january

morning

picture from January 2022

On a gray and cloudy January day, it’s nothing more than a desire
to picture a heavy new coat of snow, clinging to the branches
of the dogwood tree.

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memories

sound your harks

I posted this a few years ago…a memory from long ago.

etikser

Every New Years Day, my mom took down the tree. Always, as if it was required. In a few days, though, I knew it would be Christmas again.

When I was little…four, five, six years old…we celebrated a second Christmas after the first one was done. My mother’s side of the family celebrated Christmas on the feast of the Epiphany, January 6, and for a kid, that’s great. We didn’t get presents again, but we knew after we finished the December 25th Christmas, we’d get to go to my grandparents’ house on the 6th and celebrate again…cousins, aunts, uncles…eat, sing, play…food and fun!

Our memories from childhood are pictures, aren’t they?

I see me sitting with my cousins on the stairs off my grandparents’ kitchen. Laughing, making noise, keeping an eye on the grown-ups in the kitchen. I see my grandmother bustling around her big old stove and lots…

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nature

a day in december

It was a foggy, wet, and gloomy morning last week, when five deer came by to spend the day. Their visits aren’t unusual. This time, I was working at the computer upstairs when I noticed them standing, rather oddly, staring back into the trees. Two, at first, then a third, and a fourth, and a fifth. They were all standing fairly motionless and seemed to be looking in the same direction. Soon afterwards, they began wandering, as I’d expect, nibbling on whatever food morsels they find on a cold, not-quite-frozen morning. Not much later, I saw one, and then another, bend and lower its front legs, and bring itself to a resting position on wet leaves in the back part of the yard. I’ve seen them do this on hot summer afternoons too, in the ivy, in the same area, but the shady bed of soft, cool ivy on a muggy July afternoon seems more appealing than the soaked cushion of wet, leathery oak leaves on a cold December morning.

They spent much of the day in the yard as I moved downstairs to work in the kitchen, and they were close enough, it would seem, to be aware of me through the nearby windows. They nibbled on what they could find, they chased each other, and they rested, not far away, as I busied myself with a new recipe.

Deer shouldn’t be so comfortable around people, but the unfortunate reality is humans continually reduce the availability of larger wooded areas, while deer need to scavenge for nourishment. They still move with the agility and strength of the wild, and yet their appearance is gentle and unthreatening, and their nearby presence brings something like a mutual recognition. It’s probably not the way it should be, nevertheless, one can do worse on a cold, wet, December day than to look out and enjoy the company of five deer nearby.

© Etikser. All Rights Reserved.
All photos and images here are my own.
They may not be used elsewhere or reblogged.

Please visit my other blog, Clover & Ivy, https://cloverandivy.wordpress.com.
I post mostly nature photos there.

2022

the times


It was the image out the windshield that framed my state of mind. A car-lined street. And trees up and down both sides. The first time in many months I looked out and saw trees that looked like winter. They all looked like winter. A clear November sky, and it was the trees that made the statement.

Time marches forward. We’re practically at the beginning of December, yet I still feel I’m wandering, lost in time somehow. How long has it been with this feeling? Months for sure. Like I need to wake up one morning soon and feel grounded. Is this an end-of-summer thing? It’s been going on since then. I don’t think it’s that, but it’s a longing for the cold. I find myself looking forward, in hope, to colder days. I long to be reassured, comforted, free of fear and worries. Don’t we all? And I expect winter to deliver that comfort and freedom? Maybe I should read my book, and hope for the best.

nighttime

fall whimsy


An evening out back, in the dark, to cover plants. Surrounded by whatever’s left of ragged plants that have given their all, and the smell of someone’s fireplace. We’re well into fall, and yet the morning glories have just started producing buds. I respect their determination, their persistence, and feel the obligation to do my part, which is to protect them from cold nights. I looked up from the task at hand, to the dark cover of tall trees, and listened, deliberately, to the quiet.

I listened for crickets, and heard none. None at all. No cricket-style ‘call and response’. Nothing. It could have been winter.

Yet, in the midst of this quiet, I hear the soft pitapat of dried leaves rustling above me. A familiar rustling. A sound tucked away from the past, not from golden leaves and autumn nights, but from ancient trees and winter days. Days at the end of a long, bitter winter, when February winds blow through lofty limbs and the scattering of leaves still hanging on huge weathered pin oaks.

I turned to step back inside, and caught the creak of a single cricket. One lone, strong-willed cricket with something left to say, calling out from somebody else’s yard, somewhere in the distance.

A single tenacious cricket, and October’s wind rustling the leaves. Fall’s whimsy.

music

You Say It’s Your Birthday – John Lennon

Choose your favorite Beatles / John Lennon song. And celebrate the inspiration.

etikser

John Lennon wallpapers

Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

John Lennon, of course. Lucy in the Sky.

Meter to me is unattainable. I can hear it, I’m sure I like it, I just can’t grasp it. It would take a whole lot of focus and concentration for me to get it. Hence, I leave it to the professionals.

John Lennon would have been 81 tomorrow, and Lucy in the Sky begins with one of my favorite lines of all time.

Photo from wallpapercave.

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