Friday, June 19, 2009

I Still Watch & Listen

It is Momma time of year! I get to be a stay at home mom for a season. In the recent weeks that I have been quiet, I have continued to watch. Momma wren is still teaching her young to fly. It is so unusual to see a flock of wrens. I lounged in the pool the other day, watching as they flew over my head from the forest, passed the house, around the gardens...back & forth. They were clearly kids at play. It was delightful. The cardinal babies have grown to that awkward, adolescent stage, their crests too big for their bodies. We have more bluebirds, blue jays and glad to see after the illness, a few years back that took out so many songbirds. Our red-shouldered hawk is training her young to fly. Lots of screeching and teaching. I have been blessed to see momma soar right over my head, at tree-top level, while I was on our raised deck. I witnessed a great blue, heron lumber overhead barely clearing the trees.

Our chipmunk population has grown this year. My computer is next to sliding doors, overlooking the forest & lake. Periodically, a young chipmunk scampers but inches from my foot, on the other side of the glass. The spring baby squirrels are awkwardly learning to jump from tree to tree. The waterfall out back has swelled incredibly since this image was taken in the spring. I love to sit on the deck, listening to the rushing sounds it makes. One night I was doing so & heard an unusual sound. When it stopped, I rushed in to look it up. It was the sound of a "happy raccoon".

The area has been in drought for a number of years, but we have returned to a wonderful cycle of afternoon or nightly thunderstorms. We are perched on a slope amidst the forest. It is truly amazing to watch as the trees whip & sway in the wind. I watch approaching storms through the sliding doors. When one arrives, I dash out front to the carport. The other night, the stars began to reappear & it seemed the storm had passed. I counted the lightening at 3 miles away. Just then, a crackling lightening strike shattered the night. On the far corner of our yard, it struck a sumac. I lingered a long while, watching the upper branches glow and flare.

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