Saturday, July 15, 2017

A time of magical light

Between dawn and sunrise, what light there is often has a magical quality. This morning it caused to whitetail doe walking across the rise in our back yard to glow, almost ember-like. She was grazing on something near the ground in the tall grass, because her head kept disappearing below the tops of the grasses. Visions such as this morning's, and Thursday's sighting of a pair of sandhill cranes in a nearby cornfield, help a lot to refresh hope in times like these. Would that more of us suffered from severe cases of biophilia.

this looks like it should be named Angora something
this Astilbe(?) looks like it should be named Angora something
[UPDATE: It's Queen-of-the-Prairie
Filipendula rubra]
Photo by J. Harrington

Leaf-dappled sunlight, accompanied by a gentle breeze, followed sunrise to the front yard. I still haven't learned how to adequately compensate for even mild motion with sufficiently fast shutter speeds. Sigh! The just out of focus quality is frustrating, but the flowers are pretty. I may need to start resorting to a tripod, or settle for a reduced depth of field. I don't recall ever seeing a flower quite as pretty as whatever the pink, lacy blooms [above] are. Genus and species weren't readily recalled by the Better Half when I queried her this morning. Most of us though recognize Queen Anne's lace.

Queen Anne's lace with early Sun dappling the right-hand flower
Queen Anne's lace with early Sun dappling the right-hand flower
Photo by J. Harrington

A different mystery has been solved as this piece was being written. A week or two ago, I installed an ant guard moat above the deck oriole / hummingbird feeder. The feeder had been attracting a large number of big, black ants. Since then, even on days after heavy rains, I've noticed the water level had dropped until the container was about half full. I doubted there had been that much evaporation. Moments ago, I watched a nuthatch drinking, in its usual head down position, from the ant moat. I'm only too happy to get a two-fer out of the ant moat and am grateful that that mystery appears solved.

Enjoy Summer! Six months from now, deer will be in their Winter colors, flowers will be in hot houses,  and at least some of us will be complaining about cold, snow and wind-chills. Once in awhile I've found magical light during our cold seasons, but, like many of us, it seems to come out and play more often in the warmer months.


Walt Whitman, 1819 - 1892

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
        with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so
        quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the
        ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

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Please be kind to each other while you can.