?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Flag Next Entry
breeden
ursulav

Perfect Evening

Yesterday evening, I went over to Lake Crabtree and went walking.

The fields are full of swamp sunflowers, the sunflowers are full of bees and butterflies, the sun was setting across the lake in that crazy fuscia-red shade, the herons were striding grimly through the marsh, and it was just...perfect. A single perfect gem of an evening. I went walking down the sunflower path to the woods, scattering wrens and miscellaneous sparrows. A lone kingfisher went chattering overhead, swooped low over the water, and landed on a spar. The air smelled spicy and faintly sweet, and butterflies hung off the sunflowers, flapping drunkenly in the throes of nectar inebriation. A ragged-winged swallowtail careened overhead, nearly hit me, corrected, and landed on a nearby flower. I was unable to shake the feeling that if I'd leaned in close enough, I'd hear it giggling.

I looked down the path, and saw two deer, right at the edge of the path, watching me. A buck and a doe, the buck with a fairly small, spiky rack, now out of velvet. The doe retreated, but the buck stood there for several minutes, trying to decide whether I was worth fleeing or not. Eventually I looked away, following a Carolina wren that went skittering through the sedge, and when I looked back, he was gone.

I eventually walked back, around the edge of the lake, and saw a Pepperidge Farms Warbler Assortment hanging around in the grass, the low trees, and through a willow on the edge of the water. Identifying fall warblers can be a miserably frustrating exercise, and I don't know half of what I saw, but the first-year American redstart was clear--yellow tail stripes diagnostic--as was the tail-waggling of the prairie warbler (a bird which, with the usual precision of ornithology, doesn't hang out on prairies at all.) And both of those were lifers, which was just the final fillip on a gorgeous evening.

Much of my life is still painful and occasionally exhausting, but as long as there are occasional evenings like that, it's worth it.


  • 1
I live in this soup of chronic pain. Really--my joints and muscles hurt literally all the time. But through that, the moments when it doesn't matter have to do with nature. I can look at a leaf and have that be the world for that moment or minute.

I'm glad you also have something that provides solace and balm.

I'm laughing at the image of your giggling swallow. I am remembering when there were sparrows learning to fly near our apartment and for several days, fuzzy little cannonballs would go zooming past us as we stood outside. It took them several days to progress from knee-level to above our heads and they kept slamming into us and/or bouncing off the carport walls. We took to yelling, "Incoming!" And I was sure I could hear little tiny "Wheee"s!

  • 1