The specificity of an iris bloom

The more specific we are, the more universal something can become.
Life is in the details. If you generalize, it doesn’t resonate.
The specificity of it is what resonates.

~ Jacqueline Woodson

As I revise a young adult novel written years ago, I’m adding specific details in hopes of creating a resonance. May my story bloom as specifically and beautifully as this iris from my garden!

Bringing the warmth and color

Right now the view out my window is dreary. Gray skies and patches of snow on the ground next to the tree limbs that broke off under the weight of the late snow. We’re nearing the end of May and Colorado has been atypically gloomy for the past several days. Enough, already. Thank the goddesses for the cheery plumage of this Northern Cardinal I photographed in Cave Creek Canyon.

Maybe I should go find my own festive red cap . . .

King Harvest (Has Surely Come)

While I’m finishing up my work-for-hire project (hooray!!!), Zippy is out on the patio harvesting our worm compost.  Each time I fed them over the past couple months I’d remark “I need to harvest this stuff. The bin’s getting full.” Well, I never got around to that harvest.

Today’s the day! Zippy wants/needs compost for the seeds he’s about to plant in his vegetable garden so he’s out there utilizing the pile method. Worms are light-sensitive so migrate down in the piles which makes it easier to separate them from the compost.

But it’s still a labor-intensive process and I’m grateful Zippy has tackled the project. However, I’m feeling a bit left out. Solution? As I work on my manuscript I take breaks to go down and say hello to my worm friends. Here’s a mess o’ worms that were hanging out inside an avocado peel:

And here’s an adult and a younger worm that patiently allowed me to hold them for a moment before I headed back to my writing project:

 

 

All hail King Harvest!

 

 

In the eye of a bomb cyclone

I’d never heard of “bomb cyclone” until yesterday and now Zippy has repeated that phrase so many times Zebu and I are debating drinking a shot every time he says “bomb cyclone.” Might as well have some fun with it, right?

The wind is blowing hard and swirling every which way. Windows on all four sides of the house are affected.

 

North. South. East. West. Everywhere I look is a snowy-blowy mess. Bomb cyclone.

Oops, everyone take a drink!

 

Take that, Monday!

It’s the first Monday after Daylight Saving Time and despite not waking up until 9:00 A.M. (!), I handled the rest of the day like this take-no-nonsense Bushtit.

Still, I hope that tomorrow I wake at a more respectable time. I’m not sure I can channel my inner bushtit two days in a row.

Sunday Confessional: I’m living in a glass house

Most every time I see a Eurasion Collared-Dove in my feeder I think about how those doves are an invasive species that spread across the United States via the Bahamas. (And if I don’t think about that, I think about how they EAT SO MUCH and aren’t the brightest doves in the chandelier.) But mostly I think to myself “they’re not even supposed to be here.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, today it hit me that I’m an invasive species, too! So I guess maybe I’m not the brightest dove, either.  *urp*

Out my window

The sun’s down and evening is here. How did that happen? What was I doing all day?! Oh yeah, I remember. I watched this scrub jay in the feeder for a while.

Even if I’d accomplished nothing else, I’d call that time well spent.

Doe a deer a female deer

I woke this morning to snow that fell for hours before abruptly stopping when the sun came out. Zippy was out shoveling and came in to let me know we had a visitor in the yard. By the time I got to the window, the doe was strolling up the street past the spot where a huge pickup had slid sideways earlier in the day. (You can see the exposed groundcover where the truck went up over the sidewalk).

Hooves are superior to Michelins.

Year-end image + plea for monthly donation to Sunrise Movement

In this part of the world, we’re in the final hours of 2018 which has been a shit-year in so many ways for the planet and its inhabitants. I don’t have any profound insights to offer. I would, however, like to share this photo I just took from my dining room window.


Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. ~ Rabindranath Tagore

It’s not a great picture, but it makes me happy. There’s much going on here (falling snow, flight, eating, turf battles, perching, etc) and I wanted to include this image because birds never, ever fail to brighten my day. I’m hoping they’ll do the same for you. Either way, it feels right to include feathered friends as I say goodbye to a difficult year.

The one other consistently bright spot for me this year has been the Sunrise Movement. No one is fighting harder and more effectively in the face of climate change than these young people with their action plan, aka the Green New Deal, that includes massive job creation. PLEASE consider pledging a monthly donation (mine is $5 per month) to this incredible organization that’s given me more hope than I thought possible.

I wish you and yours a Happy New Year! Here’s to continuing the good fight in 2019!

Existing in the here and now

When I saw this photo I took yesterday, I interpreted it as a scrub jay looking ahead. But as I view it today, I’m reminded that birds don’t get caught up in regrets and what-ifs the way humans do.  This wise jay is probably merely existing in the moment.

I’m trying to do the same.

Berry sad

The sun’s gone down and these cranberries remain on the deck rail where I placed them earlier today in hopes of luring birds. No such luck. My offering was refused. Or ignored. Possibly overlooked.

Whatever the case, I hope my feathered friends feasted elsewhere.

Where’d everyone go?

I wanted to express my magpie love today and went in search of a fun fact about this member of the corvid family. Guess what you call a group of magpies? A parliament.

However, my research didn’t reveal what the parliamentary procedure is for one magpie reuniting with the rest of the gang.

Portrait of dignity


“Animals don’t behave like men,’ he said. ‘If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill, they kill. But they don’t sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures’ lives and hurting them. They have dignity and animality.”  ~ Richard Adams, Watership Down

Sunday Confessional: I missed what was right in front of me

As I crouched next to my writing room window to photograph a Red-tailed Hawk on the wire, I was so intent on focusing the shot on the bird rather than the branches and power lines that I didn’t see what else was going on: another hawk had arrived.

It wasn’t until I’d downloaded the photos that I saw those legs in the upper right-hand corner of the image. Maybe there’s such a thing as being too intent on one’s goal.