67: Sunny Day

(Today’s view of the pond.)

The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night,
Ya-honk! he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation:
The pert may suppose it meaningless, but I listen closer,
I find its purpose and place up there toward the November sky.

~ Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

We had visitors come to the pond this morning.  I heard them flying in just before sunrise.  They didn’t stay long but managed to leave a bit of a mess before moving on (without our help, I might add).

(Visitors.)

I’m glad they left on their own.  I was worried that we might scare off the ducks at the same time we were shooing away the gaggle of geese.

It’s a lovely, sunny day.  Still cold but the sun makes a big difference, as does the lack of gusty winds.  There is a breeze, as you can tell from the above video.  I enjoy the sound of the cattails rustling in the wind.  Some days it sounds as if they are murmuring to each other, passing their secrets along to the back of the pond and into the woods.

(Opposing forces:  Sun on ice.)

Without the wind to blow the water, there is a 6-8 inch border of ice around the pond.  It won’t last.  We’re going to have a warm up over the next few days, something that will further confuse the poor plants.  After that there is snow in the forecast once again.  I think it may turn out to be one of those baffling winters, going back and forth between warm-ups and cool-downs.  I wonder what that will mean for the flowers and buds once spring arrives?

(It looks like an owl face to me.)

My dule of doves have found the bird seed I’ve been leaving for them.  Yay!  The other piles of bird seed that I’ve left in various places remain untouched.  Hopefully the birds will find them soon.

I’ve noticed — as have others — that my blog is slow to load.  Have you noticed it too?  I can’t decide what the problem might be.  The theme I’m using has always been somewhat slow to load.  I’ve been using larger file sizes for the photos so folks can click on them and view the larger version.  And my posts have become more photo-heavy since I began the outdoor commitment.

(Mushrooms.)

I’m going to start with reducing the file sizes on the photos.  If that doesn’t work, it may be time for me to switch themes.  I’ve been wanting to do that for a while now, but have been unable to decide on a theme.  If things don’t seem to be working, bear with me (and, if you have time, please let me know if you’re having difficulties so I can try to fix it).


40: Leftovers

(Looking below the surface in the woods.)

It’s day 40 of my commitment to get outside every day.  During the past 40 days I’ve collected a few photos that I couldn’t seem to fit into a post.  Before I move them to a back-up hard drive, I thought I’d go ahead and share a few of them.

(Fungus in the wood pile.)

Today is also the first day of NaBloPoMo and of course I was crazy enough to sign up.  It’s fun, I get to meet new bloggers, and it is always a challenge because every year November turns out to be a busy month for me.  It’s no different this year.  M and I will be engaged in plenty of activities.

(Ready for winter.)

It was below 30 degrees when I rolled out of bed this morning.  The frost is hanging around longer in the mornings.  I wore my winter coat for the first time on Saturday.  Hat, gloves, and winter coat:  the holy trinity of winter around here.  Or it could be frost, ice, and snow.  Depends on how you look at it.

(A tangle of cattails.)

(A mushroom tower hiding in the grasses.)

Today’s walk

I bundled up and went out around noon today.  I like morning walks but may have to start taking them later in the day when it’s warmer.  For today, though, noon was good.  It’s breezy but the sun is shining and providing just enough heat to keep it from being too nippy.

(This morning’s view of the pond.)

The pond was providing nice reflections while the birds and wind produced a lovely autumn soundtrack to go with my walk.  I heard and then spotted a bird I’ve never seen before.  I think it was a small hawk of some kind.  I haven’t had much luck in identifying it (so far).  The photos I took are too dark and blurry to be of much help.

(Swoon.)

There is a dule of doves living in the woods near an old apple tree.  I pass them on my way through the cattails.  Poor things are frightened into flight each time I come by.  A few weeks ago, during my first pass by them after they’d settled there, the flurry of feathers was such a panic that two of the birds flew into each other.  They are not quite used to me yet, but at least they are a little calmer about moving from the ground to the trees when I come by now.

(A dove in the distance.)

As I sit here typing this, a recording of John Glenn is being recorded on my answering machine.  He’s yammering away about how I should get out and vote tomorrow.  I am flattered that a man who was an astronaut (first American to orbit the earth) and U.S. senator thinks my vote is that important.  Not too flattered, though, since it’s only a recording and only going out to probably every phone number in the state of Ohio.

(The neighbor’s pony.)

The Republicans and Tea Party folks want me to vote, too.  The phone has been a source of much yammering and nagging about politics lately.  It’s worse today.

Not to worry, all you politicos.  I’ll be voting, in spite of having fallen into the enthusiasm gap.  Or maybe because of it.  Whatever the case, I’ll be there with my lack of enthusiasm, unenthusiastically (but without whining about it) voting for the lesser of the evils.  I am old enough to know better than to expect change overnight.  Still, I’m disappointed.  That said, I don’t want to go back to the way things were either.  So, I’ll vote.  I’ll vote.  I really will.  No need to keep nagging me about it.

(Light and leaves drifting.)