Here we are: me and my daughters. My oldest is waving. See? We’ve made it through November, one of the grayest months of the year, and yesterday we made another of our ongoing efforts to get outdoors and look for beauty in a season when I’ve usually hunkered down and faded into a depressed meditation on how long it will be till April. It’s still deer season, but there is no hunting on this marsh. There is a pair of bald eagles that nest on…Continue Reading “December state of mind”

No nature study is complete without taking human behavior into account. Lately I’ve had some opportunities to think about our species. A local nature preserve where we enjoy going for walks has been in the news lately because of the growing deer population. They eat the wildflowers and the bark from trees, and they have apparently defoliated everything below four feet in the woods. There is also concern about the lyme disease ticks they carry. This is something I think about since we returned from…Continue Reading “Nature Study: Humans”

I took some photos of landscapes in the spring and commented that they looked quite autumnal. Now it’s fall, and I’ve gone back and photographed them again. There’s this one: Then there’s this one: And last but not least, this one:   I’m seeing now what I couldn’t see in spring. Back then, the sprays of yellow-green appearing on the trees after the long whiteness of winter seemed like super-intense explosions of color. I thought, “Fall.” But now I see that fall outdoes my winter-starved…Continue Reading “Spring and fall”

Today we went to a new place for a walk, and we got to watch a kingfisher for awhile. I couldn’t help thinking of the Hopkins poem about how “kingfishers catch fire,” one illustration of a created thing “flinging out broad its name”: The other night, the girls and I saw an eastern towhee for the first time. I’d heard this bird before, but this was the first time I ever got my eye on it. It had its eye on us, too. The light…Continue Reading “New birds”

We’re into herons around here this week. We saw no less than 6 of them at a nearby pond we visited the other day, and it sparked enough interest to read every word of this book by Bill Ivy, one of a series the girls are in the habit of selecting from every week. Because of the opportunities we’ve had to observe herons, we found this book to be interesting, though it’s pure nonfiction. It even gave me something to look forward to about the…Continue Reading “Read-Aloud Thursday: Herons”

We’re back from a long weekend in the woods, and I didn’t get a lick of reading in. Honestly, I’m exhausted from this short “vacation,” for a variety of reasons. But there were some beautiful sights along the way. I saw some birds, too. This is a flycatcher — maybe a phoebe. Actually, after further investigation, I’ve changed my mind… I think this is a red-eyed vireo, a bird we heard singing in the treetops all the while but could never get our eyes on…Continue Reading “A few pics from the woods”

Yesterday we took yet another walk. It leaves me with several themes spinning around in my head. Actually we took two walks: one to a place I’d never been, and one to the place I walked to on Sunday because the girls wanted to go. Mostly we were capitalizing on a sunny day, but I’d also wanted to find some trails where we could take the dog, and the first walk allowed us to do this. A good time was had by all. I’m not…Continue Reading “Rambles and ramblings”

We’ve had clouds and showers over the last few days, but I’ve tried to resist my impulse to hide inside. On Sunday I went for a walk all by myself. A rare happening indeed. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve lost myself. I do what is needed of me, but if asked, “What do you want to do?” I have no answer. My husband occasionally asks me this, not in the sense of “What do you want to do to amuse yourself” but more “What do…Continue Reading “Wet Wanderings”