Wednesday, April 18, 2018


The dogwoods have gone from bud to flower in just three days, so I decided I will go from photo to manipulation in just 7 hours!

Original with some sharpening and lighting work.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Ancient Ones

A visitor from an ancient world stopped by to say "Hi." the other day. He is usually very shy, but spring sometimes confuses those from the eons. We, in the modern world, are busy and hurrying and need reasons for everything we do including bothering to visit. Primeval ones that have survived this invented busyness created by mankind stop to impress and remind and even cajole.   Hylatomus pileatus is his name but I just call him Hy, because that is how we are.  He is like an ancient Yogi answering my questions with more questions. 

"Why are you here?"

"Why not?'

"Is there something I can do for you?"

"Is there something I can do for YOU?"

Eventually, I tire of this game and just observe.

For a minute I thought we were going to really get to know each other and that I was going to have to see if the pantry had any juicy black beetles or nice

chewy grubs, not the type of nutritional snacks that I often keep on hand.  But as luck would have it, he decided the stay must be brief.

Ever the elemental creature, he did not leave before reminding me to wash the windows above the sink in the kitchen.  We have THAT kind of relationship!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Digital Paint Brush Version

While waiting for a friend from Junior High School to come to dessert this evening, I am doing some 'painterly' versions of the Lenton Roses blooming under my sugar maple tree.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Fits and Starts and Decisions

...Or should that be Starts and Fits? 

That is the way spring has come 
She is like a transgender child 
Not sure which dance step 
To put forth on the soft wet earth 
The step of energetic athlete 
The step of floating ballerina 
The step of the timid morning Fox 
Looking to steal a furred babe

Spring is more muddled this year 
She swirls in cold weather 
Followed by angelic afternoon sunshine 
Followed by stinging, sleety rain 
The yellow trumpets in the corner 
Have lowered their heads in submission 
Buried in icy pellets on a few afternoons 

Then lift up in reverent joy 
To announce spring's arrival 
While the warm sun scratches their backs 

Are we to be hedonistic 
Or are we to be stalwart 
Even the Osprey has been both warrior 
And distracted traveler 
Both the Goose and the Mallard 
Have attempted to usurp the platform 
Today the Osprey seems to sit in ownership 
This morning the river is glassine
The naked trees are neither alive nor dead 
Standing like brown replicates 
The birds sing 
Then freeze in place 
As if surprised at their own pure voice
Today all is still 
Still waiting for spring

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Spring Real Estate Deals

Things are getting busy. Citrus trees have been moved to the outdoors and the Yellow Rump has discovered them and is helping remove the fungus flies that "blossomed" into crowds of tiny black dots all over my windows.

Not exactly a feast out here!

Over Christmas there was the gift of a bluebird house that attaches to a window---an experiment where I have taped some black construction paper on the inside---that the Blue Birds are now checking out in the daytime.  They chatter for hours on end.

"I tell you, Margaret, they are NOT leaving!"

They are confused by the other interested shoppers (reflections of themselves) and they are leaving calling cards all over my windowsills!!

The male is in his mating beauty.

I have come to the conclusion that house shopping is as difficult and stressful for birds as it is for people!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A New Gentleness on the Land

Spring is tender and pastel. We respond as if we are seeing a newborn child or a miracle. We may dance in the fields but with light-footedness so as to not crush the new blooming violets or frighten the waking fairies. We smooth our joy with gentle giggles and with restrained if open-mouthed glances. Deep sighs and soft smiles are traditional as well.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Rusty and Ready

Spring is teasing today. Weather is almost warm even though the skies are slate gray. The songbirds are checking out some new houses that we got as holiday gifts and that we put up a day ago. Some animal has dragged the suet away from its fishing line across an outside part of the deck. This is the third time, and it means we probably will no longer hang out more suet even if we can find the wire cage somewhere down the ravine.

A few weeks ago the weather was crisp but dry and sunny.  I glanced out my bedroom window and in the rust-colored grasses I saw movement.  I had to squint my old eyes, but sure enough, there was a healthy looking fox.

I took photos with my camera, but my window was angled and I was afraid to open it and frighten him away.

When I checked my photos and then looked back he had been joined by another.  They sniffed and kissed and nipped and made small sounds for quite some time.

They were so lovely and I am sure that the brambles just up the way are going to be the cover for a den under a large tree trunk that fell years ago.  I have mixed feelings because I think this is also where the deer gives birth to her fawns.

I worked on the photo above to sharpen it and give it some energy.  You may remember that I wrote about these two a few months ago after the newly fallen carpet of white snow when they were running and jumping and actually almost ran into me before they recognized I was human.