Category Nature

A Poetic Interlude

January 8, 2013 NaturePoetry  8 comments

I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to write about, and a poem came to mind, so I decided to do that, instead.

This is a poem that I think of in winter, always, I’m not sure why.  Wendell Berry is a definitively Kentucky writer, one I saw speak a few years ago.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

– Wendell Berr...

Read More

The Great Squirrel Adventure

December 19, 2012 Natureslave drewVanilla Life  18 comments

Yesterday was an interesting day.  In addition to my Santa run, it was also the Great Squirrel Adventure.

About 9am I heard SOMETHING in the garage.  A big thunk.  An alarmingly big thunk.

I went and looked, but saw nothing.

Ten or 15 minutes later, there was another.  Not as big, but still…

slave drew was out and about, but I called him.

He came home, looked around, saw nothing, and headed out to do his errands again.

About 20 minutes later, I start hearing something.  In the fireplace itself.  Not the chimney, the fireplace.

I texted drew this time.

“There is absolutely something in the fireplace.”

“I can hear it moving.”

“Where?”

“In the fireplace of just up the chimney.”

“I can hear it clearly.”

“VERY clearly.”

“Seriously clearly.”

“Right there.”

“On my way.”

While I was waiting,...

Read More

Home Again

November 11, 2012 Natureslave drewTravelsVanilla Life  8 comments

I never type that without hearing the kid’s rhyme, “Home again, home again, higgelty pig.”

My ex, Beth, and I used to disagree over the wording, she’d learned it as “diggity dog,” but it was clearly “higgelty pig.”

It was not as pretty a drive back as it was down, though it wasn’t bad.  It was very windy for the first 60 miles or so, or about the first third of it.

The leaves were whipping around the highway, that last sort of rattle of Autumn saying, “No, really, I’m serious, he’s RIGHT behind me.”

It was still warm, but it didn’t look so much like fall anymore, it looked a lot more like winter.

About 30 miles from drew’s house, I saw a bald eagle snag a bird in mid-air about 20 feet in front of me.

It was certainly swooping low enough to clearly see it wasn’t a hawk...

Read More

Fireflies

June 6, 2012 Natureslave drewTravels  3 comments

Those of you who might know slave drew might recognize that it’s nearly impossible to spend time with him without learning a fair amount about birds, animals, national parks, and the life of a whale.  It’s his thing.

I often think, though, that I’d MUCH prefer that, if he’s going to memorize facts, they are facts about nature or animals.  If he memorized facts about NASCAR or pro football, I might have to smack him.  In a bad way.

So, we were in Florida in April and I routed us through a different course on the way home. Normally we’d have caught I65 at Nashville and taken it all the way back to Louisville, but we both dislike the truck traffic, so we cut through the middle of Tennessee and caught 65 north of Bowling Green.

Neither of us had ever gone that route before, and it was reall...

Read More

I Fought the Weeds…

June 6, 2012 GardenNature  No comments

…and the weeds won.

Well, not really. I’d call it a standoff.

(This is, btw, another repost, originally written 05/07/2009.)

I spent a couple hours this afternoon in the garden again, attested to by a stiff back. The aspirin should kick in soon, and I feel certain I’ll be able to straighten up again before dinner.

I don’t really mind the aching back, though, not really. Most things that are worthwhile require work and work often means a bit of pain. I don’t relish it, but it’s nothing I spend time worrying about, either. Part of how you know you’re alive, I think.

I also think it does a soul good to need a bath, to be dirty, not just sweaty or need my hair washed, but to have the water run brown off of my feet an arms as the smeared mud washes away...

Read More

Waiting

May 31, 2012 GardenNature  No comments

Waiting by John Burroughs

Serene I fold my arms and wait,
Nor care for wind, or tide, or sea:
I rave no more ‘gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it has sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own, and draw
The brook that springs in yonder height;
So flow the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delight.

The floweret nodding in the wind
Is ready plighted to the bee;
And, maiden, why that look unk...

Read More

After the Deluge

May 30, 2012 GardenNature  No comments

We had a lot of rain early this morning, enough that yards were flooded, even mine, which is uncommon.  Lights were down all over the city, most of them working but on a blinking red light.

Tonight the frogs are just singing their little amphibious hearts out.  I can hear them where I sit, with no window open, the tv on, and a window unit A/C running not six feet from me.  It’s amazing that something so small I haven’t even seen them yet this year can be that loud.

A few years ago we had cicadas.  They were one of the 17-year varieties, and it was a BIG crop of them.  They were everywhere in the entire region.

The zoo keepers in Cincinnati couldn’t get the animals to do tricks for their shows because they animals didn’t care about the treats anymore, there were little cicada treats ev...

Read More