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Archive for the ‘into the woods’ Category

(Dulce, with some apologies to John Rutter)

There has been cleaning and packing and painting
Dust and fur tumbleweeds vacuumed away
Momma has wrestled a piece of the forest
Into the parlor and now decorates.

emberinvestigates-undecoratedtree

Gloria! Gloria!
Who is this person?
Gloria! Gloria!
What’s with this tree?
Gloria! Gloria!
This is quite confusing
There’s all this fuss, but it’s not about me.xmastree2016-decorated

I like the smell of this piece of the forest
I like the taste of the fruitcake and cheese
I like the people who offer to scritch me
They all seem tame and seem eager to please.ember-expects-xmasdinner2016

Gloria! Gloria!
Why inflate this mattress?
Gloria! Gloria!
It’s in my way!
Gloria! Gloria!
Out of Momma’s office!
Go sing more songs about babies in hay.

After the fussing, the feasting, and singing
After the guests have fin’lly gone away
Momma and Other Mom sit sipping eggnog
Smiling at sparklies and watching me play.

ember-upsidedown-redcouch

Gloria! Gloria!
Eggnog and day old!
Maybe that isn’t quite
What all they say?
Gloria! Gloria!
Someone was born!
Gloria! Gloria!
I can sleep near Momma
The house is quiet
And Momma is warm.

ember-arm-zzz

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We were walking in the woods yesterday, along an old rail-line that echos the banks of a local reservoir and park.  There were some art installations on display, but the real show was the back-lit splendor of the beechwoods.

beechwoodsblazing

As we walked along, bittersweet breezes sent leaves skirlling downward.  I caught an oak leaf and stuck it in my hat.  I caught an ash seed and made my own little tableau…

yellowredleaves-ashseed

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Frohliche-Weihnachten-Card-Tree-Star

Granted, this was sent in 1910, so there have been quite a few intervening seasons since this image was first [literally] posted, but this is one tree that Ember cannot climb!

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HouseNestledInTheRocksRemarkably copter-free, too!

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PrimeHookNWR-waterclouds 001Cool breezes off the water, egrets foraging and roosting, and most of the humans are still crowding the other sections of the sandbar.  A short hike at the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge was just what we needed yesterday! [Well, that and getting fresh peaches, and looking at Victorian architecture, and that salsa-free guacamole at Agave Tequila Bar and Restaurant, and…]

PrimeHookNWR-DikeTrailOutbound 002

At the end of the Dike Trail, a few people seemed to be fishing, or at least scooping things out with nets, and nearby one of the boats shifting sand for the Marsh Restoration project was operating.

Anyone want to confirm the bird here as either a Least Bittern or a Kingfisher?  The former is predictable for the area, but the latter is what it looked like to us.

PrimeHookNWR-BitternOrKingfisher 003Egrets, we had a few….

PrimeHookNWR-MarshEgrets 004There were at least four species of butterflies [monarch, pipevine and black swallowtails, buckeyes], and plenty of dragonflies [including a lovely big bronze one with saddlebags], but I only got this shot of a big green dragonfly for my efforts…

PrimeHookNWR-GreenDragonfly 005

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Well, there are all kinds of signs to wonder about…some less subtle than others:    There are signs of renewal, like the blooming iris, the rescued redcurrant bush bearing fruit, or the black swallowtail butterfly I saw depositing eggs on the fennel this afternoon.  There are signs of increasing biodiversity in the meadow — yesterday I saw a small metallic blue sweat bee [I think] that I know I haven’t seen here before.

Copterific

There are signs of social contracts that can’t be described as “unraveling” because they were never really knit together in the first place.  I mentioned to a friend recently that the troubling thing about my relationship with those circling copters I used to complain about [and still do, but not so much in blog postings] is that I can afford to consider them inconveniences — even with a long gardening blade in my hand, I’m….uninteresting.

There are signs that cycles of beauty will continue: the garden view shifts from tulips to lilacs to peonies.  The fringetrees and viburnums scent the air.  The ninebark has once again turned into a giant pink octopus! It’s mad, it’s gay, it’s wonderful, etc..

FiddleheadsNatArboretumThere are milestones small and great, such as “1st day the kitten eats dry food voluntarily” or “20 years since my last bad breakup” or “15 years with my wife”.  I could go back a bit further, and count the years since I watched Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and sensed my relationship at that time was not going to work… [Did I have the words back then to say “Um, I think we both really focused on Kathleen Turner in Act I more than the plot really required…”?  No.  And besides, that’s sort of what the role of Cat is all about, isn’t it?]

From signs to symbols then: a carefully-folded flag handed to a grieving widow, a silver cup given to honor how quickly a horse can run in the mud, an expensive block of stone engraved with election promises that need not be kept.  Those are little snapshots of, oh wait, I’ve forgotten the term…metonymy?

Here, look at this bonsai.  I’m sure it stands for something.   NatArboBonsai Persistence, probably.  Better than ‘conquering’ in the long run, anyhow.

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Perhaps Outstanding can help us with the ID — during that ridiculously balmy New England weekend we just had, I spotted this little drama happening on an unfurling fiddlehead:

SG-Mantis-NH

Bonus:  Somethings there are that do not love walls:

Fiddleheads-vs-Rock-Wall

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