Posted in Air, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Hiking, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering

Into the sea of grasses

Forever Fishing
Contemplation

The world is alive, blinking and clicking, winking at us slyly, inviting us to get up and dance to the music that’s been playing since the beginning of time, if you bend all the way down and put your ear to the ground to listen for it.

~ Shauna Niequist

Winking slyly
Winking slyly

Every time I see the found little fisher boy sitting by the lagoon, I say to M, if he’s with me, “There’s your boy.”  Or, “I see your boy is fishing without a pole again today.”  We both laugh as soon as I say “your boy.”  I don’t know why it’s funny.  I suppose it’s like most humor.  If you have to explain it, the funny gets lost in translation.

Watch for hints of green
Watch for hints of green

I took a long walk in the big meadow yesterday.  I went out to introduce myself to the flowering tree.  It wasn’t intended to be a long walk.  Distances can be deceiving when there are grasses and dried flowers between where you start and where you want to be.

Spring green shows through the browns of last autumn.
Spring green shows through the browns of last autumn.

I’m not sure about the size of the big meadow.  Many acres, maybe nineteen or twenty, much of it unexplored by us.  When we first moved here last May, we didn’t have time to explore.  In the summer the meadow became thick and lush with all manner of plants and shrubs (and even a few trees), but in between the beautiful flowers, waving grasses, and sea myrtles we could see poison ivy and multi-flora roses.  I’m not sure which is worse, although most people would likely vote for the poison ivy.  Multi-flora roses, I’ve found, are vicious.  Their thorns are like finger traps.  The harder you pull in the direction you think you should pull, the more they grasp.

The flowering tree in the meadow
The flowering tree in the meadow.  (The line of pine trees are farther away from the flowering tree than they appear in this image.)

There was also the unseen: ticks hiding in the grasses.  This area has a high rate of Lyme disease so one should be wary about ticks if one is going to walk in the meadow.  Long trousers tucked into boots, long-sleeved shirt tucked into trousers (you don’t want to give them any openings), a hat (mine has mosquito netting to keep out the deer flies and mosquitoes), and a good dose of insect repellent are necessary.

Every now and then, throughout the summer and the fall, I would look out over the big meadow and think, “One day I will put on the thick, all-tucked-in clothing and insect repellent, and wade into this sea of grasses and flowers.  I will go for a swim in the meadow.”  I didn’t get around to it, but M did mow a pathway through parts of it so we could explore a small portion of a big area.  We are required by the land conservation agreement to mow all of it once a year, and we will have to do that sometime this year.

Through rose-colored glasses
Through rose-colored glasses

So.  There is a flowering tree, a mystery tree.  I looked at it from the house and decided it would be best approached from the path near the road as it seemed closer to the road than to the house.  I walked the quarter of a mile up the driveway to the path, walked another quarter of a mile along the path, looked out over the meadow and saw that the tree now appeared to be closer to the house than the road.  I backtracked, and tried to approach the tree from the path near the lagoon (which is close to the house).  Once again, the tree appeared to have moved close to the road.  What manner of tree is this, that it moves from place to place??

Of course the tree didn’t move.  The only way to conquer the illusion was to pick a starting path and stay the course until I reached the tree.  At first glance, it appears there is no path to the tree.  I would have to leave the lagoon trail and try to bully my way through the dried grasses and flowers, through the thorns of the multi-flora roses, and around the streamlets that flow to the lagoon.  There’s a word for that:  bushwhacking.

There are other fish in this "sea."
There are other fish in this “sea.”

As I picked my way through trying to avoid the thorns of the dreaded roses, I saw that there was another way.  The deer have been making their own pathways through the meadows, and apparently they don’t care for thorns, either.  I hopped on a deer path, and meandered my way through the meadow, occasionally flushing out a rabbit.  I am glad there are still rabbits out there.  I was afraid our visitors, the Northern Harriers, had eaten them all.

There are things to see along the way.
There are things to see along the way.

I eventually made it to the tree, swerving this way and that, picking deer trails that kept me on dry ground and headed in the right direction.  I had to keep my eye on the trail, a good way not to miss the beauty of what’s going on in the deep recesses of the meadow.

April flowers
April flowers

As for the mystery tree itself, I think it is a crabapple tree.  I’m not sure, but almost sure.  The flowers do not look the same as the flowers on the crabapple trees I knew in the Bogs of Ohio.  They are tinier, and that makes it more difficult for me to tell.

Simply as is
Simply as is

It was a great adventure.  After spending some time with the tree, I kept moving forward, following the deer paths until I reached the path near the road.  The spring peepers were peeping in a loud chorus off to my right where a channel of water, almost a creek, crosses through the meadow on its way to the lagoon and Back Creek.

They do look like apple blossoms.
They do look like apple blossoms.

As I made my way back to the driveway, a Bald Eagle swooshed by, startling me (I’m pretty sure I startled him, too).  I have never been that close to an eagle in the wild.  They are impressive and formidable from a distance.  Close up they are breathtaking.  The quiet swoosh of wings as he flew just to the side and overhead was an incredible sound.  It was more like the sound of the movement of air than the movement of feathers and wings.  I could feel the flow of the displaced air, an eagle downdraft.  That’s how close he was to me.

Last look
Last look

That’s it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this warm and very spring-like Friday.  We’ve had quite a bit of cloud cover today, with just the slightest breeze.  The weekend weather forecast is looking good.  Partly cloudy, upper 50’s.  Perfect for outdoor work.  We’re going to plant seeds (lettuces, kale, chards) in the vegetable garden, and get a few plants started in the greenhouse.  What are your plans for the weekend?

Hammock
Hammock

Thank you for visiting, and taking another walk with me.  The clouds around here tend to part around sunset so, if you’re up for it, meet me at The Point.  We’ll watch for eagles and listen to the gulls laughing overhead while we wait for the sun to set.

Life moves on
Life moves on

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂  And have a great weekend!

 

 

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

20 thoughts on “Into the sea of grasses

  1. I know what you mean about deer paths … here we follow kangaroo trails if we need to negotiate a difficult bit of bush … a crabapple tree can be rather magnificent … perhaps after the meadow is mown it will flourish … is it the only tree in the meadow that would be left after mowing? Glad to hear spring is springing!

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    1. Kangaroo paths! That sounds more exotic than deer paths, Christine, but I suppose a path is a path is a path. 🙂 There will still be other trees in the meadow. When our conservation agreement expires, we are going to let some of it become forest.

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  2. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you with that many acres. Gorgeous shots of the milkweed seeds. You should have plenty of Monarchs visiting, too.

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    1. We have 35 acres all together, Gunta. It certainly is a lot of work. I think this will be the last time we own and work such a substantial piece of land and water. In about ten years, we’ll be ready for a condo where someone else mows the lawn and shovels the snow. 😉
      We had very few monarchs last year. I do hope they come this year. I found their small numbers worrisome.

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  3. Well that was a bit of an adventure, Robin! Well worth it though, to reach the tree. I’m not sure if they are crabapple blossoms either, but if you take a sample to your local garden centre I’m sure they could identify it for you. It’s very pretty. I suppose if you wait long enough and the blossoms turn into crabapples, you’ll know for sure! 🙂

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  4. The buds do sort of look like crabapples…I bet you’re right! Seems like a lot of work to get ready for a walk in the meadow…but probably worth it a couple times a year. The mowed path makes sense though. Here we have wild roses too…very sticky thorns. Ouch.

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  5. I found a new place to visit too! It has stores and shops, culture and socialization, and amazing things to do with my mind!!! Many surprises, only a wee bit overdoing things for my health AND I found clothing that will fit, isn’t made in materials that make me ill AND there are things to look forward to saving for and for buying to go with vintage items on the cheap!! I found a shimmering orange with brown undertones shift dress for $8, a scarf to go with several of my outfits and the shift for $16, which is way more than I want to pay, but makes them each 12! OOOooo I also found those wide brimmed floppy straw looking elegant material!!

    Oh hey, you know how you share about your hair? Well I haven’t been able to afford to even get mine cut since Thanksgiving. I just cut it again, blind as a bat without my glasses on. Apparently in this new town, this is a new Spring style AND I did it JUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUST right! wriggle wriggle

    Those eagle downdrafts can be scary!

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    1. Your comment made me smile, Elisa. You sound sooooo excited. 😀 You are very brave, cutting your own hair. I suspect I would make a great mess of mine if I tried to do that.

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    1. The leaves appear to be green, Elisa. I’m thinking my friend Chris B. up there in the comments might be right and that it’s a plum. Now that there’s a path to it, I’ll keep an eye on it and see what develops.

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  6. I don’t know what kind of tree it is, but it is beautiful….and so are the dandelion type seeds. I’ve seen them photographed before and keep looking for them around here, but so far no luck.

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    1. I think the seeds are some kind of milkweed, Michaela, although I’m not sure. The pods are different from the milkweed we had in Ohio. I’m waiting for the flowers to show up so I can make a better stab at identifying them.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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