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