Posted in Air, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Perception, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Spring, Virginia, Walking & Wandering, Weather, Wonder

A little peculiar

A posting.  (Pocomoke River State Park.)

The desire of monks and mystics is not unlike that of artists: to perceive the extraordinary within the ordinary by changing not the world but the eyes that look… To form the intention of new awareness is already to transform and be transformed.

~ Jane Hirshfield, Ten Windows:  How Great Poems Transform the World

Have an uncomfortable mind; be strange. Be disturbed: by what is happening on the planet, and to it; by the cruelty, and stupidity humanity is capable of; by the unbearable beauty of certain music, and the mysteries and failures of love, and the brief, confusing, exhilarating hour of your own life.

– Kim Addoniziok, Bukowski in a Sundress

Not the best view, but a view.

M and I went to watch the latest NASA Wallops (Virginia) rocket launch on Wednesday.  They launched a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus NG-11 cargo ship bringing supplies to the ISS.

Blast off.

We are unable to view the rocket launches from the spot where we used to watch them.  There is a good reason for that.  It’s too close.  As you might recall, we were there when Orbital Science’s Antares rocket exploded in October 2014.  (In case you missed it, my post and photos from that adventure are here.)  They now close the area prior to a launch.  The spot where we go now is not as good in terms of a clear view and that makes the photos I took look somewhat peculiar.  Or bizarre.  Or something of that nature.

I wonder what that bird thinks of the rocket.

A lot of people showed up to watch the launch.  I always marvel at how many travel four, five, or six hours to see it, not knowing if the launch will happen or not.  Launches that M and I have gone to see have been cancelled for all sorts of reasons.  Probably the most aggravating is when a launch is scrubbed because someone in a boat failed to get the memo.  Wallops issues marine notices about the avoidance areas and yet, people either ignore them or don’t care.

Not what it seems.  (The bird is nowhere near the rocket.)

The launches are always exciting, especially since witnessing the explosion.  It’s difficult not to worry when it looks as though the rocket is headed in our direction.  It’s not and it wasn’t, but there is a moment or two when it looks that way.  An illusion, of sorts.  When I look at the photos, I wonder why my eyes and brain thought it was heading towards us when I can clearly see (with hindsight and close-up shots) that it was going in the opposite direction.

Goodbye, rocket.

I have mixed feelings about our space explorations.  The universe is fascinating and there is so much out there we know nothing about. There was the imagery of Voyager I (1990) of earth as a Pale Blue Dot and Carl Sagan’s commentary on it.  (Image and commentary here.)  But at the same time, I wonder if all the money spent on rockets and space stations and exploring the possibility of landing on another planet couldn’t be used to help fix things here.  Well, sure.  It could be.  The problem is, those that have that kind of money seem to prefer to throw it in other directions.

A squiggle of smoke as the rocket disappears from view.

After the launch, M and I went to Pocomoke River State Park for a little walk, to look at the dogwoods and see what spring has been up to in that area.  They have a long row of dogwood trees near the Trail of Change, and there are more in the woods.

I love the way the oaks dress up in their spring finery.

We arrived about an hour or two before sunset.  The light was beautiful, the trees were beautiful, and spring was putting on a lovely show.

Dogwood reaching.

I’m not sure if we were too early or too late.  A bit of both, I think.  The dogwoods getting the most sunlight were nearly finished flowering (yes, I know, they are bracts, not flowers, but they look like flowers and “flowering” sounds so much better than “bracting” — I’m not even sure that’s a term) and beginning to leaf out.  Those in the shady areas looked as though they were just getting started.

Gracefully opening to the light.

Never mind.  They were still beautiful, no matter what stage they were in.

Simply graceful.

Rain is coming our way sometime today or tonight or (more likely) in the wee hours of the morning.  Watches and warnings were issued early.  A tornado watch for parts of the Bay (which I find peculiar — why not the land on either side of the bay?).  Flood warnings and watches all around.  The rain will be good for the gardens.  It might also help wash away all the pollen from the loblolly pines.  You can’t walk outside without coming back with a light coating of yellow pollen all over you.


That’s about it from me on this cloudy, warm, and humid Friday.  I don’t think there will be much to see at sunset.  The clouds have been with us pretty much all day.  But you never know.  There might be a break in the clouds before the big storms arrive.  Sunset is scheduled for 7:42 PM.  If it looks like there’s something to see, I’ll meet you out at the dock.  Wear your summer clothing and a good insect repellent.  The ticks are out and it wouldn’t surprise me if there were some biting flies newly hatched and just waiting for someone to come along in the woods.

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

I’m not sure but think this might be some kind of cherry tree.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,056)  Friendship.  It’s priceless.  1,057)  Real conversations.  Also priceless.  1,058)  Getting the grass mowed before the next batch of rain.  Last year it seemed like I was always right behind the rain and the grass would grow faster than I could keep up with it.  (It’s much harder to mow when it gets long.)  1,059)  Seeing a salamander in the woods.  I think it was an Eastern Red-backed Salamander.  They are supposed to be pretty common around here.  I didn’t get a photo of it.  It was moving too fast.  But I did get a good glimpse of it before it disappeared.  1,060)  Laughter, corny jokes, and a good sense of humor.  

Sunset on launch day. Low tide was the lowest I’ve ever seen it. A little peculiar for the weather conditions that day.


Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the 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.

14 thoughts on “A little peculiar

  1. Beautiful photos, Robin. It did look like the bird was right there in that one photo.
    Thank you for giving me the word bract. We were trying to figure out what to call the spring green things on the trees that aren’t exactly leaves. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful spring blooms! I really like your shot of the flowering oak tree in the golden light. A wonderful moment to capture.
    It must be a thrill to watch a rocket launch. When the kids were little, they had toy rockets (adult-supervised, of course), and they were a lot of fun. I can imagine this one is thrilling times ten!
    Have a nice weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 Rocket launches are a little too much of a thrill for me since the explosion. This was the second one I’ve gone to watch and I still get nervous.


  3. I had no idea that a rocket launched from Virginia. Shame on me. (I will be return to some of the linked posts.) How exciting to see! Interesting day combining high level technology and nature. Ahhh … Hi Robin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome back to the blogosphere, Frank. I hope you had a wonderful break. 🙂 I suspect a lot of people are unaware of Wallops and their rocket launches. We see a lot about Space X and their launches in Florida on the news, but the only time I’ve seen Wallops make the news was when the explosion happened.

      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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