Archive for the ‘the nature of nature’ Category


June 16, 2012

She liked to look at In the Garden With Jane Austen and The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden and imagine that she too could have a garden. A garden like the one she had up north with peonies and lady’s mantle and lamb’s ears. But of course she lived in the south now with mosquitoes and lubbers and fire ants and gardening was much more of a challenge and much less enjoyable.

She dug up little borders alongside the patio anyway, and planted some ornamental grasses and honeysuckle and coreopsis and prostate rosemary. It was a very small accomplishment.

Then the summer rains started. And beautiful tender little grasses started sprouting in the beds along with weeds. Now she not only missed the gardens up north, but the soft, cushiony lawns too. She dug and raked and  pulled out as much of the grass as she could. She spread mulch, so that at least for a morning or two or even three she could enjoy the tidiness of her very small accomplishment.

When she finished there were constellations of no-seeum bites on her legs and dirt under her nails. She took a nice, long shower and ate a popsicle and was happy to see that the bites were already fading.



January 8, 2012

I took the Tree down yesterday. Now we miss it. We miss it and we miss festive holiday fashions like blue & silver ribbons worn round furry necks.

This was a Tree of historic importance. Quite possibly the sweetest, humblest most devoted Tree I’ve ever had. This lowly little $29 fraser fir from Home Depot, stood proudly in front of the window for 5 weeks and barely dropped a needle. It smelled wonderful and was the perfect size and companion.

I am ever the daughter of a forest ranger, so the Tree is now in the backyard leaning against a palm. The birds might want to sit in it. Or the squirrels. It still has so much elegance and dignity left to share.

I will visit when I can, and give it updates on Downton Abbey. I hope it enjoys the starlight.

I make things

October 24, 2011

Heck yes! I made a nest. Don’t ask how. It was hard and I almost gave up. Maybe it’s easier if you have a beak. Sometimes fingers just get in the way.

Birds impress me more and more every day. Not only can they fly and sing, but they craft such precious, cozy little nests. I bet if we let them, they could fix the housing crisis.

Anyway I made a nest. It’s a little rickety and a bit sloppy but I like it.

Kids, this is what can be accomplished by setting goals for yourselves. Dare to dream.

The time I fell in love

October 11, 2010

After a long, hot, tedious summer we met. I was  tentative at first. I’ve been fooled before and  I have some trust issues.  Somehow this felt right. We made plans to have lunch that day. And every day after that we were together at the park for lunch, watching the ducks, or sitting together on a bench in the sun. While I read stories about love, he caressed the back of my neck with kisses as soft as a whisper.

We never had enough time together during the week. Cooped up in an office every day, I began to live for the time we spent together – the lunches, the rides to and from work and the few hours at the end of the day.

The weekends were ours. I woke  early and drank my coffee outside on the patio with him. We took walks and mowed the lawn. We planted seeds and watched the birds and counted the butterflies.

I know it can’t be this way forever. He’ll change. And he’ll have moods. There may be clouds and storms.

I  opened the door, and there he was offering himself to me, to love.


Rewards program

August 10, 2010

In the middle of a mundane after dinner chore, I realize the sky is blooming. I grab the camera and run outside in my bare feet.

I feel a light headed and maybe just a bit special.

Yes, Florida has big, big bugs and gators, and humidity so thick it can be sliced, toasted and spread with jam.
But it also has skies that triumph.

Skies that humbly say, “Um excuse me miss. Stop obsessing over poverty, disease and injustice for a moment and look what I can do. I’m trying to help you here.”

I am aglow.


July 5, 2010

The rain is the perfect accompaniment to my quiet summer weekend.

I hunker down in at home, making and baking. Tidying and shining. Reading and watching. There’s so much more to see and hear when the sun isn’t bullying my yard into submission.

Yesterday I watched a  big yellow butterfly  fluttering around my orange tree for 5 minutes. I’m pretty sure this butterfly shops in the plus size department. And the mockingbirds are mocking and frogs are chirping and the rain lilies are blooming.

The other night, I looked out the kitchen window to see a bobcat strolling through my yard. How amazing that so much nature can be seen in my little patch of Florida

A certain season needs to learn some manners

May 2, 2010

Summer barged in.

Where I come from, seasons are much more mannerly and they wait for a  proper invitation in the form of a solstice or equinox.

I don’t know where she’s going to stay but I guess she can camp out in the back yard. I don’t even know what she likes to eat.

I can’t afford to take her out and show her the sights.

This could get awkward.

A flashback is…

July 23, 2009

a narrative technique that allows a writer to present past events during current events, providing background for the current narration. By giving material that occurred prior to the present events, the writer provides the reader with insight into their motivation or background. Or lack of originality. Or mental acuity.

Jump rope contest and then let’s put our bathing suits on and take our inner tubes and walk down through the cornfield to the Blue Hole and swim. I’m wearing my old sneakers because I don’t want those big, ugly carp in there nibbling my toes. Let’s sit on the porch steps and eat our popsicles. We should  ride our bikes down to the school and jump off the swings. We can follow the creek up the gorge and maybe I’ll find an arrowhead or some interesting rocks. The moss is so soft. You wanna go down to the corner and throw sticks over the bridge and see which one comes out the other side first? Race ya’! Yours is stuck. I win. Let’s skip stones. Tonight let’s catch fireflies – just catch them and let them go. They’re like fairies.

Wednesday morning: I lie in bed listening to news on NPR, slither out of bed a little later – actually it gets a little later every morning. Whatever. Hydration, hygiene, attire. Feed cats, make coffee, feed self. Go to work. Work… should get a hair cut, should stop at dry cleaner and we might need milk. My thumb hurts. Hot, steamy car. Homeless guy makes me cry. Moron on cellphone makes me sigh. Check mail-junk. Listen as cat recites the day’s activities. Sounds like a lot – but really she slept all day. Make uninspiring dinner- something- anything, who cares. Dishes, laundry, putter in the yard, slap at mosquitoes. Stare into back yard, willing there to be  fireflies. Still staring. Nothing.  Where are all the fireflies?

Maybe I’m Just Tired

April 5, 2009

(My heavy head is full of debris  -As Tall As Lions)

Like my sick kitty, the wisdom teeth, the car mirror, locking the keys  in the car, getting my hand stuck in the shredding bin, and people who don’t help their kids.

(I know we’re all souls just trying to connect with someone – As Tall As Lions)

Dan Nigro played in bare feet and said his father owns a paper company like Dunder Mifflin, and my sick kitty is brave and full of purrs even when she’s unwell, and it’s National Poetry Month, and she made me an ATAL shirt and he gave me a Liguus fasciatus shell.

(You’re lost in your mind -As Tall As Lions)

Is anything going to happen in Agnes Grey or is she just going to go on and on about being a governess and will I ever figure out what’s going on in Little Dorit or will I just continue to watch because of Matthew MacFayden, will she get better or will she just keep losing weight, is she in pain, how much better looking can Jack get and when will Des be on again, do people really get what’s coming to them (is it wrong of me to hope they do) and what’s the plural of amaryllis?

(I stay awake thinking this life is lonely – As Tall As Lions)

Maybe that’s why I just want to sit and work on eggs, bent over the table, listening to music, getting a stiff neck. Lost.