Friday, October 28, 2011


Tonight the moon is more than half full.  That cold pearl light sharpens the dark shadows that lay across my path and the glow washes past the field that I must cross.  It is the only light I have as I set out on my journey.

Did you hear that?  It is the muggy warning call of the owl.  He sees and hears all.  What is he trying to tell me as my feet crunch the leaves covering this narrow path?  I hear nothing else except the ground fog breathing cautiously below and hiding my way as it flows behind the tree trunks.  The air smells damp and dead and of black mold.  The earth is old and wet which I notice as my heel slips on the downside of the path.  Then a tree root catches my foot causing me to stumble against a craggy oak.  I have bumped my head and as I reach to rub it, I touch a web and brush it with panic from my forehead.  I turn but first must adjust my shoe before returning back on the path.

Tonight it is THE night and I cannot turn back.  All of the night creatures will be there waiting for me with their glowing eyes and sudden screeching music.  Even now they crouch low and wait to pounce as the moon slides behind a cloud for a brief time.  This is their hour of power.

At last I have reached the edge of the mowed field bathed in the last of the moon light and I see the barn up ahead.  What a perfect night for a Halloween Barn Dance, I think as I wrap my scarf closer about my neck!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Falling for Fall

A month ago, when I could amble, I took an exploratory trip to a place called the Monocacy Battlefield. It has a wonderful historic museum as well as several farms to wander around. They are actively leased by real farmers who put up with the tromp of tourists.  I took the photos (manipulated for an autumnal feel) below.  They do not actually fit into the Room Without Walls, but all I have for now.  I hope they get you ready for fall.

A traditional rail fence along a meadow path.

A modern barn.

A well maintained traditional tobacco barn converted for storage.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I miss my room without walls these days. While the weather has been nice enough to keep the windows open all day and all night, I long to be sitting under trees somewhere, in a canoe on the water before it turns cold, or hiking through some crispy fall leaves.  I miss brushing spider webs from my hair, kicking mud from my shoes and carrying my camera everywhere. Being the addicted photographer, below is what I have been seeing for the last few days.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More Dancers

They come to dance and flirt and tease and I am compelled to share their photos on this day. They skip and loop and flutter close past your forehead causing such a distraction that you unconsciously wipe your brow leaving a brown streak with the mud from your hand.  And just when you think you have been distracted  to the limit with their inability to form a serious parade, they twirl far away.

Summer's song is not too long
It is not too loud and 
Not so familiar
That you can sing along.

Your eyes begin to adjust
To the carnival lights
Your ears to the buzz of warm rhythms
And your nose to the smell of ripe honey.

And then Summer has waned
The days are smaller on each end
The earth no longer needs your care
And the butterflies laugh and all flirt away.  

My gift to you while I recuperate and miss being outdoors.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


When fall arrives I am always surprised how the long angles of the sun can make everything so crisp and clean and new looking.  It is as if I am staying in a new place.  The sun has ended with its hot burn lighting making everything flat and bright and is pulling out all the soft hues and new gel filters even before the leaves begin to change colors.  That hot orb paints the last of my autumn blossoms with deep lavish colors giving me memorable visions to hold me over during the winter months.  The wind blows billowing clouds back and forth and even sometimes lets them pause long enough to allow some rain to fall.  The musty smells of the forest floor are dry and dusty this week and ground birds are noisily tossing leaves all around looking for the really fat fellows hiding below.   Squirrels chase each other scratching the back of the tree up one side and down the other as their larder must be filled.  The crickets sing, but sort of sorrowfully, as if they know their time is short.  Spiders hang out by my windows and doors trying to sneak their way inside before the cold comes. 

Last night deep in the woods as the fog formed over this river in the photo above, I heard the owls singing their autumn song.  I have my own front row seat to the regularly held Autumn Hootenanny just outside my bedroom windows as Halloween approaches.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Would You Like to Dance?

If you follow either of my blogs, you may need a life, but you also will know that I have an ongoing contest dancing with lonesomeness and togetherness as they twirl me and whirl me hither and yon.  I  tend to favor the waltz with lonesomeness because it brings peace, quiet, gentle rhythms, and my dress whirls so symmetrically around the room, and, of course, I have accepted that it will be my inevitable partner as I age.  My years reward me with a lack of fear of being alone.  In contrast, the dance with togetherness is crazy, full of life, and throws me unpredictable turns making me seem to miss my steps more often.  While I need this partner, I have outgrown its energies.  I feel more awkward and drained of life at the end of the togetherness foxtrot.

I write this because the emptiness and solitude of places in the photos below fill me with an unexplainable awesome peace.  While I stood, camera in hand, I was very aware that people have been here and struggled to survive and lived lives of quiet desperation.  Their sacrifice is in the soil and the air and the brilliance of the sunshine and commands your attention.   They came before in prehistoric and historic times and left behind the strength of life and the closeness to the strength of the earth that they experienced.  Trying to find or create sustenance from this desolate area was a blind challenge for them.  I hear ancient chants to eternity on the desert winds...what a dance that must be!

There is a purity of human spirit that seemed to hang close as I took these photos.  While taking the photo immediately below I heard the rhythmic rush of the wings of a large black raven as it flew very high overhead on some long journey.  When did you last here the rush of a raven's wings?

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Along the Roadside

We put over 3,000 miles on the rental car which we drove from Denver, Colorado, to various parts of Northern Utah on our adventure two weeks ago.  No grass grows under my husband's feet (or car tires) and this mileage was completed even though we did lots of daily hiking and visiting museums and historic sites.  We did move once the sun was up and did not stop until dark.  We are not idle vacationers and get our money's worth. (No sitting around the pool with mosquitoes and mojitos.  We can sleep when we get home.)

One afternoon, we had gotten a little lost in the vast rural areas and flat lands and were trying to find a specific unmarked road outside of a small farming town in the unusually green high desert.  Hubby who has the 'eagle' eye spotted the hawk pair in the tall grasses by the road first.  Knowing my love of raptors he slowed as we passed and then made a quick U-turn on the empty country road to go back so I could take a photo.  I worked rapidly to change lenses in the car.

When we cruised past a second time, they appeared to have already departed the area.  One was so expertly camouflaged that we saw him sitting on the fence post just seconds before we cruised slowly to a stop and seconds before he took off again.  I snapped the blurred photo below from the car window.

The raptor couple retreated to a nearby and safer utility line and proceeded to scream at me and my invasion of their privacy.  I did not see what prey they had found in the grass and perhaps it was a small rodent who had escaped with no thanks to our curiosity.  I took a few other photos, but nothing that truly showed their dignity and beauty.  

After research I think they are a common marsh hawk or harrier.  But I am open to any expert identification.