An invitation

Shadows on pines

Join me on my morning walk.  I know it may be afternoon, evening, or even night where you are now, but we’ll pretend it’s just after the break of day.  We will walk out into the stillness of the early morning, just after the sun peeks over the neighbor’s house across the street.  Shadows appear on the pine trees as we slowly make our way down the sledding hill towards the pond.  The hill itself is shadowed as well, but the sun has lit up the pond and the trees and the meadows surrounding it.  It’s a glorious day.

As we make our way down the hill, we hear the sound of thousands of starlings and other blackbirds in the woods, waking and chattering and getting ready to start their day.

The sky is filled with birds

A breeze, the beginning of a windy day, comes along, creating slight ripples on the pond.  The willows dance and sway, still hanging on to some of their leaves after most of the other trees have let go.

Willow leaves dancing in the blue

A kingfisher rockets across the pond, scolding us for interrupting his search for food.


Near the back of the pond…

…the draining of the water into the creek sounds like a waterfall.

Close your eyes and listen.

There’s something moving around in the cattails.  A little bird comes swooping up and out, followed by another and another and another.  They must have a nest in there somewhere.

Near the tangle of the cattails

We move up the hill, away from the cattails and the pond, and out into the meadow that is the Future Woods.  The dry grasses are rustling, waving, and weaving.

Two blue jays are sunning themselves in the upper branches of a tree.  A flash of red, a male cardinal, catches the eye, but he’s gone before you can do more than think, “That was a cardinal.”

Looking out over the pond from the Future Woods

Eventually we make our way up, towards the garden, the house, the street.

One last look back.

We stand for a while and just listen, and it seems to me that in the music of all the sounds put together this morning, I could hear the rhythmic breath and heartbeat of Mother Earth.  Did you hear it too?

The heart of the meadow

Thank you for joining me on my Sunday morning meander around the pond and meadows.  If you’re in the mood for more walks, here are some I highly recommend:

40 Comments on “An invitation”

  1. Val says:

    Wow, you’ve excelled yourself with these photos (and the walk – and thanks for the mention, too), Robin. I love the waterfall-like one and the lowest one – however did you find the leaves making a heart? It’s great. And that pathway in green and gold… I think I recognise that as a continuation of another photo, don’t I? One I’m now very familiar with, that’s on my wall? 🙂

    • Robin says:

      It is, Val! Good eye. I do hope the pathway on your wall brings you as much joy as the real pathway brings to me when I walk it. I like that the path is with you while being here at the same time. We can walk it together. 🙂

      As for the leaves making a heart, that was pure luck. A sweep of the meadow with the eyes to see what’s there. I happened to be in just the right spot to catch it. If I’d been a step or two farther on, I would have missed it.

      Thank you!

  2. rrosen1 says:

    Thanks for bringing me along. I loved how the Starlings quickly change directions as one.

    • Robin says:

      You’re welcome, Robert. 🙂 Thanks for joining me. Isn’t that the coolest thing? I was just reading an article about the way a murmuration of starlings moves without the birds crashing into one another. Apparently each bird only has to pay attention to its seven closest neighbors in the sky, and so on out through the flock Or that’s the theory for now.

      And thank you for the reblog.

  3. What a ramble, Robin! The sky full of birds made my heart sing. And thank you for the mention/pingback – I am honored 🙂

    • Robin says:

      You’re welcome. And thank you, Lynn. They made my heart sing too. It was an amazing sight! Thousands of birds filling the sky, swooping and swirling as if they were one big organism. I love the sound, too, when they’re all settled in the woods, talking with each other. 🙂

  4. dearrosie says:

    Robin I echo Val’s comment. I also think this is one of your best walks, and your photos are brilliant. The one of the birds rising over the lake gave me goosebumps – I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a huge flock of birds (I’ve also never heard of the term a murmeration of starlings)

    • Robin says:

      Thank you so much, Rosie. I did something on my morning walk today I haven’t been doing lately — I let myself be present on my walk, without thoughts of blogging or to-do lists or anything else. 🙂 The flocks of starlings (and other blackbirds — they tend to flock together) this time of year are incredible. I don’t know who came up with the term murmuration for starlings, but after watching and listening to them, I think it’s perfect. If you Google the term “murmuration of starlings” you’ll find some incredible videos of the birds in flight. This one in particular:

      is lovely.

  5. Phil Lanoue says:

    Super photos and commentary! I enjoyed this walk tremendously.

  6. Becky says:

    Thanks for inviting me on this morning walk 🙂 Beautiful photos, as always.

  7. Oh Robin, what a beautiful walk this morning. Honestly, this (October & November) is my favorite time of year in the eastern USA. I’m so homesick. Your photos of the ornamental grasses, the gold colors, the starlings in flight, the heart-shaped leaf, and the reflections of the trees in the pond are lovely. And that video found by googling “murmuration of starlings” is stunning and brought tears to my eyes.

    Thank you too for inviting people to come along with me on my walks in Oman. I would love to have anyone visit me here in my last 8 months or so. This is the perfect time of year here, from now until the end of February; any other time it’s too hot. So I’ll be doing a lot of walks in the next 4 months. My friend Mario made up a list the other night, so we’ll be squeezing a lot in. Once I leave the Gulf, I’ll probably never return, so now’s the time!!

    As always, you’re an inspiration! 🙂

  8. Okay, I totally love that first image. Looks like a painting. And the trees reflected on the pond–equally interesting. Thanks for inviting us to join you on your walk today. Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend.

  9. Love the sky filled with birds. Love your around the pond walks too.

  10. Sallyann says:

    Well that’s it, now you’ve done it, you can’t possibly go away and stay away, we’d miss you too much. 🙂
    You made me so happy this morning with your pingback and your walk around the pond, thankyou. 😀

  11. Wow, Robin, your photos from this walk are simply dazzling! The light, the bright colors, the reflections in the water – what natural glimpses of beauty you uncover over there in the bogs. The one of water draining into the creek is stunning! Thanks for sharing this walk. It’s super foggy here this morning…

  12. Wonderful post, Robin! I am now refreshed and ready to go on with my day. Thank you for reminding us how much life is enriched when we remember to stay in the present moment.

  13. Karma says:

    Beautiful pictures Robin – I especially love “heart of the meadow”. I’ve experienced that blackbird phenomenon – it is really something to see!

  14. The dry grasses almost look like Christmas decorations.
    The third one and the creek water are wonderful – almost abstract art

  15. Kathy says:

    That last picture is a HEART! Wa Hoo! I hear the Mother Earth’s heart through it! (And your words.)

  16. looking at the flow of water into the creek…I had such a strong and calming sense of “letting go”…just calmly letting go and things will be alright…how interesting that a photo image could set off such a strong sense as that…but…thank you…what a sense of calm. And what a special walk. : )

  17. Those pictures are so gorgeous!

  18. Marianne says:

    Beautiful, Robin!

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