Cavorting with Nature

 

 

 

It happened so quickly: a flutter of wings, a white flash..and then I saw them…two cavorting butterflies, cabbage whites, I think.  Fluttering all around me; my head and legs, coming so close I can feel the gentle breeze on my face created by the fritterings of their little wings.  I sit as still as I can and take in this surreal and glorious moment. Then just as abruptly as they appear they flutter off together into the blue October sky.  It was quite a moment and strange as it sounds I got the idea they were thanking me for something. A place to cavort perhaps. A resting place amid the growing greenness in this nondescript urban oasis that is my backyard. A wildish place of ordered chaos. A pesticide-free zone with a little bit for everyone. Native plants and more. Providing nectar and seeds and shelter and safe spots to forage with berries and tomatoes and lots of tasty bugs and worms.

A respite from the lifeless urban jungle of hard concrete and indifference.

 

 

Hummingbird and Pineapple Sage
Hummingbird and Pineapple Sage

 

These moments bring me such joy; my encounters with the urban wildlife that visit my garden.   There are  the squirrels who compete for nuts with the squawky jays. They are beautifully blue and like to fly from rooftop to rooftop swooping down in the yard hunting and catching insects.

Along with the white butterflies, there are bees galore, buzzing from here to there, intermixed with hover-flies which seem to defy gravity. These beneficial insects love the sweet asylum that seeds itself freely and grows every summer against the southern wall that borders the driveway. This once barren slab of cement now teems with exuberant life. The other side is filled with a hodgepodge of annuals and perennials.

It resembles more of a science experiment than a tidy yard. I’ve never been a very tidy person but the urban fauna doesn’t seem to mind.

And as the season progresses and as October turns to November my time in the garden has decreased in fact admittedly, it has been nearly a week since I have been back here.   I take advantage of a much needed sunny day and plan to spend some time working and appreciating. All the work I do know will pay off next Spring.

Of course I leave much of the wildness for the urban wildlife who will winter here.

 

All the remain of the once vibrant yellow Susans are the jet black seed pods which the chickadees and finches have been devouring with a flourish. 

 

goldfinch-eating-black-eyed-susan bird
Goldfinch on Black-eyed Susan

I am always reflective this time of year and I do much of my reflecting back here. The fuchsia is still blooming and the Pineapple Sage is in it’s full glory. It’s scarlet spires provide nectar to the hummingbirds which still visit as the season progresses and progresses it does. The leaves have changed and many have fallen to the ground. I can hear them crunch under my feet. My mind goes back to the white butterflies and my brief encounter with them just a couple weeks ago. I haven’t seen any since.  Our next meeting will have to wait for Spring when they return. And so will the Canada Geese that I hear flying overhead, their distinct honking flooding the sky with such riotous sound. This brings me back to Autumn’s past. It is these living harbingers of winter who make me sit and pause and reflect upon life and time.   It will be the Geese again who will prompt the same reflection upon their return.

 

Canada Geese flying in V formation
Canada Geese flying in V formation

 

And now it is my turn to say thank you to the fantastic world around us. From the smallest proton to the largest supernova…from the tiny microbe in the soil to the hummingbird to the black and white house cat to the awestruck and humbled human. We are all connected and what a beautiful thing is that.

 

Have a fantastic day!

Nancy

.

 

“…Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

Mary Oliver

goose-picture-3

Frank Sinatra – Come Fly With Me

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Three Little Birds and One Fat Squirrel

 

 

The air is clear and slightly cold, just chill enough to notice.  A layer of glittery dew covers the grass. I stand on the back porch my eyes closed, face to the rising October sun. I feel a slight warmth on my eyelids and this makes me smile.

The birds are in riotous glory; I listen to their songs intently; trying to make out as many distinct songs as I can. I recognize the song of the chickadees accompanied by the expectant cluck of the chickens next door.   I hear the caws of the crows in the distance; calling to each other from neighboring trees. At once they all take flight, flying high into the deep blue sky circling the tall pines and calling out to each other.  I can feel their hurried energy as I do the squirrel’s. I think I hear one rustling in the large bush in the back, or at least what I presume is a squirrel. My imagination comes up with ” interesting scenarios” as to the identity of this “mysterious” creature when Jay, the Scrub Jay, bursts out of the very same bush and scares the zen-like serenity right out of me.  He lets out a distinctive SQUAWK, swoops down across the yard in perfect form and lands right on top of the roof.

 

scrub jay flying blue bird
SCRUB JAY in Flight–Credit: DianeVarner.com

 

A-ha! He then spots the peanuts “some kind human” has set out. I watch with delight as he goes from the roof down to the top of the fence. He  picks up a nut in his beak, tips his head back, the nut rolls into place and then he’s off with his prize…off to one of a half-a-dozen stash places located in the surrounding tree canopy. Every time he dives down he squawks and this sound reverberates all over.  I watch as he checks the ground for any missing nuts. He lets out one last flurry of distinctive calls then takes off somewhere beyond the neighbors Maple tree.

 

scrub jay blue bird nut

 

My listening has not ended as I try to make out as many sounds as I can; city intertwined with nature. The purr of lawn mower and the edgy beep beep of traffic noise and mixes with the sweet innocence of  birds. I hear the other neighbors goat, yes goat. A child’s laugh is drowned out by the roar of a  jet engine high in the sky, leaving a white trail behind it.

I am distracted once again, this time by a real squirrel. It has come to the fence and found the nuts gone. Again, taken by that dashing blue bandit. The squirrel scolds me; staring at me and barking. Its fluffy tail adding to the drama, twitching and and going in circular motions.   I laugh knowing it will soon be checking the bird feeder out front and gorging itself on mixed seeds.  All the while eyeing me out of the corner of its eye.

I can’t help but smile.

 

 

Jerome the squirrel, resident bird feeder raider and scolder.
Jerome the squirrel, resident bird feeder raider and scold.

 

 

 

Mario is obviously fascinated.
Mario is obviously fascinated.

This is a spectacular time of the year. The exquisiteness of the season deepens with every passing day. I feel intoxicated with the thrill of life as I live from moment to moment each changing from one to another like the seasons, deepening and becoming more and more beautiful.

Life is good!

 

 

♥  Nancy

 

The ground we walk on, the plants and creatures, the clouds above constantly dissolving into new formations – each gift of nature possessing its own radiant energy, bound together by cosmic harmony.

~Ruth Bernhard
bird gif hop

 

*

BOB MARLEY THREE LITTLE BIRDS

 

All The Things You Are – Helen Forrest & Artie Shaw

On the Wings of Autumn

autumn leaves
Credit: SBI

Golden light streams through the window dappling in forgotten but familiar patterns across the wooden table.  It is morning and I am lost in quiet reflection.  An exquisitely woven spiderweb glints in the goldenness,  its proprietor has grown big and fat over the summer. It waits patiently for breakfast to land while I enjoy a hot cup of strong coffee.

The gray squirrels run crazily all over the neighborhood;  Up and down two large and arching chestnut trees, swiftly bounding through the grass looking for the perfect spots to bury their booty.

autumn squirrel on walk
Credit: SBI

The deeply blue Stellar Jays swoop down, their wings extended. I hear them calling to each other which always seems so urgent to me. The Yoshino cherry tree in the front yard sports three yellow leaves among the green ones.  It seems just yesterday that it was covered in delicate white blossoms. Although the calendar tells me that it is still summer, mother nature is speaking in whispered tones that Autumn is on its way.

 Lovely SR on walk
Credit: SBI

Later after dinner my daughter and I stroll around the neighborhood. One more time on her “last day of freedom”, she calls it.  Tomorrow is her first day of school. She will be a sophomore. She tells this to the friendly neighbor 3 blocks down while we admire the woman’s velvety red flowers.

My daughter pronounces the word sophomore is such a correct tone, her soft lilting voice emphasizing the “o” sound in the middle. The reddish highlights in her long brown hair shining and flowing in the wind.  We walk along some more, stopping to admire the antics of the busy squirrels and petting a few cats.

A glossy black crow caws at us high atop a wooden telephone pole. It’s as if it has important news it wants to share.  We laugh and move on. Our shadows walking ahead of us.  She delights in the fact that she is now taller than me and we discuss our mutual pet peeve of the misuse of the word “your“.  I marvel how much we are alike and how different the world is from when I was her age.

crow in gray sky how times flies
Credit: SBI

Oh my how time flies. On swift glossy black wings it does, always forging ahead and never looking back, unlike we silly humans who hold to the past too tightly.  It is now dusk, our walk has finished and we have returned home. I silently say goodbye to summer. “Thanks for dropping by old friend, see you next year.” I mouth to myself and slowly close the front door.

Happy September!

Strawberryindigo.

“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” 

― Libba Bray

Wake me up when September ends By Green Day (YouTube)

Autumn’s Light (By SBI 9-23-11) (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Autumn’s Light

Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum leaves in autumn ...
Image via Wikipedia

There is a certain magic in this time of year.  A wild little whimsy of hope and a tinge of excitement at what adventure the future may bring.  There is a crispness in the air that is fresh and clean and fills me with inspiration.  To me, Autumn  signals a new start, a fresh beginning.  It’s the time to wake up from the haze and laze of summer.

 The dappled sunlight of the dewy morning dances and delights on the amber trees.  The sky is a deep blue and the clouds are soft and cool. I sit quietly under the laurel tree and watch the flourish of life before me. 

The very soil itself teems with life, down to the very microscopic. A seemingly endless variety of insects, crawlers and walkers and flyers.  White butterflies cavort among the Asters.   Attracted by the pineapple sage in the corner, Ruby throated Hummingbirds dart in and out. The crows atop the Jack pine stare down in defiance and call to me. I laugh at them and continue on my way. 

The cats follow me around as I do the watering.  Soon the rains will come and this chore will become a distant memory; something I complain about now but I will miss come January.   

The enormous sugar maple in the distance wears the first few signs of the season. There is a richness that runs through this time of the year. Like a deep and vibrant jewel.  I hold it up to the light and its exquisite beauty stuns me. 

This is one of my favorite times of the year and its easy to see why. I breathe in the moment and plan to hold it forever…

Happy Autumn!

Strawberryindigo.