I’ve been appreciating moss on our walks in the woods. These images show such a variety of textures and shades. They remind me that sometimes beautiful things grow in quiet, dormant seasons. Bruce Guernsey appreciates it too, in his poem “Moss”: How must it be to be moss, that slipcover of rocks?— imagine, greening in the dark, longing for north, the silence of birds gone south… The rest is here. Guernsey concludes with an allusion to moss adorning our gravestones, where light fails, where the…Continue Reading “Poetry Friday: Moss”

Last week, driving home from a walk at a winter-frosted marsh, we saw this: See it? Right smack dab in the middle, screened by branches? It’s an eagle! We stopped the car, got out, strove for a better view — all to no avail. Then, it took off and wheeled above us, seemingly mocking us earthbound creatures. We’ve gone back a few times and parked across the river to watch it. Last time, I got a picture. It’s about a quarter of a mile away;…Continue Reading “Winter Walking: Tracks and Birds”

The girls and I took a walk in the snow the other day. Now I have shots of this path, which my youngest calls the tree tunnel, in three of the four seasons. Spring: Fall: Winter: Lovely spot. I also saw more critters over the weekend — this muskrat, who couldn’t figure out what the beeping and clicking of my camera was: This tree with not one, but two, puffy red-tails sitting in it: These pics of two different hawks in the same general vicinity:…Continue Reading “Weekend sights”

“New Year’s” never has been that meaningful to me, coming as it does in the middle of the year’s school activity. It would seem more intuitively meaningful if it happened in the spring. But this year’s ending finds me noting some new things sprouting up even in the bleak midwinter. For instance, we visited a new nature preserve today. It was in Elmira, and there was a nice nature center/museum with some animals and exhibits as well as 10 miles of trails. It’s been a…Continue Reading “Tree tales, muted colors, birds, and musings”

We went for a walk on Christmas Eve morning. On the way to the trail, we saw this guy hunting for his breakfast. He posed for us in a variety of postures. He looks chilly with his feathers all fluffed, doesn’t he? He changed branches after studying us coldly for a few minutes. Then he flashed his lovely feathered pantaloons, and flew away with a few piercing “Keer!” calls. My husband was convinced that he was saying, “Merry Christmas!” I’m not so sure, though. A…Continue Reading “Christmas Eve hawking and walking”

You have to admit, it’s an attention-getting title — for its weirdness if nothing else! For the record, I don’t anticipate this as the start of a new blog category on shrews. Nevertheless, this little fellow inspired a rather serious discussion of ethics when he appeared at a pile of birdseed I spilled while filling our front feeder. My youngest sat out in the cold for a half an hour with the Burgess Animal Book, watching him dart in and out and forming a mental…Continue Reading “Teachable moments involving shrews”

On the way to church this morning, I told my husband, “Someday, I’m going to get a picture of a hawk with blue sky in the background. All my hawk pictures have been on cloudy days.” On the way home, we stopped so I could try for a better picture of some forsythia I saw at Brick Pond the other day. (It’s a spring flower, yet I’m almost positive that’s what it is.) It was 16 degrees this morning so it’s wilted, but still yellow….Continue Reading “Hawk Stalking”

It seems like an odd time of year to be thinking about seeds. It began over the weekend, when my husband got to thinking about God’s provision of seed-bearing plants very early in the creation story. He’s been thinking about the investment of time and resources as seeds, a metaphor Jesus uses often in his parables. Coincidentally, the seed preoccupation continued with my daughter’s birthday party, where we made two seed crafts. The first is from an idea Alice posted on her blog. That’s grass…Continue Reading “Seed speculations”