Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.
~ Wendell Berry
The grace that is the health of creatures can only be held in common.
In healing the scattered members come together.
In health the flesh is graced, the holy enters the world.
It’s that time of year. The beginning of peak hurricane season. There are four systems sitting in the Atlantic and Gulf right now. Someone will surely come along and remind me that there is nothing unusual about hurricanes and tropical storms, that there is nothing unusual about there being four tropical systems in the Atlantic at one time. True. Nothing unusual about it at all. There seems to be little change in the frequency of storms. What is unusual, so say the scientists, lies in the intensity of the storms. Storms with high levels of rainfall such as Harvey in 2017, which used to evolve once every 100 years or so, are now evolving every 16 years or so. That could grow worse with time, temperature, and sea level changes.
I spent a little time this morning looking at photographs and videos from Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island where Hurricane Dorian hit as a Cat 5 and then sat there, spinning, for over 36 hours. I cannot even begin to imagine what that experience must have been like. There were sustained winds of 185 mph, gusts up to 220 mph. It’s not over yet, even with Dorian finally beginning to move.
It appears we will have few, if any, worries with Dorian, thank all the gods that be. We’re not even in the cone of uncertainty at this point. A trough or front or something of that nature will take Dorian out to sea somewhere around North Carolina or Virginia. We might have wind and rain from it, but nothing even close to what they experienced in the Bahamas. 40 mph winds and a couple of inches of rain, at most. Or so they’re saying right now. You never know with these things. It could bypass us completely.
Summer has been winding down a little here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. The longer nights and shorter days are having their effects on the flora and fauna. The buck who had been hanging out with Mama Doe and the twins has been seen less frequently. The last time he came around, another young buck showed up.
The photos I took are not very good. Poor light and lots of motion do not make for excellent photographs when you’re in a hurry, as I was, to try to capture the scene. I figured Papa Buck wasn’t going to allow the new guy to hang around for very long. I was right. Papa Buck didn’t waste too much time chasing him off.
You can tell, too, from the above photo, that the deer are starting to take on their autumn/winter colors. The browns deepen and then become almost a dark gray to blend in with the foliage of those seasons. The younger buck is still a light tan. His fur will change with time, too.
The veggies in the vegetable garden are nearly finished. The tomatoes will probably keep on going for a little while before we have to pick them all and start making fried green tomatoes or a roasted green tomato sauce (which is really yummy in chili and in stews or soups). The leaves on the sweet gum and cherry trees are changing color. Some trees are just dropping their leaves without bothering to change. I’m not sure if it’s the heat or the lack of rain causing that to happen. We saw the same thing last year. I wondered then, as I wonder now, if that’s a phenomenon that will repeat as the planet continues to warm. The fall foliage experts say it’s due to warmer than usual autumn weather in September and October.
This past weekend was a holiday weekend here in the States. Labor Day weekend wherein we celebrate the achievements of the American worker. It’s also considered the unofficial end of summer, usually because students go back to school after Labor Day. Or used to. In some places, students go back in August. My granddaughters went back to school over a week ago. Ohio is weird that way. I’m not sure when they go back to school here on the Eastern Shore. Since we’ve been here, they’ve changed it once or twice. The beach communities, in particular, wanted to keep students available for work until after Labor Day.
M and I had a fairly active Labor Day weekend. We went kayaking, swimming, and bicycling. We took the kayak out on Saturday morning and paddled out to an island that I’ve been eyeing for a while, wondering if I could make it out there. It doesn’t look very far away when I’m standing on shore, but it seemed like it was moving away from us as we paddled out to it. We did get there, and it really wasn’t THAT far (less than a 1/2 mile is my guess).
We did not know anything about the island when we paddled out there. It was after we returned that I learned it’s called Maddox Island. A couple of women were at the Point, where we started and returned, getting ready to take their kayaks out when we finished our trip out and back. An older woman and I got to talking about the water, the weather, how long we’d been out, and I mentioned we’d gone to the island. She pointed out and named the islands we can see from the Point.
We walked around the island for a little while, to see what we could see. We noticed as we rounded a corner that there were bricks mixed in with the oyster shells on the beach. We eventually came upon some ruins. Later, back in the kayak, we went around the island a bit more and saw a large house that turns out to be part of the Maddux Plantation (also known as the Maddux Enclosure). The original parts of the house and buildings date from the mid 1700’s. At some point, there were 29 slaves working the plantation. That’s not unusual around here. Slavery is part of the history of Maryland and the Eastern Shore. The first Africans were brought as slaves to St. Mary’s City, Maryland (just across the bay from us) in 1642 and the institution of slavery lasted about 200 years in the state (ending after the Civil War).
I reckon that’s about enough from me for now. If I posted more often, I wouldn’t have to try to fit in two weeks worth of stuff in one post. I’m going to see about getting back on a regular schedule. It would do me good to write more and spend less time with the news cycle. In the meantime, thank you so much for stopping by. Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening. We’ve had some really pretty sunsets lately and there are enough clouds floating around today to make it interesting. Sunset is scheduled for 7:32 PM. It will be warm and breezy, and the water is still good for swimming if you’re feeling so inclined.
Be good, be kind, be love. ♥ And hey, Walktober is coming up in about 4 weeks! I’ll sit down with the calendar and come up with the dates for you soon.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,136) Slightly cooler nights and early morning fog in the meadows. 1,137) Watching a garden spider spin her web just outside the kitchen window. 1,138) Interesting essays about language and our use of it. I have always loved words and the latest issue of Emergence Magazine is all about language. 1,139) Interesting conversations with my yoga teacher about words, language, cultural appropriation, and all sorts of other things. 1,140) First-day-of-school photos of my grandchildren. Even the Little Wookie posed for one this year. Today was his first day at preschool. He looked adorable. (He always looks adorable to me, but looked especially so this morning in the picture his father sent to me.)