I did listen to Billie Holliday singing the song “Strange Fruit” multiple times last week, since it was one of the topics that came up for the commemoration of slaves being brought to this continent in 1619. That song always makes me shiver. Then I’m sad. Then I’m angry. I hope humans learn from our mistakes and treat each other better. Someday.
In more mundane stuff…
Today I was looking around wondering what I’d eat during this time of year and right before my eyes appeared two more benign strange fruit: a passion fruit and a prickly pear.
Those would be sweet and delicious any time, but especially now, when it’s so parched.
Isn’t it about time I got back to nature observations? I think we all could use some sweet stories and pretty photos, so I’ll try to give you some of each.
The Dangling Finchlet
First, I’ll tell you about the house finch families who have taken up residence at the Hermit Haus, who entertain me and Mandi when we hang out by the carport. They sing and sing, and fly right next to us or sit in big groups chirping and looking spiffy (especially the males).
Well, as we came out to leave this afternoon and I was trying to load paper towels in the car, something brushed against me. I looked left, and there was a poor little baby finch flailing away, but unable to fly off, because a piece of nesting material was stuck on its leg.
Prior to finding the Hermits’ Rest, I knew it was possible to have a physical attachment to a specific location. I may have written before about how my body feels better when I’m in the place where I grew up, in Florida. Is it magnetism? Pleasant memories? A placebo effect?
I don’t know, but I’ve become attached to our ranch just like with Gainesville. When I get to the creek, my body relaxes and the clutter lifts from my mind. Just like that.
One possible explanation is that I really knew the plants and animals, the weather patterns, the sounds, and the smells where I grew up. And over these past years, I’ve become that familiar with the ranch, working pretty hard at it with all my Master Naturalist classes and book learning. Oh yes, and just by being observant. Doing this has made me a part of this place.
Fair warning: the reason I wrote nothing in any of my blogs yesterday is that even when I was resting I was doing stuff! Since I’m not at the computer yet, I’ll just summarize and write more later.
Friday was spent driving all over the county with Lee and Mandi looking for a good used car for her, and seeing if we could find a replacement for our huge diesel truck that we could actually use around Cameron.
We found that I like a Chevy Traverse and Lee likes Suburbans, which are still too giant for me. Unfortunately Lee couldn’t get the trade-in he wanted on the truck, so we walked away. But al least I realized that a smaller SUV was okay for me and at least some Chevy vehicles aren’t plasticky.
The drive was worth it, though, because the countryside on the back road to Rockdale was gorgeous.
Well, shoot, just when I was really getting into long walks and frolicking amid the wildflowers, a late cold front has driven me indoors. Yesterday, we hosted an event at 11 am at our office. The front showed up right as all the attendees were coming in or trying to find us. A big wind and brief rain surprised everyone, and blew away my meeting signs. March decided not to go out like a lamb after all!
But, I did get a lot of flower-viewing, pet walking, and iNaturalist uploading done before the front! It’s a great year for flowers, thanks to the winter rains, so I know I’ll be out finding more to share soon.
Here’s something I’ve been grappling with lately. Many of the flowers that are blooming right now are yellow. They’re just beautiful, but when I try to photograph them, they are all washed out, making it hard to see details. Luckily, the collard greens I let go to seed (I ate off this ONE plant all winter) look pretty good. Perhaps the blue sky helped.
But this ragwort, like many other yellow ones I’ve photographed, looks like a bright blur. I have tried adjusting the color on my phone, but no luck. Suggestions? Get a real camera! Yes, I know.
I’m looking forward to warmer weather soon. I know the dogs are, too. Alfred had a fine time yachting around in the pond on Friday, but I don’t think he’ll try today!
Take care, friends, and don’t forget to like, share, and comment!
That’s the question I asked myself this weekend. So I wandered around with my head down to see what’s there.
was surprised to find the lawn (sorta) around our old church property blooming away. Granted, they were tiny wood sorrel, blue speedwell, and pink storks-bill flowers, but they were enough to keep at least four kinds of small butterflies happy.
I saw lots and lots of these lovely tropical checkered skippers, plus elusive little sulphurs and a hairstreak. And my friends the fiery skippers still are hanging around. Not bad for December.
When I looked up, I noticed the big oak tree (the only tree on the property) seemed to be shaking, even though there was no breeze. Then I heard a whole lot of chattering.
The tree was filled with fat, happy squirrels. They ran up and down, jumped over branches, and tussled.
Why were they so happy? Well, it’s autumn, and this tree alone has provided enough acorns for an entire city of squirrels. Why go elsewhere?
I wish you the bounty and happiness these little guys have found. I also hope you are finding the life and beauty wherever you are. It’s there!