Archive | July, 2009

Turtle Lends Me A Home For My Heart

17. July 2009

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To prepare the tobacco fields of North Carolina, they are sometimes burned first to sterilize the soil and kill off weeds. This is usually done in the winter when the local box turtles may be hibernating. If they wake during the fire, turtles must scurry for their lives, rushing they hope toward safety, not from one frying field into another. Sadly, some of them don’t make it. But in some areas their magnificent shells are rescued by children who are members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The children have been taught to treat the turtles with honor and respect and they find other uses for the shells. Which is how about 20 years ago I came to have an eastern box turtle shell that I then made into a wearable shield and medicine bag. I wear it over my heart on special occasions and whenever I want protection in a challenging situation.

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Looking These Rocks In Their Faces

16. July 2009

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Looking These Rocks In Their Faces

The sounds of bliss: the gentle lapping of the lake against the gravely shore; stiff madrona leaves rustling as a breeze freshens; swallows chirping as they loop above the green water; mallards skimming the lake as they touch down, then a flutter of wings as they shake off water; the distant roar of a stronger wind rushing down the Olympic Mountains and spilling into the glacial cavern that embraces Lake Crescent. Near the woods you can smell fir cones opening as the day warms, drawing pitch out of the woody blooms.

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Meditation On Moss

13. July 2009

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Meditation On Moss

Watch you step next time you’re in the woods—literally—to see what you’re really walking on. Then get down on the ground and really take a good look. An apology might be in order. Which got me to musing about moss. What must it be like to belong to a colony of plants who carpet the forest floor? What would it be like to have no control over which leaves falls onto you and which ones scuttle along on a breeze? How would it be to have your sun, your light, your source suddenly disappear beneath a green alder tent?

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July Fireworks, Au Naturel

12. July 2009

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July Fireworks, Au Naturel

It’s past my bedtime, yet I’m sitting on my deck in the near dark bundled up in a blanket, and I’m involuntarily gasping every minute or so. This goes on for over an hour. In fact, it happens 44 times a second, the world over. No, it’s not the 4th of July, it’s the 11th. My dog refused to go outside for her bedtime relief session and is now cowering in the bathroom. I was awestruck by a mega-watt thunderstorm that actually went on for several hours. The lightning displays were way beyond anything I’ve ever seen. Since this region has the lowest incidence of lightning strikes in the country, this was especially notable.

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Wild Roses Bloom For A Day—And Forever

11. July 2009

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Wild Roses Bloom For A Day—And Forever

My resident hummingbird favors the wild roses beside my house. She often perches there looking out over the bay where I can watch her from my desk. In the early morning when the dew moistens the woods, wild roses release their scent to the rising sun. So pink, such an intense fragrance—these small, delicate roses are a treat for eyes and nose. As I walk down to the beach, the heavy moist air is scented with their heady sweetness. I can’t resist picking a small bouquet, even though I know the blooms rarely last beyond a day.

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Morning on Marrowstone Island

8. July 2009

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Morning on Marrowstone Island

Sun flirts through the fog—tantalyzing, teasing of a July day at the beach. The abandoned pier looms as a ghostly presence from the past—it could be a hundred years ago and a tall-masted schooner might be edging in through the murkiness, eager to make landfall after an ardurous trip down the Strait. White crowned sparrows twit about hoping for a handout, while swallows rise and fall, swoop and glide, up and down the beach, mimicing the gentle rhythm of the waves. Robins scour the high beach, dining on insects in the silvering driftwood, and crows discuss the morning from fir tops on the bluff. Fog horns and the blare of a huge ship passing by unseen punctuate the rich texture of birdsong.

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