Tag Archives: nature

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, crab apple jelly, and red Georgia clay

Photo on wall in Georgia

Photo on wall in Georgia

New Year’s Day, 2014.

I eat toast slathered with translucent red crab apple jelly that glistens like a stained glass window through its home in a tiny mason jar.  It’s a Christmas gift from a daughter who found it in upstate New York and mailed it four states away because the red jelly gleamed so beautifully in the sunlight.

Will the sun shine here today or will the cold North Wind lock it away behind a cell of bitter gray clouds?  It’s been cold for days and days and weeks and weeks and soon we’ll whisper “months and months” as our lips slowly turn blue and our feet freeze in our heavy winter boots.

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Response to an angry blog commenter

The woods

The woods

Yesterday morning, still half-asleep, I read an angry comment from a blog reader.

Let’s call him Dan.  The poor fellow once found himself lost in the woods and wanted practical tips to aid him next time such an event might occur.  He discovered a blog post (written by yours truly in July, 2010) and proceeded to read for informative wise advice about What to do if you’re lost in the woods.

His response?

This was the WORST advice for being lost in the woods that I have ever seen. I was really expecting something helpful and all I encountered was: discover the inner rhythm of thickets. Seriously?! I have actually been lost in the woods and I wanted to find concrete tips for the next time I find myself in the woods and all you have done is waste my time with useless platitudes and adages.

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Life’s a Beach

Life is a beach...

Life is a beach…

Every morning this week, here on Fort Myers Beach, we’ve left my parent’s condo on the Back Bay and ambled for about 25 minutes toward the beach.

We gain beach access through a grassy path.  This week the sprinklers shot water in all directions and we’ve learned to be crafty and dodge the jetting moving spray to reach our sandy destination.  Sometimes we emerge with wet feet.

Yesterday, the wind rattled fiercely at the condo and the “arctic front” blew in from most of the Midwest.  Our temperatures plummeted and settled around 70 degrees (21C). Oh how you’re shaking your head at this definition of arctic front, aren’t you?

The mind urged, “Stay safe and warm in the condo” but we soldiered forward, ignoring our inclination.  I’ve discovered the mind is often in error on these matters, as outdoors proves beguiling, taking us on many unexpected pathways.

The wind felt invigorating!  Yet, as we approached the sheltered nature preserve filled with tidal pools, pelicans, terns, tropical flora and fauna, it suddenly appeared balmy and quiet.

Life’s a beach, my friends.  One never knows what to expect.

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Blessings of the flock

What the woods looked like last Tuesday

What the woods looked like last Tuesday

Tuesday.  Blessings of the flock.

You’re walking up the road.  The air feels still.  Silence reigns between tall trees with lingering yellow leaves.  Fallen leaves smell crisp with childhood memories of burning raked piles.  In the distance, a logging truck whines.  Otherwise, you only hear your footsteps slapping pavement.

Suddenly, up above, all around, dozens of chattering birds surround.  From treetop to treetop they call, they tattle, they sing.  They dive, they wing between branches, they dance.  What kind?  You hear chickadee, you glimpse juncos, you see a nuthatch.

It’s the blessing of the flock!  All around they create bird magic for you. They sing until you remember your dream-wings, the heft and tilt of flight.  Don’t they remind you of seeds everywhere, hidden in bark crevices, to be found when needed and not a second before?

Later, down the road, silence returns.  You catch your breath at the mystery of it, the way the flock surrounds and dissolves.  How it teaches in a language of feathers and how it can change everything, simply in the arising.

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Dare-devil cliff jumper or rock-squatter sipping tea?

Black rocks, blue sea, autumn colors, Suzi

Black rocks, blue sea, autumn colors, Suzi

Last weekend, as many of you might recall, was the Weekend of the Susies.

On Sunday, blogging buddy Suzi Banks Baum, from Laundry Line Divine, and I met in person (for the first time) and proceeded to dine at the Sweetwater Cafe in Marquette before driving out to Presque Isle to play along the infamous Black Rocks. (She met up with two Kathys while I was meeting up with two Susies during the weekend.  You can read her tale of Two Kathys here.)

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Pausing to sip tea and breathe in autumn beauty

Just sitting on the deck sipping tea

Just sitting on the deck sipping tea

 

Surrounded by a yellow and orange forest

Surrounded by a yellow and orange forest

 

Jeweled reflections of sunlight against leaves

Jeweled reflections of sunlight against leaves

 

I breathe in beauty and sigh...

I breathe in beauty and sigh…

Hiking by the Hungarian Falls with friends

Lake just above the dam at Hungarian Falls

Lake just above the dam at Hungarian Falls

Last Saturday evening we traveled with friends to the Hungarian Falls, just north of Hancock, near Dollar Bay.

We aimed to hike by the falls before eating dinner in Calumet at Carmelitas, a Mexican restaurant, where you buy chips and  delicious pico de gallo for a buck.  If you want, you can buy a Thimbleberry Margarita, not that we did.

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A tale before supper of sunrise, caterpillars & ghosts

Sunrise over Huron Bay

Sunrise over Huron Bay

Ohmygoodness!   I’m feeling a creative high lately.  After at least two months of ho-hum suddenly I’m wanting to blog every day!  (Don’t worry, it probably won’t continue to happen, although you never know, she said with an evil grin.)

You wouldn’t believe what a lovely day it is in the Northwoods.

A perfect, end-of-summer, beginning-of-autumn day.  Oh, the world feels like tepid bathwater.  Oh, the world feels like it exists just to make you happy.  Oh, you can sit on the deck and read books whilst sipping tea again.  Oh, may this never end.

I shall tell you a quick tale before you eat supper.

A tale of sunrise and longing and thoughts and caterpillars and ghosts.

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“We shall not be tamed!”

Jewel

Jewel

The Buick’s windshield covered with heavy dew obscures our road in blurry wet shapes.  Up ahead–just to the left!–oh look, it’s a coyote.  No, it’s a fox.  Darn it, it’s a blurry wet windshield reflection moving into tall waving grasses.

Deep longing to know.  To bond with tan-red wild creature skulking into the sunrise.  To know its name.  To feel its feral wildness, its unknowableness.

I will never know.

And maybe that’s OK.

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the sun’s egg yolk eye in late summer

Yolk

Yolk

The sun’s egg yolk eye of new possibility rises lower on the horizon these days.  It’s starting to gab with the tree tops here in the woods.  Some of the leaves turn starstruck with yellow, amazed that the sun pauses to talk with them. “To think,” some of the more spiritual ones whisper, “he even cares about us!”

Cold slips through the moon’s teeth at this time of year.  You can’t see your breath under a full moon at midnight yet.  (Not that I’d know.  I’m asleep, dreaming, missing all the dark’s secrets.)  

In the morning you debate:  yes, no, maybe so.  Should I start a fire in the wood stove?  How much do you want to shiver early morning as you sip your steaming tea?  Shall I wear my hooded 2000 University of Michigan sweatshirt over pajamas and burrow beneath the pink blanket?  

I told Barry–no fire this morning.  I’ll tough it out.  He puttered away to work in the silver Buick.  No need to scrape the car’s window yet.

Guess I lied.  Match soon struck against box sending the sun’s cousin–firelight–working its magic against tree bark, igniting another early September blaze.  

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