Inner 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.
So does he. I take this to be a bull, anyway, grazing at some distance from the cows in the background. This charming scene was one of many I encountered on my walk this morning. And that walk may have been the longest I’ve ever made from my home here in Lowell.
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!
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.
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.
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
Today, September 20, is my mother’s birthday. My Dad and most of his children gathered at Mother’s gravesite tonight, and it was a beautiful time. We siblings put out a big basket of silk flowers and—since we had a notion it might be carried off, as sometimes happens—we put a weatherproofed note deep within the bouquet. It said:
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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Rain and More Rain
Rain repeatedly overflowed my flower pots these last few days. One night’s accumulation was over five inches. An ice chest beside the deck has completely filled too. What a lush and beautiful Arkansas August we are having!
My daily walks lapsed this week, due partly to the thunderstorms, drizzles, and downpours. This morning was different though, because I headed out with umbrella and camera … to see what Nature was newly up to.
Buzzards in Snags
Along the route to the lake, I encountered storm debris, burgeoning weeds, deer, and buzzards. Also, a man appeared, walking out of the bushes and waving arms overhead as if to signal for help. Turns out, he was just doing arm exercises with weights. We teamed up for part of our walk and had a good conversation. He walks almost daily too, mostly on the lake shore instead of the lake road. He was very knowledgeable about habitat and critters, and I liked that.
In the grass alongside the white-edged asphalt, I caught the impression of a large feather that turned out to be fast-food packaging. I laughed to think how bird- and buzzard-oriented I’ve become. Then, wow, about two feet further ahead there was a buzzard feather. I don’t normally rearrange found objects—though that would be an art option for the future—but, in this case, I did bring the two “feathers” together for one vignette.
More Rain Effects
At another location, crabgrass was encroaching on the asphalt. Arkansas is beginning to morph into jungle.
Rainstorm results also prompted the poem below:
SPRINGING A SURPRISE
who do you think had the brass
to lay green summer eggs
in green summer grass?
The Easter Funny? It could be.
Or—perhaps?—the Hickory Tree.
Rain is predicted for the next two or three days … I haven’t investigated beyond that. And, of course, there is major flooding nationwide. This will certainly be a summer to remember. ~ ♥Jo
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