Tag Archives: nature

National Squirrel Appreciation Day

Really. This gallery of images goes out to squirrels everywhere whose beauty, acrobatics, comic timing, perseverance, adaptability and fabulous tails continue to impress and delight any human with sense enough to appreciate them. Most especially,  I remember Chloe, whose intelligence and charming sense of entitlement graced my life for five years and inspired this prose […]

Mary Oliver is dazzled by heaven

So I got up finally, with a grief worthy of you, and went home. Just over the threshold, she cannot move quickly or carefully enough. Oh, what is that beautiful thing that just happened? On ageless legs, the last word she heard with mortal ears still sounding: Come. The angels themselves weary of our meanness, […]

The world’s most perfect couple

She lays herself out on the slow current, neck extended, orange paddles holding her steady as he circles, bobbing his shimmering head, then climbs aboard, mates, nibbles briefly her elegant nape, dismounts and circles once more, fast — an exhilaration, an exuberance — exhausting his fletched desire before settling beside her on the bank, resting […]

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Fraternity now, and football

At the end of the rut, the bucks grow weary, great heads bowed beneath battle-worn racks, here and there a desultory joust, a soft grunt cast in diminishing wind toward indifferent does. What was it all about? Majesty tattered, they plod and limp, half-dazed as if emerging from a potent spell, speak to former rivals […]

Cabbage white in autumn

Today we induct into the Hall of Heroes a cabbage white, its wingspan little wider than a half-dollar, an artifact you may or may not remember:  cool in the palm, serrated edges, the sharply embossed portrait of a young president whose life would likewise be truncated by the weather of the world. (On the coin, he still […]

For the bear who broke my fence

As you ready, you trouble our leavings: the forgotten feeder, the spilled seed. Your hunger accretes in the dark autumn air. Urgent. Insatiable. Hyperphagia, the scientists say. You say eat. You say drink. As you ready, you dream cubs from the world of spirit, from the world of ancestors. You dream their tiny bodies blind […]

How not to complain

Too tired to ripen, late tomatoes hang obdurately green from withered vines,  their yellowing lattice home, now, to an orb-weaver, Araneus gemmoides,  whose tiny cat face, etched on her ballooning abdomen, blesses me when I kneel to consider each sacrifice on the gossamer altar: What’s required to live, and what, to die; whether it’s the […]

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This morning, a murder

This morning, a murder of crows puncturing the dawn, cawing and bobbing on bare branches, alive with alarm, or exhilaration. How I envied their full- throated response to the call of that moment — so pure, and sharp, and temporary — and how they then left it wholly behind, flew gladly — without one backward glance […]