Sitting under a tree

Enlightened flower

Like the Guatama Buddha, I went out and sat under a tree.  It wasn’t a Bodhi tree and I didn’t sit as long or come away as enlightened, but I did learn a thing or two.

Morning dew

Last night the temperature here in the Bogs suddenly turned cool, allowing us to open the windows and let in the fresh and refreshing air.  I fell asleep with light from the crescent moon shining in the window, and the sound of owls hooting in the woods.  I heard the usual Great Horned Owl, and a newcomer to our night sounds, a Barred Owl.  Every now and then a green frog would chime in with a distinctive plunking or ponging sound.

I went out early for my walk, meandering through the meadows, down the sledding hill, and around the pond.  Crows are gathering in the woods for their summer conference, cawing and rattling at each other (or perhaps at me).  Dew coated the grasses and flowers, the lower leaves of the trees, and my shoes.

I peered into the grasses and rushes, admiring the sunlight as it played on the jewel-like drops of dew.  I finally found my first praying mantis of the season, but he didn’t feel like posing where I could get a good shot of him so I had to wait for one that was a more willing subject.

Downward Facing Mantis. The world looks beautiful upside down.

In the cattails I found this beautiful spider:

Also Downward Facing. Is there a lesson in this?

Her web was elaborate, and lit up by the early morning sunlight.  You’ll have to click on the photo to see the slightly larger version, and get a better view of the web.

There were, of course, the usual bees buzzing and dragonflies dancing.

When I finished my walk I took a notebook and pen, and had a seat on the ground under the old maple tree with the intention of working on a writing exercise I’ve been putting off since just prior to our trip to Canada.  Life was so busy just before the trip, and just after, that I decided to wait for a morning when I had time to spend on it.  That morning arrived today, dawning clear and cool and beautiful.  The pond was still and quiet until a breeze arrived, and I felt as though I had plenty of time and room to think and stretch.

I sat under the old maple for more than hour, scribbling away at an exercise that I originally found daunting, and thought I might not be able to do.  It surprised me how many words spilled across the pages.  I was even more surprised by the things I learned, things I’m still taking in, wondering where they might lead.

Bittersweet nightshade

The goldfinches came by to visit for a few moments, and the ants invaded, crawling over my feet and legs and arms, some running across the page of my notebook as if chasing the words as they formed.  I was well into the exercise before I realized I’d probably sat near an ant hill.  I’ll do a more thorough reconnoitering next time.

That’s it from the Bogs for today.  Thank you for accompanying me on my morning walk and afternoon ramble.  I know some of you don’t like spiders so I hope the one in this post didn’t freak you out too much.  It’s a good day for a long walk, or to sit in the shade of the old maple and see who shows up to visit.  Just be sure to watch out for the ant hill.  I’m sure they’ll appreciate it if you don’t sit on them.

One of the many colorful “weeds” in my vegetable garden


34 Comments on “Sitting under a tree”

  1. sandy says:

    These are so lovely, Robin. I like the light in this series.

  2. Very good series, Enlightened Flower stands out, not only because it’s monochrome (and works beautifully).

  3. Ellen says:

    I envy you in a good way the chance to sit under a tree in a quiet environment. One of the things that I don`t like about living in a large city is that there is nowhere to sit in silence, the traffic, the crowd, the cell phones all around you, whenever you go, a park, an artificial lake, it is as though people are afraid of silence and it drives me so crazy at times … not even at your own place you can sit and enjoy the sound of the silence or birds or leaves … so reading about your morning was relaxing, like experiencing vicariously through you … thanks …

    • Robin says:

      You’re welcome, Ellen. And thank you. 🙂

      I know what you mean about the noise of a large city, having lived in London for a summer. I was desperate for some quiet after a couple of weeks.

  4. I love that second one. Elegant. Simple but complex. Just amazing…well, like them all, but that one – WOW

  5. aFrankAngle says:

    Still sweltering down in our corner of the state. Some rain just passed through, so I imagine the outside sauna has cranked up a bit. Meanwhile, good job with the insects!

  6. mobius faith says:

    Love the mantis and spider. Facing down – a lesson? Good question. Downward is inevitable and even advisable at times. Just think if we didn’t go downward, sideways, etc., once in a while we’d only know straight lines going up. How boring would that be?

  7. jane tims says:

    Hi Robin. I encourage you to do a simple map of your property. I love the idea of ‘the sledding hill’. Today we went to our summer place and took down staging, listened to the Waxwings and had a picnic in our cabin. What a perfect day, all accompanied by a breeze and some cooler weather. Jane

    • Robin says:

      It sounds like a lovey day, Jane. 🙂

      I haven’t made an official announcement yet, but the map is up (it’s a page and the link can be found in the header). I’m still trying to draw one (because I like the idea of hand drawing a map), but this will do while I practice my drawing skills.

  8. Today was just as lovely here, though I’m glad I resisted the urge to open the windows last night – oh, my, what a storm! We very seldom get hail down here; I’d forgotten how it sounds on the roof…
    Our Sitting Tree is a copper beech. Angel says “Hello” to him every morning, and has started in the last few days to hug him, too…perhaps she’s seeing something I can’t anymore? 🙂

    • Robin says:

      I love copper beech trees, Marie! We can’t find them at the tree farms here so picked up a couple in Pennsylvania while M was on sabbatical there. One survived, and still seems to be growing well. It’s unlikely I’ll ever get to sit under it as a shade tree, but I love knowing it’s there. Your Angel is very wise. 🙂

  9. Very beautiful pictures Robin!

  10. Isn’t that spider remarkable?….spinning a beautiful web like that…And the detail in the wings of the dragonfly (especially when enlarged!)….wow! what a special photo walk and sitting/writing time you had today…. : )

  11. What a beautifully reflective post, Robin. Love the insect images. Wish things would cool off here, as well.

  12. dadirri7 says:

    yes a simple map would help, i love to tag along on your walks, and sit under a tree with you, and enjoy seeing the summer plants while we are still in winter 🙂 such a bold and colourful weed to bring us joy!

  13. Karma says:

    The light is beautiful in these photos. Even on the spider! I think I had a spider like that take up residence in the corner of my veggie garden one year – I’ll tell you, I had no insect problems that year. Everything looks very lush around you too. My area is still trying to recover from the heat and lack of rain.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Karma. 🙂

      Spiders are wonderful to have in the garden. I don’t even mind them around the house as long as they are outdoors (and can’t bring myself to kill the ones who sneak inside, I just move them out).

  14. bearyweather says:

    Very pretty walk today … I am glad the ants were not the biting kind.

  15. Beautiful post, Robin. Those are some of the loveliest photos of Queen Ann’s Lace I’ve ever seen; you capture the light so well with your camera :-). Some days are just iridescent, aren’t they?

  16. I love the idea of leaning against a tree and writing. There is something freeing about writing while connected to Mother Earth in such a physical way.

  17. nigel says:

    that first shot has such amazing lighting

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