It was this kind of a day…
Except for mesh-top athletic shoes, I’d bundled up warm under a green umbrella. The cold front’s wind had passed earlier, but drizzle and low temperatures remained.
It didn’t seem like a very promising afternoon for a walk. I turned back just after leaving the house to grab an umbrella. But it never rained. In fact, the gray clouds lightened and lifted, and the sun almost broke through by the time I reached the lake. No one else was at the boat ramp, so I found a sizable rock to sit on and silently fell in with the scene.
“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
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.
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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