When you blink your eyes, you never know what you’ll see next. I can attest. Once I was with friends, driving to see the spring jonquils at Wye Mountain. Margery was the driver and I sat beside her in the front seat. The whole group of us had stayed up late the night before, visiting, and I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open. In fact, I let my eyelids fall… and close… for a second… or two. When I opened them, the road had shifted—astounding!—and we were driving down the wrong side of it! Margery’s eyes had closed in tandem with mine; we had both blinked. And the world could have changed much more dramatically than it did. I’ve told you that story as a lead-in to sharing what just happened at the local boat ramp. Don’t worry, nobody got hurt..
Like 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…
Winter has finally been put to flight here in Arkansas. And it’s about time; that frigid season’s departure is long overdue. Where are the crocuses this year, still waiting? Heavens, it’s mid-March… St. Patrick’s Day usually does more wearing of the green!
Hickory Creek is a quiet place. Our doings don’t get much notice, except for an occasional drowning or meth lab bust. So I doubt this week’s rail car rescue made the news, except among neighbors and the contractors involved.
On 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.
I put my mother to work again, meaning the doll that my niece Valerie made for me. Once again, she manned a small poems-for-sale booth (designed to resemble Lucy’s in the Peanuts cartoon strip). This time the booth related to an Arkansas Authors event at the Springdale Public Library.
For several hours Saturday afternoon, I promoted my writing and my poetry group, Poets Northwest. About 40 authors participated, each with table display space. It was my pleasure to share “fortune cookie” poems with visitors and fellow authors. A poem overture is a good icebreaker to further conversation.
“Fabulous! What a great audience!” That’s what I said when Ethan asked about my “Buzzards and Poems” talk at the Arkansas Audubon Society’s fall conference Friday night.
Starting with the two-hour drive from Springdale to Harrison, everything went beautifully. The Arkansas countryside was picture-perfect. Although I didn’t snap any photos myself, I saw rolling hills, farmland, chicken houses, barns, and roadside attractions. Most memorable signage was for an eatery called “Hog Trough BBQ.” Continue reading
September has been extra-green for extra-long this year. That may explain why I was stopped in my tracks by a lone red leaf on the asphalt tonight. Continue reading
Buzzards and Poems
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.
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
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Photo Credits: Images cropped from a couple of my recent snapshots.
Amazingly, thankfully, the verdure brought by early August rains still graces the scenery of my daily walks. The woods remain extra-green and neighbors’ flower plantings are full and lush.
Mushrooms continue to appear, puff up, brown, and die away. Some varieties are especially beautiful; this globe-shaped one is reminiscent of an anemone on a sea-floor.
The sudden appearance of seedlings and mushrooms can be explained. But the alligator intrusion is still a mystery …
The only known fact about the gator’s arrival is that it materialized on the asphalt by our mailbox one morning. I had no idea what to do with it. Eventually, I decided to move it to the top of the mailbox, partly to witness Ethan’s reaction when he gathered in the noon mail. His reaction, if any, was imperceptible—probably because so many strange events occur in our lives anyway.
Strange or not, I addressed the alligator in a poem.
I found a gator in the road
lounging smugger than a toad.
When I looked into his eyes,
I saw that he was rubberized.
“Gator, are you someone’s toy?
Are you best friends with a boy?”
(Might as well talk to a tree;
Gator only grinned at me.)
One of the prettiest sights recently is this view of vines at a retaining wall railing.
Opposite the railing and slanting down the hill slope is the view that appears at the top of today’s blog post. I feel very fortunate to live near such beauty and to be fit enough for daily excursions.
Every place has its own beauty … how is it where you live?
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