Saturday, May 2, 2015

Setting Sun

North Jetty, Nokomis, Florida:

The sun sets, but the fishing goes on.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chittenden Reservoir

I have been participating in a poetry group while here in Florida.  It offers the opportunity to receive feedback, learn, and improve.

Recently, a member of the group introduced the "haibun."  This is a form I had never heard of, but I gave it a try.  My first attempt fell short on the haiku portion.  I made some revisions.  I don't know that I came any closer to actual haiku, but I am happy with my effort and I am calling it done so I thought I would share.

Chittenden Reservoir

A camping trip at Chittenden Reservoir is a well-planned and coordinated event. Mike starts watching the weekly weather predictions in hopes of finding three consecutive Vermont summer days promising warmth and sunshine.  If a full moon should happen to fall within those days, the camping gods have surely blessed us.

We pack the van at night, leaving only the cooler to be packed with ice, food, and beverage and then loaded in the predawn hours of the morning as we start the 70 mile trip.

Dew trickles through
grassy fields—
Spider laces

We leave the main road for a dirt track that climbs 1500 feet into the Green Mountain National Forest.  A sharp turn and the final 500 yards end at a small boat launch.  Damp detritus of evening activities litter the shore.  Two brightly colored kayaks glide away from the dam and are quickly out of sight.  No need for words as we take the canoe to water’s edge and load it with our camping gear.  Mike parks the van and then shoves the canoe into the cool, glassy water.  I hold steady as he climbs in and we start our paddle.

The reservoir covers 750 acres.  There are a few cabins near the dam, but most of the 7 mile shore line, dotted with coves and small bays is left to the wild,  inhabited by deer, foxes, moose.  Primitive campsites can be found if one knows where to look.  We know and head straight across, hoping to find out favorite cove unoccupied. The not knowing gives us a sense of urgency.

Light bursts over
Pico Mountain,
 diamonds on the water

The canoe crunches on the gravel beach.  We police the area before unloading, always hoping for no sign of previous habitation and too often disappointed.  Once the tent is set up and our camp arranged, we relax.  We gaze at the water and the mountains.  We watch the family of ducks, hoping for hand outs,  watching us.  We read.  We listen to the birds.   We giggle at the antics of chipmunks.  We swim, float gazing at the blue sky.  We talk and laugh.  We make love in the afternoon.

In the evening we paddle to the furthest bay.  The beaver slaps her tail on the water very near the canoe to warn us away.  We see a snapping turtle, the feathers from a duckling, a single webbed foot settling around it.  A bull moose, awkward, yet majestic, dips his head into the water.  We sit quietly watching until, sated, he turns and vanishes into the marsh grasses.

Night symphony begins—
Croaky tunes of longing,
Birds at roost

As the pale darkness of summer settles, Mike builds a fire.  We sit on benches made of logs and stones, sharing our prepared feast.  We make bets on where the moon will rise.  I am always wildly off and Mike wins every time.  He has studied such things.  Our mood shifts to one of awe.  We meditate in silence at the sight of the ascending Full Buck Moon.

Our hearts are full.  We sit and poke the fire, mesmerized by glowing embers. Gratitude spills from out lips between kisses that taste of wood smoke and wine.

With plaintive call
Loon glides to lift-off—
summer echoes.

Olga Hebert
April 18, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lake Front Property

Some might call this a pond, but in the Florida real estate promotions, it would be classified as  lake front property.  It is a pretty and serence spot.
And in the middle of it, there is an island rookery.  The white dots here are nesting herons and egrets.  The sound was impressive.  I am not sure it would be a selling point.

The Jacaranda trees are in full purple bloom.

I liked the color of this bougainvillea.

The actual flowers are the white centers.  The colored bracts are actually protective leaves.

Friday, April 24, 2015

What's That?

Looks like a blob of paint, doesn't it?  Bright blue paint.

It is actually a seed.

A seed for a tropical plant, Bird of Paradise.

Are the colors of nature sometimes nothing but absolutely astounding?

I wonder if it will actually grow into a full grown plant.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Pain in the Butt

Believe me, I know that at my age I am fortunate to be mostly healthy,  to have my real teeth and my real joints and very little pain associated with body parts in general.  I should be more grateful.  Instead, a little ache, a little pain, and I am off and ranting--cursing the gods who feel the need to punish me in this way.

I was sleeping peacefully on Saturday night when I was most rudely awakened  by sudden pain.  I was thought someone had broken into the house and was administering electrical shock to my left buttock. Zap! OW! Zap! OW! ZAP! OW!  And so it went throughout the night.  I was grumpy in the morning,  Very grumpy.

I have heard about sciatica nerve pain.  I googled it.  The pain was pretty targeted, not coming from my back, not shooting down the thigh.  But definitely there.

I was going to skip yoga, but yoga was mentioned as one of the treatments.  My yoga teacher mentioned periformis syndrome and gave me some modifications to the usual routine.  I felt a lot better afterwards.  I was really glad I didn't skip the class.

Inflammation of this muscle can irritate the sciatic nerve.  It is sometimes called pseudosciatica and sometimes referred to as wallet sciatica.  If I carried a wallet in my left back pocket, that would be a perfect description.

So today I took another bike ride and figured out what irritated that muscle in the first place.  Ice helps.

No Title

I took this picture because I am going to practice painting this lily. (will keep practicing)

The pineapple palm does double duty by hosting a variety of ferns and other fauna that we don't need to mention.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Scrap Projects

No one has ever accused me of being a horder, but I do have a large bin of craft materials that I can go to when there are children in need of entertainment or productive diversion.

Sometimes it is just my own inner child in need of entertainment.  Sometimes it is my own stuck self in need of productive diversion.

Looming writing deadlines and nothing on paper* yet?  Perfect time to open up that bin in the closet!  Hmm. scraps of felt...

bird with buttons


When I volunteered for my VT librarian friend, one of my tasks was to make a prototype of the crafts she had selected for the children's story times or projects for the summer reading program.  It is a habit I got into.

*by paper I mean the computer screen.