Posted in Beginnings, Change, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Wonder

Secret societies

First light
First light

Sometimes since I’ve been in the garden I’ve looked up through the trees at the sky and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast.  Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing.  Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people.  So it must be all around us.  In this garden — in all places.

~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

The day begins with a blood-red sky, a flap of wings, the remains of man’s flight streaked across alternating bands of light and dark.

Early
Early

Patches of indigo and magenta hint at the blues to come as the sun sends its light ahead to greet the clouds.  Two vultures, early birds, chase the predawn flights.

March 2016 008ab
Winning the race

Morning softens and brightens.  One buzzard moves ahead of the contrail while the other glides over the meadows.

Spring adornment
Spring adornment

The light and the day advance.  Time sweeps ahead.  I step outside again.  Everything is different now.  The colors, the light, the sounds have changed.  I notice the trees are in the midst of their spring awakening along with the earth, flowers appearing on the oaks and maples.

The maple stretches towards summer.
The maple stretches towards summer.

New flowers have appeared near the front porch.  This is my fourth spring here on the Wabi-Sabi Ranch and I’ve never seen them before.  We have shifted a lot of dirt, disturbed a lot of plants and trees and shrubs.  Perhaps the little pink flowers were hiding out somewhere waiting for a just-right place to bloom.

Suddenly here.
Suddenly here.

I walk out to the meadows and finally identify the mystery tree, not by its shape or bark or flowers, but by its scent.  Now that it is full of flowers and buzzing with flies and wasps and bees, my nose clearly picks up the scent of rotting fish.  It’s a Bradford Pear.  I don’t know how I missed the odor last year or the year before that.  Maybe the breeze was blowing the scent away from me or maybe I thought it was coming from the marsh.  Whatever the case, there is no mistaking the stench.

A mystery no more.
A mystery no more.

In the thicket near the edge of the marsh, red-winged blackbirds chatter and chak chak chak.  A blue jay sounds the alarm and a cardinal suddenly floats up out of the grasses.  He perches on the branch of a loblolly pine and keeps an eye on me as I pass.  I wonder how many nests are hidden in the thickets and in the marshes.  Judging from the sounds — the calls, the songs, the chatter, the rustling — there must be many.  There are rabbits in there, too, and I’ve seen wild turkeys come strolling out of that particular thicket during the summer months.

The cardinal blesses the thicket.
The cardinal blesses the thicket.

The myrtles around the pond collect sunlight and glow with green.  If you look carefully, you might catch a glimpse of the Green Man.

Spring glow.
Spring glow at mid-day.

I go out again near sunset and watch as the dried phragmites (grasses) at the back of the pond gather the warmth and reflect it back on the surface of the water.

Evening approaches.
Evening approaches.

The bright green mosses growing under the old oak tree have sprouted miniature blades that glow greenish-yellow in the early evening light.

A sea of moss.
A sea of moss.

There are signs of deer all around, but I rarely see them.  On this beautiful evening, M and I go looking for them because on his way home from work he saw what he thinks was a white, or partially white, deer.

Five of many.
Five of many.

I never realized how many deer there are hiding in the woods, forming their own secret societies.  We are in luck this evening and see large groups of them at the edge of the woods and in the farm fields, enjoying their supper as the light begins to fade.

A flash of tail.
Follow the leader.

They see us and head back into the woods where they wait for us to leave.  Some take their time, nonchalantly strolling towards the trees.  Others leap and bound, flashing their white tails in warning.

Watching and wait.
Watch and wait.

We might have found the white, or partially white (piebald), deer, but it was so far away that we can’t be sure.  Perhaps we’ll go out and look again some evening.  In the meantime, it was enough to briefly catch a glimpse of the secret societies that meet here on the Eastern Shore.  Not just the deer, but the early birds who greet the sunrise, the mosses, the flowering trees, the new flowers near the porch, and the various birds that meet and greet each other throughout the day.  They are not really secret, of course.  But you have to be there, in the moment and paying attention, to find them.

So far away it's hard to tell.
So far away it’s hard to tell for sure, but it appears to be a deer of a different color.

Thanks for coming along on a series of walks throughout the day.  There is so much going on during the spring months that life feels full to overflowing.  If we have time this evening, let’s meet out at the Point to watch the sunset.  There’s a storm coming so we might be gifted with a colorful show of light and clouds.  Sunset tonight is at 7:19 PM.  It is warm today (in the mid-70’s), but you might need a light jacket.  It cools off quickly once the sun sets.

The Crow Moon
The Crow Moon

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

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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.

27 thoughts on “Secret societies

  1. A delightful post, Robin, dawn to dusk. An incredible morning sky and what an exciting spotting of the unusual deer.
    I think ‘Spring glow at mid-day’ would make beautiful batik fabric, don’t you think?
    Love your tree blossoms and your little pink flowers are hyacinth, you must have shifted a small bulb. Are you going to cut down the Bradford pear? Its smell sounds horrible to encounter! Much better to have an apple tree instead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Elisa. 🙂 Yes, it would make a beautiful fabric. It’s one of my favorites out of this bunch. I love the play of light and greens. As for the Bradford pear, I’m not sure. It’s a beautiful tree, and it’s the first one to flower in the spring. On the other hand, it is considered an invasive species in this area (they are all over the place in wild spots, such as out in our meadow near a ditch) so it might be better to chop it down when we have that section of the meadow mowed. I would love an apple tree, but M (who is our tree guy around here) keeps saying he’s finished with growing apples. Maybe I’ll remind him that it would be nice just to have it and that he doesn’t have to be constantly caring for it. Just let it be and let it grow, and don’t worry about getting pretty apples from it. In fact, the deer love apples. Let them have them. 😀

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    1. Thank you so much, Seonaid. 🙂 I feel the same about your images. ❤ It’s interesting that you mention “intimate.” I read something recently about “intimate landscapes” and thought, “Yes! That’s what I like to do.” I can never quite capture wide open vistas as well as I can the smaller picture.

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  2. Beautiful photos as always. The deer in our park are not so secretive. At night they leave the park and wander through our neighborhood, feasting on the seeds and suet I’ve put out for the birds. There is a little piebald deer among them in the park, but I haven’t seen him in our neighborhood yet.

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    1. Thank you, Skip. 🙂 I’ve noticed that country deer are much shyer than their suburban counterparts. It could be all the hunting they do around here, but it could also be that the deer don’t need to bother with gardens and feeders since there is plenty for them to eat in the farmers’ fields (I often wonder if the farmers plant extra to accommodate them) and in all the wild meadows around here.

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    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 That’s one of my favorites, too. We are ahead of ourselves down this way. I fear we’ll be well into summer by mid-April at the rate things are warming up. It’s been very warm the past few days, and the humidity shot up today.

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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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