Posted in Beginnings, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Winter

Moving right along with time

When the moon sang to the clouds.

What year is it in your imagination?

~ Lynda Barry

I looked over at my neighbor, the song sparrow, and thought about how just a few years ago, I wouldn’t have known its name, might not have even known it was a sparrow, might not have even seen it at all. How lonely that world seemed in comparison to this one! But the sparrow and I were no longer strangers. It was no stretch of the imagination, nor even of science, to think that we were related. We were both from the same place (Earth), made of the same stuff. And most important, we were both alive.

~ Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing

Sitting under the table on the back deck. I think this is a Myrtle Warbler.

This morning there was a large flock of Myrtle Warblers visiting the juniper at the front of the house.  Blue Jays, Eastern Bluebirds, and some kind of woodpecker (I wasn’t able to get a good look at him or her) joined them.  On the lawn was a small group of Northern Flickers.  Did you know one of the names for a group of flickers is a menorah?  This is the time of year we usually see the flickers gathered on the lawn.  In summer they are more elusive.

Warblers are said to symbolize the expression of self and ideas, the enjoyment of life, socialization, movement, and expansion.  They are certainly quite active and social birds.  They gather here in our woods during the winter months.  The first time I saw them was on the Life of the Forest Trail at Assateague Island National Seashore.  They were flitting all over the place in the woods and at the edge of the woods.  I’ve since noticed them here in our woods and, like this morning, at the juniper in front of the kitchen window.  When insects are scarce, they eat the fruit (berries) of wax-myrtles (hence, their name and, it should be noted, they are the only birds that eat and can digest the waxy berries from the wax-myrtles), junipers, poison ivy, and Virginia creeper, to name a few.

Not the best of shots but you can see the bird’s yellow rump a little better. Wax-myrtle Warblers are also called Yellow-Rumped Warblers.

A group of warblers is sometimes known as a confusion, and that makes sense to me, too.  The way they flit about so quickly and what looks to be randomly can be confusing to watch.  I think they sometimes confuse themselves.  Two of the warblers from this morning’s group ended up stunned on the back deck, and neither M nor I are quite sure how that happened.  Normally when we see them sitting dazed and confused near the patio doors, we associate it with the loud thump of a bird hitting the window.  During the summer months, when that is more likely to happen, we keep the blinds closed so that the birds don’t think they can fly right through the house (towards the windows at the front).  This has been a successful maneuver.  Once we began doing that, the birds stopped flying into the glass of the patio doors.  Since this has never happened during the winter months, we don’t worry about it so much.

How the two warblers on the deck ended up stunned is a mystery because there was no telltale thump against the glass.  From all appearances, they had been fighting.  Perhaps they knocked heads.  I’m happy to report that after about ten minutes of recovery time, both birds were able to take off in flight again.  Whether or not that means they’ll survive, I don’t know.  I’ve read that even after they appear to recover, they die shortly after they leave due to the head injury.  I hope that’s not the case.

A fun run at the edge of the Future Woods.

Wildlife in the winter months is very visible and active around the ranch.  Our resident red fox has been out and about, sometimes sunning herself at the edge of the Future Woods.  She looks quite happy and healthy so I have to assume the rodent population has provided her with plenty of food.

Sunbathing.

One of the people I follow on Instagram, Susan Loughrin, has a tradition of observing what she calls the #12daysofnatureomens.  Every day, beginning December 26, you step outside and wait to see what shows up.  You can journal about it or take a photo or both.  Each of the days corresponds to the twelve months of the year (December 26, for instance, would correspond with January, December 27 with February, etc.).  So far, I have seen:

  • December 26:  Crow
  • December 27:  Red Fox
  • December 28:  Squirrel
  • December 29:  White-Tailed Deer
  • December 30:  Snow Goose
  • December 31:  Myrtle Warbler
The Twins.

As omens go, this is what those animals symbolize (using Ted Andrews’ book, Animal-Speak):

  • Crow:  The secret magic of creation is calling.
  • Red Fox:  Feminine magic of camouflage, shapeshifting, and invisibility.
  • Squirrel:  Activity and preparedness.
  • Deer:  Gentleness and innocence — gentle luring to new adventure.
  • Snow goose:  The call of the quest and travels to legendary places.
  • Warbler:  Not in the book so I’ll go with what I posted above — the expression of self and ideas, the enjoyment of life, socialization, movement, and expansion.

If this is to be believed, it looks like the first six months of 2020 should be interesting.  Oddly, they somewhat correspond to what you might think would happen during those months.  The magic of the new year and beginnings in January, going inward in what is typically the longest month of winter (February — and yes, I know it’s the shortest month but I also know that for those in the depth of winter, February drags on forever), the busy-ness and activity of the first month of spring (March), April’s invitation to get out more, becoming more outward bound in May, and the socializing and enjoyment of the first month of summer (June).

Mama Deer (formerly known as Little Doe) has, so far, survived hunting season.

Normally my last day of the year post would be a looking back and then looking forward.  I think I’ll just sum up 2019 as a good year, at least on a personal level (meaning that nothing terrible happened in my personal life).  In terms of the politics and current events, peh.  It’s not worth the aggravation of a summary.  That said, I find myself becoming more and more radical with age, tired and angry and sick of the society we’ve created.  I believe if there’s any hope for us at all, everything has to change.  Even our political system — maybe especially our political system.  If nothing else, the election of 2016 showed us the obvious flaws in that.

Yesterday’s sunset.

As for looking forward, although I didn’t settle on one word for the year, I do have an inkling of an idea from the word Rewilding, a word that’s been showing up for me everywhere.  I only recently heard of the word and the concept.  It’s an environmental movement, for one thing, and something M and I have been doing for decades when it comes to allowing nature to pretty much do its thing while also giving us space to walk around on the land that we care for (and that probably owns us more than we will ever own it).  We let as much go wild as we can, mowing as little as possible, and always following the wildlife trails/corridors when we widen paths for us to walk on.

It was so calm and beautiful out at the Point yesterday evening.

Rewilding is defined as a verb meaning 1) To reverse the process of domestication, and 2) To return to a more wild or self-willed state (definition from Rewild.com).  Rewilding “means returning to our senses, returning to ourselves, and coming home to the world we never stopped belonging to”  (also from Rewild.com).  Perhaps it could even come to mean surrendering to the world we never stopped belonging to.

For me, it will be about a deeper exploration of the land and planet I live on in hopes of developing a deeper connection to Mother Earth (and to earth as an element, now that I think about it).

High tide.

I think that’s about it from me for today.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  May the new year bring you much joy, peace, warmth, good health, rest when you need it, and the abundance that comes from love.  May you find time to spend outdoors, enjoying the beauty of nature.

Be good, be kind, be love. ♥

Looking in another direction.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,206)  All of the beings who share this land and earth with us.  1,207)  Having access to a place like the Point where we can go to watch the sunsets or to swim or just to be.  1,208)  Long walks with M.  1,209)  The variety of clouds and colors.  1,210)  Recovering from the Toddler Plague.

One more look before we leave.

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.

20 thoughts on “Moving right along with time

  1. The fox pictures are fabulous. As are those little warblers. I did not know there was a book on the interpretations of what certain animals mean. Not that I didn’t know some were portents. Still, we could all pay a bit more attention to nature, as you do such a good job of doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa. 🙂 Animal-Speak is an interesting book. Ted Andrews also has one titled Nature-Speak which deals with trees and other plants, but somebody dropped the ball editing it. There are mistakes everywhere (mostly typos).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a beautiful post, Robin.
    Lovely images – you are so lucky to have all these in your back yard (so to speak).
    I wish for you and yours a wonderful new year filled with beauty and sunsets and love and good health…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That fox! She does look very healthy. How fortunate you are to be able to see such sights–whether they are omens, or not, I have no idea. But I suppose we can shape things sometimes to fit the omens, too. Beautiful photos and lovely post. Happy New Year to you and your family, Robin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and happy new year to you and your family, Merril! 🙂 I think we can shape things, too. These little exercises are fun (and make me more attentive to what’s around me when I go outside), but I don’t know that they are really omens. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how the year goes. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful year-end post. As to “ That said, I find myself becoming more and more radical with age, tired and angry and sick of the society we’ve created. I believe if there’s any hope for us at all, everything has to change. Even our political system — maybe especially our political system. If nothing else, the election of 2016 showed us the obvious flaws in that.” – my thoughts precisely.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your fox and the birds. The warblers, I’d have taken them for gold finches…though this past summer I saw my first warblers here and they are plumper than finches. I saw eastern bluebirds a couple days ago at Katie’s park! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I was so excited. They were far away, but definitely identifiable. Then we spent New Years night at our neighbor and he said he had seen some in his backyard (which is essentially our backyard too) so I’m even more excited. I usually only see them in winter when the weather is terrible, snowing and very cold, and then they come to our heated birdbaths for a drink. Otherwise they aren’t near the house. Anyway, enjoyed your post!

    Like

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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