The sun rises to reveal the diamonds left in the night.
They glitter. They glint. They glisten as I continue on my walk. With each step, I marvel at the sparkle.
I look closely.
Dew drops of all sizes rest on the petals.
Grass is a slip and slide for each droplet.
Dew is formed when the object is cooler than the air around it. Lately, there has been no dew when I walk. The nights just don’t cool off enough to create the conditions for dew to form. Dew cools the plant down in much the same way that evaporating sweat cools your body on a hot day. I bet the plants around me are wishing for dewy mornings. I know I am.
I knew it was coming, but here it was in big bold letters staring at me. I know a sigh escaped. We were not going anywhere for a long period of time. 😦
This was supposed to be our road trip summer. East and northwest were the goals of this summer. New areas of our country and Canada to explore were just on the horizon of summer. Then the pandemic landed and we were grounded.
I decided to create my own journey of exploration. This was the land I explored.
As I wandered the perimeter, a bit of blue wedged between the border rocks caught my eye.
Where is the nest?
Was this blown from the nest after hatching or before hatching?
I continued my journey. I looked up to discover a single thread shimmering in the sunlight. Undulating with the breeze, a spider’s highway overhead.
Looking deep into the branches of the arborvitae I find a thicket of limbs no longer living. Has that happened because the sun can’t reach them?
Slowly, I continue to wander and wonder.
This viburnum bush has a branch that doesn’t match the rest of the branches. Why? I looks like someone has been nibbling on the branch.
Each pause on this journey has left me questioning. Questions continue. What bird has lost such a long feather? Was this lost when charging at the squirrel? Or did it simply fall out and float gently to land in my yard?
So much of our yard is now shade, these conditions are conducive to grow hostas. Something has been nibbling. An interesting bloom has sprouted. Check out the close-up of the bud. I love the diamond layers.
The journey is nearly completed. I look up. The canopy shields me from the sun, but I see the branches as spokes on a wheel creating connections for creatures I cannot see.
The next time I take this same journey, I know the sights will be different even though the terrain stays the same. No mask required for this trip. I believe I will be spending lots of time this summer here, but I will be dreaming of travels yet to come (someday).
Every morning I spend about thirty minutes ambling, trudging, strolling, and sometimes traipsing up one street, around a bend or two, and back down towards my home. The road doesn’t change, but my direction alternates between clockwise and counter clockwise. You would think the views of the homes and yards would be the same each day, but it is not. Every day I notice something new. Sometimes I take a picture to save the thinking that might turn into a blog post. Which is exactly what happened today. Here you have a few random sightings that left me puzzled.
Sidewalks are generally straight. They curve when the road curves, that is to be expected. Occasionally they veer off because of a nonnegotiable structure.
Close-up of previous photo.
What is the reason for this?
Why the bump into the grass?
This view made me stop. I am standing on the sidewalk wondering the purpose/reason for this path to this tree. It is not wide enough to walk on. Why did the homeowner prevent the grass from growing? I keep watching to see what happens to this path. So far, no signs of grass seed on this path.
The arrow is pointing to the tree at the end of the path.
Just down from the confusing path, I come across this mess on the sidewalk.
I understand that the dirt (which becomes mud when it rains) is from the yard where a house is under construction. What I don’t understand is the trail of mud that travels down the sidewalk. At first I thought a bike had ridden through the mud, but the mud trail is too wide for a bike’s tire.
Look how far this trail of mud goes. Why is there an entire sidewalk box full of mud when it has grass on both sides?
You can see that the trail continues on and crosses another home’s driveway. I am flummoxed by the trail of mud.
These are some of the puzzling thoughts that occupy my mind these days. What’s puzzling you? 🙂
Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.
Last year, I wrote a post inspired by Kate Messner’s book, 59 Reasons to Write. It was a lesson encouraging the writer to listen to the sounds surrounding them. I sat on my patio and listened. Then I wrote this post. Many new homes were being built in our neighborhood, construction sounds dominated. Heavy trucks rumbled by for a new road. Those were the sounds on that day.
Have the sounds changed in a year? Let’s find out, I close my eyes and listen to . . .
A muffled r-r-r-r in the distance, from traffic a mile away. The motorcycle revs its engine to sound like an angry wasp. A train blasts its horn as it passes through an intersection, since its quite distance it is more melodious than not.
Wind sounds in the trees reminds has me visualizing a wave coming to shore. Gently the water laps at your feet, building in intensity until the wave wants to topple me. The wind begins with a whisper, sliding through the evergreen trees, building in speed creates rustling, until it reaches a brisk crescendo. It drops and there is silence for a moment as it draws its breath to repeat. Wind chimes from patios tinkle as they are not in the thrust of the wind.
Chirps, cheeps, coo-coos, trills of birds fill the air. A conversation, not meant for me to understand, ensues. I lose the bird-speak as the wind builds in intensity, but when it dies down the chatter of the feathered friends has not lessened.
Sharp nails on metal cause me to open my eyes and search for the source. A robin has landed in the curved crook of the downspout. It gives me one exasperated chirp as if to say, “What are you doing here?” before taking flight.
The landscape of sounds have changed in a year. I prefer the sounds of nature surrounding me on my patio.
In December, we had two river birch trees removed from our landscaping. They were beautiful trees and the decision to remove them was an emotional battle. Finally the orders were given for the trees to be removed. Their roots are very invasive (didn’t know this ten years ago when they were planted) and we wanted to avoid complications in the future to our house’s foundation. I wrote about the tree in the front of the house earlier this month. That tree was a focal point in the landscape and is dearly missed.
The other tree was in our back yard. It sat in the corner, shading the house, but not in view from any window. Its loss was not mourned nearly as much as the front tree.
Recently we noticed something happening with the stump left behind. All of a sudden, it’s wet. Flies and bees buzzed to investigate this wet stump. I told my husband the tree was weeping. He didn’t appreciate my humor.
Within a day, the wet became filmy white. The liquid begian to ooze its way over the edge.
I stepped in to take a photo, and bubbles erupted from the rocks.
Look at the bottom, in the rocks. See that bubbling mass?
I step back and a foamy hole is left. I step forward, back, forward, back to watch the bubbles.
The bubbles popped and leave a hole.
Several days later, the insects no longer buzz about the stump. It is still filmy but now we are adding other fungi to the film.
I don’t know when this show will end, but I’ll be checking every day to see the next development in stump slime. We have decided it is a Petri dish stump.
Before the last snow, I wandered about the backyard looking for signs of plants waking from the winter. First place I check is my mini patch I call a garden. Tulip bulbs and asparagus crowns lie beneath the soil. When they begin the journey from underground to breaking through the dirt, I know spring is on its way.
A quick look to the right ends in disappointment. The asparagus continues to rest underground.
On the left, I discover shoots have broken ground. The tulips pushed their way through! But wait what’s that? The shoots are sheared off, level to the ground. It appears that someone with a sharp clippers has come along and clipped my green tulip shoots down to their nubs.
Do you see how this has been nibbled off? This was taken after the snow melted, so it had grown slightly from my previous viewing.
My eyes narrow, I know the predator of my tulips. It’s a rabbit! He has the teeth that would gnaw away at my young, green sprigs, which survived the winter cold only to be a tender tasty treat for him.
Now we will enter into a war. I will be more vigilant over my bulbs, he will not deprive me of my springtime flower.
Here are the shoots that have not been nibbled on.
When I need a slice of life, I get up, grab my camera, and step out. A walk around the block usually gives me something to notice and note.
Stepping out the door I hear the birds talking. I can’t see any birds, but they are definitely vocal. No picture, but I file the sound in my mind. I will need that detail for my slice. I’m still walking down my driveway, should I turn around and call it good? No, not yet. I need a picture.
Strolling down the street, I notice the neighbor has two bird nests in his tree. I zoom in on the closest one. I wonder how many bird’s nests are in the neighborhood. Now I have a focus for my walking. Better not stop yet.
WhThis nest is pretty small, I wonder if it was built by a hummingbird.Whil
While I was focusing on the nest, I happened to look up. Crisscrossing lines streaked the sky. Snap, snap, snap went my camera.
I love studying trees in the winter. I began noticing some trees had lots of little branches growing out of the main branch. Some were so smooth, you would think someone had whittled away the bark. They would be perfect for roasting marshmallows. A few of the trees were already beginning to create leaf buds. Promises of foliage to come.
Back home, I glance at the sky to discover, in that short period of time, the lines in the sky were obliterated by the clouds moving in. Glad I didn’t wait to take those pictures. Just in case you were wondering, I spotted fourteen bird nests. Wonder how many more will join them this year.
So next time you are stuck for an idea, take a walk and a camera. You never know what you might notice.