Green Jays Stage

December 6, 2019.  We returned to our haunts near Rio Grande City the week of Thanksgiving.  One very good birding location is Salineno World Birding Center located on the Rio Grande River and thus in danger.  The current expectation is a wide caliche roadway between river and birding, nothing to spoil the birding center so long as the birds aren’t repulsed by construction.  (But there are those insisting we need a continuous WALL …)  If anywhere near Salineno in the November-March months, this place is worth the search.  (The birds go elsewhere to breed summer/fall.)

I’ve been thinning and tweaking photos since we got back, looking for a green jay image that captures their playful energy.  Today, I encountered a poetry form that so fits the experience of watching green jays – birds flapping around noisily, people holding still quietly.  I don’t think I’ve seen a puente poem before, and this is certainly the first one I’ve written.  Thanks go to Ken Gierke @ https://rivrvlogr.com/2019/12/06/finding-direction-puente/ for stirring my creativity.  The puente form puts two perspectives together with a single common thread, and I knew immediately which photos to collage together to show the two “sides” of Salineno: birds on the far side of a large Mesquite growing laterally; birders a few yards away on the entrance side.

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Praying With St. Francis

November 20, 2019.  Seems Brie gets into just about everything, even my meditative moments.  I concede laughing and then snapping a photo of my cat constitutes breaking the trance … but it led to an enlightened attitude on the spot and a poem later that day.  I will post it now as an odd-ball “gratitude poem” for this Thanksgiving … a bit early as I’ll be traveling during the holiday.

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Coffee Puzzle

November 4, 2019.  Recently, walking into my kitchen, my memory took a leap back to the kitchen I grew up in – the center of family activities.  The table was cleared for each meal and then immediately cleared for the next activity – homework, paying bills, making a new slipcover for the old rocker.  In early hours (before anyone else was supposed to be awake), Mother sat at the table drinking coffee and reading magazines.  The memory that won’t let go was a rare day when Mother sat down for coffee mid-day.  I was elementary-school age.

(I’m still puzzling why this memory pops up now.  I lean toward synchronicity, not coincidence.)

The table (now in my sister’s home) was available to photo for this collage with a map of the Monahans area in West Texas as backdrop.  (No recall of Mother’s coffee cups, though I do remember a metal coffeepot heated on stove top – just-poured coffee was surely boiling hot.)

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Monarchs Rule The Yard

October 19, 2019.  Monarchs have begun appearing among our blue mist blooms … any day now we expect a large number to swoop through on their way South.  This is an annual delight, but now comes with a complication named Brie.  She’s spending prime outdoor hours indoors – unless I’m available to go intervene on behalf of the Monarchs.  Monarchs seem quiet swift in rising if a cat appears.  But.  Brie is under restrictions!  I found her huddled on the kitchen counter with bananas, clearly pouting.

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In Eye Of Beholder

August 30, 2019.  Summer travels included a week in the National Forest near Lake City,  Colorado.  Beautiful country – in spite of recent destructive avalanches (record snowfalls continued into June) – and in spite of beetle demise of once-lush Spruce.  Spruce is “old news” there, avalanches and floods garnering all the attention.  For most.  My eyes kept going to the Spruce. No longer alive, yet holding form through assaults of weather, marmots, bears, moose.  Like a feather:  you can mess with it, but it goes back to original form.

Big grey “feathers” were everywhere, mostly in multiples that made capturing the form with camera difficult.  Might be time to work on my sketching skills!  One solo Spruce stood at road’s edge, and I managed to get there in sufficient light and zero traffic on  departure morning.  Took a while to isolate enlarged branch from background, but: a labor of love.

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Mountain Morning

August 6, 2019.  After a long trip comes an indefinite period of prowling through camera images and phrases noted in journals, piecing together highlights of experiences to be savored (likely not repeated).   In June we camped several days in the National Forest up above Cloudcroft NM, where we frequent in August for the annual Gathering Of Circles.  This year our mountain time had to be earlier, as Gary’s school year shifted earlier.  Tonight the Gathering begins; but yesterday teachers were already back at Stony Point High School.   Since I cannot be at the Gathering, I am instead immersed in photos and memories of June’s mountain bliss.  Wild irises were in bloom – something I’d never seen before, as they finish their cycle well before August.   I found this haiku in my journal.

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