Friday, October 22, 2021

The Beauty in an Ending

Released from unsustaining tethers,

golden confetti

downwardly chassés

celebrating

autumn’s final

vibrancy.

I was standing on a trail looking up through the trees towards the sun. Suddenly, a strong autumnal breeze shook the leaves releasing golden flutters into the sky. It was so beautiful as golden leaves glided from side to side on their way to their final resting place. I felt as if Mother Nature had tossed confetti into the air in celebration of the lifecycle of these leaves. They had reached the end of their time but were ending their lives in pure beauty, grace and peace. I was so thankful I was a part of this moment and shared in the calmness that pervaded the forest around me. 


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Nature = Truly Me

 Without words,

         you soothe my soul.

Without embraces,

          you surround me with understanding.

Without hearing,

          you accept my secrets, heartaches and dreams.

Without judgment,

          you offer compassion and care.

Without thoughts,

         you fill me with wisdom.


With you, I am truly me. 


Over the long weekend, I had the privilege to spend time camping. One morning as I sat sipping my tea and looking out over the trees into blue sky, I realized how much nature gives to me. It is there for me in good times and where I run to for comfort on those challenging days. Breathing in the scent of a forest, relieves my stress and calms my mind. Just sitting in its peace, lets my mind wander allowing me to think through paths of solving problems or reaching goals. Nature always reminds me to be mindful and notice the awe in the world around me. 

Nature relaxes me. Nature rejuvenates me. Nature influences me. Nature is me.

Thank you nature for all that you give to me. 

(Photo was my view that inspired me to write.)


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Behold the Beauty


Dapples of burgundy

Swishes of gold

Daubs of ruby 

Brushes of orange

Splashes of chestnut

Shades of emerald

Framed by pond and sky

- an autumnal masterpiece to behold.


I am in awe every autumn when surrounded by the amazing foliage of Western New York. It is my favorite season in part due to nature’s artistry.

I stood looking out across the pond and felt like I had been dropped into a framed landscape in a museum. The colors were so vibrant with various hues highlighted by the sun’s rays. The pond and sky were a natural frame to the spread of trees before me.  I just stood and admired for many moments.

I wanted to capture this view as a reminder of the season’s beauty. I used my camera to snap a photo or two but these images do not do the scene justice. The human eye can see the real beauty.

So if you live where the leaves change color, go outside, look around and behold the beauty!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Reiterate Wishes



Wishes

spring from

what could be...

A betterness

A kindness

A happiness

A lovingness

A peacefulness

An easiness

A hopefulness

A healingness

A successfulness

for you,

             for me, 

                        for the world.


Ever since I was a little kid, I loved to blow the seeds of dandelions into the wind. I would close my eyes, take a deep breath and exhale across the fluffy whiteness of these seeded dandelions. As I exhaled, I would make a wish or two believing fully that the magic of nature would make them come to pass.

As I was walking the other day, I saw a few of these white fluffy balls alongside the path. I decided to indulge in my previous practice. I bent down, plucked one from the ground and held it before me. I closed my eyes and thought about what wishes would be. Then I blew directly into the ball releasing seeds into the air. I put faith into each small parachute seed to plant my wishes into the soil wherever it landed and help them blossom. 

Take a moment to indulge in the joyous childhood practice…what would your wishes be?


Photo Credit: Felicia Hutter






Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Summer Slips to September

Anticipation is so high in the

Beginning of summer.

Classes end,

Days grow longer,

Energy of possibilities pulses.

Freedom from routines

Greets us on 

Hot, humid hundred degree days.

Ice cream drips down sugar cones

Junking up hands with stickiness

Kids licking both in delight.

Lightning bugs flash on and off these

Moonlit

Nights

Offering

Peaceful

Quaint lighting

Round our bonfires, relaxing us.

Sun sinks into waves, a

Tapestry of nature’s artistry as

Utter beauty paints the sky.

Vacation lessens with each sinking.

Winds of September bring cooler air.

X’s on the calendar mark each day’s passing. 

You hold tight to summer’s pace

Zoning out for one final day. 


So yesterday was Labor Day and today is my final day of summer vacation. School begins tomorrow. All of this brought me to reflect on the summer. Oh, how quickly it seemed to pass. 

Those days of…

Waking up at a time of my choosing

Soaking up the sun in hours spent outdoors- hiking, biking, yoga

Reveling in the beauty of nature - capturing it in photos

Writing for myself- filling notebooks with the joys of this summer

Devouring books just for the delight of reading and escaping

Vacationing with family- hiking, games, laughter, meals, cherished times


Oh July and August what treasures you brought!

I decided to honor my last day by respecting summer’s slower pace. Taking the time to just be throughout this final day. I know the schedule, rushed routine and stress return tomorrow. I am savoring these last moments of summer… how delightful it truly is. 


Poetry Form: Alphabet Poem



Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Beams of Heaven

Beams of heaven                                                          

streak through the evening clouds                

illuminating our country's flag

as it furls and unfurls 

at half-mast

in the gentlest of breezes.


Making me 

pause,

pray,

honor,

thank

the 13 heroes lost in duty.


Sometimes moments that occur in nature make you just stop in your tracks and notice the awe around you. 

This happened to me a few nights ago. I was with a group doing yoga outside at a park. While doing various poses, I was noticing the beauty of the sky- the cloud formations, the various hues of blue. 

Looking up at one moment, the sunbeams were streaming through the clouds and landing on our flag. Parts of the flag were brightened by this light as it waved in the subtle evening breeze. I just stopped.

I really stopped doing yoga with everyone else. It seemed to me that heaven was reaching down through those clouds to welcome home the 13 heroes lost in duty in Afghanistan and to offer comfort to our country. I offered up gratitude for the freedoms I have and for all the military that have stood up to defend these. 

This natural moment of sunbeams falling to earth helped me deal with the emotions of our tumultuous world. I hope it can do the same for you.






Monday, August 23, 2021

Caught in a Glance

 

    
Vivid orange flicks through
my field of vision.
Following it to my right,
3 monarchs in flight.

My field of vision-
wildflowers blooming all around
large and small butterflies are found.

Following it to my right,
A butterfly perches on thistle
with its proboscis unrolled into the bristle.

3 monarchs in flight,
a delicate graceful dance-
How lucky was I to catch this in a glance.



This Sunday afternoon I decided to go for a walk along a trail that I hadn’t been to in awhile. Upon arrival, I noticed the field was full of blooming wildflowers. I figured it would be a treat to wander the trail through these alone. I didn’t know that I would be treated by nature to so much more.

A few minutes into the walk, something bright orange flew through my field of vision. I looked and saw a monarch fluttering around. Then another one came and joined in the up, down twisting dance.  Then to my amazement a third one joined in the game of hopscotch from flower to flower.

Now, I have seen monarchs many times before but a few things stood out of the ordinary this time. First was the vibrancy of their orange. I don’t know if it was the angle of the sun or the background of greenery but they just glowed. It simply was stunning! (I know that this time their color was brighter and deeper because my husband commented the same thoughts that I had been thinking,)

Second, I usually see one monarch flying on its own and then pausing to eat on a flower. This time the dance of flight of 3 monarchs together was joyful. I couldn’t help but stop and smile as you saw them playing together in the sunshine.

As I continued down the path, I thought my butterfly encounter was done for the day. Then I rounded a curve in the path and came upon a batch of thistle. Sitting on a tip was a black and yellow butterfly gently opening and closing its wings. I took tentative steps forward hoping to get a closer look. The butterfly’s proboscis was unrolled and moving up and down as it sucked up nectar. It was amazing to just be still and watch a butterfly feed. 

This trail gave me experiences with nature that I was not expecting today. The butterflies were the joyful ones. (I’ll save the tales of frogs and baby chipmunks for another day.)

Poetry Form: Trimeric (a poem with 4 stanzas, the first stanza has 4 lines, the other 3 stanzas have 3 lines, the first line of each stanza is a refrain of the corresponding line in the first stanza)












Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Am I that Acorn?

 


Tossing, turning, submerging, floating

Through cresting, crashing rhythmic waves

Cascading towards the shore

Grounded by gritty sand

As water retreats

A voyager

Rests in sun

Stillness

Calm


I was walking along the shore of Lake Ontario earlier this week and came upon a unique voyager on the waves. I stopped to watch as an acorn was batted about on the incoming waves. At times, it was visible, then not. It was upright and then topsy-turvy. Finally, it was deposited on the soaked sands as the waves retreated back into the lake. It’s wet shell glistened in the sun as it lay in stillness surrounded by other trinkets moved by the powerful force of water. I wonder if it was glad to find a resting place.

As I watched this acorn, I realized that I traveled the same path through this last year- being upright then the world being upside down. Being batted around by things out of my control- COVID, masking and social distancing guidelines, school guidelines changing daily, my college kids home then away then home. I felt like I was washed ashore at the end of the school year in June. I was able to just BE in summer stillness soaking up the sun. I had time to surround myself with friends who had made it through too and share our stories and complex feelings. I know that I was extremely glad to find a resting place for a few months this summer. I plan to soak up the last few weeks of just BEING.


Poetry Form: Nonet - a 9 line poem that has 9 syllables in the first line, 8 syllable in the 2nd line and so on. The last line contains 1 syllable.



Monday, August 9, 2021

Some Love for Shade

Step

into

Summer’s shade

Coolness fills the air

Protection from intense sun rays

Comfortable relief in daylight’s shawdowy darkness


Its’s over 90 degrees and the humidity is 49% making it feel like 97 degrees outside.

A 4 day heat wave is predicted with today being the lowest in temperature- ha! 90 is not low.

On days like these, I am so absolutely thankful for the shade cast by our sun. When outside, I seek it out. That is where I want to be- in the shade of a tree or the shadow cast by my house. The shade makes these days bearable. These dark areas on a summer day make it so you can still venture outside and enjoy.  It makes it feel like you are note melting into the earth.

Stepping into this summer darkness, you feel the temperature drop a bit. I think that shade is often taken for granted but I just want to say loud and proud today that I LOVE SHADE!


Poetry Form: Fibonacci Poem  The syllables in one line equal the total number of syllables in the preceding two lines (1,2,3, 5, 8, 13…)



Sunday, August 1, 2021

Flowers = Memories + Smiles

 



                          

                              

                                Forget me?

                                 - NOT!






I just love when I come across these flowers on the sides of trails. Their small, delicate, pastel beauty is a pleasant surprise amongst the trail greenery.

There are 4 meanings associated with these 5 petal blue blooms.

1. True love

2. Fidelity- faithful and truthful

3. Long lasting connections that can’t be broken or shaken by anything

4. Remembering someone

I have always tied Forget-me-nots to my dad who passed away when I was 17. They definitely make me remember someone dear to me. I also believe I still have a strong long lasting connection with him as my special guardian angel.

Seeing these wildflowers along the trail always bring a smile for their beauty and memories of being Daddy’s little girl.



Sunday, July 25, 2021

Jewels of a Storm


 Glistening raindrops 
Resting on broad hosta leaves
- jewels of a storm

These past weeks have been filled with so much rain. Every single day this precipitation falls from the sky dampening summer plans. No hiking the mountain today- severe thunderstorms on the way. Cancel the soccer game because the field is a swamp.

I was feeling a bit down as the raindrops fell for about the 8th day in a row. When was this going to end and the summer sun return? 

After a bit of time, I looked out the window and was shocked to see sun! I went out my front door to relish in the rays. I looked down and paused in awe. The raindrops were clinging to plants and glistening across my garden. It looked like a fairy had sprinkled some magic over my plants turning raindrops into diamonds. This sparkle of the reflecting sun reminded me that beauty can be found after days of gloom. Those jewels of the storm were a treasure found.

This seemed to be nature’s reminder to me that beauty can be found in unexpected times and places. Just keep your eyes open!






 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

A Square of Surprise


Eyes slowly open

glance up through the square-

BLUE??


Wait! Am I dreaming?

Squeeze eyes shut- reopen

BLUE!


Forecast of continued clouds

and thunderstorms throughout but-

BLUE!


Happiness this morn’

Rethink plans for the day-

BLUE!


Hop out of bed

seize the warmth, sun and

BLUE!


~ before grays predicted return


On a getaway to the Catskill Mountains, the weather changed our plans on Saturday. Severe thunderstorms rolled through and knocked out the power to our cabin.

Instead of having a fire and s’mores, we drove around to find flashlights and candles. The first stop was out of flashlights and batteries but we struck gold at a tiny gas station. Fantastic- light for the night!

Since we had a signal there, we checked on the weather. More rain and storms throughout the night as well as 90%-100% chance of rain all day Sunday. We decided to sleep in and have a lazy morning.

As I opened my eyes on Sunday morning and looked up through a skylight,I saw BLUE! I couldn’t believe it so I closed my eyes and took a breath. I opened my eyes and again BLUE with puffy white clouds.

The thought of a lazy Sunday morning totally vanished. Energy flowing, I popped out of bed to get the day started!

The power was back,the sun was out, the sky was BLUE! Time to seize this positive start and get out into this unexpected joy.


- Before predicted storms arrive later about 4:00. We shall see…







Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Embrace or Wither?


Searing heat

  radiates

from sun rays

to everything

they grace their

potent light upon.

Plants shrivel,

grass browns,

humans stay inside

to escape

the humid, hot,

instant sweat-creating air.

Waves upon waves

of increasing heat,

days upon days

of grilling sunshine,

no one ventures 

outdoors

to embrace summer joy-

so many days left to wither.


In my mind, summer is supposed to be filled with outdoor adventures surrounded by nature. It might be a Book Club meeting in a forest, a yoga class at a beach, or a hike in a cool creek. It is a time of outdoor enjoyment.

So the past few days have been horrible for me. I have stayed in my house basically all day. The feel like temperatures were above 100 and the humidity was so high. There was a Heat Advisory for the area. Honestly, if I just stepped out of the house and stood there, sweat would be dripping down my face. 

I HATE days like these. I know that I am probably in the minority in upstate New York because we don't have a long summer. But I truly don't understand the love for days like this. I can find nothing enjoyable about them. I don't want to live inside in July or have AC on all of the time. I love windows open and fresh air moving throughout the house.

These days of neighbors staying inside, no children's laughter filling the air and the hum of air conditioners running seems like such a waste of these precious summer days. Instead of the day being filled with life, its hours seem to wither away. 

Oh cooling breezes when will you arrive so I can again embrace the fullness of summer days!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Summer Lights

 glow

                                glow

          glow


Did you know?

Summer vacation is a go!

                               FLASH

flash

                flash

No need for the daily dash

just sit back, relax and crash.

glow                           glow

        GLOW                               GLOW

                       glow  glow

A June nighttime show

announcing summer vacation is a go!


As a teacher you truly live to say- "School's out for the SUMMER!"

On my first night of no alarm clock the next day, I sat in my backyard at dusk. As it darkened, I was treated to a natural light show. Fireflies were in abundance. Lights were flashing here, then there throughout my garden. It looked like strings of fairy lights had been laid in my bushes as they twinkled with this summer light. It added a party feel to my yard. It felt like the world was cheering that I had made it through this challenging and unique school year. The here and there again lights bubbled joy within me and launched me into my summer mode of beginning to slow down and rejuvenate. Embrace those summer nights!


Photo from Shutterstock 

My photo did not really catch any fireflies glowing. It was just black.


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Stillness’ Illusion


mirrored

stillness

sunlight glistening  on water

water on glistening sunlight

stillness

mirrored


Moments of pure joy and delight fill me when I have the opportunity to kayak on mirrored stillness. It is like gliding through the sky as your kayak makes ripples in the clouds, sky and sun. The only sounds are the drips off your paddle as the water flows outward from your boat breaking the pure calm. You feel as though you are doing something unnatural, sailing through the sky!  It is magical- honestly. A moment to savor as nature provides you this illusion.

Poetry form: Palindrome poem

Location: Mendon Ponds, NY

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Innocence




Unaware of threat

youthful innocence, trust, joy

 -uncorrupted heart





This past weekend I was walking the trail at Lagoon Park in Canandiagua, NY.  As I rounded the bend, this adorable little rabbit was on the edge of the trail just munching away at the greenery along the edge. He was mindfully eating with delight, not even aware that humans were near or that we could be a threat to him. 

Another hiker had paused to enjoy this innocence as well. As she slowly and quietly stepped forward, he finally recognized that there were other creatures present. He hopped away from her right towards me. He was less than 2 feet away. He paused, looked up at me and then turned to the right and hurriedly hopped 4 jumps away. Then the rabbit resettled into the greens and happily munched away again. 

This little rabbit's innocence, trust, delight and of course, cuteness, made adult humans pause and enjoy life for a few moments. We took a feeling of joy with us as we walked forward in our day.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Ombré Blue

                                                               


Nature’s palette from sea to sky…

Steel blue waves crest and fall

Baby blue graces the horizon

Cornflower deepens the view

Azure brightens and heightens

Cerulean crowns the sky in full bright glory.




A walk along the lake today brought a stunning view of the water and sky decked out in various hues of blue. The lake grounded it in a dark steel blue as the waves met the shore. Then the palest of blues was at the horizon. Then ombre of blue continued to the top with deeper and vibrant tones. It looked like a painting with the subtle passing from one hue to the next. It was truly beautiful!!

Often times people will say- the sky is blue today. Well, which blue sky are you seeing? Which mood of blue is nature’s character that day?

Next time you hear that, please pause and take a moment to soak in that blue. Can you give it a more specific name than just blue?




Sunday, May 23, 2021

Beauty, Gratitude, Peace




Cumulus clouds drift

Patches of blue dot the sky

Aged Red pines tower

Sunlight streams through coarse needles

Peace, beauty and awe abound 




My mouth literally gaped open.

I looked like the emoji 😮.

I was laying on my yoga mat gazing up at the sky. As I realized the trees formed a heart, I was astounded. It was breathtakingly beautiful.

I remained motionless for minutes. Just watching the clouds, the blue and the sunshine dance across the window of sky. It was a living canvas with changing colors, brightness and mood.

The beauty brought awe.

The awe brought gratitude.

The gratitude brought peace.

What a lovely way to being a weekend!


(Yes- this is a REAL photo with no filters. Just my true view that morning in May.)

Poem form- Tanka (5 line poem with the syllables of 5-7-5-7-7) 





Sunday, May 16, 2021

Comforting Coo

Each morning your coo awakens me,

comforting me in my sorrow.

A companion for my heart

as I walk through the loss,

Your mourning greeting

let’s me know I’m

not alone.

You are

here.


I have a sweet affection for Mourning Doves. They have brought me comfort since I was 17. This week was the anniversary of my dad’s passing and their coo’s were heard again this week.

Here is a small piece from a notebooking entry last May about my relationship with these birds, especially the two always on my front walkway.

The last few mornings I have been awakened by the lamenting coo of the Mourning Dove. I do love to hear this soothing sound each day. It brings back memories of my dad. The Mourning Dove was truly that for me. A friend each morning during my grieving over the unexpected loss of my father. I had never had a dove like this at my house before but from the day he passed, one cooed to me each morning. It brought comfort during a time of heartache and uncertainty. It was my grief friend. Now, I hear it daily again during this pandemic. Maybe, just maybe, it is a sign from my dad that he is near and we will all emerge from this darkness too.


Poetry form: Nonet (9 lines- 9 syllables in first line, 8 syllables in 2nd line, etc. till last line is 1 syllable) 

Image- my attempt at nature journaling/drawing


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Love in the Lilacs

 

Light, purple blossoms
An eye-level bush
Sweet, haunting fragrance

A first date
walking Highland Park amongst
light, purple blossoms

A home, a family
vases filled with blooms from
an eye-level bush

Memories of your lives and love
triggered by the
sweet, haunting fragrance


Lilacs bring to mind my parents. I walked the paths through the flowers at the Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY today. The sights and the fragrance brought many memories of their lives and love wafting through my mind.

My parents first date was to the Lilac Festival in the late 1950's. They drove out to Rochester from Buffalo, NY. My dad thought my mom would enjoy seeing the beautiful flowers. He must have been right because they were happily married for over 25 years.

Growing up, there were lilac bushes on both sides of my house. I think they were planted in memory of this first date. My mom loved the smell of these flowers and would fill the house with them each Spring. For me, the smell is just too overwhelming and I remember not enjoying those weeks when the beautiful purple clusters of flowers filled our home.

Now I live about 10 minutes from Highland Park. I often wonder if my footsteps have traced the path of their first date through the trails of lilacs. 

Poetry form: Cascade Poem

 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Knowledge of Trees



Surrounded by 

tall bearers of

knowledge,

I wonder what we

could learn from you.


What would your rings of age be able to impart to us?

What conversations have fallen upon your leaves and then shed into the soil?

What inhumanity have you witnessed?


If we paused

and sat beneath you,

cherishing your strength and shade,

would you share your secrets

and lessons learned

to help man undergo a 

seasonal renewal.


Just a tribute to trees on Arbor Day. 

A walk amongst the trees is one of my favorite things. 



Sunday, April 25, 2021

Golden Warrior

 

I

will

NOT

succumb to

your pressure.


will 

NOT

bow low

for long.


will

RISE

to my full glory.


will 

RISE 

in Spring

vibrancy.


I

will

RISE.


Awoke to an April snow. It was heavy and wet.

I looked out the window and felt a sadness for my daffodils. Just yesterday their golden stars stood tall announcing Spring to the world. But today, they were bowing under the weight of the snow collected on their heads.

You could almost feel the determination of the daffodils to NOT touch the ground. There was a fighting spirit within those thin green stems saying-" You may bend me but I will not break."

I was rooting for those daffodils to rise again and later that afternoon they did! 

They were a bit battered but stood strong in their goldenness.


Monday, April 19, 2021

Small Masterpieces


 Breathtaking

delicate

bright beauty


Canary

and eggplant

inked petals


Designed

by strokes of

God’s paintbrush



Recently, I took a tour of Phipp’s Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA. There were many gorgeous flowers and plants on display.

But when I came across these beauties, I stopped in my tracks. I was in awe of the deep purple designs on each petal. It seemed like they were drawn by hand. It was hard to believe that this is just how these flowers bloom. Pure masterpieces of nature!

Still, when I look at this photo, I continue to be in awe of these detailed, beautiful blooms. 


Poem form: Tricubes

3 stanzas of 3 lines of 3 syllables each







Saturday, April 10, 2021

Spring Serenade

 Left, right, left

Crunch, crunch, crunch

Cheer-a-lee, cheer-a-lee

Chirp-chirp-chirp

HONK, HONK, HONK. HONK

Cheer-a-lee, cheer-a-lee

Tseer, tseer, tseer

Kik-kik-kik-kik-kik-kik-kik

H-O-N-K

Kik-kik-kik-kik-kik-kik-kik

Tee—seep, tee—seep, tee————seep

Chirp-chirp-chirp

Crunch, crunch, crunch

Left, right, left


On this glorious Spring afternoon, I went for a walk on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal Trail near Waterloo, New York.

The trails are no longer quiet in Upstate New York. The birds have returned and were very chatty today.

As I walked along noticing the crunchy rhythm of my steps, it felt like I was the consistent drum beat to a composition being created by the birds. 

The high quick tweets of small birds floated over the low loud incessant honks of the Canadian geese. The tap, tap, tapping of a drilling woodpecker syncopated the longer drawn out songs of others.

My walk along this trail was filled by nature’s music. As I neared the parking lot, all that could be heard was crunch, crunch, crunch.




Friday, April 2, 2021

Dance of Joy

 


New limbs

Stretching skywards

Dancing amongst the clouds

Grasping puffs of white

Adorning the buds

Celebrating the arrival of a

New Spring.


The blue sky was such a stunning shade that I just had to stop and gaze at its richness. A warm breeze brushed my skin and rustled my hair on this 73 degree late March day.

I turned into the breeze and saw these branches reaching skywards. The puffs of white from my distance looked like small pieces of fluffy clouds adorning the tree. It looked like it was “decked-out” to rejoice in this magnificent Spring day.

The tree was dancing with joy!

I wanted to dance too!



Friday, March 26, 2021

Skyscrapers of the Woods

 



Skyscrapers of these woods

-only the penthouse views 

are encased in greenery.





Looking up towards the blue sky and glowing sun, it struck me that only the very tops of these coniferous trees proudly fanned out green needles.

The remainder of the tree was a skinny, bare, straight trunk. Hardly any branches reached out from this tall column of arbor. Yet, it kept reaching higher battling for the light of life.

Standing there, looking up, I felt so small.



Saturday, March 20, 2021

Guardians of Spring’s Door



Small guardians of Spring

poke through the remnants of leaves and snow

Proclaiming its arrival

in a vibrant golden glow.





Glancing out the window into my backyard, my eyes are drawn to a pop of color low on the ground. I realize it is a large patch of crocuses in their first bloom of the year.

It is nature announcing in a vibrant, energetic voice- “SPRING IS HERE! Come and see the renewal of beauty to this brown and gray land.”

I am so excited to do what I do each Spring. I go out and admire these small but strong flowers. Such a combination of delicacy and yet the power to rise.  

I salute these guardians of Spring’s door and celebrate your return with joy.






Thursday, March 11, 2021

Two Seasons Intertwine

Two seasons intertwine-

last vestiges of snow

diminishing,

            hydrating,

                        heralding,

the squishy, squelchy mud.

- Two seasons intertwine. 



A day in March can be such a confliction. Winter and Spring vying to see who can triumph.


Still cold, brisk breezes battle the sunshine warming the air and ground

Icy, slippery, shady paths compete against the inches deep, slip-slidin’ mud encased steps 

The silence of the woods tussle with the chirps and tweets of returning birds


Winter and Spring wrestle with each other throughout the day.

I choose to be a peacemaker. I will savor the last of the snow and crisp air before it fades for another year. I happily welcome with arms wide open the hopeful signs of Spring and its soon to be arrival.

No need for conflict... just conciliation.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The birds SANG!


My eyes pry open-

as I groggily adjust

to the senses of a new day.

A forgotten sound fills my ears-

the tweeting and chirping of birds

welcoming the dawn.

A smile spreads,

joy blossoms in my soul,

winter is nearing an end.

The birds sing the 

hope of spring.


Oh what a glorious alarm! I don’t remember the last time I opened my eyes to the day and had this sweet sound fill my ears. It has been months- those cold winter months in Upstate New York. These tweets bring hope of Spring and they began my day with JOY!


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Waterfalls Frozen in a Moment

The rushing flow of water
careening over the edge
caught in a freeze frame of motion-
turned solid 
and
no longer free falling 
into the deep pool of water below.
Solid white streams 
of ice highlighting
the magnificent beauty
of water frozen in 
time.
Shequaga Falls


It was a blue sky, sunshine day as we stepped out onto the trail. The sun on my face was a pure delight.

As we started, there was a well-worn path on the Catherine Valley Trail so we decided to give it a go without snowshoes

Well, about half way into the 3 mile walk (in one direction) that decision was a mistake! Oh, how I wished for snowshoes beneath my feet as each step took quite an effort. This was a winter workout without a doubt!

There was not a thought of turning back because the draw of 2 beautiful waterfalls and bakery treats awaited in the little town of Montour Falls. It kept me trudging one foot in front of the other while continuing to bask in the sun.

More motivation energized my steps as the sound of cars rushing by filled my ears. The first waterfall was on the side of a main road so I new it was close.

Aunt Sarah’s Falls



Aunt Sarah’s Falls was frozen in motion. It is 90 ft. in height and usually free falls in thirds down the gorge wall. It now looked like the world’s largest icicle plummeting to a frozen pool below. I just paused to partake of the sight.






Then just a short walk through this little town brought us to Shequaga Falls. This is the area’s largest falls- 156 ft. all. These frozen falls made me park it on a bench and just contemplate the beauty of nature.


Shequaga Falls




Shequaga Falls looked like a small glacier sweeping over the rocky facade of the gorge. Parts of the ice were so thin and clear that I could still see water gushing, bubbling and flowing forward beneath the surface. It was an interesting moment to see water flowing but not hear its melody.










After a 3 mile hike, I was starving and tired so we stopped at a local bakery for some delicious treats. I enjoyed a Nutella croissant and a warming cup of tea.

The returning hike of 3 miles awaited me. But I was fortified with some sweet treats, continued sunshine and amazing views of frozen waterfalls as I made my homeward trek.














Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Winter Wildflowers

 


Canes of brown
 bending towards 
     the clean whiteness,

Adorned with dried gray flowerettes
  at the end of
      thin, fragile shoots,

Fluffy parachute seeds
   still clinging to the
       vestiges of summer beauty.



As I followed my husband’s snowshoe tracks, I noticed a trail marking sign peeping over the edge of the inches of snow. We were on the Wildflower Trail.

I chuckled to myself- “Yeah- sure! Wildflowers in winter, I wish. Now all I will see is a blank palette of white.”

We progressed down the trail towards the ice crusted lake. Alongside our steps, brown and gray stalks shivered in the winter wind. 

I carefully stepped close to a delicate brown stem and paused. There were remnants of flowers opened wide looking like tan daisies with darker brown centers. Some even had tufts of white, fluffy parachute seeds still holding fast to the plant that produced them.

I immediately grabbed my phone to capture this unexpected beauty right in front of me. Winter wildflowers do exist and still offer beauty to those ready to behold it.

I guess that the trail is correctly named. 







Monday, February 15, 2021

The Summons




 The Summons


A glance out the window-

A beckoning

Flares in my soul.

Come out,

            Walk,

                  Soak in the wonder

             That nature

Beholds.


It is early Saturday morning as I lift the blinds. My eyes rest on the pure, fluffy, white snow that overnight turned the world into a winter game of hide-n-seek. I feel a pull deep inside- tugging me to get out there.

So I check my weather app. It feels like 5 degreees. Ohhh-do I really want to go. Another glance outside and my soul bellows, “Go, experience this!”

The crunch of crisp snow graces my ears as I step over untouched snow. I warm as I walk soaking in the sun’s rays and blue skies. The cold air touches the bottom of my lungs refreshing me with each breath.

As I loop back, I am so grateful that I answered the summons nature sent to me this morning. What a new perspective I have for the rest of my day to come.

I realize that nature calls to me through all 4 seasons....

~ Bright summer sunshine caressing all in its breadth

~ Raindrops pattering amongst the spring puddles

~ Leaves of russet and gold tumbling through the autumn skies

~ Snowflakes enveloping the world in a quiet, pristine blanket of white

I need to be open to the call and wander outside to see the gifts given to me by nature. It refreshes, renews and rejuvenates me. 

Nature beckons and I need to continue to say yes.

The Beauty in an Ending

Released from unsustaining tethers, golden confetti downwardly chassés celebrating autumn’s final vibrancy. I was standing on a trail lookin...