Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer's seventh inning stretch

This morning the difference in hatching dates among some of our local geese was pretty obvious. I suspect, given the growth rate of goslings, there may be only a week or two between some teenagers playing chicken on the local road  (see below)

young geese resting in the road
young geese resting in the road
Photo by J. Harrington

and those prepubescents still herded by goose and gander away from possible dangers like that creature taking pictures as they swim away (see below).

younger goslings escorted by their parents
younger goslings escorted away by their parents
Photo by J. Harrington

At the same time goslings are approaching the time for their first training flights, not far away Summer begins to signal it may have passed its peak. For the last few days, I've noticed increasing numbers of red leaves among the green of the local vines. They've been highlighted by the appearance of a few yellow leaves in the understory.

heat stress or Autumn signs sneaking in?
heat stress or Autumn signs sneaking in?
Photo by J. Harrington

If I weren't writing these blog posts, I probably would fail to pay as much attention to the daily and weekly changes that occur all around me, although a personal or nature journal might prompt mindfulness as well. I hope you enjoy these reports and that they encourage you to live and record an attentive, mindful, nature-full life. Remember, too, that it was this time of July when men first landed on the moon forty-five years ago. No Summer lulls for them.

First Men on the Moon

By J. Patrick Lewis

"The Eagle has landed!" —Apollo II Commander Neil A. Armstrong
"A magnificent desolation!" — Air Force Colonel Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr.July 20, 1969

That afternoon in mid-July,
Two pilgrims watched from distant space
The moon ballooning in the sky.
They rose to meet it face-to-face.

Their spidery spaceship, Eagle, dropped
Down gently on the lunar sand.
And when the module's engines stopped,
Rapt silence fell across the land.

The first man down the ladder, Neil,
Spoke words that we remember now—
“One small step...” It made us feel
As if we were there too, somehow.

When Neil planted the flag and Buzz
Collected lunar rocks and dust,
They hopped like kangaroos because
Of gravity. Or wanderlust?

A quarter million miles away,
One small blue planet watched in awe.
And no one who was there that day
Will soon forget the sight they saw.


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