Little River Loop

By | 2017-04-18T22:19:05+00:00 October 12th, 2015|Animals, Landscape, Places|

Today it rained.

We walked the little river loop at Little Campbell River, a canopy of vine maples bent and beckoning over the path like a glowing arcade of autumn’s yellow leaves.

I tricked a chickadee to land on my hand, even though there was not a bit of seed in it. Then from a branch nearby he sat and looked at me.

Even a sparrow today was tame enough to try a sunflower seed husk I’d turned over in my palm to bring it near. Strange for a sparrow, that friendly approach. She’d been following me around like a little sister, so I thought she’d take the bait. I wished it hadn’t been only the husk, that I could have satisfied her appetite and not just her curiosity.

There were herons, perfectly still and almost hidden by the misted river bank. A wren that hopped with its tail held up at high angles.

And, I’m happy to say, the rufous-sided towhee, in the same spot I always see it every year. Its call seems, like some gentle reptilian interjection, to be thrown through a wormhole from the Jurassic to us.

Peanut Pond

By | 2017-04-11T17:15:30+00:00 October 11th, 2015|Animals, Landscape, Places|

Overcast yesterday at a peanut-shaped lake. The air was still, the trees barely indicating any atmosphere. Chickadees whirred electrically.

The cottontails seemed tame, but hopped off as soon as a certain buffer was breached. Two black crows walked like Egyptians. They were thirty feet apart but followed the same basic path at the same basic pace. Their type of black, like coal, contains deep indigo. And grey.

At lunch, my father spilled a cup of powdery Parmesan cheese on his chair, swept it up into his palm, and shook it off in the yard on a pile of golden dry cedar leaves, where it remains. Lucky mouse.

Leslie Spit Sunday

By | 2017-04-18T22:20:12+00:00 September 12th, 2015|Animals, Landscape, Places|

Sunday at Leslie Spit, the waves crashed and the wind was high. Everywhere I walked hopping bugs hopped up, and to my left and right they chirred in the red and green grasses.

Only some things were brown today, like the dead and cobwebbed seedpods and desiccated bushes. Some trees were going gold, but there were many bright flowers, and strong young pines, and the leaves of the poplars seemed to rush through the wind like surf.

No butterfly would allow me close. Many cabbage whites lighted nearby, but they are in almost constant and erratic motion, and when they do stop they stop for less than a moment, and you only have time to consider approaching, but never the time for even one step before they fly.

Mink and coyote scat at the edge of the trail. Dried and cracked mud on the dikes. The sun was out and my face got red. It was 20 degrees.

Outside my window now, the air is thick with midges. They get caught in the hairs on my arm.

The park

By | 2017-04-20T22:47:17+00:00 May 19th, 2014|Landscape, Places|

I walked in the park taking pictures of trees. Two people played euphonium horns. Languid unison melodies and marching in step. Their tuning slipped in and out. It started to rain. Water wet my camera. The people stopped playing their horns. I went home to set down my camera. I went out with my recorder and umbrella. The rain was falling and the smell of petrichor filled the air. The people were back at their horns. It wasn’t as good as it had been but maybe it would be. My batteries died. I went to the store and bought two double As and some cigarettes. I put them in the recorder. I don’t smoke, but I wanted the hint of euphoria it occasionally brings. When I returned to the park the horn players were gone. I heard their echo from far away. I walked around the ravine with wide open ears. To no avail. A squirrel allowed me to get very close to its place on a branch. The sky was a million grays. I saw a red house and a gigantic Japanese maple. Heard firecrackers and the call of a thrush. Then it ate a worm. I wanted more pictures but the camera was gone. Even my phone was at home. And it was off. The rain came down and the sun came out. A rainbow emerged in the east. I went back for my camera and back to the park.

The sun

By | 2017-04-21T23:14:43+00:00 March 31st, 2014|Animals, Landscape, Places|

Click edit button to change this text.The sun is out in Ontario. Many people will have worn the wrong thing and are just now a little wet under the collar. The smell of dog shit released from winter snow melt no longer lingers in the air; most of it has washed away. Still, I take care where I walk, for everywhere there is mud. It is six degrees