Category Archives: Nature

Beauty and Vision

Pink lilies, green backgroundInner vision takes such priority in my life that I willingly sacrifice outer vision for it. Or I would. Who can say why my eyesight deteriorated so much between my last two eye exams? Too much time at the computer? My optometrist was surprised and concerned when he took measurements a few weeks ago. “You’re borderline for driving now,” he said, “even with your glasses on.” “Oh! Is it okay for me to drive home?” I asked. He sort of winced.

Continue reading

Rain Rain Rain

Drowned DaisiesLike Fair Ophelia, the daisies are drowning.  Daisies! —the very symbol of freshness and life. Recent rains here transformed a patch of daisies into something more like a lily pond. The daisies are valiantly trying to survive—some managing to hold their heads above water; others standing no chance at all. In the nearby lake as the waters rise, fish are investigating newly expanded territories… splash, splash! … and herons are investigating the fish. Question… 

Continue reading

The Evening Tree

Sunset through trees

Winter, evening—same thing, that late phase of life. It’s a good time and I’m in it.  I walk outdoors often, listening outward and inward. Sometimes a poem comes.


I’d stopped by the evening tree
(or else was stopped below it)
when there arose in me
this deep-felt certainty:
It’s one thing to be free,
but a better thing to know it.

Continue reading

Seasonal Variations

Wooden bridge planks

It’s three weeks into official winter and we’ve experienced highly fluctuating weather here in Arkansas. An early snow-and-ice storm blew through in early December. Another arrived in early January, dropping the overnight temperature to -12 degrees. Directly after that, a warm rain washed away the icy remnants and sunned the landscape with afternoon temperatures approaching the 60’s. Today’s wind—thankfully from the south—continues the recent refreshing blow-dry.

Continue reading

A Hickory Creek Hike

Hickory Creek scene

AcornsOn this windy but mellow afternoon, I walked the extra distance to Hickory Creek Park and was rewarded with beautiful scenes and intriguing finds. For example, a certain type of tree caught my eye because it had retained most of its blade-shaped leaves, which were still green shifting to yellow. Upon investigation, I found a profusion of large, unusually-capped acorns on the ground beneath the tree. Many had fallen to some nearby pavement or among the rocks and gravel that edge it.

Continue reading

Speaking of Poetry

Buzzards and Poems

Turkey Vulture Can you believe it? I was just asked to make a presentation on these joint topics to the Arkansas Audubon Society. Their upcoming convention. will be September 27-28 in Harrison AR.

I am beside myself with wonder. Which causes me to wonder if Lynn Sciumbato, the local vulture expert will be there. I also hope I’ll be able to locate the extensive vulture research I once did. Otherwise, I’ll start from scratch. 

The correct term for what most Americans call “buzzard” is actually “vulture.” So I’m counting on the Audubon audience to be indulgent with my use of the incorrect common name. The word “buzzard” actually refers to a type of hawk. Scientists and Europeans are sticklers for this distinction.

This invitation to speak didn’t come completely out of the blue …  sky … like a buzzard. One morning I saw a glimpse of a bird that I couldn’t quite identify; it was large and dark with white wing-tips. So I looked up the Arkansas Audubon Society on Facebook and asked questions. A long discussion followed. In it, I mentioned my love of buzzards and the related poetry. And now … voila! A chance to share.

Let’s see. I’ll dredge up a buzzard poem for you …


Every day, a buzzard
comes into my view—
flying solo overhead
or swooping down, quite low,
or stationed in some untoward place.
It seems to say, “Hey, you!”

There’s nothing that I dread
or worry I should know.
I simply view it as a grace
and I reply, “Hey!” too.

Turkey Vulture

My affinity for buzzards grew out of several moving and meaningful encounters.  Maybe you know of a group that’s hot to hear these stories in a presentation on “Buzzards and Poetry”? Not likely, I know, but I’m ready when the group is.  ♥ ~Jo

* * *

Photo Credits: Images cropped from a couple of my recent snapshots.