Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer's End

Catch a firefly while you may
For the light diminishes every day

Jump in the water with a laugh or a cheer
Or float along quietly with someone who's dear

Count every star in the bright, moonlit sky
While listening to crickets trill their quaint lullaby

Kick off your shoes and walk on the beach
The castle you build will be well within reach

Bask in the glory and warmth of the sun
Or dance in the rain, just for the fun

Catch a firefly while you may
For the light diminishes every day

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


  My yard is alive with fledglings this morning. Baby Cardinals, Catbirds, Pine Siskins, and Tufted Titmouse are all having their say in the trees and around my bird feeders. Parents are busy flying back and forth in encouragement, and to drop off the occasional supplemental snack.
  I look forward to this noisy, happy day throughout the season and will spend the day sneaking outside with my binoculars and a smile to keep track of the newly-mobile families.
  There will also be a bit of melancholy in my watching, knowing that tomorrow or the next day my yard will quiet down again as the young leave the safety of their parent's watchful eyes and go off to fend for themselves.
 Last year, a brood of Chickadees, which had made a home in the birdhouse by our front door, fledged on the day my son was graduating high school. I sat on my front steps amid the congratulatory banners and watched as the three fledglings poked their heads out one by one and tested their new wings.
  One flew instantly to a nearby tree. Another fell on it's first try, it's mother frantically flying from ground to tree to show it the way. After many attempts and much encouragement,  the little one made it to the low branches of our azalea bush, where it hid for quite some time before flying high up into the high branches of the pine tree.
  My third little friend took one look outside and promptly went back in. No amount of parental encouragement would entice it to join it's siblings. The parents harangued it for a long time then left to see to the needs of their other young. When all was quiet, the little one popped it's head out to take another look. Having fully inspected its immediate surroundings, it hopped tentatively from one branch to the next of the flowering Clematis that shielded the nest. It then hopped to the ground to make sure all was safe. We exchanged a few words as it cautiously made it's way towards my new seat in the grass. Then, in a moment of uncharacteristic daring, the tiny being hopped onto my extended hand. We chatted awhile longer, then, with one great effort, it flew away from me.
  I sat in the grass for quite some time straining to see or hear my little friend before my husband gently called me in to get ready for the graduation ceremony.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ode to a Chipmunk


Chipmunk SCREAMING near my window at dawn,
I really wish that you were GONE.

You wake me up from my sweet, sweet sleep
With your incessant CHEEP! CHEEP!CHEEP!

There are HOURS to go 'fore I need rise,
I don't need your daily, alarming reprise.

You've stated your case quite LOUD and CLEAR;
Now go over next door, so the NEIGHBORS can hear.

Chippy The Alarm Clock

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"The Beginning Of Wisdom is to Call Things By Their Right Names."

  Much like the Native Americans, I feel the giving of names is an ongoing process.
  Take my dog Jake, for example. After living with him for three years he's now known as The Chicka Dog. His  name slowly morphed due to his propensity for chasing any bird, bug, or small, furry mammal when I say the words chick-chick. I didn't teach him this handy skill, it's all him. And although he's still called Jake on formal occasions, in his heart, he is The Chicka Dog.
 In the same vein, my chickens have had the working titles of Rosie and Babbette for the last two years. I picked the names when I was driving home from the farm with my adorable little pullets perched in a cage next to me.
 Well, a lot has happened in those two years, and after much reflection on the spirit of the beneficiaries, their true spirits have spoken to me and whispered their new names in a dream -
 "Nutsie The Chicken"  &  "Little Bitie".
  There will be no ceremony.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Wake Up And Smell The Flowers

     Between the Dogwood, Magnolia, and Cherry trees blooming; the Rhododendron, Forsythia and Azalea bushes a blaze of color in every yard; not to mention the Tulips, Daffodils, Phlox, Bleeding Hearts, Hyacinths, Crocus and Dandelions adding their colors to the pallet after their long winter's nap, I find myself going about town with an interminable, delighted smile on my face.

  I also find myself, more often than not, stopped in my tracks, staring.
  Like the other day, when a trip out of town and then confinement to a sick-bed had me and my little dog Jake, who had stayed by my side to help nurse me back to health, itching get out of the house and stretch our legs on a sunset walk by the lake.

  We walked through the woods, enjoying the warm spring sun shining through newly budded branches on our favorite summertime-shade path. The ducks on the lake were in full voice and the Cardinals and Robins flew above our heads calling out to loved ones. We turned up the hill to follow the wooded path that opens to a  meadow then continues on to a grove of pine trees (the grove where I search in vain for the Barred Owl that usually scolds us as we walk).
  As soon as I entered the meadow I stopped.
 And stared.
  I was in no way prepared for the changes my week away had brought.
 The immense Apple tree, which dominates the clearing, and her little sister were in full magnificence, every inch covered in soft, pinkish-white blossoms. In her branches I spied two pair of Baltimore Orioles having a grand ol' time jumping from limb to limb. Above their heads, swallows darted and dipped, working hard to catch their dinner.  Numerous Goldfinches and Warblers captivated me with their intertwining songs while hustling from Apple to newly-blossomed Dogwood tree then setting off to visit my elusive friend in the pines. Meanwhile, the Robins hopped through the newly sprouted grass and the Cardinals whistled a happy tune from the thicket. The Red-Winged Blackbirds were certainly not going to be outdone and sent their songs floating up the hill from the lake on the breeze. Our constant friend the Sparrow rounded out the chorus.
 Occasionally a fellow walker would pass by and our dogs would play for a minute and we'd comment on the beauty of the day, then owner and dog would go on their way.
Not me. I stayed.
And stared.

 Bird songs, flowers in bloom, and a bit of sun warming my skin and my soul; all the ingredients needed to wake me up from long winter's nap.

Apple Trees & Bird Songs

Jake doing what he does best

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Walk In The Woods

A Walk In The Woods

In a clearing in the woods
 I saw some colors bright.
Petals blowing in the wind, 
Catching day's last light.

Cut flowers in a field of brown, I know not how nor why.
Perhaps a small remembrance offered God's all seeing sky.

In a clearing in the woods
I saw some colors bright.
Petals blowing in the wind,
Catching day's last light.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sing a Song of Spring

 Cardinal singing in the tree
I like to hear your song's new key

All winter through you sat and chirped
And told me of your warmth usurped

Through wind and ice and flakes of snow
You warbled "Where'd my sunshine go?"

But now the bright beams warm your verse
No longer do you winter curse

Your notes have changed from ire to glee
And I you answer joyfully

Monday, March 10, 2014

United We Stand

  Other kid's parents.
  They are the bane of my existence and have been ever since I became a mother 19 years ago. They are the ones who said nothing to their child about pushing mine out of the way while he was waiting for his turn on the slide at the playground. They are the ones who let my 8 year old son play Grand Theft Auto. They are the ones who let their high schoolers stay out till four in the morning.
 And now they are the ones who don't care if my 19 year old sits at their house and drinks half the night then drives home.
 Now, I understand that it's my son doing the drinking. We have very strict rules about underage drinking in this house and he knows it. He is at fault for breaking our rules and has been punished accordingly. But perhaps if half of his friend's parents didn't facilitate the drinking by allowing it when they hang out at their house, and even occasionally BUYING it for them, my arguments to my son against it might seem more valid to him. As any parent who's heard the phrase "Well, so-and-so's parents don't care" uttered to them can attest, it can be the most frustrating thing when another parent undermines a value you are trying to instill or disregards a rule made for your childs well being.
 In this case, these parents are actually breaking the law.

  We must be a united front in raising our children. Not all of our values will always be the same, but there are core rights and wrongs on which we must stand together. There are rules of law and rules of society on which we all must be firm and help each other guide our children down the right path.

  I will help your child in any way I can. Please help me to help mine.