Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dawn to Dusk

Clouds dissipate and a waning three-quarter moon sends fingers of light tracing patterns on my walls and covering my face with a blanket of light. Daylight comes in softly; tints of color slowly increase. Sunset is often vibrant and bold but this morning light is softer than a cloud drifting in on silent wings, so soft I can scarcely tell just when the darkness changed to light. The sprinkling of snow that fell early last evening disappears in a whiff of mist as the sun rises
From the moment my eyes can separate shapes and make out anything at all, the cardinal and the fox sparrow are already at breakfast. They are soon joined by the goldfinch, titmice and chickadees. It is barely light enough to see who they are. A goldfinch huddles close to a feeder, soaking up the warmth from a nearby window.

As the light increases, a downy woodpecker and white-throated sparrows arrive. Then the squirrels and nuthatches come in like whirlwinds taking over the entire yard. I was interested to discover that in 1749 Pennsylvania paid bounties on 640,000 gray squirrels - and we thought there were a lot of gray squirrels in our neighborhood!

Frosted leaves crunch under my feet as I work my way up the hill into the woods. My path takes me through bright green ferns and past bright yellow wilted witch hazel blossom. The glossy deep green leaves and scarlet berries of the wintergreen nestled just above the ground sending out a minty fragrance when I brush against them as I pass by. Some last minute chores take us to the library and on to town. On our return we drive above the Rio Dam on Plank Road watching for Bald Eagles in the wildlife preserve. Although we searched carefully up and down the trees along the river, we found no eagles this evening. But coming over a rise we found refreshment for our soul. There is really nothing special in a few weeds and a bit of water until touched by the light from the lowering sun --- we delight in pausing to watch the reflection moving across the waters as the day wanes and the light fades.

I returned home with my treasures ---- a new drawing journal and new pencils. Some of my friends tell me that blank paper is a roadblock, for me the fresh clean paper is a source of inspiration and an invitation to wander new paths.


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