Tuesday, July 16, 2019

eyes to see it

This photo was taken in 1930's, Blue River.
Even though I wasn't on that same beach until the 1960's, I recognize it in a moment. In fact, because it is so familiar, I failed to really LOOK at the picture, and missed the reason someone raised viewfinder to eye and snapped away.
At first glance, the distant hills with their comforting contour, the wooded shore, the clump of birch are all so Lake Eleanor, though we always called it The Lake.
The diving platform seems mighty close to shore. It was later moved somewhat but not enough. My brother dove from it and broke his wrist on the bottom of the lake which he arrived at too quickly.
It wasn't until this morning, as I wandered through a file of old black and whites that I paused and really looked at this picture for once.
And that is when I noticed it.
Out there in the middle.
On a log.
A heron.
Or crane of some kind.
Not something I ever saw growing up in Blue River.
Not something the photographer had grown accustomed to seeing either.
And so they took the picture.
There was no zoom feature.
No crop or resize available.
So the marvelous, amazing, unusual sight remained exactly where it was.
Out in the middle of the lake on a log.
In the center of the photograph.
Right in front, for anyone with eyes to see it.

Monday, July 15, 2019

upcyled birds

Upcyling is a joyous thing.
 Paint chips snip snapped into birds; cards for my bird loving Aunt.

Sunday, July 14, 2019


Blueberries are ON.
It doesn't take long to fill a pail in the cool slanting light of evening.

Row after row of blueberries, 
some large and tart, some shiny black and tasting of cinnamon.

Nearby, grapes of autumn are soaking up the sweetness of summer.

Raspberries are soon gone for another year.

And early apples scent the air.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

year by year

For several years I gave my Mom hydrangea. 
It was always one giant pom pom of petals in a pot like a great, pink topiary, and when they finished flowering, we planted them out in the garden.

Pink they were and pink some remained. 
Others morphed into every shade of purple, changing year by year.

July Garden

Roses; tier upon tier, upon tier. Great heaps and drifts of them.

We didn't plant them. They came with the house, and were already well established when we arrived. Except for a wonderful peach/orange one that is getting more flamboyant every year.

The hollyhock weren't planted by us either, although they are in very different spots now. They drop their seeds willy nilly and have gradually edged their way around the lawn.

Hosta are so amazing. I love all of them. They have giant leaves in every shade of green. These are especially oversized, blue-green with especially generous flowers in lovely lavender.

And, these are garlic scapes. The stems curl and coil like preening geese. A gaggle of garlic geese.

The garden is a wondrous thing in July.

Saturday, July 6, 2019


I knew the children would all be in bed when I stopped by one evening.
No chance to say hello or goodbye.
But then a head appeared in the window,
popping up like a gopher on the prairie.
I paused, one leg in the car,
almost leaving,
then curved my fingers aloft into a heart sign.
Up in the second story bedroom window, her small hands did the same
I signed 'i love you'
as did she, a little echo
while I blew kisses like a departing opera singer.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

on the lookout

She wanted to go to Aldergrove Lake Park.
She wanted to go there BEFORE she went home.
Even if no one else except her wanted to go. 

She asked so earnestly.
She even said please.

Grandmothers love to say yes.

While the others hastened home, we buckled in and headed south.
South, past rows of houses all alike.
And flocks of cars heading east.
Past trucks grumbling and clearing their throats. 
And cedar, fir and alder thickly green.

We were on the lookout for Living Creatures.
I told her about the coyote and the mouse.
About the owl and rabbit.
I reminded her of the time I'd seen a turtle laying eggs and the three giant frogs.
Of the snake and the fish with bulging eyes.
The ducks.
And squirrels.

She clutched my phone.
She was ready to film.

The pond was as flat as glass.
Not a duck in sight.
It wasn't an amphibian day.
Or a reptile one.
Nothing furry dashed by.
Birds sang in shadowed invisibility.

She seemed a bit disgusted. 

"Look," I cried. "A honey-bee!"
Carefully she filmed, standing wisely at a distance.
"Blue dragonflies! See, one just landed on my arm."
A beetle waddled obligingly by.
Slender silver damselflies twirled.
So many Living Creatures.
She filmed and filmed and filmed.