Nature is my school. My latest teacher is a heron.
Two of its favorite fishing spots are within sight of my desk.
Both locations have a downed tree lying in shallow water.
The heron balances on the trunks and stares into the water.
It is poised as though it is meditating or doing yoga.
Its movements are slow and deliberate.
It is focused on only the water. No wasted movement or attention.
It seems to be doing one thing and only one thing.
In reality it is doing two things.
Balancing and fishing.
Maintaining balance is required first.
Balance is required.
Balance is first.
When Barley was alive, he got most of the attention.
He was photogenic, needy, cuddly and babyish.
Charlotte was all about Barley and busy.
She only had eyes for him. I was just her source of food.
Things have changed.
Charlotte is alone.
She runs to greet me when I enter her yard. She bows to be petted before eating. She shares her food with a tiny chipmunk.
Yesterday, she climbed a fence to eat passion vine and stood on her hind legs to eat Turk’s Cap.
Sometimes I wonder if she even remembers Barley, and then…
She will break my heart by lying down beside his grave.
Does she know he is under there? I am going to tell myself she doesn’t.
We both miss Barley.
Charlotte is carrying on. She is staying busy and being a brave bunny.
I am thankful for my Thanksgiving cactus collection.
Just as life outside wanes, they bloom in fiery colors.
This fall they are more important to me than ever.
As I face many changes in my own life, it is a comfort that these are the same.
Their colors are a constant. Their blooms dependable. Holiday cheer as usual during the unusual.
So much else is different now. These blooms are a blessing.
They are the dragons of my dreams.
Flying in to protect my spirit from darkness.
My heart is grateful.
Flower in her lair.
There was a spectacular sunset last week.
I watched it evolve as I was cooking.
Taking photos of it did not occur to me until my neighbor Nancy called to tell me to take my fancy camera outside to capture it.
As I rushed out of our library door, I snapped this picture of the glass matching the sky.
The sunset faded quickly.
Many photographers noticed the beauty in the sky and posted sunset pictures.
I am glad that we are watching the skies and looking for beauty and sharing it.
Let’s keep doing that.
It is important, especially now.
Flow on Glow
I get excited every time our fox shows up.
It is young and very active. Its colors are beautiful. Its tail is fluffy.
I watch it with great interest as it explores the yards.
It found a scent it thought interesting.
It rubbed it and rolled on it just like a dog would do.
This fox is habituated to me and my camera.
It took a little rest while I was standing on the deck photographing its every move.
It looked up at me and yawned again.
The fox is completely uninterested in me.
I consider that a compliment.
It’s almost time for our first freeze here in North Carolina.
Many plants have been moved inside.
Now my job is to water and turn pots.
My workshop is a jungle. It is my inside garden now.
I enjoy weaving around among the flowers and greenery.
The colors are a comfort as the world outside turns brown.
The Schlumbergeras are starting to bloom.
I distribute these throughout the house.
Any bloom is a mood booster.
We rode up river to look at the damage caused by the swift and high water.
Many boathouses had been torn from their ramps.
There was a boat precariously perched on its lift.
Many piers suffered damage from high water and debris.
On the way back I spotted a boathouse that you may recognize from my last post.
The rogue boathouse was escorted back home by two towboats.
Water does whatever water wants.
I live on what used to be the Catawba River.
A power company has built dams to form a series of lakes.
The water at my location still moves like a river and has not changed much in hundreds of years.
I can tell where the original river ran by how the water moves.
We are experiencing flooding right now.
The lake above us is over full. Water has risen and pulled out debris from its shores.
This debris is coming over the dam at the present time.
I have been sitting in my chair at the windows watching the water move.
I am in awe of its power to move heavy things.
Its flow is fast. Things are being propelled like a fast moving parade.
I love water. I respect it, but I do not fear it.
I will be here most of the morning.
Watching nature’s power.
I was fascinated by an unusual tree at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.
Its name is Chinese Parasol Tree, Firmiana simplex.
It had several features that were of interest.
One was its green bark which had an unusual texture.
Also, its leaves were huge and complex.
It had a nice shape overall that made it attractive from a distance.
This may be a tree for all seasons.