Eyes in the woods

There are Eyes in the Woods.

Branch in the woods…claw in the woods?
Spring song of pussywillows
Veil of trees in the dim underworld of the woods
Tiny unfurling lupine. Not much bigger than your thumb.
Last year’s green spruce needles in this year’s spring puddle
Last autumn’s reeds draped against sticks in puddle
Tree and sky reflections in puddle
Stream at dusk

Reader, shall we walk through the woods?  Shall we amble up that hillock and down that ravine?  Shall we sit awhile on the damp soil, our jeans getting slightly wet?

What shall we hear at 7:30 p.m. in the Upper Peninsula Woods?

Can you hear that sweet-trilling bird song?  Why do the birds sing the sweetest in the springtime?  Is it because they are singing their hearts out for their true love?

Do you hear the Canadian geese honking in the distance as they wing north?  Can you discern how some of them are resting down on the Huron Bay, gathering energy before spreading wings upward tomorrow?

Did you hear that owl hoot, way to the north?  Or was that the sound of neighbor’s children, pretending?

The woods are alive with sound, a cacophony of noise surrounded by deep silence.  You can feel the silence everywhere.  You can also hear the sounds of spring peepers in some of the vernal pools.  You can hear chipmunks scurry in dried autumn leaves.  You wait for a deer or raccoon or bear to pass by your damp resting-place, but none appears.

We are so fortunate to have light at 7:30 p.m. at this time of year.  It’s still light at 8:30 p.m.  It’s dark at 9:30 p.m.

The woods run with streams and puddles everywhere.  Walk carefully.  Do not slip and tumble against the earth! 

There are eyes in the woods following you wherever you go.  If that worries you, stay out of the woods.  If you want to know the eyes better, if you want to find out what treasures they hide, keep walking.

Spring in the woods is a gift.  No mosquitoes.  No black flies.  No wood ticks.  Those creatures are still sleeping, or only blinking their slumbering eyes.

The woods are a haven that helps us breathe slower, deeper, fresher.  Silence percolates between our thoughts. 

The woods revives and heals, a magic of loamy soil and tall aspen.  It is better than your daily vitamin, better than the doctor’s chemical prescription.

Have you had your healing dose of nature today?  The eyes in the woods want to know.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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34 Responses to Eyes in the woods

  1. Brenda Hardie says:

    Oh Kathy thank you for this lovely description of your woods! I would so love to be wandering through those woods and noticing all the details…breathing in the fresh air and feeling the energy of the waking forest and all the critters who dwell within the shelter of the forest. I’ve been on a journey of a different sort lately…wandering through family history, learning more about the people who came before me and made their way in a new land. It is fascinating and easily carries me to another time and place. Much like the your stories and pictures do from your place in the north woods. Thank you Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad, Brenda, that you enjoyed our walk and actually felt it like you were walking through the woods. What a joy to read comments from people like you who experience the telling and stories so viscerally! I love your enthusiasm, Ms. Brenda!

  2. OM says:

    I HATE the feeling of damp jeans, LOL so I’ll just stand and walk, thanks!!!! Otherwise, I’m with you, receiving all that healing and being One with all the Life and Joy and Stillness and activity there!

    • Kathy says:

      OM, c’mon, just a few minutes? If we sit only maybe five minutes, you won’t feel too damp, I swear. Truly, I swear. OK, if you want to we can stay on our two legs. Which way shall we go NEXT?

  3. Susan Derozier says:

    Oh my God Kathy – Pure Art!!!! These pictures take my breath away. In the beginning, I felt like a child in a fairytale imagining wondrous creatures of the trees. Your prose is as beautiful as your pictures and lifts me into the ethers to become a part of the mists, sounds and wonder. How awesome is the eye that truly sees. You are this day’s gift to me! Thank you.

    • Kathy says:

      Awwww Susan, YOU are pure art! seriously! I love your coments. They are so beautiful. So we are today’s gift to one another. (P.S. I knew you would love the woods pictures. Knew it!)

  4. Colleen says:

    Kathy, I love your beautiful woods and your beautiful words! And yes, I have had my healing dose of nature today. Even though it didn’t take me physically outside, it came in the view of an endless blue sky, of wind dancing in the trees outside my windows and hummingbirds chatting and fussing around the feeders and peering in our windows….hello little ones.

    Happy travels to the land of belles and peaches 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Hey there, Ms. Colleen, I think I’ve seen you elsewhere today. Big smile! I think you’ve had your healing time with nature if you can breathlessly and joyously talk with hummingbirds and feel the wind dancing through trees. Better than Vitamin D3, yes??

      • Colleen says:

        Smiling back! Yes, it’s been a catch-up, computer kind of day. Wish I could do it without the feeling of wonkiness that always seems to come with it!

        And yes, going from craving more sun and light when we lived on the Island to worrying/wondering about getting too much here in California. That perception of too much or not enough……

        • Kathy says:

          Too much or not enough…oh yes…our minds are rarely satisfied for long are they? (I don’t like that wonky feeling either. Yesteray I ended up writing THREE blogs here and there–mostly because of pre-trip restlessness, maybe?–and wonkiness did descend. Ascend? lol!)

  5. Sybil says:

    Kathy, I think you and I were walking at the same time. It was a lovely spring day here. The air smelled incredibly fresh. The woods are a very healing place … even with damp pants.

    • Kathy says:

      It makes me smile to think of us walking at the same time. Love the way that freshness revitalizes us. Love the healing feel of the woods.

  6. john says:

    Total immersion. Stunning! Vintage KD!

  7. Oh Kathy, I’ve been away for just over a week and I have missed your beautiful stories! How wonderful to return home to a spring time walk in the woods with you! Nature heals both body and soul; always has, always will. I love your photos too. We all needs the eyes of the woods to watch over us. How very comforting. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Joanne, nice to see you again! I hope you had a nice week. Pondering how easy it is to forget the healing powers of the woods. How much easier it is for us to want our pills and vitamins and synthetic solutions. So glad you know of Nature’s healing cure.

  8. Robin says:

    I always enjoy gong for a walk with you in your woods. 🙂

  9. Artswebshow says:

    Fantastic picture, especially the unfurling lupine.
    Must have been a very tricky shot

  10. lynnekovan says:

    Thanks for taking me with you to the woods. If you want to come to my woods, head on over to my blog, I’m waiting! You won’t get damp jeans where we’re going!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Lynn~~we’re visiting the in-laws in Georgia, but will find my way over to your blog sometime after we get home. Would love to walk in the woods in your neck of the woods.

  11. jeffstroud says:

    Nice walk in the evening wood with you and your camera! Great photos!
    Yes, I take my walk everyday in the wood, three, four times, not always with my camera, but it is usually my companion as well at the dogs and all the eyes and sounds of the wood!

    • Kathy says:

      Three to four times to walk in the woods is an admirable amount, Jeff! I admire that. Aren’t the woods wonderful?

      • jeffstroud says:


        Yes, the woods and the rest of the world is amazing. and when it is not than I have to find a way to get recentered so that I a view it that way once again!

        Be Safe, Sending love and energy to keep you safe !

  12. Oh-oh, someone’s watching! 😉

    Are you still having trouble with the pictures in your posts? I’m having the same issues with my template, where the pictures want to post at the top (above the text). I’ve found that you can drag the pictures to where you want them. Hopefully this is just a temporary “bug” because it’s very annoying!

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, Micheala. Major issues with those pictures. I had to post them in “visual” and then go over to “HTML” view and paste and copy where you want them to go (that’s what they said to do in the forums). I didn’t know you could drag the pics where you want them to go. I love how we all help each other over these technical rough stretches.

      • I think it depends on how you write your posts…. if you write it all out first and then insert the pictures, it’s probably easier to copy them in “HTML” to where you want them, but if you write part of the post, add a picture, write more, add another picture, etc. (that’s how I do it), it’s easier to drag them to where you want them.
        I haven’t checked the forums yet. Will have to do that, and then contact support if necessary and beg them to fix this.

  13. flandrumhill says:

    Beautiful images Kathy. Just beautiful.

  14. Hi Kathy, I thought you might be interested to read that your beautiful part of the country was the topic of my blog this morning. Check http://lynngarthwaiteblog.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/michigan-trades-toledo-for-the-upper-peninsula/
    for my little historical reminiscing. Love your photos.

    Lynn Garthwaite

  15. Barbara Rodgers says:

    I LOVE the first picture, “There are Eyes in the Woods.” What a find! No insects yet? Well, I’ve seen a couple of bumble bees here, but no mosquitoes yet. All your pictures here are so gloriously filled with the magic of the woods in the spring.

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, isn’t it fun to find eyes in the woods? As for mosquitoes: none yet. Bumblebees? Nope. Wood ticks? Yes. Sigh. Yes, the beloved wood tick hath returned, right on schedule. Hasn’t bit yet, though! 🙂

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