66: Slices of Life

(Have a seat.  Bench in Old Town San Diego.)

I’m excited.  Thrilled, even.  A blogging friend, Anhinga/Beda, has had a short story published in a compilation of short stories put out by the Florida Writers Association called Slices of Life, FWA Collection – Volume 2.  I ordered it a week or so ago and it arrived today.  I went right to Beda’s story, one of the top 60 entries that made it into the book.

I’ve been enjoying Beda’s stories on her blog for a few years.  I am terrible at book reviews (in this case, short story reviews) so I won’t attempt it other than to say I love the way she packed so much of life into relatively few words.  Instead of a review,  I suggest (highly recommend!) that at the very least you visit Anhinga’s blog.  I’m sure you’ll want to check out the book after you’ve spent some time with her there.

The Ducks Have Returned

(Today’s view of the pond.)

Sometime overnight or early this morning the ducks came back to the pond.  You would think they would live here during the warm months, but harrassing the geese to keep them out of the pond chases off the ducks as well.  So we wait until the winter months for the mallards to come back.  Eventually we’ll have a collection of various breeds of ducks out there but for now, the pond belongs to the mallards.

They are too skittish now for me to get any photos of them.  I tried from up at the house but the pictures are pretty bad and not worth posting.  I’ll have plenty of chances before the pond freezes over to capture them in the future.

The Bones of Winter

Some years Winter comes in all snowy, fluffy, and white, sparkling in whatever sunlight happens to come along.  Other years Winter decides to build itself up bones first and then fleshing out with snow.

(Ice skull.)

I found evidence of Winter’s bones while out on my walk today.  It is a dark gray day.  The sun is surely up there somewhere but the clouds are not letting through much light.  Lake Erie is at work, churning out the clouds and snow.  We had our first real flurries today.  No accumulation.  Just flurries.

(Ice ribs.)

The creek is receding.  The water left behind is forming the bones of Winter.  The water level in the pond is still high and might stay that way for a while judging by the way it is slowly dripping out of the drainage pipe that empties into the creek.

(A touch of red.)

There is a thin film of ice around the edges of the pond.  The wind is keeping the water in motion, making it difficult for the ice to form.  It is cold outside today.  I was going to type “bitterly cold” but I should save that phrase for January.  It’s too soon for “bitterly.”

(Wind under one of the white pines)

The wind continues to be gusty and blustery.  It has a way of cutting through the layers of clothing, getting under the hat and nipping at the fingertips.  The wind makes sure you know that Winter is taking over.

Autumn’s day is done.