It's the barren season, so when I set out yesterday with my camera, I didn't expect I'd find much besides the usual dry prairie plants. There can be interesting lines and patterns there, but I was ready for something new, and doubtful that there was much to be found.
I was wrong. The first surprise was on the trees outside the Rec-Fitness center. There was a curious rustling sound as I passed and when I looked more closely, I saw the trees were abundantly covered with clumps of tiny dry maple keys, dancing in the breeze and catching the light in interesting ways.
I mused on abundance -- in the seed-heads of the prairie plantings, on these maple trees, and on the crabapple trees along the bike path. I had admired the crop on the tree below earlier in the year. Now the apples are turning soft -- and there is an abundance of birds to enjoy them. This little house finch blended right in (see him in the lower middle? If not, see the close up below).
It must be an attractive perch. A sparrow flew in and chased the finch away, and then happily got to work pecking at the same crabapple.
There was an abundance of wild life to be seen that day -- as I headed home past the sidewalk from the dorms to the library, this red-tail hawk was perching on the lamp-post, not at all concerned about passing students or photographers. Just behind him, on the far side of the tree, one of the black squirrels was hiding by freezing -- while complaining vigorously. And as I passed the prairie plantings north of the dorms another redtail hawk -- or possibly the same one -- was perched on the siren, watching the field where the finch find some of those abundant seed-heads and milkweed down.
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
I've taken on a prayer practice of looking for the moments of light in each day, whether actual or metaphorical, and then writing or posting photos of what I find.