Thursday, November 24, 2022

The world goes on

Outside the chickadee and Carolina wren, the cardinals and the tufted titmice, sparrows galore, the Blue Jays and the flicker (that has decided this year the bird feeder is the best thing around) surround the house sharing the peanuts and birdseed, the suet blocks and the abundance of this mild rainy day. Yesterday on our ramble there was a particularly plaintive cry that only the squirrels make, and I always ask, “What’s wrong, Gerald?” (I call all squirrels, Gerald), but this time looking up I saw what was bothering Gerald, the two hawks in a neighboring tree looking down! “Good luck, buddy,” I said as we walked on.

Around the corner at the house on Vine (occasionally it flies a Union Jack, but right now a Ukrainian flag) none of the cats were around. Typically, at least three cats are lounging, but not yesterday. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm, so I’m sure they had other things to do. I had one class on Wednesday and felt like finding a warm quiet place myself, but I’ll play cat another time. When we got home the black cat was out front pretending, she is shy, but she isn’t running any longer.

We woke yesterday to the news of another round of death and destruction due to America’s free-for-all with guns. The frequency of the carnage is such that even the calls for thoughts and prayers are being neglected. The cowards who have the ability to change the laws but are too enamored of money and power to do more than pay lip service to the problem are silent. Let’s call every bullet an abortion and see how quickly they pivot. Prolife indeed.

And while we’re counting the dead, in the past week Covid numbers (at least those reported) fell below 300 for a day or two. But it didn’t last long, right back to 311 today. And the confusion on the pandemic continues a sampling of headlines from this week: we’re heading into a triple threat of RSV, Omicron and Flu; Omicron surge is coming; more vaccinated people are dying because the efficacy has worn off, and hey, it’s all over.

If there’s something we are really good at here in America, oh like forever, is following these awesome and exceptional narratives about how awesome and exceptional we are. Go team America.


I’m grateful for the birds, and the man, the Bambina and her man, my boy wherever he is and my friends. My big family is gathering elsewhere, and the new family is safe and sound as well. I have a good, warm house, some wonderful food cooking (right now) and a gentle rain falling.

Be safe, be kind, find a warm place to rest. Read some poetry.

The sky puts on its clear
face just a dawn blush
and golden shine as the sun
is met on the horizon,
the earth’s rotation
this old globe’s tilt.
In the fall cold, birdsong: 
the world goes on.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Take a picture here in the daylight, oh-oh And it's a wild, wild life*

Just a quick note on the animals in the area. Last week we encountered a coyote and a fox in the neighborhood on the same ramble. The coyote was slinking across a lawn backlit by streetlights but the fox was scurrying right in front of us over where the old dog Willy lived way back when. Then the deer stood and watched us from the neighbor's yard as we headed out one evening. I've seen two bald eagles in the past week as well. And so many hawks, so many hawks, as I drive toward school.

And because I have no pictures of those friends here's a picture from two years ago:

Be kind, be safe. 

* Talking Heads: Wild, Wild Life

Sunday, October 16, 2022

That one jewel

It was open all the windows and enjoy the day day. Today was harvest the rest of the tomatoes day. They were transplanted late from the Aero garden and the box of them still looks like gooseberries on steroids. Then it was clean the raised bed day (but leave the cosmos for the bees). Then on the front porch it was trim, repot and bring in the begonias and geraniums day. Then it was make some bread day. It was watch the chickadees at the feeder day. And stand quietly trying to see what bird is singing in the ornamental pear tree day. It was admire the sunflowers day and read some poems day. It was stand in the sun day.

The palm held to the sky
holds the sun, that one jewel
that outlasts all others.


Monday, October 10, 2022


Most afternoons as I'm driving back from school I pass Randy's Rescue Ranch. Randy's Rescue Ranch is an animal sanctuary at the edge of town. As I go by I roll down my window and yell "RUTABAGA!!!" 

Rutabaga is a pig that lives at the ranch. The pig is a local star. I think the rescue ranch is pretty cool too. Just a little animal kindness today.

Rutabaga the Pig

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

A rumor of frost

I was on my way into my first class today, coming around the end of the Literary Arts building when I saw a bird walking into the pond. The pond sits at the back of the building between a parking lot and what was the main drive into campus. Usually, the geese are gathered back there, grazing or planning mayhem, but today an egret was moving slowly into the water. I stood and watched. It was a cool day; mist rose around the bird whose body glowed in the morning sun. I wanted to stay longer but needed to get upstairs to review my notes one more time before the latest quiz. Imagine how pleased I was to look back out there a few hours later and see an egret still pacing about.

 Last week during our ramble an owl came to rest above us on a streetlamp. Coyotes were speaking to one another across the many cul-de-sacs from the edge of town, and the first cool evening seemed to be settling in. For the past five or six days we’ve been able to open the windows in house and keep them open all day. Low temperatures and low humidity and a rumor of frost this weekend.

It reminds me that the world is still and calm in small doses.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Beautiful and light

The past few days while we’ve been out on our walk, out rambling about town, Monarchs have been floating by. It’s migration time. I get easily distracted as we go, watching the butterflies. And the squirrels hoarding acorns, the hawk hoarding squirrels and the one flat cat I’ve seen a couple of miles away from here. And then the one house on Vine always has cats hanging about so there is the cat fix. And we do have a new black cat in the neighborhood; she is definitely someone’s pet, and she is beautiful and shy.

We went from temperatures in the high 90’s on Wednesday and Thursday (add humidity ☹) to 60° on Friday. Ah. Today was a bit of a boomerang but next week it looks like Fall weather as we head toward October. Which is where I bring in the Saint Louis Cardinals baseball team, as they move toward October and post-season. Not that I watch baseball anymore or follow it very closely (the game is too slow, the season too long and there are too many teams. Mediocrity is rampant.). That’s not the important thing, the important thing is the team’s Albert Pujols. Yesterday in Los Angeles he hit career homerun number 700. In my record book this puts him in the number three spot for career homeruns. In the official record book, he’s at number four. (I don’t count Barry Bonds. He can have the number one spot with a giant performance enhancing asterisk! And for the record, Pete Rose should never be allowed in the Hall of Fame.) 

But, Albert Pujols, at 42, his final year, is having a great season. I will cheer for him every time. I was happy to see him get that hit. I loved his smile and the post-game interview with his family. 

Beautiful and light as a monarch.

(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports)


I imagine myself one of these orange
angels, rising on the first cool breeze
close along the tree’s crown where I say
nothing. I do not worry about my name
or feelings or even if I will make it the thousand
miles home. I’m a puzzle piece, content to fit
here. Here. In the sun my whole-body glows
with a music, there are a many songs today
covering the world. None matter
that much. As long as we journey
and sing, some of us will survive.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Look up

 Wordsworth wrote

 "I wandered lonely as a cloud
  That floats on high o'er vales and hills,"

A fitting couplet to repeat today on Cloud Appreciation Day. It's also the day to add a cloud shot to the Memory Cloud Atlas. A poet friend sent me the link and I have shared it as well.

I was slightly disappointed this morning when not a cloud was in sight. The only object that made me look up was the silly gaggle of geese that were landing on a building on campus. From the ground just their necks and heads were visible like reeds blowing in a gentle breeze and then much honking would arise and another one or two joined the rave. I knew my first class was on the third floor in an adjacent building so went up to see the geese across the way.

There is a perfectly good pond out there and people are just coming to class, wouldn't this be a good time to just get in the way and block access? Was the novelty of looking down without flying fascinating? I enjoyed pondering about them. 

As I was leaving after my last class I shot these clouds hanging around. 

Well, be safe. Look up. Ponder a new thing.

The world goes on

Outside the chickadee and Carolina wren, the cardinals and the tufted titmice, sparrows galore, the Blue Jays and the flicker (that has deci...