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Bird Messengers, Wading Dog, November Sun

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Beauty lives at the same farm as the mini's, but she's in a different pasture. Every time I post a photo of her people chide me on her grooming. Walp, sorry, but I don't run with currycombs, and don't plan to. I shoots 'em as I sees 'em. Besides, Beauty's shy. I'm very lucky to be able to stroke her nose. Most of the time we just talk. I try to shoot photos over the fence.  It's easier said than done. This one came out well, made me laugh.

Chet and I forge on. The green is unreal. So vibrant, it's almost fake. I pull out my little pad and write a haiku couplet about it.

November's sharp green
Lies false on the bottomland
Like so much spilled paint
All around is gray
And the dry russet leaves who
Knew when to let go

We decide to go up a road that's flanked by a little run, as they call the creeks around here. It's very warm, 70's, and Chet wants to wade. I absolutely adore sitting on a sun-warmed rock and watching him walk spraddle-legged through the pools. Ker-plink, ker-plank, ker-plonk.

He's not much for swimming, but he sure likes to wade.

He goes up and down the streambed, obviously enjoying the different depths, lapping a taste from each pool.

He goes under the bridge, and rainbows spill over the abutment.

That's about how I feel right now--bathed in rainbows. In a tee-shirt on a 70 degree day in November in the Mid-Ohio Valley, infamous for its dreary cloudbound winters.

Such a magnificent doggeh. The lower I crouch, the more magnificent he becomes.

He enjoys being photographed. Good thing, that. I swear he smiles for me.

On our way back to the car I am musing that I haven't heard from my Dear Old Dad in a little while. I figure he's busy with Mom, who joined him last January. I am thinking about them and it suddenly hits me that Mom, Dad and their first child Donny are together at last. Tears of joy start in my eyes at the thought. I can feel their joy. I don't know why I'm thinking about this now, but when I'm moving for hours, I get a free-associative thought process that I can't attain sitting at a desk. I just empty my skull out of all the trivia and noise and let better things take precedence. I'm thinking about their reunion when a red-shouldered hawk silently launches from a dead stub just off my left shoulder. It flies on a long oblique angle right across the road in front of me, and I have time to get my binoculars on it. I trace it well into the woods, where it flares its beautiful zebra-striped tail and lands again, obscured. I see it settle its wings and can tell it's going to sit there for awhile.

I'm absolutely breathless with the synchrony, wiping my eyes so I can see better. Couldn't have a better message from Dad than that spontaneous thought, followed by a hawk messenger--the first species he ever used to contact me. I lower the binoculars and in my sightline in the creek just ahead are some heavy ripples. They could only come from a mammal, swimming. Will it be muskrat, beaver, otter? An enormous black mink loops out from the cut bank, swimming, its furry tail floating atop the water. I haven't seen a mink in years. And this is such a fine big animal. Its fur is espresso brown shading to black, and so shiny! I watch it through binoculars as it swims upstream, climbs out on a log, shakes like a small, lithe dog, and bounds through the dying vegetation on the streambank. I don't follow, because I don't want to disturb it, or introduce Chet Baker to a new animal, a tussle with whom he is likely to lose.

This is the creek where the mink swam by. It looks pretty tamed down, surrounded by hayfields, but a mink lives there, and I saw it.

I come home full of stories like this and it's so hard to tell them. The words just tumble out and I don't make sense even to myself, much less to Liam and Bill. All these random animal sightings, these unbidden thoughts about loved ones long gone. It all makes sense to me while it's happening, but it doesn't translate well into conversation.

"So how was your day?"

"Great! I saw some clouded sulfurs that made me think of Mom and Dad and Donny all being together again, and then this red-shoulder came shooting across right in front of me, and I'm sure it was Dad, and then there was this mink that he must have wanted to show me!"

I can say, "I saw a tree that looked like a magic hand shooting cloud webs!" but without a photo, what would that mean?

So it's nice to sit down, throw a lasso around all that, and write it for you, in a way someone might understand. Maybe even me.


Thank you. It's the real part of life that runs under what we do each day, like the stars shining even when the sun is up and the sky is blue. What a wonderful day.

Lovely! Thanks for posting. Thinking of my mother and favorite aunt today, gone for a few years now.

It always astounds me - how my Mom talks to me these days. She's been "gone" for over 25 years now, but your post makes aware of how many time those who are gone talk... and we'd better listen.....

I see, hear, and feel everything more deeply while I am moving, walking or riding my bicycle. It is often in these splits of time that I connect with my poetic self. Sometimes I hurry back home to write it down, sometimes I stay on my path to enjoy it just a bit longer, but sometimes I am a whirl of wind that settles in a low place amid the leaves and detritus. Then, I gather my humbled self, trudge into my favorite reading chair, and absorb some uplifting words from Julie Z. Thank you, so much!

Gather my humbled self. Exactly. These are the kind of thoughts that place us on the planet and in perspective to the enormity of it all. Sigh. My kinda guy, Phil Lanning.

I, too, tend to have these thoughts when I am hiking. Sometimes I laugh aloud at some little private joke The Universe has deigned to show me or gasp at something so beautiful that it takes my breath away. These are always sights and insights that would not appear if I were with another person. Perhaps they are meant for me alone? I like to think so.

Beauty, with the unbrushed hair falling across her face, looks like a rock star! Back from the grunge era... but a rock star nonetheless.

Posted by Anonymous November 18, 2015 at 5:17 PM

I loved your entire post but that last picture made me free associate. "Even the clouds bow to She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed."

Wow!! And Walt Whitman thought he contained multitudes! This is a wonderful, looping, lope with you--I could barely keep up! Xxxooom

Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Thank you Mimi for helping me find Julie.....truly a gift...................

I felt the sun on my face, smelled the surroundings and was there with you. Sometimes it's easier to keep it all inside, but we are all enlightened because you do not.

I loved every word of this, Julie, but I think that of all your photos and imagery, the tree with cloud webs is the one that will stick with me. Oh, and I'm glad Chet didn't tangle with the mink. They're bad dudes.

Hey, I understand and it is great to walk in the woods or along a stream and get all sorts of messages. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts.

Posted by Anonymous November 19, 2015 at 5:01 AM

I understand your jumble of feelings completely. I have an affinity for birds - or they for me, and hawks, eagles, owls, and ravens all seem to show up when my thoughts are turned to "departed" loved ones. Always a lovely feeling of connection and comfort....

You communicate it all perfectly! And what a wonder and amazement it brings.

That is a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing this. You paint such a realistic picture that enables me to envision all that you see.
P.S. I love Chet Baker

this one touches me deeply enough to leave a comment....thank you~~

What you experienced and so beautifully wrote about happens to me too when I am out walking. I'm glad I'm not alone in my more ways than one. PS..the embedded FB link worked incredibly well...although I do get your Blog posts in Feedblitz too, so I never miss them.)

Love your photos and reading your stories!

Love your photos and reading your stories!

This was wonderful...glad you have a Hawk messenger also~ ejl

All so wonderful and true, and that last photo -- perfect :~) Please give the boy a pat for me!


Gorgeous word pictures

Posted by Anonymous November 20, 2015 at 7:09 AM

Your blogs are a blessing to those of us who read them.
Thanks much!

beautiful! thank you for sharing..

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