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A Monday meander

Small beauty.
Small beauty.

There is no less holiness at this time – as you are reading this – than there was on the day the Red Sea parted, or that day in the 30th year, in the 4th month, on the 5th day of the month as Ezekiel was a captive by the river Cheban, when the heavens opened and he saw visions of god. There is no whit less enlightenment under the tree at the end of your street than there was under Buddha’s bo tree. In any instant the sacred may wipe you with its finger. In any instant the bush may flare, your feet may rise, or you may see a bunch of souls in trees.

~ Annie Dillard, For the Time Being

Harmony.
Harmony.

Yesterday something in the woods startled me.  A small creature surprised me so much I nearly jumped out of my skin.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration but I want you to understand how astounded I was when a Red-spotted Purple butterfly flew off a tree branch right in front of me.  This is not a sight I expect to see in February.

On the woodland trail.
On the woodland trail yesterday.

It was an unseasonably warm day yesterday.  In the upper 70’s and quite humid, it was more like late spring or early summer than February.  Even so, where would the butterfly have come from this time of year?  The wild cherry trees are still devoid of leaves.  Do Red-Spotted Purples hibernate in winter?  I didn’t find quite the answers I was seeking when I searched online, but did find a video with Tips on Finding Red Spotted Purple Hibernating Caterpillars so that sort of answers the question.  The caterpillars hibernate.  But how would a butterfly come to be a butterfly in the month of February?  Maybe someone is raising and releasing them?

Equanimity.
Equanimity.

Today is not as warm as yesterday, but it is a gorgeous, gorgeous day.  It’s the kind of day that lures me into spending hours outside.  The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing (occasionally gusting), and the temperature is in the mid- to upper-50’s which, for me, is just right.  The air is fresh and light with just a touch of spring being carried by the wind.

Kinship.
Kinship.

Early this morning, I hung out some laundry to dry.  One of the items I pinned on the clothesline is a commemorative t-shirt from the Women’s March on Washington.  When I realized I would not be attending the march, I purchased the shirt so that the proceeds could go towards sponsoring someone who wished to go but couldn’t afford it.  As I hung up the shirt, I got to thinking about trust (my mind wanders into odd places at times) and it occurred to me that I am not very trusting of my fellow humans, particularly those who voted for the Tweeter-in-Chief.  I am wondering when and how that happened, and what I can do to change it.  Awareness is a good start.

Coexist.
Coexist.

With trust on my mind, I happened to visit Carol who posted a video about trust that I think you’ll like.  After you watch the video, you might want to head on over to Carol’s Ink Arts website to see some of her beautiful paintings.

Bits and pieces.
Bits and pieces.

I walked out to the garden today for a little while to visit with the crocuses.   Then I went back to the woods again, and out to the dock.  I sat on the bench, looking out over the water and up at the sky.  I could hear Bald Eagles chattering somewhere in the distance.  Water sloshed against the dock and the shore, the marsh grasses rustled and swayed.  The sky was mostly clear except for some wispy clouds that would appear and disappear in a matter of minutes.

Ephemeral clouds in today's sky.
Ephemeral clouds in today’s sky.

A lone Turkey Vulture circled by and as I watched him or her, three more joined in the circling.  As I always do when the vultures draw near, I reminded them that I am not dead yet.

Turkey Vulture overhead.
Turkey Vulture overhead.

I eventually made my way back towards the gardens and the pond where I had a seat on the bench under the wild cherry tree.  I could hear schools of fish splashing in shallow water.  The Kingfisher, who is usually around to scold me for being in his space, was nowhere to be seen today and that reminded me that there have not been many birds around this winter.

Watching the water.
Watching the water.

We usually have a lot of migratory birds spend the winters with us.  I looked at pictures from this time last year and we had huge flocks of blackbirds visiting in February.  Thousands of them would come by to eat up every bit of bird seed we would put out.  Every now and then I’d have to go out to chase them away so the little birds would have a chance at the food.  This year there have been very few birds at the feeders.  The goldfinches visit the thistle feeder, but the other feeder has been emptied by a squirrel rather than visiting birds.  The blackbirds must be Elsewhere.  The fields around here are usually filled with snow geese and tundra swans, but not this year.  They must be Elsewhere, too, along with the flocks of juncos and warblers that usually spend some time in our woods.

Reflections on the pond.
Reflections on the pond.

Perhaps the mild winter has kept the birds farther north of us this year.

A Bald Eagle way up high.
A Bald Eagle way up high.

I reckon that’s about it for today’s meander.  Thank you so much for dropping by and meandering along with me.  Let’s watch the sunset from the dock today.  It’s scheduled for 5:47 PM.  We will need to be there about 20-30 minutes before that or we’ll miss the sun slipping behind the trees.

Rhapsody in blue.
Rhapsody in blue.

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

Dancing in the light.
Dancing in the light.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  126)  Crocuses smiling in the grass and garden.  127)  The hint of daffodils to come.  128)  Blue skies and fresh breezes.  129)  The cawing of crows.  130)  Benches to sit on while I ponder life, the universe, and everything.  Or sometimes, ponder nothing at all.

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.

30 thoughts on “A Monday meander

  1. No crocus here in AL. Perhaps they were blooming prior to my visit. Daffodills, however, are everywhere, particularly in old abandoned homesteads. Took Katie out to the lot next to my parent’s church for a daffodil photo shoot. She was not impressed. Then we went for a walk in the park, which she appreciated more. Very warm here too. Also in Michigan. It’s nice, but last time it was like this it went into regular weather in March and froze plants that had budded out. Expecting disaster similar this year. Hope not though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That shot of Katie in the midst of the daffodils is gorgeous, Dawn. So glad you’re getting to experience some warmth instead of the usual cold of winter. I, too, hope winter doesn’t come along and decide to blast all the plants that are budding.

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  2. Your photos are esp. soothing today, Robin. The croci seem to glow in the sunshine, so lovely. While we were about 20 degrees cooler, the sky and breeze were amazing – such a blue we rarely see. I feel so abundantly blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved your thoughtful meander, Robin.
    That’s amazing about the butterfly. Somehow it’s more amazing that it’s a butterfly than some other creature–the symbolism perhaps, the butterfly effect. . .now my thoughts are wandering. 🙂
    I love that you caught the turkey vulture and eagle in flight. Turkey vultures are ugly up close, but they look graceful flying. I’ve noticed spring birds coming back, or suddenly becoming more visible and vocal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 I thought about the butterfly effect, too, and wondered what it could mean that a butterfly we usually don’t see until summer is dancing through the woods in February.
      I noticed that the farmers are out today (can hear their farm machinery going full out). Perhaps the absence of the usual wintering birds has made them think spring is coming early. It might already be here if I judge by the 10-day weather forecast. No sign of winter in there at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the mention. I do appreciate it. We seem to have had fewer of many of our winter resident birds this year too. The same with squirrels – last year I had at least eight of them coming to eat at a time, this year I occasionally see one or two in the yard, but they haven’t come for dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the Dillard quote. Yes, it was cooler today, but no less beautiful and your photos!!! The crocuses are fabulous. I can’t explain that butterfly. I can only hope the plants that should be out when it should be out are out now for it to feed on. I spent time in the garden and did some early planting this weekend. It was lovely to have time off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa. 🙂 It sounds like a wonderful weekend. The butterfly might not have any trouble finding something to eat. Adult Red-spotted Purples apparently feed on all sorts of things from sap to dung.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The bluish-purplish flowers with the yellow centers are striking!! Your photos are gorgeous. Beautiful post as well. I’ve been organizing groups of women to meet every week and share tips for what to do and write Women’s March postcards together to our reps. Has been a wonderful experience. Wish you were in Southern CA and could join us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Peggy. 🙂 I wish I could join you, too. I am deep in the heart of very red (conservative) territory, but I am beginning to find some small pockets of resistance, even some who are having voter’s remorse. That said, there are still a lot of DJT signs on display in front yards, with warnings not to touch the signs or else (or else what? I don’t know).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Or else! Wow, that’s incredible…the negativity seems to pour from everything related to DJT. So sad. Have you tried looking on this site to see if there is a “huddle” near you? https://www.womensmarch.com/100/action2

        A shot in the dark, but a possibility at least! Otherwise, hang in there. There are a lot of us that are on the same page, just a matter of being creative and persistent with connecting! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, those crocuses are breathtaking! The way the light shines on the petals makes them look mystical – so beautiful. I have already watched the ‘trust’ video Carol shared and my eyes welled with tears as the man received hug after hug. It’s unfortunate that recent events have made us all so wary of others…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joanne. 🙂 The light was perfect that day, shining through the petals. I think it’s unfortunate, too. There is a lot of hate being spewed and approved of at the top of the U.S. government these days. Very sad.

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  8. Hah, “Tweeter-in-Chief” – that’s a good one!
    Love these crocus images – they inspire calm and hope as well as being beautiful in & of themselves. We’ve had an unusually cold winter here, with snow that stuck around longer than we’re used to on the west coast. Our yellow crocuses are now starting to bloom – a bit later than usual I think – but the purple ones will likely take another week or two. Like you, I’ve been hearing frequent eagle chatter over the past few days. Lovely to have some signals of spring.

    Liked by 1 person

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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