Category Archives: Nature (because my favorite place is outdoors)

Clouds at sunset

It was a brisk-and-breezy fall day. At sunset I saw the clouds doing interesting things outside my bedroom window to the East. I was intrigued by the way they contrasted with the dark tree. (I aimed skyward to eliminate other buildings, utility poles, etc.😊)

I thought the sunset itself might be equally interesting. The other day I wrote about how a nearby tree had been removed & how much it changed the view in unexpected but delightful ways. This view includes two dead trees but with almost all the leaves down around here, that’s now moot… till spring. Anyway, I took this panoramic shot of the skyline to share with you. I am just drunk on this “new” view. Without the tree which had been nearest, the sky has been blown open. I can’t stop looking at it, all day long. It feels like a surprise gift.

And even more panoramic.

Besotted by the view

If I am not actually outside I am looking outside. I’ve always been this way. Times (in life) I haven’t had access to windows, I hated it. Years ago when I did one of those personal exercises where you list things you’d want in a job, I included windows.

A few weeks ago an ailing tree very nearby was removed. As long as I’d known the tree it’d had a major gouge at its base and I suppose that kept it from flourishing. As the tree was close it both blocked the view beyond it somewhat and effectively “stopped the eye.” I didn’t realize that exactly till it was gone.

The “new” view features two further away trees which are dead. Years ago when it was obvious to me the first one was toast, I left a polite note on the presumed owner’s mailbox, basically saying, Hello Neighbor, just want you to know your tree looks like it’s dead. The owner didn’t do anything about it and as of this summer the tree to its right also looks mostly dead.

Oct 18

Nov 5

Nov 11

Another angle

Having dead trees nearby isn’t ideal and while I’m not the greatest judge of distances, it does seem like if one of ’em was to fall over from its base in this direction, well, I might see it up close & personal as it crashed through a window. But, thinking about it, in my experience, dead trees left to their own affairs tend to come down in pieces. 

Initially, I thought, oh great, a view of two dead trees. But I soon changed my tune. The birds, especially woodpeckers LOVE the dead trees and they (birds) are fun to watch. And moreover, it’s now easier to watch all sorts of birds in flight in this lightly wooded area. The view is just broader, in every sense. The yard itself is having a really gorgeous fall too. I can’t stop looking out. No doubt novelty is part of the immediate appeal but I have to say that with everything that’s gone on this year, I appreciate and rely on little things like drinking in the view out the window more than ever. It relaxes and calms me, sure and steady.


Forecast: chilly, rainy, & windy with a chance of…sunflowers

Here it is Nov 1 in this 4-season climate. Summer is OVER. And yet… I’ve got birdseed sunflowers blooming! Here’s the thing. I have no recollection of planting them. The pot had held a tomato plant & bean plants both of which failed mid-summer.😥 I yanked the plants & pushed the pot aside. I have, in the past, planted black oil sunflower seeds that were sold as birdseed but I don’t think I planted these.

I noticed them coming up in the summer & eventually recognized them for what they were so I let them grow. As the days grew shorter and cooler I got nervous that they wouldn’t have time to bloom. The last two nights I put a cover over to protect them. After all, they’ve come this far!

Another reason I don’t think I’m responsible is the half-assed planting job. Granted, I’m not too fussy about planting things perfectly but let me show you how these were planted, two bunches of seeds jammed together. I wonder if Mr Squirrel had a paw in it? Stranger, there’s been no birdseed out since May, not here.

Just one of those unexplained, nice surprises.

Where I shall play my violin, translate poetry, and enjoy nature

Farnsworth House


Somewhere in the last year or so I found the above bookmark in a book, either a library book or one from a mini “Free Library.” I don’t remember exactly which but I was smitten when I saw the house depicted. Even though Farnsworth House is apparently famous, I had never heard of it. Can you imagine having such a spectacular retreat? Situated along a river in the woods? (Assuming stalkers and security weren’t issues let’s say. That’s a lot of glass!) Sure, I can’t play the violin or translate poetry – as did the woman who had the house built – but I rock at enjoying nature.😀

Grass plant in bloom

When so many plants are winding down or spent, it’s awfully nice to have one peaking. While I’ve blogged about my grass plant before, I don’t think I’ve shared it in bloom. As the years have passed the plant has grown & become unwieldy, so much so that it routinely fell over from its own weight, meaning that, by the time bloom season arrived, most of said grass along with blooms were flopped over, parallel to the ground.😯 Not a photo-op. I struck upon the idea of containing it within a large tomato cage as it grows & that’s helped a lot. It doesn’t show in these photos nor does the wood dowel I have recently propped behind the cage to keep the whole business upright!