Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's Another Year of Challenges/Opportunities Says Pollyanna

Hoping 2015 is full of golden happiness for you!
(May you live in interesting times.)

But also hoping that you are smart enough in your resolutions
To have given this Mother Earth her due
So that she will be around for another
Four and a half billion years.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Lighted Day

Cold mornings, sometimes drizzly and sometimes with fog, keep me hunkered in my living room with hot coffee.  Yesterday I glanced out the kitchen window to see a brilliant sunrise greeting me over the tree tops.  I put on slippers, and while still in pajamas and robe, grabbing my new point and shoot Canon camera (Christmas gift) which replaced my 6-year-old one with the scratched lens, and I started memorializing the event. 

That early morning light began to grow even more lovely as I leaned across the deck railing with my arms held high.

Truly this is Mother Earth's reminder that the days are now going to grow longer.

What was even more amazing was the view behind me where the sun began to spill its red across the river facing the west.  This is very unusual and it did not last long.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Wish for You

Please forgive my editing of Luke.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Masked in Deceit

Yes, the photo below has had the spirit photoshopped out of it!  But it is near my birthday, so I do not care.

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Nexus

Perhaps I should have brought this geranium in from the deck, but then I would have missed this beauty!  I was thinking of networks, paths, nets, systems, structures and hierarchies during the time I was fiddling with this photo.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Painting a Walk

My world in winter can be damp and gray and dank and cold.  Yesterday it rained all day.  Today the fog hangs thick and close in the yard.  I took a neighborhood walk two days ago and today I spend the hours ignoring the outside and re-painted what I saw digitally to create my own little fairy land.  What do  you think?

I had to trespass on a vacant lot to get this photo of a nearby marsh above.

I made it into a blurry painting because it was already a little blurry.

This was a photo of ornamental grasses planted outside a nearby millionaires lovely, but all too often vacant, home.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fancy Dress

While walking in a suburb of the city the other day I passed this tree with the most fascinating bark.  I do not know what it is but the photo does not do it justice.  Can you see the nail some idiot used? Click on the photo for a closer look as all I did was sharpen it.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Busy with the coming holiday season so all I have are these blurry photos through the window!!

"Do you mind?  I would like some privacy...!"

"You are not going to go away...are you?"

(Since Anita asked below:   this is a House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus,an introduction from the south and now fairly common in my area.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mining for Gold

If you have the miner's eyes you can see rivers of gold just outside your door in the fall.  Go ahead and click on the photo and go for a swim!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Ignore it?

I have word verification turned off and yet you may still see the window below when you wish to comment.  Ignore it, and it is my understanding that your comment will go through!

Monday, December 08, 2014


Are you trying to tell me something?

Friday, December 05, 2014


It was first seen through binoculars, through clouded window glass and past the dancing distraction of feathered feasters on the lawn below.  It resembled a forgotten rose, brown petaled, a perfect circle of design rolled out like stale pie crust on the top curve of an alligator-backed resting log, dull but intriguing.

Later in the day I was close enough to inspect both pattern and color and shape more closely, and was surprised to see the familiar image of a female pine cone with its distinct scales smashed firmly against the rough bark wood as if raped by some autumn monster and left for lost.

But wait, neither pie nor flower nor cone is this object.  It is soft and pliable, if still firmly attached, and is indeed a fungus playing hiding games in the fall light.  It is a cabbage fungus in its normal costume, pretending it is something else.

Monday, December 01, 2014


Moving into the season of sharp shadows 
And electric droning winds
Winds that tear the tears from ones eyes
And slice open the tufted cover across your chest

Moving into the season
Where warm colors to the eye are a pretense
That the earth is not sleeping
But just being cozy and quiet for a day.

A season where noise is
Crackling like a crazy fire
Where things fracture and splinter
Making you ever alert for intruders
And the only softness 
Is a winter's dried seed bouquet
Brought indoors and set on the side table

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I am so thankful for all the readers who have visited over the years and shared their ideas, thoughts and hopes with me as we tour the Room Without Walls.  Whether today you eat a peanut butter sandwich looking out the kitchen window or an over rich meal in a stuffy restaurant with others, or a traditional meal with family please be thankful for this good and precious day that you are given. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Yesterday's Visitors

Against the brown grasses and the rusty leaves these animals are unseen unless they move a leg, flick an ear or flash a white tail.  They stopped by in my backyard for brunch on oak nuts and tender tendrils.  They look so thin, I am worried if they will make it through the winter.  All of these photos were taken through the bedroom window which needs cleaning

I also wonder if one of the youngest is that little fawn we found back in July and posted about on my other blog?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Are You Lost?

It is very quiet, loudly quiet.
We are the only two souls on this planet.

The two young eagles left when we arrived,
Actually left long before we turned the bend into this pocket lined with reeds.

They did not have their showy dramatic coloring yet and were just learning to dive and dart and find food with the fish spending more time out in the Bay.

They looked like young warriors in camouflage so far away overhead.

We sat in the grasses in thought and wonder for some time.
We felt we were visiting some sacred place.
We had also frightened out a few mallards just moments ago
And we regretted that our presence was so wearing.

Listening to our breathing
Then I heard a short brassy toot.
So quiet and so short I could not tell from where it came.
Did I see something moving in the cluster of grass ahead?

We dipped the paddle and moved forward quietly and carefully.

Ah, something was peaking at us!

Something that released a tiny honk followed by a tiny quack with a question at the end.
Something that could not find a runway to escape.
Something we had accidentally pinned to the bank.
We watched it for a small time and then realized it was all alone.

Very odd - a sole goose.
We discussed reasons in quiet tones.
Lost his flock?  Blown in by a storm?
Then we felt sadly it might be wounded from an unsuccessful hunter.
We had watched a hawk devour a winter goose dinner for the same reason
two years ago just down by our dock.

We paddled backwards every so gently
As we did not want him to become more afraid
And left him alone to deal with whatever challenge life had dealt him.
Hope he makes it through the winter.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Take a Pill

Some days you may find yourself on a roller coaster that is not a thrilling ride but a hard and laughing-at-you ride, a day that is daring you to just "hang on."  You suddenly race down the rails and there does not seem to be an "up" ahead as the scenery sweeps sickeningly by.  I had one of those emotional roller coaster afternoons a few days ago.  I was sinking into one of those smokey funks that increases your shallow breathing and narrows your view of the world to a small dark place.  Hubby was in a flighty and restless mood, thank goodness(!), and lobbied for a quick canoe trip before dinner.  Canoe trips...they need to bottle this stuff as it is much more effective than Valium or Vicodin or whatever V chemical is the rage these days.

This is the time of year when only piercing calls of blue-jays or woodpeckers cut the still air, or perhaps, the distant scree of a hawk free from nesting obligations and looking for dinner movement under the leaf bed on the floor of the forest.  The temperature requires a jacket, but if you are too energetic in your paddling it must come off and lay at your feet in the canoe.  The air smells musty and brown and the lighting is rusty and warm.  This week has been the most magnificent week of fall color which buoyed my spirits like a whiff of Cloud 9.

The water's surface was glass and my paddle was the first thing that disturbed its perfection before the canoe's bow itself broke below a gentle V.  With each stroke my dismay floated away behind and toward some distant shore to be broken into tiny pieces of light where the river met the land.  A few people were on their docks with determined usefulness winterizing watercraft and stowing small fun stuff up on shore under tarps or into sheds.  An eager, large brown dog, the color of the oak leaves, greeted us at the end of his dock with dynamite energy and ebullient barking cracking through the fall air.  Such energetic friendliness made me think for a moment that he might leap and join us mid-canoe since he could see what a wonderful time we were having.   He understood what a precious day this was.

Our old aluminum canoe has been with us since we lived in Texas in the early 1970's.  It has met waters in the U.S. and Canada and waited patiently for us in storage while we lived in Asia.  It has bounced across rocks in rivers and ridden over small rapids on shallows and become stuck in muddy nooks in marshes.  It is very stable unless you have no understanding of canoes, then it will fling you like a frat boy into the water.  Hubby and I have never tipped this canoe, even when riding across the careless wake of some motorboat.  Others we loaned it to were not so lucky.  It is my old friend and it reassured me that whatever was bothering me on this day will pass as surely as we pass that yellow beech.  It hummed gently as we broke the glassy surface re-painting the mirrored reflections on shore.  It was a good old friend.

A lone deer watched us from the front yard of a summer cabin that had been closed for the coming winter.   Hunting season had arrived and he/she was very alert, yet did not bound into the shade of the woods at our appearance as we made our way into a small pocket of the river.

There are those perfect days when most of the sky is covered in soft cloud and the sun is at that low angle which sets its aim like the perfect arrow as it shoots its glow into the heart of earth.  Everything gets magically lit and what I see is some painting done by an artist in love with nature because it is too beautiful to be real.  When I returned home feeling better I got a perfect email that shut that roller coaster down all the way and with a sigh I enjoyed the warm sunset's glow after dinner.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The First Cold Weather

Last night the temperatures fell into the low 30sC.  Not yet a freeze but enough to shiver all night long.  This morning a light misty fog hangs over the river. I can see the far bank.  It looks as if white fairy dusty was blown across the water just tree high.  Perhaps it is the river's steamy breath because the waters are still warmer than the air at this time of the year.  Most of the fish have swum out of the finger of our creek and down south to warmer waters.  Even so, a bald eagle came by yesterday and landed in the snag that had been the perch of the osprey all summer.  He had a shad in claw and proceeded to eat a leisurely sashimi lunch.  He was fully mature with a full white head and a threatening golden beak.  Last night's sunset was a beauty with summer's blood spilled across the water.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

End of the Canoe Excursion

We paddled about three miles north with some leisure. Stopping to admire a tree or ID a raptor.  I had my telephoto only, so capturing the wide open spaces was a little hard.  

There were little treasures to swing out and away from the shore and avoid.

We disturbed this crow who was working on a mid-morning snack.  He flew just ahead along the shore and then when we were closer we guessed it was a bivalve of some kind that he was opening with his can-opener bill.  When he finished he dropped it into the water and it looked like a mussel as we coasted by.

Blurry with the waggle of the canoe.

Finally we reached the point of land that hid a cove just behind.

And just beyond a little spit of beach which was perfect for lunch.  We brought the canoe up tight and began sorting through the food, mostly snacks of one sort or another.

I was not as hungry and instead began exploring with the camera once again.

Geese, raccoons, deer and herons had all spent early or late light on this beach.  Their footprints and calling cards were everywhere.

No matter which direction you looked, it was a great view for lunch.  Finally we decided to poke into the marsh at the end of this cove as the tide was high enough.  There was a beaver living there and we wanted to see if he still was in residence.  I did not get a clear shot of his house but we did disturb two red-tailed hawks in the marsh grass.  They took to the trees at first, but because it all happened so fast and hubby stood in the canoe to see the beaver dam frightening the hawks off into the field, I only got this one quick shot below.

If you want to see a LOVELY truly expert shot of a red-tailed hawk...go here to Daniels blog.   That is what my photo was supposed to look like if I had a tripod and a husband who did not need to get a better view by standing in the canoe!