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

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“…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

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

LoveSpring: The infatuation of a season

“I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.” 


― Pablo Neruda

Cherry Blossom Skies

Just like love spring comes with a rush of sweet exuberance. No other season has a hold on me quite like spring. It is wondrous. It is glorious and I am totally and utterly in love with it. Springtime makes me giddy and weak in the knees. Let’s just say I get all “twitterpated” and before you know it I am thrown for a loop….but it doesn’t start that way. Spring is a subtle seducer.  It starts with a sign; a small indication that winter is losing its icy grip and this seems to come earlier every year. Crazy me pays attention to these things: I will notice out of the corner of my eye in passing a tiny green shoot daring to poke itself out of the sleeping earth. All it takes is the one and then my eyes are in constant scan looking for other signs of wakefulness.

It is the snowdrops and crocus that first appear. These are hardy ones and a little snow and blustery wind of late winter doesn’t bother them. They bloom anyway. As long as the pale sun continues to shine they share their beautiful color with weary eyes tired of the cold bland landscape.

I can’t help it. By this time my mind is in a whir.  I am all aglow and practically tripping over my feet. Any glimpse of blue in the sky sends me outside no matter the chill. I shiver under the sliver of sunbeam across the back deck and imagine how it will all be in a month or two. The gardener in me is making ambitious plans. This has been happening since late January and little by little I see nature at work in its ever moving dance of life.

It is that one morning that really does it; I am awakened by an optimistic sunshine that streams through the slats of the blinds. It tickles my eyelids and slowly and playfully beckons me to wakefulness. I linger near the edges of lucidity, between reality and dreams…but it is the faint sound of birdsong that lulls me to full arousement.

How could I not be happy waking up like this? How could anyone?

Spring is a time of renewal. There is a certain optimism in the air; a sort of bouncy happy effervescence and it is infectious.

The squirrels have caught it for sure. I can’t help but laugh at their antics. As they chase each other up and down the just about to bloom  flowering cherries across the street, they seem caught up in the season as well. The Robins have appeared, a sign of spring if there ever was one. I delight in the way they hop around the yard searching for their breakfast, which they are finding with a gusto; the rains of the night before have softened the earth and beckoned the worms to the surface.  This provides an easy meal not just for the Robins for for others as well. I can see four different kinds of birds just outside my window.

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

White Cherry Blossom in Spring (Credit: N.L. McKinley)

The flowering cherries cry out to be photographed and I cannot resist. The Yoshino Cherry in my front yard is the true essence of loveliness. The bees think so too…

bee in Yoshino Cherry blossoms credit N.L. McKinley

Cherry Blossom pink with stormy sky credit N.L. McKinley

There is a contrast between seasons this time of year; storm clouds and sunbeams clash and provide an interesting backdrop to a flowering cherry in the park down the street.

Yellow Spring Credit N.L. McKinley

The vibrant Forsythia in my mother’s yard in all it vivid glory.

Rhododendron pink by N.L McKinley

One of the many Rhododendrons in bloom.

Camellia pink at Grotto Credit N.L McKinley

Now that it is officially spring on this side of the hemisphere my love affair with the season can go into full swing.  Life is wonderful and so is being in love and in the springtime everything is possible.

Wishing you a lovely day!

Strawberryindigo.

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“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart” 
― Helen Keller
Happy Spring!
Happy Spring!

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