Tag Archives: wildlife

when the gusts pick up

lean in i say lean in and savor it
not that he’s asking for advice
but this is what i offer
in the strawberry patch
regarding his current matters of the heart
_______
how are you with bird sounds
i ask and ask around again 
while we dig up strawberries for runners and while we crunch on crackers and carrot dip
so i can know the name of the bird
whose sound keeps captivating me
(later, after mica searches ‘magical sound’ and ‘forest bird’ she finds it: the wood thrush
and when i look it up in the bird book
i’m punched a little by the phrase declining in numbers in recent years)
_______
the wind shaking juniper berries out of the cedar tree
and the tray of ground cherry halves i guard
when the gusts pick up
so the detritus doesn’t land
on the sliced open fruits
laid out across the dehydrator trays
_______
the green smily face in the middle of the cross section
of the ginormous cherry tomato i just cut in half and when i see it
i cannot help but laugh
outloud
_______
emory tossing each clean item of his laundry (tshirts and shorts mostly)
just plucked from the line
onto the porch floor – which is a notoriously dusty surface
to fold them
_______
emory, eric and in
seated around the computer screen in the office laughing
at the beginnings of home alone 
which, turns out, is surprisingly more engaging
than i had anticipated
_______
how the moon
not yet full, but getting there
sends light through the trees so that i don’t need
do flick on the headlamp
on my way down the footpath
behind the priv
along the mushroom logs
to sugar shack

_______
from the water world:

People sit in water and play mahjong at a water park on a hot day in Chongqing, China. – voice of america , day in photos

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the only detail that needs to be written

the only detail that needs to be written today is this:
i sleep in a loft and there are two long skinny windows up there – one at my head and one alongside me.
this morning, i woke up to catch the copper-orange sun glow in the sky, mottled by the woods i live tucked in, but still some of that redorange light meeting my greenbluebrown eyes.
i was super sleepy and heavy lidded and in this glimpse, i also saw what looked like a bat – perhaps the one that sleeps everyday on the exterior side of the wall that i sleep on the interior side of
so i laid my head down again before i turned over and propped myself, resisting with a ferociousness the heavy sleep wanting to roll back in, on elbows to just watch (one of my most favorite activities of all time – just watching, especially in a more wild setting)
another sight of a bat flitting by but then
(here is the magic) one small owl landing on the young maple trunk that leans more horizontal than vertical
gray in color and when i say small i mean about 8 or so inches tall
and then another swoops in and they do their funny head dance and for a while it is just them on that trunk probably not more than 20 feet from me
and then i notice a third on that very same trunk
and then one by one they swoop off to other branches and limbs where i can still watch them until they each swoop off yet again and this
is the world saying good morning
to me

_______
another detail (can’t resist)
wherein the phrase comes into my head
that goes you
have so much
to look forward to

_______
and a third, irresistable detail:
moonstar the cat
(who i must carry to my room
if we have a sleepover
because there’s a certain point where she seems to get too scared to follow me
through the dog terrain)
meowing at my window tonight
and how i can’t stop telling her
how brave she was
_______
ok, and a fifth:
the owl calls and hoots and shriek
10pm (barred owls, eastern screech)
going off overhead
and i feel like i am in a treehouse
sleeping with them
and in a sense, i kindof am

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this wildness

the white ones eric says in the small sea of dark purple-pink light pink and white cosmos
smell like george michael
which i find fucking hilarious because
none of us know what george michael smells like
but in a weird way, i sortof get it
not that i necessarily agree
_______
a burst of sun and then the relief when it grays over again
while the crew of us
(baigz, trish, kris, eric, ryan and me)
tug away at weeds that i resent
for being allowed to become this wildness
_______
how i curse the hornworm damage
or is it blister beetle
(dififcult to tell – perhaps both)
in the tomatoes and ask them
to please take only what they need
and save the rest kindly for us
_______
the small graybrown snake
squiggling itself across the wooded path
past the mushroom yard
towards cool ranch
and then, a good look at the groundhog
that sometimes pops out from under cool ranch
whose fur is much whiter/grayer
than i remember
_______
the double-wow of the two heaping apple pies
that eric produces from the oven
left to cool in their glass pans on wire racks whie we all play a round of affirmation
_______
we can’t talk eric says to kris and i
until we see a cow
as we walk the gravel back road
on kris’s last night
two of us wearing shoes
and one (kris) not
and at first we are reverent
but then, we are moonwalking and
gesturing and laughing
on our way
_______
since we have such good tea parties
we could be called menage a tea
eric says in the candlelit sangha
after the second bell has rung
_______

the velvet royal sky
dusted with star sparks and then the moon
waxing, but not far along from new
turning sepia/gold
slowly as it lowers
_______
from the water world:

Commuters cross a flooded street on a wooden plank after heavy rains from tropical storm “Nesat” inundated some parts of metropolitan Manila, Philippines. – voice of america, day in photos

A bonnet macaque drinks water offered by a devotee during the Hindu festival of Nag Panchami, which is celebrated by worshipping snakes to honor the serpent god, inside a temple on the outskirts of Bengaluru, India. – voice of america, day in photos

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into early light

in the dream, i spotted a bobcat
only the bobcat was missing the telltale ear sticky uppy hairs
but clearly, the cat was still a bobcat
and the land was somewhere i’ve never been
and perhaps more new mexico than missouri
and we stayed kind to each other
and perhaps curious
_______
pedaling into early light
(6:50am) on the gravel
a hoe for the sorghum fields poking out of my pannier
_______
on a blanket
under the cedar tree
some of us stage the onions and some of us select as we go
using twine and some knots and our concentration
baigz, eric, trish and i
(with an emory peanut gallery and sometimes jack too)
braid the onion harvest
to be hung to dry
_______
mama cat in all her calico-ness
(or is it tortoise-shell-ness)
climbing the six-foot sunflower
like a ladder and the resulting rustle
of the rough branches and leaves
_______
a day so hot (and it’s going to get hotter)
That two of the cats that like to fight
are lying feet from each otehr
without saying a word
(minus one half-hearted hiss)
_______
next thing you know, i’ll just be wearing a black censored strip (like in a photo where  some publicly unmentionable part of someone’s body is exposed in public)
i joke at the butcher block when cynthia says
you can tell it’s getting hotter by the shrinking of frankie’s clothes
_______
be brave and lead with your big heart i write
to a sister heading south

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all orange

the second tomatoe harvest
cradled in my palm:
all orange
_______
a bit warm for a run i say
as i run past the white-cut-off-tee’d and blue-jeaned farmer man
who’s walkign down the gravel road between trucks,
a road that, in my four years of running here, i’ve never encountered another human pedestrian
_______

the smallest of pink petals on the tiniiest zinnia (thumbelina variety)
blooming by my front porch
how it feels like the flower is saying hi
so i say hi back
_______

a serious-looking wasp-ish creature
the likes of which i’ve not seen before:
bright yellow antennae,
black tail about five inches long
and from where i sit on the saw horses
with moonstar in my lap
i see one mounted on another and then a third joins in
_______
the oncoming slow burn
which has me recognizing the blister beetle blister by feel
before i confirm it by sight
received most likely by being on my knees in the tomato beds
_______
just as i head out for a back-way walk
through the neighbor’s treeline i catch a view
of the radiant orange-pink
of the great sun-star
skinking into horizon
from the water world:

Participants cheer on a portable shrine carried by others as they parade through the sea during a purification rite at the annual Hamaori Festival at Southern beach in Chigasaki, west of Tokyo. – voice of america, day in photos

Izabayo, 13 years old, leaves the boat where he spent the night with 10 other fishermen after another fishing night at Lake Kivu. – voice of america, day in photos

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against the almost-iridescent

a word for the very specific satisfaction
that comes from crossing things off a to-do list
especially when using a broad and bright marker
to do so
_______
(detail from a pervious day, but remembered now, thus written now):
it might have been a fox someone says
about the death of seven chickens while i was away
_______
the mellow and bright yellow of snapdragons against the pink-lemonade pink of the other snapdragons against hte deep fuschia and white and pink raspberry combo of cosmos against the almost iridescent pink-orange thumbelina zinnia petals agains the shiny crisp white and marron of the strawflowers
all tucked into a small queenline jar
that i fill with water
_______
at night among the insect chorus i hear a splooosh
of some creature landing in the pond
which is not so close which means it must have been a big creature (super huge bullfrog?) making a big sploosh

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into a sky of lightning

up until this moment
i have never seen a bat yawn
but because there’s this one that sleeps
on my exterior wall under a window pane
and because i couldn’t help but move the hinged-down window just the slightest
to make sure the creature was still alive
the winged wonder awoke and resettled themself (i’m pretty sure ‘themself’ is not a word, but i really do want to stop calling living creatures and elements ‘it’)
yawning once, twice, then a third
exposing the tiniest and very sharpest looking fangs i may have ever seen
_______
the bowl of sweet bing cherries (black)
that i set on the table for lunch
and how i like thinking about how two days ago
i was plucking them from branches in the foothills of the coast range
wind in my hair
and how they traveled through time zones with me
(tucked in my pack as we rode north towards portland, and then as we took off and landed in portland than chicago, and then as i rumbled along on the el and on a bus through the rain and then
as i sidewalked in the drizzles and then as i hurriedly made my way to the brown line
and rocked to its rolling and then walked with the rushed throngs downtown to union station and then
settled myself into a window seat on the amtrak which eventually took us into a sky of lightning and then
tossed in the back seat of the cab of a white toyota that cynthia drove along the curves of county highways and back up the gravel driveway that i left out of two weeks ago)
_______
the unbelievable amount of minutes/hours it takes
to weave tomato branches into trellising and to weave trellising from post to post and to try so hard not to snap a branch but to hiss a curse everytime i do
_______
the new layers added
to the already mighty night chorus:
the long hurts-your-ears high pitch of what i think is called a prairie katydid,
the one off buzzy vibration of what might be grasshoppers,
and the once and a while cicada song

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