"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Day Of Surprises

   Some days are sea green, some are clear and shining, and some can only be called plaid. Today has been a plaid day for me, here at the Blakley homestead on Skeleton Creek. After the usual garden chores, complete with the fresh tomato breakfast, I set about washing the porch.  I have to do this about every two weeks to keep it clear of dust, leaves, blood smudges, mouse tails and such. My cats are mousers, which accounts for their still being alive.

     At the first corner I came upon this guy hiding in an empty bucket. It has been decades since I've seen a tarantula up close. I had forgotten how they hop around, scaring people out of their good judgement.  They're too big to step on (at least for me) so they often earn themselves a swift thunk with a brick or rock. Today I was a friend to all living creatures and he lived to see another day. Creepy.  You notice that I didn't blow that pic up for you? You're welcome.

    While pulling the last of the Johnson Grass out of the Earth Circle, I managed to walk straight into a huge Orb Spider web. Yes, spider in the hair, screaming, visions of a fierce bite….the whole nine yards. (He got a good talking-to, don't you worry.) That little game is getting old.
       I checked on all the young trees in M'sW.  The discovery of the day was that the Burr Oak is finally twice as tall as I am.  It has been growing for ten years and was 4 ft. tall when we planted it.  However, last year it was only about six inches taller than I. This was a banner year for this token oak who, by the way, is not at all native to this part of the state. At this rate I probably won't live to see it tall and majestic. Apparently its growth is somehow randomly connected to the amount of rainfall we receive. That's weird.
     All day, as I worked around the gardens, this little guy with the jaunty cap fussed at me, flitting from trellis to tree branch and back again. He is anxious for his fellow travelers to arrive so the highjinks can commence.  Soon, my little friend; they probably have a long way to fly.

Oh, here is the picture of the front of the house with the new landscaping, as promised.  I plant a few things in there each day. When the kids come out we will plant some bulbs for the Spring bloom.  The soil is not so good underneath, so we will tuck some of that bale of old alfalfa under the much at the same time.  Many hands….  There will also be a little walkway that follows the bottom curve around to the patio under the elm tree, eventually.  Not everyone likes to walk in the wet grass and the mud, so I hear.

     This evening I was wandering down the driveway, under the tunnel of leaves, checking to see if the pecans were ready or if they continued to fall off the tree, unripened. (They're falling green.)  I noticed a butterfly or two, lazily tilting through the air.  Then there were three or four and I finally realized it might be the migration. Could I be so lucky as to have them as guests this year?

     Stopping, I looked straight up….and smiled. While I had been busily studying the ground, the Monarchs had indeed begun to arrive in the leaves above my head.  They hung in clusters, wings fluttering or shut. I stayed to watch until the light was gone, as more and more came fluttering in. They like to rest in groups, as weary travelers often do, as if discussing the days happenings with friends.
      I am delighted to see them again.  Years ago, they used to come through by the thousands, covering every branch; arriving at twilight and gone again by first light. The air would be full of the gentle motion of butterfly wings.
     There are not so many now, but they are still a marvel. I feel honored to have been chosen as a stopping place in their long, long journey south to Mexico.  Did you know there are only 45 acres left uncut in the forest where they overwinter?  I hope they can adjust and move to somewhere else close by.  (This pic is not from my trees.  The light was already too far gone for me to get a good shot, so I borrowed someone else's.)


      Earlier in the afternoon, while dripping some sludge reducer into my smaller lily pond, I managed to kill all the fish. Too heavy handed I suppose. Drat.  The larger pond is fine.  Live and learn…and learn, and learn.  As the sky began its final fade toward darkness, I sat in the prayer garden, watching and listening.  The solar path lights pinged on, as well as the firefly light of the little boy statue.   All of my grandson's have told me they think he is them.  They are all correct in that assumption.  Maggie does not think it is her, however. But she is, without a doubt, the little girl who dances with the stars in her skirt.  Who else could it be?

     I weeded and swept the brick patio today in preparation for Fall Farm Camp, which will begin on my birthday this year.  The air is cool and the crickets and tree hoppers continue to sing their songs. I have the windows open day and night. Sleep is immensely sweet with cool, fresh air moving through the house.  I saw a lone firefly dying on the bricks beside the fountain when I came in this evening.  Farewell, you lovely little light with wings.


Brenda Cohorn said...

Ahhhh... Only in the country.

Kathryn said...

I have done the exact same thing with those danged orb weavers. I have taken to walking around my mom's place in the summer evenings waving a long stick around in front of me.