351: Bones in the woods

It has been damp and dark in the woods the past few days.  The grayness of the clouds overhead lets in very little light where the canopy of trees is thickest.  The forest is still verdant and what light there is has taken on the green shades of the foliage on the trees, the mosses, and the lush undergrowth.

Except for the occasional cawing of a crow or the rolling rattle call of a northern flicker, it’s quiet in the woods.  The air has been still the past two days with barely a breeze.  When a breeze does come by, some of the trees groan and creak, old men and old women rustling in the wind.

Closer to the stream you’ll hear the sound of the water rushing over downed trees and large logs.  The water level is up due to all the rain so it’s difficult to get too close.  Something went swimming by as I was watching the flow of the creek.  Recently we’ve heard that some of the neighbors have caught sturgeon and crayfish in this creek.  I don’t think it was either of those creatures.  A frog, more likely.  Apropos of nothing in particular, the name of the creek is Breakneck Creek and it is the second largest tributary to the Cuyahoga River.  There is a sign along the Portage Hike & Bike Trail with a copy of a letter from an eyewitness who claimed the creek got its name in 1786 when Hugh Blair broke his neck while trying to cross it.  I think his horse threw him, but don’t quote me on that.

Through the trees and off to the left of the creek is a small hillside with a bowl-shape indentation.

That is where I found a small cache of bones, picked clean, a worm or two crawling around them.  The worms were probably driven up out of the earth by the heavy rain.

Having looked around a bit online, I think they are opossum skulls.  But I’m not absolutely positively sure.

A not-as-blurry photo similar to the first. Without the worm.

It was an interesting, and eerie, find.

It’s a discovery that makes me wonder:  Who does the cache belong to?  The Great Horned Owl that lives in our woods?  A coyote?  The red fox?  It could be any of them, I suppose.

Collage of the bone photos

I should have saved this post for another day.  It would have made a good Halloween post, don’t you think?

Looking back after leaving the woods. Processed in Photoshop and Picnik.

On a more serious note…

Sunflower underwater. Processed in Photoshop and Picnik.

On this date two years ago (09/09/09 at 10:39am), my mother died.  I’ve been feeling sad for the past few days.  Sometimes it seems as though the days leading up to the anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays are worse than the actual day itself.

Blue sunflower. Post processing done in Photoshop and Picnik.

Those of you who were around at the time may remember that I acquired an association between sunflowers and my mother’s illness and subsequent death.  While Mom was in hospice, unconscious and dying, someone brought in a vase filled with some of the most beautiful sunflowers I’d ever seen.  Well, anyhow.  If you’re interested, you can read about the sunflowers here.  You will also find sunflowers representing my grief at the time in the next few posts following that one.


I spent a lot of time with the sunflowers when I went outside this morning.  Today’s weather is much the same as it has been for the past week.  Gray and gloomy with some rain.  Another good day for grieving.  It’s not all sadness, though.  I don’t want you to think that.

Instead of focusing on her death, I like to take time on this date to celebrate Mom’s life, to be grateful for the gift that she was to all of us who knew her.  Besides, I still talk to her frequently.  She’s still there, in my heart.  She may even be in the sunflowers.

So here’s to you, Mom.  Cheers!  🙂

42 Comments on “351: Bones in the woods”

  1. anhinga says:

    Such creative angles, lighting and, dare I say it, manipulation. The results are beautiful and haunting in some cases.

  2. Sorry to hear it’s a sad day for you. I’ve just been catching up on your photos, great stuff as always.

  3. The sunflowers photos are amazingly haunting. I’m sorry to hear this is a sad time of year for you. But what a wonderful tribute to your mother, Robin! Hugs to you, my friend!

  4. Debbie says:

    You are not alone in your sadness. I too thought of your mom early this morning.

  5. Your sunflowers are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen! How nice to look at them and think happy thoughts about your Mom! It is difficult for these days to come around every year, I just passed a day (on the 1st of this month) that was very hard for me. I suffered a tremendous loss 9 years ago, and it’s still incredibly hard for me to talk about. I hope it will get easier someday!

  6. Karma says:

    Love your sunflower pictures. It is obvious to see that they were taken with love in your heart.

  7. Kel says:


    when i saw this series of sunflower photos (many from the rear of the flower) a thought popped into my head
    “perhaps this is how your mum sees things now – from the other side”

    the photo with the ant in it is simply sensational
    showing there is beauty on the other side
    possibly a view that offers sharper clarity than we see from the ‘front’ side

  8. ElizOF says:

    I’m sorry to read about our loss and send you love and light and many gorgeous sunflowers in honor of your mom. 😉

  9. Jeni says:

    Beautiful, haunting, breathtaking…

  10. dragonfae says:

    I always love your flower photos, but that first pic, with the creek in the woods? It looks incredibly inviting to me … cool, quiet, and safe.

    I’m glad you are able to celebrate your mom’s life, I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t want you to be too sad … what mother would want that? *hugs*

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, DragonFae. 🙂

      No, my mother would not want that at all. She’d say, “It’s not the end of the world.” And she’d be right, as usual.

  11. I love the damp and dark light in your first shot… and what a wonderful memory of sunflowers to have, to remember and celebrate your Mom’s life..

  12. jane tims says:

    Hi Robin. Very impressed with the sunflower ‘under’ water and the one with the aura. I like the walk in the woods too and the looking back. Your words are like poetry. Jane

  13. penpusherpen says:

    Loss is never easy, Robin, and to me I feel as if my mums passing in 2004 was yesterday. What makes it slightly easier is that she lived her life to the full, she was a one off and she would have hated my grief, chin up she’d say, nothings ever as bad as you think. Your mum as a sunflower is a wonderful thought, lightening up the World with it’s sunny disposition.
    (I’m wondering if you’ve found my dragons stash of bones. If he comes a calling just send him on home!! 😉 ) …Loving the Photoshop Look back Into The Woods, makes the greenery, and the path look so woolly and as if you could ‘slip’ it on like a comfy cardigan. (sorry, imagination takes over sometimes) I do hope my poem didn’t hurt, Robin, I have been thinking sad thoughts of late, since Bess’s passing, and it all came out in one fell swoop of sadness and long held memories. Take care my friend across the water. xPenx

  14. Christine Grote says:

    Yes. The bones are creepy and certainly Halloween worthy.

    Now I have to go and catch up on your sunflower and mother stories.

  15. Christine Grote says:

    My sister Annie died just a few weeks before your mother. We had Hospice there for her last days.

    We were living in grief and fear at the same time. Something else we share.

  16. Marianne says:

    The passing of a loved one is such a loss. My heart goes out to you Robin. It’s a beautiful thought to think of your mom as in the sunflowers. Take care.

  17. Ah, so lovely…and how wonderful to have the sunflowers around you to remind you of your mother. They do seem to grow well out at your place…

  18. milkayphoto says:

    So sorry for your loss. One never quite gets over it.

    The sunflowers are gorgeous and what a lovely remembrance to have! I imagine they bring you both comfort and sadness. In time, the sadness will lessen and the joyful memories will grow. A lovely post!

  19. I’m so sorry this day brings you so much sadness. I lost my dad 19 years ago and I still miss him, but the anniversaries have gotten easier.
    Gorgeous sunflower photos (as always 🙂 ), and thank you for that beautiful walk though the woods. Well… except for the bones 😉

  20. Robin says:

    Thank you, Michaela. 🙂

  21. bearyweather says:

    Love the second to the last sunflower picture. A very creative shot, I love the streaming yellow, orange and gold colors … it looks fluid.

  22. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Sorry about losing your mother – it’s a beautiful connection you’ve made with her and the sunflowers. The vivid breathtaking pictures you created with them (especially the blue one!) are a wonderful tribute to and remembrance of your mom.

    My mom died at the end of May, twenty years ago, and the contrast between spring bursting forth with abundant new life outside while she lay dying in her bedroom moved me deeply – the circle of life. I usually take the day she died off and spend some time with her in my heart. She was an avid bird-watcher, and often a bird will bring me a comforting message, especially the mourning doves that live in my garden and have befriended me.

  23. Dana says:

    Your sunflower photos are a great way to honor the spirit of your mother. What a beautiful way to remember her.

  24. […] Bones in the woods (bogsofohio.wordpress.com) […]

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