Be-Leaf in Yourself (II)

oak leavesAre you like the sturdy oak

Whose leaves hang on until the end?

The longtime, loyal  steadfast kind

That makes a wonderful friend.


Are you like the weeping willow   weeping willow

Pliant, flexible as wind gusts blow?

Your openess to changing times

Is a helpful friend to know.


Palm coconutAre you like the graceful palm

Whose long fronds thatch a tropical home?

Some provide dates and coconuts

Food for those who roam.

plaited palm and hut



Squirrelly in the Winter (Christmas 2018)

In honor of Squirrel Appreciation Day, we continue the adventures of Hoover the Squirrel.

Hoover had not been seen for a few months.  In Fall’s rich harvest, he did not need to visit the bird feeder to pawhandle.  No one hopped up to peer into the kitchen window to see if someone was available to throw nuts out on the backporch or peed on the teak chairs to mark their territory.  The birds were the only ones to use the feeder hanging from the back porch and a brick of seeds lasted longer than three days.

By Christmas time, the days were growing colder and food became less abundant.  The holly berries were disappearing off the holly bushes at an increasing rate.  When we went to the nursery to buy our front door Christmas wreath, we saw a wreath of bird seed that would be perfect to hang from the central post on the back porch.  The seed was attached with a ratafia bow and fastened to a styrofoam wreath.  My husband nailed it to the backporch.

squirrel wreath--all that was left

It lasted about a day.  The squirrels discovered it before the birds did.  They tugged on it so hard, that it fell off the porch and into the ivy below.  Hoover was seen dragging one of the large pieces back to his home in the beech tree.  The ratafia bow was the only part left.

Three days later, I went back to the nursery to buy another wreath. This one had a red plastic bow.  My husband nailed it more firmly to the porch post, hoping to make it more difficult for the squirrels to detach.

squirrel ramains of second food wreath onthe ground.jpg


It was a forlorn hope.  The second one lasted a few days longer than the first wreath, but it too ended up in broken pieces in the ivy.

squirrel ramains of second food wreath onthe ground

As it was with the original plastic squirrel feeders, it was Squirrels-2, Humans-0.  We replaced the second seed wreath with an evergreen wreath that survived until we took all of the Christmas decorations down in early January.

Hoover has resumed hanging upside down from the bird feeder.

squirrels--return on hoover


Reblog: 10 Fascinating Facts about Common Odors

books-oldMy favorite smell from this list is Biblichor.  ““Biblichor” refers to the smell of old books. It is actually a new word. Whether it will make it into the English language is only a matter of time. Old books don’t have a definite odor. Some smell like vanilla, coffee, chocolate, or other individual or combined substances. However, all the scents are called biblichor.” Read the blog to find out the other nine.

Wishy-Washy Winter

winter tree.jpgCentral Virginia has had exceptional rainfall since last Spring.  In 2018, we recorded our second wettest year.   With each changing season, many of us hope that we will have more than a week without rain.  So far, no such luck.

I’ve lived in California and know that they desparately need the rain.  Another El Nino year  is in progress.  Like most trends, what starts in California, soon spreads across the nation.  The precipitation is no exception.

Except for climate change, we can not do anything about the weather except monitor it, discuss it, bitch about it, maybe even prepare for it, but we can not change it.  It will be hot/cold, wet/dry, seasonal/unseasonal.

I wish the rain would come and wash the dregs of snow away.  Yesterday I saw the first winter jasmine blossoms burst forth on their long shoots, adding small splahses of yellow on an otherwise gray/white landscape. Across the back yard, the daffodil stalks are an inch above the soil line.  Spring is staking out an early toehold.

Winter Jasmine Boar's Head Inn

Ground Hog Day is two weeks from tomorrow.  The fat rodent will be yanked, protestingly, from his burrow to forecast the possibility of an early spring.  He will have a shadow of a chance of being correct.

We’ve  gained almost an half hour extra of sunlight in the evening since the Solstice.  The calendar inches forward one day at a time but my impatient mind yells “Enough already!  Spring we’re waiting.”

Two crocus St. Paul Ivy Graveyard



sun and moon


Watch the sun waltz with the moon

Progressing across the sky as they change positions

Each day.

One follows, the other leads.

The dance master set them forth eons ago.

Time and distance do not matter.

Dawn bring the sun to prominence.  Dusk subdues it. 

Sometimes clouds obscure it.

The moon is more capricious.

Appearing some days and disappearing some nights.

Alone–It Depends Upon Your Perspective

All by myself
Don’t wanna be
All by myself
From The Song All By Myself by Celine Deon
What does it mean to be alone?  Are you truly isolated by distance, love, feelings, incarceration, faith, being marooned in a distant spot?   Is being alone the same as being lonely?
lone cypres aloneFrom this perspective, the famous Lone Cypress along 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach looks quite alone.  It stands alone on its point, the other cypress trees are not visible from this angle.  The haze on the early morning sea seems to heighten the feeling of isolation.
In this picture, you can see the branches of another cypress tree in the foreground solone cypress with perspective that Lone Cypress has neighbors.  Do you have neighbors or friends nearby that you do not notice because of your perspective of being alone?  Sometimes the neighbors may have a different, if not better, perspecive than you do. If you both branch out, you may find a common point of view.
Audrey Hepburn famously said “I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.”
Do you just want to be left alone, or do you want to be alone?  Sometimes we do find our own company the best at a particular point in time.
Do you make a  point of being alone on your point?  Can you see others in the distance but do not feel drawn to them for whatever reason?
Does being a self-diagnosed Introvert or Extrovert add credence to your point of separateness?  Is that the same as isolation?
Is no man (or woman) truly an island?
lone cypress--not really alone
Did you notice how the perspective of the Lone Cypress changes as you move from picture to picture?  It all depends upon which point you stand on to survey what or who is around you.

Christmas Day: Assaulting the Beaches

Assaulting the Beach


The battalions assembled

After travelling hundreds of miles

To assault the beach

On Chritmas morning.

The attack was relentless

Wave after wave threw itself

To be dragged across the sand

To be splintered upon the rocks

Relentless, endlessly

Each wave crashed, roared, thundered, tumbled, finally receding

Only to reform to assault the beach again.


Waves assaulting the beach 20181225
Assaulting the Coast along Pebble Beach’s 17 Mile Drive on Christmas Day


Book Review: Encourage a Child to Watch Birds, by Denzil Walton

Most of us have birds somewhere in our lives (in the garden, divebombing the car, feeding from our feeders, or hanging out and talking in the early morning hours.)  They are fascinating and most of us don’t know as much about as we might.  Audrey Driscoll’s review of Denzil Walton’s new book can help you learn more about birds.

via Book Review: Encourage a Child to Watch Birds, by Denzil Walton