The Homestone

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our summer birds taking leave.

Mid August, like clockwork, our hummingbirds depart.  They know.  The nights are cold now and mornings too. We will watch for them again in May when they return. First one, then a week later more arrive and by June we have literally hundreds of hummingbirds visiting our feeders and filling the discs in our cameras. 

Our beautiful Evening Grosbeaks are still here.  Feeding their young with a ready supply of sunflower seeds.  They grow so fast and soon they will be off as well in search of warmer nights.  Some of our swallows are late to leave but will soon be on their way.  

We try to send them strong and loved and well fed into the world.  Their departures are always bitter sweet.  Will they make their journey safely?  There are so many perils ahead of them.  We look for special markings and document them and watch for their return the following year.  They are dear to us, if you see them, please say hello from the meadow.

For the past 6 weeks, we have had a resident Great Blue Heron surveying the creek and making circles over the hay fields.  A magnificent bird who has become quite comfortable with us. The other day, after a rare and enriching visit to our home from a client (and new friend) as we sat with our afternoon coffee on the porch, our Great Blue came and landed atop the wooden swing set ~ so close to us.
 He stayed awhile and David got some lovely photos.  I sometimes wonder if our birds know that we talk about them and share them with the world this way.  

Okay, enough with the wildlife; I'll get back now to answering letters from all the amazingly diverse and beautiful people who write to us asking about commissioning a Touch Wood Ring. 

But first, let me leave you with another Mary Oliver poem from her book Owl and Other Fantasies . . .  (thanks Mary!)

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves -
then I saw him clutching the limb
in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still
and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness -
and that's when it happened,
when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree -
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,
and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing -
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed
not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky - all, all of them
were singing.
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn't last
for more than a few moments.
It's one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you've been there,
you're there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then - open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Another summer of Gratitude and Wonder

 Late July, early August ... the beauty of so many young ones around of the 4 legged and winged variety, and The Skies!! Oh my.  It is a photographers paradise these days. 

 hummingbirds and finches

 serenity now :)

The July Super Moon
And our beloved Evening Grosbeaks
 about 18 of them ~ moms and dads and all their young ones

 Chipmunks by the dozens.

 Pine Siskins in droves

 and spectacular skies

Tough to stay put in a chair at the computer screen right now.  Enjoying everything the season has to offer with gratitude and wonder.

Try to get out into the night under the stars ....
Watch for the Perseid meteors streaking across the short summer nights – August 10-13 – from late night until dawn!