Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

After weeks and months of waiting, the green is back.  I may not catch a sunrise for some time because the sun is coming up rather early these days, but it wasn’t far over the horizon when I arrived at the park last week, just high enough to add emphasis.

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The water was still, although the river is still high.  It’s too cold yet for the frogs, so I don’t have to sneak slowly to the edge of the shore, trying to spot them before they leap out into the water.

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These were part of my little perennial garden last summer.  Can’t wait to see if everything comes back this year!

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I love Dr. Suess’ books and his first,”To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street”, is no exception.  The young protagonist of the book dreams about what to tell his father what he saw on his walk, each thought more elaborate than the previous one.  What does he end up telling his father?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

My last walk in the park wasn’t filled with sightings of any mythical or fantastic creatures.  Birds were the only animals I saw and the woodpecker I spotted was too high for my iPhone to capture clearly.  But I did see a few interesting sights.  The first was this abandoned bird’s nest, a very small one, about the size of my cupped hand.

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What I found in this tree was a bit more unusual.  Who knew these things grew literally on trees?  And to think that I saw it in McDowell Forest Preserve.

(At first I thought this was a lid for a travel mug, but it might be the cover for one part of binoculars or a lens cap of some sort that was dropped and someone put it here after finding it)

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Yup, this fellow is definitely awake and ready for action!

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It’s Thursday, April 5, as I write this, over two weeks from the first official day of spring…and it’s snowing, those big, fat, whirling flakes that look so pretty…in winter…and there are snow symbols on my weather app for Saturday and Sunday, too.   I know I can’t complain when I look at what my friends in the northeast US have been facing but come on!  I love snow in winter, but I’m officially more than done with it and the cold weather.  Please, just stop!  Enough already!  If I were in New England, it would be “ENOUGH ALREADY!!!” (caps intended).

Despite the cold weather, I’ve been walking in the park some mornings.  Every time I pull into the parking lot of the building complex where I’ve been parking to go in the back way until the new bridge is finished, I think “I should have brought a garbage bag to pick up all this trash.”  So I put several large garbage bags and some latex gloves in the van, so that I could actually do something about it.  A few days ago, after my walk, I tackled the mess.

I hadn’t taken the garbage-picker-upper stick that we bought last year at Menard’s, so I put a glove over my right hand winter glove and began:  stoop, drop into the bag, move, repeat.  I was doing really well when suddenly my wool cap was almost snatched from my head.  What was going on?  I’d forgotten in my ecological frenzy to watch for the burs/burrs about head high all around me, the same ones that get stuck in the coats of the dogs when my friend and I walk them, the same ones that are the subject of endless photos highlighting the beauty of dead things.  This was their ugly side.

And a sticky ugly side at that.  Even worse, one little devil had managed to get into my hair after the others tugged my cap mostly off.  Ouch!  I spent quite a bit of time trying to free my hair after getting the big stickers off my cap.  That cap got tucked down my jacket front, as I was warming up, and after my hair was free, I went back to work.

(You know, of course, that burrs and their tenacious stick-to-it-iveness are what inspired the creation of Velcro, a wonderful use for something so irritating in the wild! I know that, too, but it didn’t make me feel any better at the time.)

I’d made a clean sweep, so to speak, of most of the area and had a full bag, when I bent over to capture an errant piece of paper and spotted…a $20 bill!!!  I kid you not!  I could hardly believe it and the rate of pay was much higher per hour than my part time job.  



To top it all off, a woman came out from the office building to thank me and offer to put my garbage bag into their dumpster.  I was happy, she was happy, the park was happy, and I was happy again this morning when I walked by the relatively pristine area.  I’ll make another foray at some point or perhaps at another spot, but I doubt that the pay will be as good.  I’ll have to settle for a sense of doing what’s right.  That works, too.




The blackbird plants were in bloom this morning
          with a fine crop of birds.
Bodies inflated with air
         wings out
         they loosed their urgent songs
         in the morning air.

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Snow cone heads in the park not long ago. Enjoying the warmer weather now. Look closely. Spring is just around the corner (although the corner may be still some distance away.)

Have a wonderful weekend.

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Part of Six-Word Saturday.