…a walk is only a step away from a story, and every path tells.
~ Robert Macfarlane
There were Monarch butterflies gliding and coasting around the meadows when I went out for my walk today. You’ll have to take my word for it because I didn’t try to capture them with the camera. Instead, I stood and watched and smiled. Not everything has to be captured to be remembered, and not everything has to be remembered in order to delight in the moment. This is peak migration time for the Monarchs to pass through this area. I keep hoping to find them roosting in the trees some early morning, but I might have to visit Cape May, New Jersey someday to see that sight.
The former hurricane known as Matthew eventually meandered away from us yesterday, and left us with the gorgeous, deep blue sky of autumn. The cold front that freshened the air also dropped our temperature down into the 40’s last night. I love it. This is my favorite time of year, when the weather finally cools and it becomes possible to comfortably spend hours outdoors working or walking or doing nothing at all.
The winds are still gusty and brisk, rustling the trees and grasses. The Zen-like tones of the wind chime, said by the manufacturer to be tuned to an ancient Asian scale, called from the scrounger’s garden, inviting me to come out for a while and rest on the bench under the loblolly pine that sits beside the pond. I answered the call by slowly making my way over, stopping to admire leaves that had fallen, butterflies that were dancing around, and grasshoppers who insisted on leaping in front of me as if to declare, “This way!”
On my way to the garden and the pond, I saw my first hawk of the season, soaring up out of what was, for a brief time, the bare meadow. She will grow fat on rabbits, I suspect. Our bunny population could use some culling. Their numbers exploded this year.
Bald eagles were chattering somewhere off near the woods. I hear them more often than I see them. Today was not a day to see them, but I do appreciate their chatter. If you’ve never heard them, check out the Chatter Call here (that link takes you to Cornell’s All About Birds website).
I walked around the scrounger’s garden before having a seat on the bench by the pond. The zinnias have perked up after the rain. So have the butterfly bushes which have new blooms on them. There were a lot of small moths and butterflies in the garden. I haven’t seen the swallowtails since the last big rain storms about a week or so ago. Every now and then I see a Red-spotted Purple in the woods, but those are few and far between now.
It is the season of fungi and the recent rains have helped. There are mushrooms popping up all over the place. Sometimes you have to look carefully to find them. Other times, they are big and bold and not hard to miss.
The human eye is one place where the intensity of human presence becomes uniquely focused and available. The universe finds its deepest reflection and belonging in the human eye.
…Many of us have made our world so familiar that we do not see it anymore. An interesting question to ask yourself at night is, What did I really see this day?
~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
After spending some time resting on the bench, I made my way to the woods, but didn’t get too far along the woodland trail before I spotted my first snake. I have nothing against snakes. They are beautiful and beneficial. Still, when they are near the path — as is likely in the spring and fall months when they sun themselves — I visit with them for a few minutes, and then go back from whence I came. It won’t be long before the snakes retire for the winter, and the birds and I will have the woods to ourselves. Let the snakes enjoy the pathways and sunny spots while they can.
I’m going to leave you with a few scenes from last night’s sunset at the Point. Now that the weather has cooled off and the biting insects are less likely to be a problem, I’m planning to get out to see the sunset more often.
Thank you for visiting today, and joining me for another meander. If you’d like to watch the sunset with me, it’s at 6:31 this evening. I think I’ll go out to the dock just to see where the sun is situated these days. The snakes should have gone to bed for the evening by then. It’s a lovely walk at that time of day when the sun is low on the horizon and the light is slanting through the trees, the shadows stretched out long into forever.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 21) Deep blue-sky days. 22) Mushrooms. 23) The chatter of Bald Eagles and wing flaps of hawks. 24) Slow walks to the garden. 25) The songs of the autumn wind.
Reminder: Walktober 2016 will take place between October 15 through the 23, with submissions due by October 25. I will post an official “link here” walk on or around October 15. Not sure what Walktober is or if you want to join? Follow the link over in the sidebar (it’s the third widget up from the bottom labeled “Join us in October!”). If the dates don’t suit you for some reason, let me know. I’ll be glad to extend them. I’m easy that way.