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Gone Crepuscular

Saturday, March 11, 2017

I've been taking lots of photos of the forsythia, as nights in the 20's threaten to brown its gold. It's an old bush, and plagued with some disease that makes great warty knots in its branches. I trim the sick branches out, trying to save it, so it winds up looking kind of scraggly and peaked. It's the only ornamental plant that was in our yard when we bought the place in November 1992. (We got rid of the mound of Japanese honeysuckle next to the garage). I guess I'm attached to it.

Along about sunset I get restless. If there are scattered clouds there is no keeping me inside. I'll put something in a slow oven for dinner and head out, big camera bumping my hip. This March 10 was colder than a welldigger's a-s, a stiff wind blowing too. I pulled out the big Michelin Man down parka, ear warmers and a hat, too. 

But oh, the light. The Tuscan skies. I cannot stay away from the sweeping lines of this hayfield in the evening. They set me free.

The Three Graces (Auxiliary) are three tulip trees that were somehow left along a fenceline to grow straight and tall, as tulips will. I noticed for the first time this evening that the rightmost tree is not doing well; it's got more dead and dying branches than live ones. I feel ya, girl.

I'm not sure what I'll do if that one goes down. I'll adapt, I expect. What else is there?

And the moon rose over an open field, a little pink veil over her face, as if the cloud were reaching down to play peekaboo. That evening sky just got moreso.

I didn't expect the woodcocks (there are three in this field) to be peenting and displaying on this frigid blustery night, but their show went on, if a bit more erratically than usual. I love trying to find them as they peent in the grass, before they go up on the long twittery loop de loop.

I like this field, too, because I can practice my deer stalking. It has some strategically placed rises that let me get pretty close to deer without their knowing I'm there. I've been known to drop to my belly and crawl up to peep over a rise. Hard to do with the big camera but worth it. This doe and fawn could smell me but they couldn't figure out where I was. The fawn had been injured, perhaps going under a barbed-wire fence, and had big bare patches on its back. It moved OK, which made me think the patches probably weren't road-burn; it probably hadn't been dragged under a car.  This doe reminds me a lot of Jolene in build and face, but she's not in as good condition as my supermodel.

This is how a deer runs when she wants to hide. She puts her head down and keeps her tail down and sort of scrabbles down low to the earth. I don't get to see this behavior much, because most of the time the deer spot me first. Their flags go up and they bound high and pretty, telling me I've been seen. This doe doesn't know where I am, but she's caught my scent and knows I'm around, so she scuttles to the nearest cover.

I've been trying to figure out why walking in the dark seems to calm me. Why I love to be out until the skunks come out. Why I adore walking and listening, deep in the woods, in the pitch dark night. Why it's so hard to come back into the light and the warmth, when that's what my kind ought to crave.

 And I have figured it out. It's because, when it's that dark, I have no choice but to be completely present, in the moment. If I am not present, I will trip over a skunk, and we don't want that. So I have to dump all the pointless and damaging thoughts that just get in my way and bring me down.  And I get to turn my senses up to 11, including that sixth sense that tells me when I'm near something alive and furtive.

I also like being out where I know no other humans would want to go. I like knowing I'm going to run into deer, skunks, rabbits, or maybe even a fox before I'll run into a human.  

I think I will make an excellent hermit. 

This wide woods road is perfect for nightwalking. I can see just enough to stay on it. I can tell by the crunch of the leaves if I'm near one side or the other. 

The trouble light goes on at the old farmhouse, which is empty, but is getting all new everything. It makes me glad to see it not rot away but rise again. I'm grateful to my seldom-seen neighbors for that.

The moon climbs in the eastern sky.  The woodcocks have mostly quit for the night. I remember that I should be serving dinner.

And on the western horizon, the sun winks a bloodshot eye at me. It's been watching me all along.


i don't know how your title relates, but the post and photos are beautiful!

Learned a new word,Crepuscular, and enjoyed the walk too.
Thank you so much for your wonderful blog! ♥

I often think that I would make a good hermit, too, as my favorite "activity" is curling up next to the fire with a book. Maybe we could be hermits together! Oh... wait... that wouldn't work.....

Posted by Anonymous March 12, 2017 at 4:08 AM

It's a blessed time, that time of day. I think a part of our really old brain carries the fear that when the sun disappears it might not come back, but we triumph in our millennia of faith that it will and walk bravely into the darkness knowing we'll come out on the other side.

Sweet post, Julie. And thanks for the hat tip to Mssrs. Simon and Garfunkel.

My favorite time of day. Nature quiets, everything takes on a compelling, numinous quality that is beyond words, although gentle song might magnify it. Thank you for the exquisite photos and generous sharing of your twilight-into-dark experiences.

Only Paul Simon wrote "America" "And the moon rose over an open field"

This one caused a sweet shiver in my innermost parts--and I understood everything you wrote. Just lovely.

Thanks for getting me out for a walk today. Always a pleasure.

Love learning new words @ old age (75) March 4th
Older I get the more hermitier ( new word?) I am. Love twilight/ dawn light & quiet it brings...lovely walk w/ your words & pics!

Just beautiful. Kim in PA

The previous comments say it all. What a quieting post and beautiful photos. And the part about needing to be in the moment when in the dark, it's so zen. Mindfulness.
Thanks, Julie.

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