Posted in Air, Change, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Home, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Travel, Virginia, Walking & Wandering

Here and there and not nearly everywhere

Catching a glimpse of the mountains through the trees. (Somewhere on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke, Virginia.)

Our lives are not as limited as we think they are; the world is a wonderfully weird place; consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted, but love does work; all things are possible; and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously.

~ Tom Robbins

In the deep green woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

M and I have been traveling again.  I think we’ve gone away twice since my last post.  Our first trip was a quick up and back to New Jersey for a weekend visit with my father.  The second was to Roanoke, Virginia, where M attended a conference and I spent time with a friend while our husbands were busy with said conference.  We were there for a week and had a wonderful time.  I have lots of photos and will tell you all about it very soon.  I’m planning a Monday Meander post but you know what they say about the best laid plans.  Hopefully this plan will not go awry.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… This looks like a very pregnant doe to me. Or else she’s very well fed.

In the meantime, I’d like to share a little about what is happening here at the ranch.  While we were away, the wild things decided to stage a coup and try to take over.  I don’t blame them.  They were here first.  But it will require some work on our part to tame the place once again.

The butterfly bushes are doing really well this year.

While we were away, the deer nibbled on the hostas near the house.  They appear to prefer the flowers at the end of the scapes that shoot out from the leaves.  They’ve eaten quite a few so it doesn’t look like we’ll have many flowers this year.  The leaves are fine, though, and look quite nice.

The purple flowers on the other butterfly bush.

A rabbit who must have heard us read the story of Peter Rabbit to the Little Wookie (we record it on a Marco Polo video app for him) decided to move into the vegetable garden.  He feasted on the flowers of the pepper plants.  Luckily for us, they often make a comeback once the rabbit is shooed from the garden.

The calla lily has several blooms this year.

My plan for today was to mow the grass which hasn’t been mowed since before we left for Roanoke.  That’s well over a week and the lawn is beginning to resemble a meadow which is very pretty but can be an open invitation to the wild things.  A lot of rain traveled this way while we were in Virginia, keeping the grass growing at a good clip (so to speak).  However.  You know what they say about the best laid plans.  My plan to mow went awry.

Cosmos flower almost in bloom.

The snakes, particularly the black rat snakes, have been fruitful and multiplied.  Perhaps that’s in proportion to the rodent and rabbit population.  I’m not sure about the rodents but the rabbits are certainly plentiful this year.  Our snakes are looking hale and hearty so they must be eating well.

I thought I might miss the blooming of the daylilies. Thankfully, they waited for my return.

While walking out to the mailbox yesterday, I encountered a large black rat snake stretched out and sunbathing across the lane.  She had an attitude of “none shall pass!”  I waited for a little while, listening to the wind, the trees, the grasses, the birds, and the silence of the snake.  I finally grew impatient and decided to try noise and movement to frighten her away.  She looked at me and her answer was clearly a No.  I was unable to scare her off with the stomping of my hard boots on the hard ground, and I was not about to walk around her.  Snakes are fast movers and there wasn’t much room to stay out of her way.  The rat snake is not venomous but I hear their bites can be painful.  Why tempt fate?  I gave up and went back later, after the snake was finished with her time in the sun.  Yesterday was cool for the month of June and she probably needed to warm up.

Looking particularly cheerful after a good rain.

Today I walked to the outbuilding where we keep the big mower, and I knocked on the door as I always do to give fair warning to any critters who might be inside.  Birds, rodents, and snakes are all possibilities since there are plenty of ways to get inside if you’re a small creature.  After knocking, I gave my usual loud speech which goes something like, “Helllooooo! in there!  I’m about to come in.  Do me a favor and move along so I can get the mower.  You can have the place after I leave.”

I think the daylilies like to have their picture taken. They always pose so beautifully.

Well.  I opened the large double doors and looked inside.  Movement caught my eye.  On the floor in one corner I could see the tail of snake sticking out from under a barrel that holds garden implements.  On the other side of the barrel, climbing up the wall, was the rest of the snake.  It was another black rat snake, of course.  The distance between tail and head seemed great to me, especially with the barrel in between.  Who knows how much body was being hidden by the barrel?

Just one more.

I left the snake and decided to do the mowing another day.  Maybe tomorrow.  He seemed to be headed towards the rafters and the idea of starting up the mower with a snake overhead was not appealing to me.  Snakes do not have ears, but scientists have discovered that snakes can hear.  Sound waves cause vibrations in the snake’s skull that can be “heard” by the snake’s inner ear.  We humans hear when sound waves hit our inner ear, too, but we have ears and eardrums.  Anyhow, my concern was that starting up the mower in the building (which I’d have to do because there is no other way for me to move it) might startle the snake in the rafters and cause it to drop on my head.  The mower frequently (almost always) backfires when I start it.  I get startled even though I’m expecting it.  Imagine how the snake would feel about a loud bang.

American beautyberry.

I reckon that’s about it from me and from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this warm and breezy Saturday.  Thank you for visiting.  Let’s go out to the Point to watch the sunset.  I haven’t been out there in a while.  It will feel good to wade in the water and take a short walk on the beach.  Sunset is scheduled for 8:28 PM.  I hear the water is warm enough for swimming so wear your suit if you want to go for a dip.  You will need water shoes, too.  Unfortunately, there’s occasionally broken glass on the beach and in the water.  It’s a good place to find sea glass, but not all of the glass has spent enough time being tumbled by the water and sand.  Some of it is sharp and you’ll want to protect your feet.

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

The zinnias are going nuts this year. I don’t know why I bothered to buy seeds. They’re sowing themselves now.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,081) This beautiful day.  We’ve had a lot of beautiful days lately.  We’ve had a lot of rain, too, just to balance things out.  1,082) The Carolina Wren who has been singing his heart out on the deck.  His song is beautiful (and he excites and entertains the cats).  1,083) Sourdough bread.  Yum.  1,084) Rest days and the luxury to have rest days.  All the traveling wore me out.  It was nice to spend time with the flowers instead of on the mower.  1,085) Moonlight streaming in the windows sometime in the middle of the night or early morning hours, and being awake to notice it.  It was beautiful.

A girly shade of pink.
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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.

28 thoughts on “Here and there and not nearly everywhere

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 I wish I could convince the snakes to avoid me! That will come with hotter weather, perhaps. We usually see them during the spring and fall, when they come out to warm up, but not so much during the hotter days of summer.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Although seeing large rat snakes can be unsettling, I’m glad you give them their space, which sadly, most humans don’t. I say the same as you, ‘they were here first’ and they do keep the rodents down. I must admit it is easier to say that about harmless snakes than worrisome black bears patrolling our grounds. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I often say I would like to live in the mountains, at least during the summer months, but I often forget about worrisome black bears when I say that. I thought of them while we were hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They leave enough signs of their presence around that it would be hard to forget them. The harmless snakes do seem to be the better bargain.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t have to deal with snakes here in this snakeless land – so I was highly amused by your meetings with snakes, including the standoff and method of opening the shed door. And I think it most sensible that you leave the mowing til another day – I’m not at all sure I would even go anywhere near the shed. Ever! Always enjoyable to catch up with your adventures Robin 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pauline. 🙂 I’m sending my husband out to the shed first today. He was away on business again (short trip to Philadelphia) for the past few days so I was dealing with the snakes on my own. That makes me sound like a helpless female, doesn’t it? Helpless, I’m not. Lazy might be more like it. Let the man do it and feel manly about it. 😀 I was thinking yesterday, though, that if I had to live out here by myself, I wouldn’t live out here by myself. I don’t think one person could do all the things that need to be done.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yah, I’m not sure I’d go near the shed either. garter snakes I can deal with it they don’t surprise me, but those that might bite? You might call it chicken, I’ll call it wisdom. Or fear.

    Liked by 1 person

            1. True. 😀 There once was an old RV on the property that the critters loved to live in. We had it removed. I’m wondering if we should have left it for them because it does appear that they prefer our home and buildings to their own.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lynn. 🙂 Nature does a good job of balancing things out when we leave Her to it. It’s too bad there are no natural predators (other than humans and hunting season) for the deer. We’re going to be overrun with them soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A delightful meander through your world.
    I have not seen a deer 🦌 in my small lot here in town but 3 rabbits 🐇played in the yard today.

    My day lilies “showed out” this year. Yours are very pretty.

    I no longer mow but thought it fortuitous of you to respect the snakes. Best give them their space. Once they decided to hang out in a closet in my bedroom.
    Needless to say, my daughter and I spent that night elsewhere.

    Thank you for a good read.

    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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