coming home in the early light
she balances in the cedar
hanging from her stockinged legs
swinging and kicking her pale feet
I can hear the giggling
sprinkling from the morning sky
half moon at dawn
Our bountiful snow brought out birds galore to our feeders. We have been visited by cardinals, mourning dove, titmice, chickadees, juncos, house and gold finches, several species of sparrow and all manner of woodpeckers.
This handsome fellow is a pileated woodpecker native to our woods. According to allaboutbirds.org, which has a wonderful website with beautiful photos and videos, ‘the Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, (16-19 inches long) most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. The nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.’
They are a shy bird, seldom hanging around our cedars. But during this cold and snowy week, they found our suet cakes – much to the chagrin of the smaller woodpeckers, the downies, hairies, and sapsuckers.
We always get so excited to see them – most of the time they are spotted flying across the road or through the woods. They remind me of what I would think a pterodactyl would look like – they have such a wide wingspan and a swooping flight.
And we have had two visit at the same time – each taking turns hammering away at the suet cake.
What joy these beautiful creatures bring – all part of the course of our seasons!
a question of seeing
in and out of the garden
the re-enchantment of everyday life
down in the garden
bird by bird
red oaks and black birches
a walk in the woods
the education of the heart
the gift of peace
**** a spine poem for the dverse prompt from my very diverse personal library
A Question of Seeing – Donald Finkel
In and Out of the Garden – Sara Midda
The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life – Thomas Moore
Down in the Garden – Anne Geddes
bird by bird – Anne Lamott
Red Oaks & Black Birches – Rebecca Rupp
Wide Meadows – Jean Bell Mosley
A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson
The Education of the Heart – Thomas Moore
The Gift of Peace – Joseph Cardinal Bernardin
It was a really, really good party!
The weather was perfect and that can always be iffy in the middle of July – last year it was close to 100 degrees. But not this weekend – low 80′s and cool breeze from the northeast, right off the water. The evening began in the late afternoon as the band, the Stellar Weirdos, started setting up using the porch for the stage. All the tables and furniture had been arranged across the yard, giving everyone room to sit and visit. The lights were draped from the house into the cedar trees with a garland of balloons floating across the yard.
As guests arrived, they were greeted by the aroma of fresh popped popcorn (we rented the cutest little old fashioned popcorn machine you have ever seen), a beer from one of two kegs (not your everyday party kinda beer, but Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat and Blue Moon with lemon and oranges slices!) Everyone began visiting as our official hosts and hostesses (Rebekah & Corey, Andrea & Eddie, Sarah & Kevin, Kathleen Rose) mingled getting everyone a drink and a scoop of hot popcorn.
Bob and I greeted everyone and I read two poems for the occasion. With that, the party had begun.
Our handsome grill masters (Corey, Kevin, Eddie and Dan) cooked hotdogs and brats (brought by our sweet friends, Nicole and John Chervenyak – thanks guys!) We had chips and salsa and onion dip (mmmm, thanks Andrea!) plus a surprise 7 layer dip (brought by our neighbor, Linda Gipson -yum, thanks!) Chilled watermelon wedges rounded out dinner and everyone tucked in as the band began the night’s entertainment.
The Stellar Weirdos are such talented musicians, it was a thrill to have them come for the party. The Weirdos are Sam Clanton, mandolin, guitar and vocals, Matthew Still, guitar and vocals, Todd Plympton, bass and vocals, Andy Keuma, guitar, and James McCall, drums. They were awesome and I think they had as much fun as everyone else. Not only did they play, but brought a laser lightshow with them, sending dancing lights against the neighbors house, and tiny fairy lights into the the surrounding trees – just magical.
Birthday cake was served. And not just any old store bought cake as they say, but our dear friend Verla made Bob three, yes, that is 3, chocolate fudge cakes with chocolate and pecan icing – heaven!To say it was the best cake ever is not overstating the truth. Thanks Verla!
At about 10:00, our attention was turned to the lakeside when our nephew, Eddie and his helpers, Kevin and Aaron, began a truly outstanding fireworks display. He had planned this for sometime and it was spectacular! Everyone oooed and ahhhed as the night sky was filled with sparkling colors. A complete and welcomed surprise for Bob and me. Just so cool!.
And speaking of fantastic, Bob’s buddy, Aaron Dalton brought out his fire batons and began a choreographed fire dance routine! What, you mean you don’t have fire dancers at your party!!!!
I was just floored and said – well, I knew it was a great party, but this just put it over the top!
The night continued as the band played on and people settled in with one more cup of beer and just a little more popcorn.
It was a wonderful night of celebration and love. A party that people are still talking about and one we will never forget.
And I can never have another – because how could I ever top this!!!
Everything had been planned ahead of time. And even though I had my ‘unfortunate incident’ as the girls were calling it, on Friday, these beautiful and capable and smart and loving nieces and nephews took over and did EVERYTHING. We can not thank our beloved children enough for all their help and for their love. Rebekah and Corey Vinnedge, Eddie and Andrea Worley, Sarah and Kevin Mattler, and Kathleen Rose Gresham – you are our hearts and we love you guys very much!
Come, bring your pad
and a sharp pencil
First there is soil and toads and pebbles
then a bit of shiny stuff
and pine bark
(can you smell the difference?)
Now, columbines, astilbe
(the wee ones called sprite)
daylilies, roses, hostas and hydrangeas
an odd yellow lily
(not sure when it arrived)
Are you getting this all down?
Don’t let the butterflies
interrupt your train of thought-
Next the moneywort,
lemon thyme, a bit of bind weed too,
and the ivys: English, birdsfoot,
the white splotched variegated creeper
Did I mention the ferns?
Painted, everdale and cinnamon
and this one that was dug
from the bank of the creek
Iris: butter yellow, midnight black,
sweet apricot and white edged grape
stiff daggers of leaves stand
to mind their place
Now where was I?
Cosmos, pinks, mums, and hollyhocks
violets, a dandelion or two
soft lambs ears and ghostly dusty miller
pale grey to light the shadows
against the deep dark green
Well, that is that..
Tomorrow, we shall count the trees.