Foxglove Moments

Foxglove Moments

Foxglove is the name of my property, five acres overlooking the Lewis River Valley that was covered with the wildflower when I first moved here in 1996. 

 


Every year around this time, approximately four billion maple leaves fall in my yard, half of them managing to land in my pond, each the size of an elephant ear--a large elephant.

And each spring I must clean my pond, removing a foot of decomposed leaf sludge from the bottom.

 

 

 

So this year I decided to get a pond screen. The pond shop didn't carry them, but the helpful store assistant suggested I make one myself. "They're easy to make," he said.

Easy to make. He was probably thinking of someone mechanically inclined like my father or my nephew Ryan; he probably wasn't thinking of someone like me who isn't always sure which end of a hammer to use.

 

 

 So I took his advice and asked Ryan to design and construct a pond cover, netting on top so the pond can "breathe," plastic on the sides so the leaves can slide off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm pleased with the result. My pond is now protected from the annual leaf assault. Once the leaves are all down for this year, we'll dismantle and store the cover until next fall.

 

 

 

 

 

For now, I happily sit back and watch the large maple leaves happily fall where they may.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[First posted: November 5, 2015]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fitting end to a well-lived day:

writing stories in the morning,

raking leaves in the afternoon

occasionally stopping to scribble down ideas

raked up with the leaves

when suddenly I note the light has gone.

In a graying sky one bright cloud

shines like a beacon:

"This day signing off."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[First posted: November 3, 2015]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I praise the fall it is the human season now

No more the foreign sun does meddle at our earth

Enforce the green and thaw the frozen soil to birth

Nor winter yet weigh all with silence the pine bough.



Archibald MacLeish

"Immortal Autumn"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[First posted: November 1, 2015]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working out on my hillside

putting away wood for the winter

when he comes circling overhead,

checking me out,

Circling...circling...circling,

Majestic, unhurried,

observant without being intrusive.

Eagle surveillance,

Preferable any day to the NSA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[First posted: October 24, 2015]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The valley takes on a different character with each season.

Spring throbs to its new-life beat;
summer simmers and shimmers in the heat;
winter everywhere slows;
but autumn...autumn glows.


Autumn is my season.

 

 

 

 

[First posted: October 5, 2015]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Yesterday, Kris emailed: Are the leaves changing on your hillside?

I looked out my window.

No, they aren't, I said. 

Today I emailed her: Yes, they are. All of them!

What a difference a day makes.

 

 

 

 

[First posted: September 15, 2015]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With temperatures in the high 90s this past week, it was clearly too hot
for the squirrels to do much scampering about.

Listless, lethargic, flattened by the heat, they appeared to melt on the trees.

Fur coats, no matter how fashionable, are not really high summer wear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[First posted: July 20, 2015]

 

 

 

 

 

Amidst our day to day prose existence

come moments of poetry breaking through,

always taking us by surprise.

Once again.

 

 

 

[First posted: July 7, 2015]

 

 

 

 

 

 


Viewing this morning's photo--

First thought:
  
Too bad.
Out of focus.


Second thought: 
  
Magnificent!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[First posted: July 1, 2015]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting out on the hillside at sunset, watching the valley change colors in the transiting light, I read poetry aloud to the gathered squirrels and jays.

No chipmunks tonight. They prefer novels.

For these evening readings, I put out peanuts. On these occasions, I am the food person, bearing feed, seed, peanuts and poems.

(I suspect the squirrels come for the peanuts, only feigning interest in poetry.)

Tonight we're reading W.S. Merwin, a favorite poet of mine,
here on a hillside not far from Lake Merwin.
No relation that I know of, but still it's kind of cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I prefer his later poems,
about life captured in singular moments,
about living in sync with nature,
about that point where the natural and the spiritual intersect.

My critter neighbors know instinctually, maybe intuitively,
what I am forever trying to understand intellectually.

For them there is nothing to understand. Life just is, 
and they are forever present to it
--like the best poets in their best moments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[First posted: June 22, 2015]