The dogs and I headed out in the cool of the morning, with dew still heavy on the grass and deep shade of pines, maples, sourwoods and oaks stretching all the way across the pipeline field. While I knelt to inspect a 4" puffball, Daisy and Stewie dashed ahead of me. This is a good thing. I should always keep an eye on them because sometimes, when he is deep into play, Stewie is clueless to his surroundings. Recently Stewie knocked my legs out from under me while I was busy watching two Tiger Swallowtails on a Joe Pye. Out of the blue Stewie slid into me like a baseball runner slamming a first baseman while sliding into first. Down I went, into the dust. The impact seemed to surprise Stewie as much as it surprised me!
Now, when I hear them running behind me I look QUICK to see if he is paying attention to where he's going. It is much more peaceful (and makes more sense) to let the dogs run ahead of me so I can keep an eye on them.
Back to this morning...it was noisy! Crickets in the field and cicadas in the trees... Red-bellied woodpeckers chirring as they ate grubs from dead branches. A Carolina Wren's insistent warning trill echoed from the woods nearby. I think the dogs threatened the bird's calm morning as much as I did back on that spring day when I learned to identify the wren's warning/distress call - the day when I walked out and sat on the top step of my studio and didn't realize a mama wren was teaching her babies to fly right there. She landed on the trunk within six feet of me and fussed and fussed and fussed. "What's with her," I wondered. I'm a little dense, and it took a few minutes for me to finally see two baby Wrens taking short test-flights from limb to limb, and to realize, "Oh, it's me!" This morning's call was exactly the same.
I settled on the far hill beyond Meetinghouse Creek to draw the Whorled Coreopsis which seemed to have fallen over from the weight of it's blooms. The dogs settled beside me and the peace of nature's birdsongs, cicada trills and whispering breeze helped me become calm and meditative as I studied the leaf pattern. I discovered the tiniest crab spider hiding out in the center of one of the flowers, and was wondering what bug had eaten the small holes in the leaves when I heard a discordant sound in the sky. The sound got louder and louder and almost hurt my ears. I looked up to see a low-flying jet with a loud, high-pitched whine that accompanied the regular jet-engine sounds. I have heard other jets pass over with the same noise and have always gotten a sick feeling that there was something awfully wrong with the engine,
and I usually have to turn off my vivid imagination that insists on feeding me scenes of plane crashes, horror and mayhem.
Today the sound brought to mind instead the horrible events of ten years ago, the anniversary of which I didn't really want to be part of my journaling today. The peace of nature can soothe, and usually it's enough... drawing in nature is meditation... The real world can be harsh.
I went back to drawing and tried to forget the noisy jet. Others passed overhead but were high enough (or in good enough condition) that I didn't hear anything disturbing, and soon my inner peace returned. At the same time I couldn't help but think about all the people who, on September 11, 2001, lost not only their lives, but the chance to put their faces into the cool morning breezes, the chance to listen to bird songs, and to walk with their dogs, families or friends without fear.
With that in mind, with this post I send out peace and nature's beauty to all Middlewood Journal readers, as well as hope for the future of our great country.
Other things from Middlewood...
Folded Wing Skipper on Thistle