I got out of bed at 7:20 this morning, which is early for me (I know, I know), because I had a call scheduled with my agent to discuss revising my middle grade novel. The good news is that although there’s much work ahead of me, I’m excited about this book again.
Bee on Fern Bush. August 4, 2020
Before the call, I felt zero enthusiasm. I couldn’t imagine how I’d revise this book in a way that would satisfy my agent’s (valid) concerns while remaining true to my vision. Fortunately, my agent has a keen editorial eye and made several excellent suggestions that give me a path forward. I’m so relieved! So happy!
Now, all that’s left to do is the actual work. HA! This busy bee needs to get revising.
For years, a cherry tree flourished in a four feet by four feet space on the patio. It was lovely and we made pie with its fruit. The birds, bees, and we loved it. Then the tree became sick and we had to cut it down. Last summer, one volunteer sunflower grew in that space.
Sunflowers on patio. July 12, 2020.
This year, it’s a literal sunflower forest. I just took my camera out there to finally document the tangle of stalks and blooms. And I smiled the entire time. Here’s a tiny sampling of the happy flowers thriving there.
My confession? Right now I hardly miss our dear old cherry tree.
Neighbor’s ash tree. May 29, 2020.
Partially clad limbs
but mostly naked branches
too many cold snaps
Irrigation ditch. March 30, 2019.
Blue Mist Spirea. August 31, 2017.
We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
~ Marcus Aurelius
I’ve been trying to work on my revisions this afternoon. I’m listening to Beethoven through my earbuds in an attempt to drown out the present reality and it seems to work in short bursts. I’m focused and then . . .I’m not. So I decided to look at some photos to find something to put here, and began examining pictures of birds, flowers, waterways, and other typically calming images.
May 3, 2019. Clearwater, Florida.
Well? Right now, my heart is racing. Adrenaline is pumping and it’s as if there’s no escaping my anxiety.
Rather than try to (unsuccessfully) distract myself from these feelings, I’m going to try another approach. I’m going to sit with my anxiety. Because maybe it’s like how you’re not supposed to run when you encounter a bear: if I don’t run from my anxiety, maybe it’ll quit chasing me.
Red Maple budding out, March 10, 2020.
Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress. ~ Charles Dickens
I didn’t realize this maple was budding out until I was standing next to it, and I swear it didn’t look like this yesterday. Gentle and easy changes, indeed.
This afternoon I was doing my usual thang, sitting in a patch of sunshine, when I noticed the lovely blooms on my Christmas Cactus. I hoisted myself up and went for the camera. Then I sat back down and snapped a few pics.
Christmas Cactus blooming on February 16, 2020.
Unfortunately, there was a hair on the camera’s mirror which clearly showed at the bottom of the lower bloom. So I cropped strategically to rid the photo of that distraction.
Works for me.
Centennial Cone Park hike with Laura Perdew. July 10, 2019.
Flora and fauna
portrait of nature’s balance
Juvenile Black-headed Grosbeak. Cave Creek Canyon Ranch. May 16, 2019.
Hey, surprise surprise
thought I’d post flora photo
zoomed in and found bird!
Deck and red maple tree on October 10, 2019.
Yesterday we had a high of 80 degrees which then swung to a low of about 20 degrees today. We’re currently at a balmy 25 degrees. Hooray?
I’m praying to the goddesses that we don’t lose trees and shrubs as a result of the temperature swing. The last time this happened, many trees and shrubs (including our own) died. And I’m talking old, well-established trees. It was heartbreaking. The only upside to this current situation is that the snow might provide enough insulation to keep them alive. Last time, there was no moisture involved in the temperature swing.
I’m beaming toasty thoughts to the trees and shrubs. Please hang in there!
Hustler Gulch Hike. July 26, 2018.
Our bloom is gone. We are the fruit thereof. ~ Wallace Stevens
Ladybug on Apache Plume in backyard. March 12, 2019.
The older I get, the more I’m conscious of ways very small things can make a change in the world. Tiny little things, but the world is made up of tiny matters, isn’t it?
~ Sandra Cisneros
Hike to Square Top Lakes. August 28, 2019.
Hardy little plants
in hostile environment
We’re told to reach for the stars, but sometimes they’re not above us. Sometimes those stars are next to the trail, close enough to touch.
And sometimes if we keep very, very still we might also catch a glimpse of a fairy dancing among the stars.
Here’s wishing for a magical Monday . . .
This morning Zippy and I ran on the trails in the open space. It’s hot here so I carried a full bottle of water in a waist pack. I drank it all as we went along (sharing a few swallows with Zippy) which lightened my load. When we got home I removed my shoes and sweaty socks. This is what I plucked from them:
Look at all that extra weight I unknowingly carried. What clever little hitchhiking seeds!
darts quickly around flower
buffet of pollen.
I took this photo with my phone last week and just rediscovered it.
Milkweed plants conjure up many childhood memories. Striped caterpillars with black antennae. Green chrysalises. Monarch Butterflies. Sticky “milk” on my fingers. Splitting open pods to reveal the silky seeds. Throwing said pods at my brothers.
I was so happy to spot this plant and only wish a Monarch Butterfly had also been present to complete the tableau.
Today I’m thankful for life’s little mysteries.
Unknown flora at Kapok Park, Florida. April 1, 2019
I have no idea what this lovely plant is called, but my lack of
knowledge in no way detracts from my appreciation for this image.
It’s true that ignorance can be bliss.
Zippy and I’ve been traveling since Sunday. We camped at the Valley of Fires Recreation Area In New Mexico that night and yesterday afternoon arrived at Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains of Portal, Arizona:
I had to stop and take this photo when we reached the entrance to the canyon.
We got settled in and then did a short hike. We heard some birds but didn’t see any.
Lots of interesting flora, though:
This morning we got up early for a short hike and on the drive there,
saw a Wild Turkey. This was our hiking destination:
The photo doesn’t do justice to the Cathedral Vista. It’s a truly stunning view as you emerge from wooded trail out into the open. And on the way back to where we’re
staying we located this Whiskered Screech-Owl in a sycamore tree:
Photo by Zippy.
Our hosts had told us where to find the feathered friend. Apparently,
the owl hangs out there all the time, watching the comings and goings in
And now we’re off for more adventures!
“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it.”
~ Mary Oliver
I took this photo from the boardwalk at Kapok Park and just did a quick online search in hopes of identifying the plant. I was unsuccessful.
However, I don’t need to know the name of this lovely flora to appreciate its beauty. But if anyone out there can identify it for me, I’d welcome the information.