Writing Outdoors

December 1, 2016.  December rolled in on a cold front – but a clear blue sky made for warmth when properly positioned in line with the Sun.  I couldn’t resist, and out I went with my journal. Luckily, I had the camera phone in my pocket to capture the take-over that ensued.  Ziggy showed me an even better way to sit in the sun.

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A Ramadara

November 28, 2016.  We escaped just before Thanksgiving to the Rio Grande Valley, to look for green jays – a bird that doesn’t come much further north than that southern tip of Texas. We’d never seen one!  Binoculars and cameras in tow, off we went.  We stayed at Rancho Lomitas (http://www.rancholomitas.com/) – a native plant nursery with RV spots tucked here and there.  Thanks to a long-term RV resident who feeds the birds, green jays were ever-present if not exactly sitting still for portraits.

On a tour of the nursery, I learned a new word – ramadara – that immediately began tickling the poetic lobes of my brain.   This image is a collage of three separate jay photos which gives a sense of the thorn scrub they inhabit and their gregarious nature.

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More

October 30, 2016.  Over the past week, through all sorts of stress and disruption, I have been watching a morning glory vine protruding from a water bottle – sitting on my front porch to catch sunlight, I see it going in and out.  That vine has kept me sane!

I guess the plant had to adapt, learn how to bloom in a bottle, as the first 3 buds to mature did not quite make it before dropping off.  Then the fourth (pictured) and a fifth succeeded with flourish.   Hoorah!

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Hope

October 22, 2016.  We have an explosion of morning glory vines alongside the house, so thick they reach over the walkway, tangling in hair and hats of those passing.  Some so low the dog pushes them aside with her long nose. It’s a treat to move gently through the profusion.   A broken stalks are bound to happen.  One came indoors yesterday bearing two full blooms and multiple buds, plopped into a makeshift vase.  The largest bud shows promise 24 hours later.   (Image taken after mature blooms folded.)

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Survivor’s Love Song

October 14, 2016.  I’ve been immersed in another poetry class with Lorraine Mejia @ http://www.lorrainemejia.com/ – this one working with Latin American Poets.  Wonderful exposures to poems I otherwise might not encounter, plus stimulus to write poems I otherwise might not.  The poem below is indirectly in response to reading Federico Garcia Lorca’s “Song Of The Barren Orange Tree” – and in gratitude for the live oak tree in my front yard.   I offer this in explanation:

Presumptuous, yes

Nevertheless descriptive

of years together

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Stumped

September 12, 2016.  What are the odds a native redbud tree would follow its most prolific blooming spree three months later with sudden death?  The blooms had been replaced with lush green leaves when we left on summer travels.  Six weeks later, return was saddened by the lifeless brown of those leaves and the crisp snap of limbs tested.   Research suggested possibilities, but the suddenness really confuses!

Saturday we got out the chainsaw and did what had to be done.  Depressing.  One bit of beauty remained – rings in the sliced trunk.  Out came the camera and my gears began turning on a collage to commemorate the tree.  Shots of the rings, of the stump, of St. Francis standing alone (no more posing beneath the redbud).

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Change Comes In Silence

September 9, 2016.  The crinum patch next to the driveway has been a source of wonder the past few weeks – profuse with blooms and small living creatures that demand my attention when I would otherwise hop in or out of the car and continue with ordinary plans.  I’m grateful for the distractions!  I’m tuning in to the synchronicity of these appearances with various inner puzzles also giving me pause.

Again, the camera at hand was the iPhone, so the image is less spectacular than the butterfly posing.  Oh, for a strong back willing to stay saddled at all hours with full camera bag!

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Asunder

December 16, 2015.  Startled by the contrast added to the green grass I was tromping through, I stopped for a single leaf glowing up at me.  It must have blown across the busy street from a nearly-bare ornamental pear tree.  I picked the leaf up, brought it home, and later (still fascinated with its brilliance on an otherwise dull day) decided to photograph it, savor it, even if I can’t quite explain why it stirs me so.

I’d like to have such a burst of beauty right before my ultimate shriveling.

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