Friday, April 24, 2015


It's been cold hereabout these last few days. A brisk 34˚F when I got up this morning. The weather folks have regularly issued frost warnings, and several nights in a row we've lit an evening fire in woodstove.

Spring has taken a decided step backwards.

Nevertheless, the chlorophyll rush continues, with the landscape turning ever greener almost by the hour. The unseasonable chill hasn't put much of a damper on the wildflowers, either. Early ephemerals are up and fading, and the second wave of blooms are coming on strong. I keep meaning to visit a favorite woodland or two and make a few photos, though so far haven't managed.

Truth is, I've not been in much of a vernal mood. I still miss Moon, my beloved outdoor-rambling companion. I'm doing okay—managing, anyway—but there's still this great big empty hole—a sad, lonely weight that drapes across my days like a dark veil. Still grieving, I guess, waiting for time to heal the rawness of her passing.

But life, as they say, goes on. 

The river returned back to its normal spring pool and again sparkles like a lively moving ribbon the shade of polished jade. My yard-feeding pair of Canada geese are currently setting their nest on the island across from the cottage. The great blue heron is nabbing lots of minnows from the riffles and shallows along the gravel bar just downstream. Our tulips are blooming, and all sorts of birds are singing from the greening treetops in ebullient procreative fervor.

I just wish…well, you know what I wish.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

MOON 1998-2015

My heart is breaking. 

Today, at 6:30 a.m., Myladylove and I had to put our beloved Moon to sleep. A wrenching, soul-haunting decision, and one our hearts began beseechingly second-guessing even as compassionate reasoning knew it was the right choice.

I haven't slept a moment since Monday evening…and I doubt I'll be able to rest tonight, though I'm utterly exhausted. 

Moon has been my constant daily companion for the past seventeen years. Faithfully overjoyed when greeting me at the door, whether I'd been away for half-a-day, half-an-hour, or half-a-minute. Fully heart-invested in our relationship, a boundless love that asked for nothing more than to be loved in return. Which I did, always, with all my heart because it was so easy to love her. She was truly the most wonderful dog I've ever known.

Life, they say, goes on. Time heals. Maybe, to some minor degree. But right now, and I believe forever more, our home and life will remain unrelentingly empty with no warm-eyed Moon-the-Dog to fill this aching hole in our hearts. 

Moon was family. Godspeed, sweet girl.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Spring along the river is starting to shape up nicely—or at least it was until heavy rains several days in a row turned things into a muddy flow that's now risen several feet above normal levels. Not that the water is dangerously high and I'm concerned about possible flooding. But appearance-wise, it's sure not the gentle, pastoral stream the hue of old jade, which burbled past the cottage a few days ago. 

Of course the one constant to a riverside life is change. Change in water levels and color. Change in vegetation. Change in the cast of characters sharing this fluid space. 

A few weeks ago there were wood ducks vying for paddling space with the mallards and Canada geese on the big eddy across from the cottage. Then the woodies disappeared. Today they're back—six of 'em that I can count, the drakes as stunningly resplendent in their spring attire as any native bird in North America.

Other welcome returnees are the pair of kingfishers who've decided to again set up their fishing dives from an overhanging sycamore limb just upstream. They employed this same perch over several days a couple of weeks back, before redeploying to a different limb across and farther upriver. So long as they continue to use this closer staging branch, I have at least a chance of making a photo.

Kingfishers are sharp-eyed and easily spooked—not very obliging photographic subjects. The image above, from about the time I started getting sick several weeks ago, is the best of a bunch of attempts. Getting it involved more luck than skill—and even so, it was still captured from a distance well beyond the frame-filling reach of my longest lens, and thus had to be heavily cropped to produce what you now see. 

I keep hoping and trying to do better. So a few more kingfisher days are welcome.        

Friday, April 3, 2015


Well, it has finally happened. I've reached that post-malady rubicon where acute stir-craziness has overridden any heeding of continued caution and such medically helpful restraints as common sense. Therefore I'm readying my still-hacking and sorry-looking self to attempt a brief excursion to the local grocery store.

I'd say my chances are 50/50. That is, I may or may not be capable of actually getting there, or of walking from truck to entrance across the parking lot if I do—and once inside, capable of pushing a cart around in a food-gathering circle and checking out afterwards. 

Chances of getting back to the truck, loading my purchases, driving home, unloading, and carrying the stuff inside is more on the order of 10/90, with the odds favoring failure. What troubles me is knowing exactly where along that sequence of events my ordeal is apt to deteriorate into a debacle.

I'm still so weak that just getting ready to go has left me exhausted. I feel like that old flashlight you keep in the glove box. You know, the cheap one you pull out when you have that flat you were never really expecting, and because you didn't believe one of your tires would have the effrontery to give up its air, you didn't pay attention to the light's batteries? So you toggle the thing on, and just as you get the jack set…the barely adequate light peters out and dims to a feeble yellow glow. 

Well, my current energy levels correlate depressingly to that flashlight. I can shine a little bit for a little while…then I become a dim and feeble yellow glow.

Yup, another fool's errand in the making.