle with Xman while he gets his early morning sustenance.

All are missing this magic time. This is my sustenance.

(Go here to see why these mornings are precious...thanks to Robert Brady for the resource.)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Lonely Afternoon Adventures-Life Story #9

It had started out as a typical afternoon on one of the remote islands of the South Pacific. It was a relatively calm day with coconut fronds waving gently at intervals and with moderate temperatures. My husband and I had headed out on the laboratory boat with another scientist to survey some wild oyster beds. The morning went fairly fast and we collected enough data to stop for an early lunch at the edge of the mangroves. I was eating my tuna salad sandwich and gazing over the stern of the boat watching an archer fish with fascination as he skulked in the shadows waiting for a meal from an unwary insect.

The water in this area was shallow, only two feet deep, dropping gently to about four feet toward the open ocean before reaching the boat channel. Brushing bread crumbs from my swimsuit, I stepped around the outboard and holding the top of the motor housing slipped over the back of the boat for a cooling swim after lunch. Hubby and the colleague decided to motor to the other side of the mangrove peninsula to the mouth of a river in search of some innocuous biological event that I have since forgotten.

Once the sound of the outboard had disappeared behind the mangroves, I realized how quiet it was with just the sound of my hands in the water and the insects on the island. Other than the boat just a short distance away, I could imagine I was the only person on the planet. I poked in the soft sand with my toes and watched the sea birds in the distance and listened to the lapping of the gentle waves against the mangrove roots. I was concentrating on retrieving a terebra that I had unearthed with my big toe when I thought I saw the shadow of something on the surface of the water beside me. I looked up but only saw the gently rippled gray surface of the water. I looked down at the sand again, replacing the mollusk and slowly worked my way toward the open ocean until the water came to just below my shoulders for a complete cool down. As I looked toward the horizon I once again caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Suddenly, being all alone became somewhat unsettling. I started scanning the waters around me and in a few minutes a gray dorsal fin broke the surface about ten feet away and swam a foot toward me and then moved away disappearing beneath the surface.

I was guessing by the size of the fin that it was a small gray reef shark, maybe just over two feet in length, surveying the area. In less than a minute, he returned. Initially, I was fascinated by this typical behavior when he started circling me ever so slowly. The concentric circles made by the dorsal fin that broke the surface of the water were about six feet away and getting closer. I wasn't afraid of such a small shark until I remembered he also wasn't afraid of me. He was a “teenager” out for an experimental event. I had felt the sandpaper skin of a shark with my hands not that long ago and realized if he swiped me it would hurt and possibly draw blood, not a good event in shark country.

The boat was too far away to hear my call and the prevailing breeze would have pulled my voice away anyway. I also was too embarrassed to admit I needed help against such a little guy. I moved carefully, walking backwards toward the mangroves, and scanning the surface of the water around me as I did so. There was no place for me to get out of the water and the water wasn't shallow enough to prevent the shark from swimming directly at me. I decided to throw caution to the wind (avoiding thinking about water snakes or crocodiles among the tangled tree roots—both of which existed in these parts) and stepped up to carefully balance on the larger arching mangrove roots as I leaned against the trees. Leaves and blunt branches poked my head and shoulders as I squatted in precarious balance. After about ten minutes of this yoga experience the shark became bored and left the area.

As I sat balancing awkwardly on the roots in my bare feet I began to survey the mangrove jungle and did not realize I was in store for a second adventure of the day. Behind me I heard a weak squawking noise that I must have missed earlier in my mild panic to eliminate the shark bait. I couldn't see where the sound was coming from over my shoulder, and so, gently entered the water and walked behind the first section of mangroves to another sandy space behind the first patch of trees. About a foot above my head I saw the cause of the noise. A small blue heron had become caught in the mangrove branches. His head was caught in the fork of a branch and while he flapped and squawked ever so weakly, his position and weight had trapped him. His outspread wing was the only thing keeping him from hanging himself.

Wary of his long and sharp bill, I realized that I was going to be responsible for his rescue. I tried to balance on the roots but couldn't get high enough to grasp him safely…safely for him and for me. The eye that stared at me was still clear but his movements were very weak. He must have been there for hours. I watched a few minutes more trying to think of some way to lift him from the branch. I was starting to panic for him. I called to my husband. My call was lost in the great expense of water. I walked around the trees and to the front of the island and putting my hands to my mouth called, hooted, and whistled toward the mouth of the river.

It seemed that a lot of time passed, but eventually I heard the outboard and soon I saw the boat approaching. My husband could see I was trying to convey some emergency, and when he kicked off the engine, I explained the plight of 'my' heron. After I lifted myself aboard we poled our way to the back of the mangrove and were able to get close enough standing on the side of the boat to reach and eventually release the bird. Actually, my husband did most of the gentle pulling and lifting while I provided encouragement. We placed the bird carefully, with hands on bill, on a tree root and he paused getting his balance. Like the shark, he too left us shortly for another clump of mangroves and the pursuit of another meal. I didn't mention the little shark adventure until after we got back home.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A Dance of Love

Robert Brady, Claude at Blogging in Paris, and Chancy have all written recently about the pollen or yellow desert dust or air born stuff and in some cases the resultant allergies. Their posts brought a recent but slightly different image and experience to my mind.

Twice in the past few years while hiking I have experienced what to me was a special and marvelous event. It was unexpected, quiet, and very subtle; and had I been looking the wrong way, I would have missed it. I probably had missed it many other times in my life. The first time I saw this natural phenomena was on a hike in the Colorado Rockies. We had just crossed a ridge and somewhat out of breath had paused just below the crest to look down into the next valley of firs and pines and junipers. It was a quiet spring day except for the call of the jays and the occasional spring breeze that touched the evergreen branches.

I was staring at the tops of dozens of elegant pine trees. Then just below their tops, and without warning, a puff of yellow dust covering yards of space flew from one tree drifting like tiny sparks of life down the valley and across the other trees. Less then one second later the next tree released its pollen and so on down through the valley just like a wave of golden phosphorescence. The magic was in the timing and the silence. It was clandestine and confidential as if I was observing the lovemaking between the trees, which in a sense, I was.

I observed this same phenomena when I was in the desert in Arizona recently. We were hiking back into the valley and paused to gaze back at the trail while standing under an Arizona pine tree. Then just above my head the pine tree released a golden shower across the area. The thing I noticed this time was there was no breeze, no air movement that I could feel although clearly the air was moving above my head. I touched the pine branch above my head to see if I could release more pollen and nothing, not one little spore, was released.

I did some research on the process and the science indicates that there is "no explosive dehiscence" in the process. Maybe not, but they "talk" to each other in some way. It is some dance of love that we cannot understand and it is sacred when you see it.