Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

The cool mornings and slow warm-ups keep the wasps sluggish this time of year. But the late afternoon sun and warm days bring them out to swarm the few fall flowers that remain. Goldenrod, especially, the diner of choice it seems. Like a farmer, collecting the fall crops before the first freeze, so too the winter-loathing wasp gathers nectar—a last sustenance perhaps? While not venturing out in the morning, they redeem the afternoon, busy with the task at hand. What must I learn? What must I attend to?What sluggishness must I throw off, for unlike the wasp, can I not avoid a cold winter of the soul by redeeming the time?



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Foreshadow: to represent, indicate, or typify beforehand.

Precursor: one that precedes the approach of another.

These leaves shout something, but what? Are they crying, “Fall is coming,” a herald in this lush land, warning the chlorophyll of its imminent demise? Unashamed of showing their true colors over the need to get out the message, they proudly precede the wonder of blazing hills. And so they go mostly unnoticed: no pointing with oohs and ahs, no photo ops with the kids, no cover photo on Facebook. Self-effacing, a precursor to all the rest.

But foreshadowing connotes a darker theme on the other side of beauty: falling and barrenness, a cessation of  rustling. Canopies and shade give way to the realities of disease and the evidence of forgotten wind and ice and careless pruning. A silent world with all its skeletons on display.

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Grass blades are trees

To weave your web between,


And dew drops—the decoration

Like neon lights on the strip.


Insignificance unnoticed in the dark

Becomes brilliance highlighted by the dawn.

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Those just have to be tasty, don’t they? Don’t they? And don’t they need to be eaten before the Japanese Beetles find them? Or the deer? And what if they ripen while we’re on vacation?

The high cost of waiting can lead to bitterness in two ways. Sometimes we seek a shortcut; we refuse to wait. Shortcuts rarely satisfy and are often deceptive imitations. And sometimes waiting leaves us disappointed because life intervened—or Japanese Beetles or conflicts in schedules. And the second bitterness often adds to the temptation to take the shortcut. But that juicy red fruit that looks so sweet and inviting leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

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Peeking out,

Timid in the dewy dark.

A light, a rattle—a dark shape slinks by

Then stretches and sits and ponders a toad.


The light comes now

People go: doors and quick steps,

Hollers and kisses.

A light-induced bravery stiffens the neck—

Petals unfold.


The slinker pants behind the cedar;

Moisture sucked from leaves and dirt:

Hanging about between earth and sky,

A weight on the foreheads of little ones

Melting back inside.

The deep colors recede, head droops.


Beating down now, white hot

A slow simmer with head bowed low.

Then a shadow passes—

A brief respite, like a snow cone—

The postman makes his rounds.


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I’m going to get it when I get home. Momma told me not to take a short cut through the yard.

“Keep to the trees, son. Keep to the trees.”

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times. She just doesn’t understand my generation. We like to feel the grass on our feet. We don’t mind climbing a chain link fence or two. And running across the roof of the garage: well, she just wouldn’t understand.

Now I’m in for it. They’ve got me trapped. I can live with this animal against animal thing: I can out wait that dumb cat, but now there’s a two-leg involved in the whole deal. Cat on one side, two leg on the other. I hope momma doesn’t see me like this. I bet, I just bet, if I make a break for it, the cat and the two leg will collide going after me.

Wait, ah, here’s my chance. The two leg is going to consult with the cat. Idiot. That cat doesn’t have clue how to get me off the wall. Uh oh. The two leg is picking the cat up. What’s he going to do? I bet he’s going to throw the cat on me to knock me off the wall. Now’s my chance. If I just leap over the porch, I’m home free. No way that cat can beat me to the tree. Dumb cat. Dumb two leg.

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Yes, Little Bit?

Where does that go?

Where does what go?

That water.

Oh, do you remember the lake we saw a little while ago?


It probably goes there.

Oh. I bet they feel lost.

You bet who feels lost, Little Bit?

The little drops of water.

Why would they feel lost?

Because these are creek water drops, and the lake has lake water drops.

Oh, I see. But don’t you think that a water drop is a water drop no matter where it starts?

Yes—but—I mean, they’re the same, but these are not used to it being so deep. 

Do you think they will have a hard time adjusting?

I bet there’s nothing as fun as that waterfall in the lake.

I bet you’re right. But do you think they will be OK?

Probably, but I bet they will miss home. It’s hard to just sit in a lake if you’re made to jump off waterfalls. 

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