childhood, coping, faith, growing old, home, live and learn, lizards, memories, moments, nature, photography

Lovely woods…

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

From Robert Frost’s Stopping by woods on a Snowy Evening

This favorite poem came to mind as soon as I saw the above image in my camera. But the thoughts that followed involve the only other Frost poem that I know (and love)…

From the Road not Taken…

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

It is way too easy to dwell on the notion that if only you’d chosen that other path then everything would have been perfect. The assumption that if one choice hasn’t been perfect, then the other choice would have been perfect.  It took me longer than it should have to figure out that I was still looking for happily ever after even at this late date.  And when you look at the lead up to the words we all remember, that he would be telling this in ages and ages hence, perhaps it has always been tempting to look back on your life to look for places where a different choice might have made a difference.  I wonder what life might have been like had I not left home at such a young age. I’ve never felt connected to any of the places I’ve lived, and never fail to have that feeling of being home when I’m back in Massachusetts.  But there isn’t any point in wondering such things.  That ship has sailed.

I need to think of a saying that is framed on the wall at my daughter’s house…

Heather's sign

Or something I saw on her Facebook page…

alright

When did my daughter get so wise?

bugs, dragonflies, lizards, losing battles, nature, photography, sunrise

Little jungles…

I think that having the out of control weeds out front whipped into shape was a good move, even if I did have it done immediately before a hurricane. But now it’s past time to mow again already. I have a section of lawn with those tall seed stalks waving in the breeze, and I found myself standing among them as I waited for the dogs to finish wandering around last night. Which is when I noticed a little yellow dragonfly landing on one, and then another, of the tall stalks of grass. Of course I had my phone with me so I started trying to get a picture, and then went in for my DSLR, and back outside again. Then I remembered to try my phone using the macro feature in the Camera + app. If I was a serious photographer I could have laid down in the grass for a better angle, or maybe I could take a yoga class so I could at least bend over a little more freely. I think the dogs love it when I have the camera out there because they can run amok and I don’t notice.

But after noticing all the dragonflies, pretty butterflies/moths (I’m not sure which), and tiny lizards enjoying my overgrown lawn I’m going to feel badly when I do mow. I see things fly up out of the grass while I’m on my riding mower, but I haven’t ever really looked at them before. They have had to contend with all the same crazy weather that we’ve had to deal with all summer, plus me on my mower. Sorry little creatures.littlejungle3littlejungle5littlejungle6littlejungle7littlejungle8littlejungle9

Florida wildlife, kids, lizards, memories, nature, silliness, simple things

Just in case…

There’s a lizard in the house! Charley wasn’t Mr. Fix-it by any means, but if I screamed that there was a lizard in the house he would leap into action, not to rescue me, but to rescue the lizard from what he thought I was going to do to it. “Don’t kill it!”, he’d yell. Every time. Made me mad because while I would swat a gnat or mosquito, and I’d spray a Palmetto bug with bug spray in a heartbeat, there was no way I would kill a lizard. I’d be far more likely to stand on a chair squealing until the lizard had been relocated outside.

Just ask Michael. One day I answered a knock on the front door and discovered a contingent of neighborhood kids at the door. The ringleader announced, “Michael has our lizard!” Now Michael had earlier asked me for a plastic container with holes in the lid, ostensibly for a caterpillar. Actually he said ‘calapidder’, at 4 years old it was one of his last fractured words. He’d gone off with the container, which I had forgotten all about, but upon hearing about the lizard I had a new understanding of his recent return home. He came in, slammed the door, and dashed straight upstairs without saying a word. Hmmm. So I marched upstairs, knocked on his door, and said, “The kids say you have their lizard.” His face fell, and he walked to his closet and opened the door, and in my mind’s eye I saw the plastic container on the floor of the closet. But the reality was that there was only one thing on the closet floor, and that was a bare, naked lizard. So I did what any good mother would do, I screamed and jumped on the bed. That startled Michael as much as the lizard had startled me, so he scooped it up and I don’t even know where he went with it, all I knew was he saved me.

Even Zoe, who hunts lizards outside, hasn’t ever seemed interested in catching one inside. Or notice it’s there in the first place. So the teeny tiny little lizard I spotted this morning has disappeared, magically, sort of how it showed up in the first place. Which is fine by me. It would be kinder to hunt it down and relocate it outside, because you know I’ll most likely find a teeny tiny little body after rigor mortis sets in. Even then I’ll leave it for a day or two before I remove it. Just in case…

birds, Chinsegut Conservation Center, Cranes, lizards, nature, photography, squirrels

Reflecting on my neighbors

The visitors to my little piece of Heaven are many and varied.  All are welcome, well, aside from the snakes, but they just seem to leave their skins behind like ghostly,  translucent calling cards, and that’s fine by me.  As I told my son years ago when he was campaigning for a pet snake, “I prefer my animals fluffy.”  The ‘lake’ (think pond) behind my house seems to draw quite the assortment of critters.  Some, but not all, have posed for me.  The woman we bought this house from said that sitting on the lanai looking out at the lake was like taking a tranquilizer, and mostly that’s true.  But closer inspection through the zoom lens reveals the daily carnage going on out there.  I take pictures of the hawks because they are beautiful, and then realize that as I’m happily clicking away they are tearing  some other poor creature limb from limb.  And eating them!  The Little Blue Herons and egrets take quite a toll on the frog population.  One day we had a mysterious swimmer, who I thought looked like a bear cub, or a wild pig, but turned out to be nothing more than a run-of-the-mill  possum.  And then there are the Sandhill cranes!  To me they are the royalty of the lakeside population.