Monday, November 21, 2005

Small Things

"I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains. Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun, go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God. Think of the beauty that again and again discharges itself within and without you and be happy." -- Ann Frank

As the first light of dawn touched the clearing and the small birds began coming to the feeders the Sharp-shined Hawk made a dive-bombing patrol of the area. Immediately the littler birds dove for cover and blue jays and crows raised their voices in raucous disapproval of his presence. After waiting in a Hemlock branch for a while, he lifted from his perch, made a long gliding turn and soared out along the river to search for his breakfast.

Hidden in protected areas we can still find a few growing things. A stroll around the edges of the clearing revealed several different kinds of mosses, mushrooms and lichens.
Although I am somewhat familiar with mushrooms in other areas of the country, many of the ones we find around our yard are still new to me and I enjoy them for their beauty without yet knowing their names.

The leathery little leaves of the trailing arbutus are beginning to appear. They are promises, although we will see nothing but leaves for months, they are reminders that the earth is preparing for spring. The white and pink flowers appear fragile and delicate yet they are some of the first blossoms to appear and survive the late snow showers.

Green hair cap moss, and club mosses carpet the outer edges of the clearing, showing a bright contrast against the cinnamon brown of the ferns. Scarlet mushrooms decorate the brown woodland floor.

Preparations continue for our family time together; a delightful fragrance results from the days labors.

“The king and high priest of all the festivals was the autumn Thanksgiving. When the apples were all gathered and the cider was all made, and the yellow pumpkins were rolled in from many a hill in billows of gold, and the corn was husked, and the labors of the season were done, and the warm, late days of Indian Summer came in, dreamy, and calm, and still, with just enough frost to crisp the ground of a morning, but with warm traces of benignant, sunny hours at noon, there came over the community a sort of genial repose of spirit - a sense of something accomplished." --- Harriet Beecher Stowe

Cold rain this evening with the weather people promising us snow tomorrow.


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