Easily spooked (22)

(Scary house in Coudersport, PA.)

It was rainy and chilly here this morning.  Dark and cloudy, too.  Not the kind of day you want to go wandering around outside.

(This morning’s view of the pond.)

There was a break in the rain and I thought I’d make like the goddess Nike and Just Do It, but then the skies really opened up and it poured before I could get out there.  That was a blessing.  Imagine if it had done that while I was wandering off towards the woods or something.

(Heavy rain.)

The thing is, I’m not feeling well at all today.  The cold symptoms have gotten worse, adding body aches and pains on top of the sore throat and the so-congested-it-feels-like-it-will-explode head.  There is no fever so I’ll stick with the cold diagnosis for now.  The not-feeling-well cherry on top is a terrible pain that I am pretty sure is due to eating a handful of cashews coated with honey and sesame seeds.  You see, I shouldn’t be eating those cashews.  I’ve experienced this pain before and it always coincides with the eating of the cashews.  Did I learn my lesson?  Hopefully so, this time around.

I had to have a conversation with myself about commitments and such.  The conversation didn’t last long.  I resigned myself to going out.  And the wind did me a favor by blowing away some of the cloud cover for a little while, allowing the sun to shine through.  I bundled up and headed out only to find myself frightened by something as soon as I opened the door.

(Scary boots.)

Yep, hip boots.  Or waders.  When I opened the door and saw the feet part of the boots, I thought someone was lying on the sidewalk.  Sort of.  It was quick, just enough to startle me before the boots registered with my brain as being 1) M’s boots, and 2) empty of any body.

Having determined that I was in fact okay and not suffering from a heart attack or other lingering effects from the scare, I slowly made my way out to the pond via the side of the yard where the standing stone stands.

Something amazing happened soon after:

My head didn’t clear but the skies did.  For a little while.  Long enough for me to walk around for about 40 minutes or so, enjoying the invigorating feel of the gusty wind.  There were still some lighter clouds rolling in and out, but the dark and gloomy variety moved east to haunt someone else.

I met a few other creatures along the way.

I think that is an American goldfinch wearing his winter plumage.  (If I’m wrong, please correct me.  I’m trying to learn what’s what and who’s who out there.)  Look how nicely he stands out against that lovely blue sky.

I also met a doe right here on the path going into the woods but we startled each other and she bounded off before I could even think about the camera.  If you have a good imagination, you should be able to see her just a few feet away right in the middle of the path.

The little gal or guy above accompanied me through the meadow, leading the way.  Moth or butterfly?  I’m not sure.  The body reminds me of a moth but the antennae look like those of a butterfly.

(In the clover.)

It was a good walk.  I came back with wet feet and a vastly improved mood.  Unfortunately, the other problems didn’t go away so now I think I’ll have a cuppa hot tea and then succumb to the nap that has been calling.


Happy Autumn (1)

(This morning’s view of the pond.)

It’s day one of my commitment to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors every day for a year.  The first full day of autumn here in the Bogs started out thick with fog.  The morning fog is one of the things I like best about this season.  It feels almost magical to go out and walk in the mists of Breezy Acres.

Sound has an odd quality to it when it has to move through the fog.  Sound is muffled and it can be difficult to tell where it is coming from.  This morning’s fog was filled with the call of birds, mostly crows cawing from the trees in the woods, but they often sounded as if they were surrounding the pond rather than at the back of it.  A chevron-shaped line of geese came by while I was out, honking out their traveling song.  Ted Andrews in his book Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small lists the keynote for the goose as The Call of the Quest and Travels to Legendary Places.  And for those interested in crows, it is The Secret Magic of Creation is Calling.  Both seem to fit my new adventure quite well.  It is almost as if they were there to remind me of why I am doing this.

As the fog lifted it left behind a shimmer of dew drops covering everything.  My feet were soaked by the time I finished my walk around the pond.

They were also covered with grass.  M has been mowing the grass this week.  It’s the first time since the beginning of August, I think.  The grass hasn’t been growing much without the rain to help it along.

The spiders had obviously been busy overnight and in the early morning hours.  There were all kinds of webs spun all over the place.  Long lines of webs stretched from grass to trees and across the top of the paddle boat.

I found this butterfly waving its wings.  I’m not sure but I think it was trying to dry its wings.  I’m also not sure it is a butterfly.  I looked up the difference between moths and butterflies.  One of the differences is that a moth sits with its wings open whereas a butterfly sits with them closed behind its back.  The creature pictured above was slowly opening and closing its wings as it sat there so that particular hint was no help.  Another difference can be found on the antennae.  The butterfly’s antennae are club-like with a swollen tip.  The moth’s are feathery.

Another thing I enjoy about the fog is the softness it creates.  Everything has a kind of blur to it, spreading its color softly in the background the way the goldenrod is showing off its yellows in the photo above.  (Side note:  I’ve really been drawn to yellows lately.  I blame it on the goldenrod.)

Happy Autumn!

And to my friends in the southern hemisphere, Happy Spring!

It will not feel like autumn here today or tomorrow.  Our high temperature is expected to be in the 90’s with lots of humidity to go with that heat.  We may even break a record.

It’s too bad I can’t bottle some of it up to take with me on my walks when the temperatures dip below freezing in January.  I’d best enjoy it now while I can.