Posted in Air, Change, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Little Wookie, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes

A springtime walk

Azalea in bloom.

Flowers open every night
across the sky, a breathing peace,
and sudden flame catching.

~ Rumi

A little bit closer.

Spring is here, busting out all over the place.  To be honest, it’s more like summer lately than spring although we are still getting a few cool days and nights here and there.  The warm weather has brought a plethora of insects that fly in clouds before me when I mow the lawn.  I think they are craneflies.  The cranefly’s common name is “mosquito hawk” although they have nothing to do with mosquitoes.  In their adult stage, it’s all about love.  They’re here to mate and lay eggs for next year.  They don’t bite, and in fact might even be helpful as pollinators since some types of cranefly like to sip and sample some of the flowers that are in bloom.

Snowball bush heavy with blooms.

It has been a stellar year for the flowering trees and shrubs.  The cherry and Asian pear trees were so laden with blossoms that the branches bowed down toward the ground.  I’m not sure if it’s just a particularly good year for flowers or if all the pruning and clearing we’ve been doing is finally paying off.  Either way, the wildlife will eat well when the fruit of the cherry and pear trees ripen.

Pin oak by the garden leafing out.

The petals from the cherry trees were creating small blizzards a few days ago as the wind blew them from the trees.  The loblolly pines continue to produce copious amounts of yellow pollen that coats everything.  When I go out for a walk, I come back with yellow shoes.  They are not yellow when I leave the house.  They are dark green (Muck shoes).  The pine pollen coats them and turns them a bright yellow.  It’s difficult to keep the camera lens clean, too.  The pollen loves sticking to glass surfaces.

The doe and the turkey by the pond.

My gardening adventures have been limited.  The ticks have been really bad this year, and I am sadly considering deconstructing the scrounger’s garden and mowing it over.  If this past winter was an indication of things to come, the insects are going to get worse.  We need a prolonged period of below freezing temperatures, and that seems to be harder and harder to come by since we moved here.  During my last attempt to weed under the lavender and sage, I found my arms and legs covered with tiny ticks.  There were too many to count.  The insect repellent (and I’ve tried several) doesn’t seem to be repelling them.

An Eastern Bluebird enjoying the new perch.

If you were to come for a visit, you might notice some odd metal objects in the front yard.  One is simply a long piece of metal tubing that comes straight up out of the ground and curves out about a foot or two at the top.  The other is an old rooftop television antenna.  We put them out there so the birds can perch on them.  The Eastern Bluebirds like to use them during the spring months.  The simple one (the metal tubing) was used as a platform to teach their babies to fly last spring.  We just installed the antenna in the front yard this year.  The bluebirds found it this week, and don’t seem to mind that this one is a bit closer to the house.

Pretty bird.

The antenna, in case you’re wondering, is one of the many things we’ve repurposed around here.

A male cardinal surveying the area.

The birds have been quite active, building nests and laying eggs.  Yesterday I watched as two Blue-gray Gnatcatchers worked on building a nest in the mulberry tree.  They are lovely little birds.  You can find a photo I took of one here, and another photo of a nest here.  They use lichens in their nests and the result is quite beautiful.  Apparently they are good mimics and will imitate bits of songs from jays, warblers, vireos, and other birds.

Sitting on a garden fence post.

They say you shouldn’t blog about blogging or apologize for your blogging schedule whether you are blogging too much or not enough.  They say people find that sort of thing boring.  If the subject of blogging is not at all interesting to you, feel free to skip over this paragraph and the next, and make your way past the next image.

Now that the disclaimer (of sorts) is out of the way…  Perhaps you’ve noticed I have not been blogging on a regular basis.  Perhaps you’ve noticed that I have been bringing up this subject every now and then since last November.  The good news is that this is not related to politics anymore.  The better news is that it is related to the fact that I have been doing a lot of writing of a personal nature lately, learning a lot, releasing a lot, and somewhere in the process, finding myself and my voice.  This takes time, the time usually spent on blogging.  The best news of all is that it leaves me little time for whatever is being reported as news these days.    I try to maintain a good balance between staying informed and avoiding overload.  So much of the news lately is geared towards acts of violence (whether it be towards people, the earth, or other inhabitants of this planet).  It’s not the type of energy I wish to absorb or put out.  Limiting my view of the news helps with that.

One of the guardian bees near the dock. (I call them guardian bees because they hover around in a small area — usually along a walkway –and greet me whenever I come walking up to them.)  I have been trying to get a good picture of one of them for almost four years now.  I finally did it.

That’s out of the way so let’s wander around a bit, shall we?

In fact, I got more than one photo. My next goal is to get one of them facing me. That will be more difficult since they come up so close to check me out.

In other news… Today is Little Wookie’s first birthday.  Although he’s as smart as can be, he can’t read yet.  Nonetheless, Happy Birthday, Little Wookie from Momo and Gramps!  Sending you lots of love and magical birthday wishes.

Little Wookie having a good laugh.  Sometimes he just throws himself forward when he laughs.  (We saw him when we went to Cleveland for the film festival at the beginning of the month.)

I reckon that’s about it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this cloudy and somewhat cool Wednesday.  Thank you so much for visiting and wandering around with me for a little while.  I don’t expect we’ll see much of a sunset this evening, but you never know.  If it looks good, let’s head to the Point for a little stroll around the beach while we wait to see what the sun and clouds will do.  Sunset is scheduled for 7:43 PM.

Buttercups are scattered across the landscape now. I think the fairies must have come for a visit one night and left them as a gift.

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

Wild cherry in the woods.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  181)  Buttercups and butterflies.  Even the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies are out and about now.  182)  Love in the air.  183)  Little Wookie, for at least ten thousand and one reasons.  184)  The spring green of the new leaves on the trees.  185)  The guardian bees who are always friendly spirits.

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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.

19 thoughts on “A springtime walk

  1. I LOVE the photo of the doe and the turkey. That was so kind of them to pose for you. 🙂
    Question: Can you say Loblolly without smiling? Because I can’t–even saying it in my head.
    I have to tell you–daughter and son-in-law are having an awful time with ticks. Just after the creepy-crawly incident you mentioned, daughter told me they found some in the house (they have a dog), and saw some crawling. . .Ewwww.
    Happy Birthday to Little Wookie!
    Thank you so much for the shout-out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you, Merril. 🙂 I thought it was kind of them to pose, too. They gave me several opportunities to run and get my camera.

      Ewwwww is right when it comes to crawling ticks. Makes me shudder to even think about them.

      That’s a great question and the answer is: Yes! It always makes me smile (and sometime giggle). It is such a fun word to say. I’ve looked up the name before but forgot the origins and what it means so I went and looked again:

      “The word loblolly is a combination of lob, referring to thick heavy bubbling of cooking porridge, and lolly, an old British dialect word for broth, soup, or any other food boiled in a pot. In the southern United States, the word is used to mean “a mudhole; a mire,” a sense derived from an allusion to the consistency of porridge. Hence the pine is named as it is generally (but not exclusively) found in lowlands and swampy areas.”

      Given how swampy it is around here, I’d say the name suits. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Trent. 🙂 I like the header one best, too, but wanted to show the deer leaping around the turkey. It was such a bizarre thing to watch. She did it a few times as they crossed paths going back and forth in front of the pond.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I swear we walk in tandem. I went a week without posting (usually 3x/wk) and my sister called to see if I was sick. Nope, just off enjoying the springtime. 🙂
    Your tick problem sounds horrific, although ours are just starting and April-May is always our worst. Having a dog is not helping. We’re going to get a new type of collar from the vet that hopefully will work better than Frontline. I’m always tempted to burn off the yard in early spring, but we have wooded trails, so it really wouldn’t help. We’ve started to walk the road a bit more. I loathe to give up the woods – I love them so. But I do believe using my tick-sweeper in the backyard has helped a lot. Maybe you could try it in the scrounger’s garden? You’d have to drown a lot of them, or put them in the dryer to kill them. Eeebie-jeebies! The first round would be the worst and then it gets better because you eventually get most of them. But I understand it is a horror, no matter what. I just can’t give up on my backyard, so I persevere!
    On a brighter note, I love the idea of repurposing an antenna as a bird roost. Ever since our old dead apple tree keeled over, the birds aren’t resting near the house where I can enjoy them. I bet I could find one at the transfer station.
    Enjoy the baby-bird fest around you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL, Eliza! I had to laugh when I read about your sister calling to see if you were okay because you hadn’t blogged. I’ve had friends and family check on me in the same way. It’s reassuring in a way. When I die, someone will notice because I stopped blogging. 😉

      Eeebie-jeebies! is right. I might give the sweeping a try. I don’t really want to lose the flower garden since it hosts so many bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. When I told M I was thinking of deconstructing the garden, he offered to do the weeding, but there is so much to do around here that he couldn’t possibly keep up with the garden or with other things that need doing. I’m going to have to find a way to get out there. I was thinking about the clothing I wear. I wonder if wearing tight, exercise pants and shirts would be helpful (along with tucking everything in, the usual socks over top, and repellent spray). Maybe I should buy a flock of guineas and set them loose out there to eat the ticks.

      The birds seem to love the perches we set out and it allows us a better view of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gearing up is what I do, tucking, spraying clothes and checking frequently. Stripping down afterwards. REI and such sell pyrethrum infused clothing. It might be worth the investment.
        I thought the same about your garden, what a boost it is to wildlife, esp. Monarch butterflies (they don’t care about the weeds!) and it’d be a shame not to have it. I have had great luck sweeping, got a lot the first sweep and less with each subsequent one. Ticks really don’t travel far without a host so once they are removed, further infestation is slow.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. OH my, ticks already. UGH Takes all the joy out of wandering woods and field.
    With little winter, the plants here are lush from frequent spring rains – or would be except the fence people tore up so much of the established plants. It’s ok the fence work had to be done and plants are recuperating with Mother NAture’s early warmth and waterings. She enjoys rearranging landscape anyway. We have baby birds and butterflies (Mosquitoes soon, so I won’t be out much then – one reason I’m not blogging/reading blogs so much. Have to be out while I can be….and then there’s the ugliness and anger lingering from politics – I got so discouraged, I had to drop out for a while. )
    Soak in the beauty – it fills and heals the soul. Totally excited you are writing elsewhere! Much cheers for that

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, PhilosopherMouse. 🙂 I understand about dropping out. I considered it (and maybe sort of did that given the infrequency of my posting lately).
      Mother Nature has been hard at work here, turning spring into early summer. You’re right about how she loves to rearrange things. She’s been rearranging our beaches with some overwash this week.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Otto. 🙂 Yes, it is a promising time. Alas, the spring season is short here and we are already into summer in terms of temperatures and growth. I think summer comes earlier every year now.

      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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