It’s been a long time since I’ve taken the time to sit on my patio and listen to the world wake up. Even before I retired from teaching that was one of my favorite things to do in the summer. It was part, of my “summertime, there is no schedule, daily routine.” This summer has been different for me. I have been busy and haven’t made the time. I’m awake by 5:30, but I’ve spent my time editing and re-editing, talking to book designers, my editor, my web designer, and trying to keep on top of … things.
This morning, I grabbed my tea and gathered books, a journal, a mechanical pencil and a colored gel pen, called the dog, and stepped two feet out my back door into what I consider my own morning oasis. I was a little late. The tops of the trees were already reflecting the morning sun. The birds had already begun their morning routine but had not yet completed all their necessary tasks. There was plenty to see and hear!
The books remained unopened. The pens untouched. The tea was sipped as I looked, listened, and breathed in the beautiful, crisp 65-degree morning.
The first thing that caught my eye did not move or make a sound. At the edge of my back garden I noticed one lone, bright yellow mum peering out from a sea of dark green foliage. I obviously missed a bud, repeatedly, when I pinched back my mums multiple times since they emerged this spring. Into my mind popped the thought that there must be a blog in that somewhere!! Some analogy or symbolism. But I put that thought to the back of my mind. I really didn’t intend to write this morning. (Why the writing instruments? you ask.)
Next thing you know I was walking barefoot in my jammies through the cool wet grass, short robe sloppily tied (no one can see me on my patio) and phone in hand. I was snapping pictures on my phone camera of some of the blooms in my yard. Of course, I headed back to the single yellow mum that might make a good blog post some day (but not today) to snap a photo. As I turned back towards my patio, I noticed the neighbor on his patio and darted quickly back to mine without a wave or nod to him. Oops. Caught again in my jammies. This is not the first time this has happened to me … to us, poor guy.
Once the irresistible task of photographing was complete, I just sat. I noticed a white-breasted nuthatch heading beak first down one of the larger trees in my yard. I briefly thought that I would never want to go nose-first downward.
By then, a goldfinch zigzagged about ten feet from me and I followed her path as she landed on my heliopsis, which are definitely past their prime. Their drying seed heads will stay in place until the plants re-emerge next spring, because they provide a great treat for the goldfinches, as do the dead coneflowers. The stems of the heliopsis are barely stable enough to hold the little birds, so it took a second for her to stabilize on the stem before she began eating.
Later, a male goldfinch took a much less direct path to the same patch of heliopsis as he scouted the flowers from first one tree, then another, and finally from a nearby golden privet. Once he landed, he stayed longer than the female had. I snapped his pic from my phone, wishing I had my camera which has a much better zoom lens.
Meanwhile a pair of robins were performing a ritualistic flight dance, a hummingbird investigated a forsythia bush – nothing there – and darted off. I heard a woodpecker searching for food high up in a tree in a nearby yard. Thankfully he wasn’t waking my husband by drumming on our flu stack he seems so fond of.
About the time I heard the chatter of the babies in the wren house as they called for food, my dog plastered her nose to the patio door, waiting for it to magically open. I decided she was probably hungry so gathered up my belongings and headed in.
No squirrels this morning! I wonder where they were. In the past I would see rabbits, but those have been scarce. On the neighborhood social media, I have seen many reports of coyote sightings in neighboring subdivisions recently. People have commented that the scarcity of rabbits this summer is probably because they have been thinned by the coyotes. Cooper’s hawks and red-tailed hawks are also pretty active.
Once I fed the dog and poured the last of the tea from the pot, I sat down to the computer to capture my morning thoughts. Bare bones editing here. (My editor would be doing something with all these parentheses.) It’s much more fun to write when you don’t have to edit it multiple times.
Maybe I will move my desk to the back yard. It provides inspiration.
Have a great day!