Ponder this:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

In Trackless Woods

In trackless woods, it puzzled me to find
Four great rock maples seemingly aligned,
As if they had been set out in a row
Before some house a century ago,
To edge the property and lend some shade.
I looked to see if ancient wheels had made
Old ruts to which the trees ran parallel,
But there were none, so far as I could tell-
There'd been no roadway. Nor could I find the square
Depression of a cellar anywhere,
And so I tramped on further, to survey
Amazing patterns in a hornbeam spray
Or spirals in a pine cone, under trees
Not subject to our stiff geometries. 

~Richard Wilbur

A few weeks ago I heard this poem on The Writer's Almanac and it stunned me with its verity. Nothing is so amazing as the symmetrical beauty of natural things.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MiMau is A Good Cat

MiMau is a good fifteen years old now, and she grows thin. We have been to the vet a couple of times with our complaint. There's nothing wrong with her except that she's hollowing out between her hip bones and her ribs. Her fur is as thick and soft as ever. There is occasional evidence of hairball accumulation, but blood tests show nothing even borderline. Certainly her hunting skills have not diminished. Nearly every day, there is a deceased mousey directly in our path as we exit the front door. She's a humane killer: the little bodies show almost no violence, just one killing strike. She used to eat the fresh meat, then she chose to dine on only the heads. Now, apparently, she's killing simply for sport, and to stay in fighting trim should we move away and leave her on her own. Not a chance.

She's a great cat and I'd give her anything that would fatten her up again. She likes to have me sit next to her while she eats her kibble. Maybe she'd like some canned food, but I doubt it. She's never liked it. Maybe some canned salmon? Fresh salmon? 

MiMau demonstrating her successful hunting technique: 
Wait quietly, and the prey comes to you.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The dying of the light

Rage, rage against it all you like: the light of life, and of day, and 
of carotene and anthocyanin all fade in 
a dishearteningly short time.

September 29, 2012

The very same trees, October 14, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Testimony: Exercise Improves Life

I am enjoying a jewel of an October day. 

This morning it was rainy and dreary and cold and I could think of nothing more fun to do than cuddling up with my book and blankets. I drifted off to sleep with the blankets wrapped around my head and only a nose hole for air, pretending to be a squirrel in a hollow tree with my fluffy tail wrapped around me. 
When I woke up, the weather was glorious! Blue sky, warm air! 
Out of bed, into tank top and jeans and onto the porch to help Husband stack firewood. 
It's the annual ritual: last weekend the pretty summer furniture and all the plants came off the porch and this weekend the space transforms to woodshed. Last year Husband did the great majority of wood transfer all by himself and this year I'm getting in on the chore. It goes much faster and, after all, it's exercise. I feel so good, being able to help him without my back seizing up on me! A benefit of moving, walking, breathing hard on a regular basis!


PS: The photo is from January 2011, I think. We do not have snow yet.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Things I haven't told you

I didn't tell you about the great blue heron who was crossing the road. I slowed way down so that I might get close enough to see his details, but wary heron unfolded his wings and rose off the macadam while I was still a couple of hundred feet away. I have heard that migrating ducks look for herons to find resting places . . . the ducks are supposed to know that if a shy heron is hanging around the place, it's safe. I think that idea might give ducks a little more intellectual credit than they might deserve, but what do I know?

I didn't tell you about the red tailed hawk that watched me walk by on the seasonal road. When he saw me coming, he took off, but came back and perched in the same tree that he had left and stayed in the top of the tree, glaring at me from thirty feet in the air. 

I didn't tell you about the Canada goose family waiting at the side of the road until my car passed. Papa and Mama waited with Baby Gosling between them. When I remember the trio, it seems to me that Baby Gosling might have had a red balloon floating above him, the string tucked under his wing.

The Canada geese are getting ready to migrate. This morning I passed a stubbly corn field filled with them. They're perfectly camouflaged for hiding in cornfields; the only way I could see them was to look for their heads above the cut stalks. The flocks have begun maneuvers in preparation for migration. I had Angus outdoors this morning, heard them honking and was pleased to be looking in just the right direction to see them appear over the trees that border the fields. Fortunate. Most times, I hear their voices and can't tell where they will appear. There must have been a hundred of them, all honking. As they flew into view they were just a mess of geese, but they formed up into some ragged Vs as I watched. These might not even go away for the winter. Quite a number of them stay around all year, as the robins do. It seems to me that robins used to go away in the cold weather; now they loiter through the winter.

I didn't tell you about the man who came into the office whose brogue charmed me. "He says I need to sign this in front of you," he said. 
I couldn't help it. I asked him, "If I bring you the phone book, will you read it to me?" 
Afternoon boss says the man blushed. I had looked down at my clasped hands (I think I was blushing, myself) so I didn't see if we were becoming rosy simultaneously.
I did the notary public thing (Do you affirm that the contents of this document are known to you and that it is the truth?) and he nodded and blinked his blue eyes and said, "Yis . . . yis." 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Saturday morning walk

It was drizzly and misty and dreary and I did not want to go out in the wet to walk. But my head felt foggy full-moony and stupid and I knew I needed some light and/or oxygen and/or warmth in my toes. On days like that it's quite often warmer outdoors than in, I find. So I steeled my will, fleeced myself up, and took the camera. I am neither a conscientious nor careful photographer, as you can see by the drops of rain on the lens . . . but the camera got me out to walk, and the colors are pretty in the clouds that sat in the tops of the trees.