A few days ago I had the kind of day you wouldn’t buy if it was discounted twice and came with a free pony and a pint of ice cream.
It was not pretty.
But I was lucky. That day – like most – had a little redemption baked in.
After having that day, I came home and stepped out onto the deck behind the house. The evening air was still. I was greeted by a patrolling dragonfly, who buzzed around and then lit on my shirt sleeve. The first time, she surprised me and I startled and she buzzed a few feet away.
But she came back. The second time she landed, just below my shoulder, we shared a look at each other; her large, green, all-seeing eyes met my confused human ones. She cocked her head, made her point, then lifted off, and moved on. I felt the whole world shift.
She seemed to release the loveliness in the evening.
After our moment, I was awake to the butterflies on the slope and the three hummingbird zipping in and out of view around my feeder, the cool evening air, the soft rumble of the cat at my feet.
It’s not every day a tiny spot-winged dragon tugs on your sleeve to remind you that there is beauty all around.
Readers, I hope your hard days are few, and do have moments of redemption. Be well and safe, I am grateful you are here.
It is no secret that I share my everydays with a crew of fur-folk and that they are a source of endless entertainment.
This evening Chiquita found her source of entertainment in one of the six or eight toy balls floating about the living room.
That she is not just perfectly content, but completely enthralled with rolling on, mouthing, and wiggling around with this toy that she has played with countless times before is adorable. That she thinks I should be similarly entertained and keeps bringing me the ball, too, is hilarious. When I toss it for her, she is overjoyed.
I could probably do worse than to follow her rules: play with what you find, ask the human for help, be joyful in the moment. Have a nibble, take a nap, do it again.
Readers, I hope a little joy creeps, or wiggles, into your days. Be well and safe – I am grateful you are here.
After several weeks of hot, wet weather, we had a cooler afternoon to go walkabout. I wandered my customary haunts up the hill and found the stands of oddball yellow asteracea that I had the devil of a time keying out. After cycling through several possible names, I finally landed on large flowered leafcup, Polymnia uvedalia. One of its other names is bear’s foot, I would imagine for the out-sized leaves. However we call them, they are blooming and attracting a whole host of followers.
Like this little native bee:
And a tiny dark skipper (possibly a Dun Skipper, they are notoriously difficult to ID):
The final visitor, too far away to photograph, was a well-worn female black swallowtail, blue skirts flashing. Her hindwings were still showy, but the forewings were tattered and almost see-through. It is amazing how something so delicate can be battered and still flit from flower to flower and then lift off into the woods.
It certainly makes me stop and think about the whinging I’m willing to do on occasion. What can there be to whine about when there are still butterflies and flowers to learn from?
Readers, I hope the season brings treasures where you are, too. The comments are always open, they are moderated and I read every one. Be safe and well, I am grateful you are here.
I am in a holding pattern right now. That term came from aviation, meaning the repetitive flight path of an airplane staying in the same airspace while waiting to land. It is taken to mean a waiting time, going in circles while not really going anywhere.
I think there can be a different meaning. Holding the pattern can also mean getting into a routine and jiving with it. Waking up at the same time, the same coffee in the cup, the same chores every day, the same drive to work. When I’m lucky – It’s a groove not a rut. Holding the pattern leaves some thought-space for other things, the creative spark has a little tinder, a few dry thoughts tucked under the branch of familiarity, ready to burst into flame.
Suddenly, what was routine becomes the soil for creativity and being in a consistent pattern means time at the end of the day to capture the spark.
Having some space inside that routine, the spark will catch. You never know what’s hiding behind familiar moment, suddenly new.
Now that summer has taken over the weather, we’ve had another kind of take over on the deck behind the house. As it does every year, bindweed has erupted up from underneath the slats and across the decking. It is a vigorous vine, fast growing, abundantly green, and – as I will ruefully admit – beautiful in bloom.
Bindweed is also called morning glory for a reason.When the blooms are in their prime, they open every morning and close gradually during the day.
If I go out early enough, this is what I see:
And in the evening, they close into fluted trumpets, curled at the ends, like babies’ fists.
Perhaps it is part of their evolutionary strategy that somewhat noxious weeds are far too pretty to remove without regret. The human puts up with having to step over vines to step out the door because destroying beauty to avoid a small inconvenience is beyond what is bearable to do.
A longer stride is a small price to pay for a little extra beauty in the world.
Readers, I wish you that extra bit that keeps you going. I hope you are keeping safe and well and I am grateful you are here.
The last few days have been special here around Heresaquarter because, along with July heat and some pop-up storms, butterflies have arrived. After weeks of wondering where all the large butterflies were, I have seen five species in just a few days, most of them right behind my house.
It is lovely to see fritillaries, monarchs, and swallowtails flying again. In the heat and a dry wind, they often move too fast for me to photograph. I have managed a few lucky snaps, like this one, showing the brilliantly patterned underwings of a fresh Black Swallowtail.
Less difficult to photograph, a delicate Queen Anne’s lace presented this sweet umbrella, fresh and white. If you look carefully, you will see this throne is not unoccupied. Like nearly all QAL I have photographed, there is a tiny crab spider hiding among the flowers.
Nature never disappoints.
Readers, I hope there are hidden wonders in your world. If you haven’t found the spider – look at “9 o’clock” . I hope you are well and safe – I am grateful you are here.
This has been a taxing day, in multiple ways. It felt like grace was hard to come by.
I was gifted an overabundance: Too many Zooms (4) over too many hours (also 4). Too many outside appointments (3) requiring driving too many miles (36 mi). Too many tasks (5) over too few hours (2). Too many emails (14) to respond to, dealing with kind people (6) and annoyed people (7), some of which were the same people (2). And I still have to finish my taxes (WAY too many numbers). I actually love numbers and I’ve about had it with the numbers. It feels like the number of the beast will be next.
At least the actual beasts who live in my house (4) are happy enough to share it with me. At the moment the two dogs are sleeping in their usual stacked position next to me, the younger cat is washing his face in the window seat, and the older one is lounging on his favorite blanket. I am content to breathe a minute before I go back to wrestling with tax software and fencing-by-email.
People are doing the best they can, including me. The taxes I am asked to pay will go at least in part to make sure some number of my fellow persons are housed, and fed and safe. That’s grace enough for this moment.
Readers, I hope there were grace notes in your day. Be safe and well, I am grateful you are here.
Do you have those days when you aren’t sure what you‘re looking for and you look around for a lens that might help you find it? For me, that lens is often a quote, usually found by chance in some random corner of the internet or in something I’m reading.
Today I was in a wishing mood, the kind of wishing that involves alternate realities that aren’t this one. It’s easy to do, there are any number of aspects of the Here-Now that are a degree or two (or thirty) off of perfect. And then, I came across this:
You’re wishin’ too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Well, that yanked the chain a bit.
The quote was a reminder that if I intend for things to be different, it’s time to stop wishing and start doing.
Like this tiny Sachem Skipper, time to brave the porcupine, find a flower, fly.
This is the first Sachem I’ve found this year, as the teasel have come into full bloom. Now that I’m finally looking in the right places, perhaps other treasures are next.
Readers, I hope there are treasures in your days. Stay well and safe, I am grateful you are here. Your thoughts are always welcome – they are moderated, and I do read them all!