321: Beautiful day in the BogsPosted: August 10, 2011
We are having an amazingly gorgeous day here in the Bogs today. It’s not the kind of day I normally would associate with August. A cold front moved through last night, bringing heavy rains, lightning, thunder, gusty winds, and much cooler and drier weather. The sunshine is bright, the clouds rolling by have been puffy and white, and the breeze is wonderful. This is my kind of weather.
I started my walk this morning by visiting the sunflowers. There are now two blooming, the one pictured above having just opened up this morning. It looks a little ruffled and sleepyheaded to me.
A flock of geese went by while I was out, honking as they flew overhead. I had a dream last night that included eight geese. The call of the geese always reminds me of autumn and the beginning of their migration. I decided to look up Goose in Ted Andrews’ book Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small.
There are eight species of geese in North America. This is very symbolic in that the number eight is so similar to the symbol for infinity. It reflects an ability to move forward or backward. It reflects movement, and in the case of the goose, a call to the spiritual quest.
This is further exemplified by its migration patterns and behavior. Their leaving in the autumn stirs our imagination and makes us want to search out new worlds and dimensions. Their incessant honking seems to be calling us to follow them on the great spiritual quest. Their return is a harbinger of spring second only to the robin. It speaks of the fulfilled promises that great quests bring.
~ Ted Andrews
It often seems to me that this year-long commitment to spend time outdoors everyday has been a spiritual quest of sorts. I realized today that I’ve almost come full circle, and that the end of the commitment is almost here. It brought with it a bittersweet kind of feeling, much the way a lot of people feel as summer comes to a close and autumn approaches.
The highlight of my walk this morning, if there was a such a thing as it’s so beautiful that it all seemed like a highlight, was back by the cattails in the Joe Pye Weed. Joe Pye Weed is also known as Marsh Milkweed, and is a North American native. Butterflies are attracted to the flowers of the plant so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me to find eight Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies sipping at the plentiful nectar produced by said flowers.
It was magical, watching them all dance around from one cluster of flowers to another. Sometimes there would be two or three of the butterflies gathered on one bundle of flowers.
Unfortunately for the photographer part of me, the Joe Pye Weed is growing amongst the cattails, which made it difficult for me to get a clear, straight shot at the butterflies.
I did okay, though, and I’m not unhappy with what I came back with. Besides, the best part of it all was just standing there watching the butterflies. Any photos I managed were a bonus.
The most difficult part of my commitment has been trying to express some of the things I’ve experienced and learned. It’s easier to put up photos and hope some of it comes across than to try to put it into words.
Well, enough of this talk of endings and autumn. We still have more than a month of summer to enjoy. I still have more than a month of this commitment to explore and appreciate. I don’t expect there will be an ending to my commitment, to nature and to myself, to spend time outside each and every day.
The leaves are green, the late summer flowers are blooming, the pond is still warm enough to swim in, and I’m sure the more summer-like temperatures will return. Best to savor and appreciate the summer I’m in rather than look ahead to the seasons to come.
Thanks for dropping by and joining me on my walk today. I know I promised a post about decluttering. I’ll get to it soon. The beautiful day wanted a blog post all to its self. 🙂