Friday, August 9, 2013


Something terrifying occurred to me this morning...I'm on the downhill side to 80.  How can that be possible?  I've decided I don't like that very, not very much indeed.  If there's is one thing that can cause a panic attack it's knowing 80 is not too many twists and turns down the road.  Aaaaaaaaahhhhh!

Which is why, also, this morning...when I discovered I can still see the world through the eyes of a child, full of wonder, excitement and awe I was thrilled beyond measure.

Here's a few examples.  I have learned this year how acorns grow on an oak tree. (I swear I did not know.)  First, I thought they only appeared on 'mighty' ones, mature, aged, like me.  Well, surprise!  They grow on young ones, too.  How do I know this?  Apparently some years ago a squirrel buried an acorn in my front yard garden, and some time later a seedling appeared.  Common sense told me it would be a mistake to let a 'mighty' oak grow in my tiny yard, and I probably should have yanked it out of the ground.  I could not.  So, for some years I have been trimming and pruning it, trying to keep it below 'wire level', so that in case some winter, under the weight of ice and snow the wires will not snap.  Anyway, last summer I saw an occasional immature acorn on the ground beneath my oak, but every time I inspected the tree I found no trace from where they had come.  It was quite a quandary.  This year the acorns are back.  There are many, many of the them.
Guess what?  I thought acorns grew at the base of a leaf...they do not.  They grow along the branches.  Sometimes singly, sometimes in a small cluster.  I was
fascinated.  What a marvel...I can't wait for my neighborhood squirrels to discover them.

Then, yesterday I mentioned on facebook that my gardener had put me into a real 'snit'.  Having been a little under the weather, I paid no attention at all to what he was doing on his Wednesday visit, and frankly didn't care.  Then, yesterday, I threw open the drapes in the morning room...and I saw...oh yes, I saw what he had done.  He had butchered the shrubs...literally...butchered was more than obvious he gave no care to his work at all.  They were crooked, some spots higher than others, there were weird indentations here and there.  I was appalled.  I was too tired to do anything at the time of discovery except be mad.  But later in the afternoon, the fester was getting really bad and I took my trimming tools and with hope in my heart began to salvage his botched job.  As I was working the second shrub, I realized I had no choice but to whack it down to my shoulder length.  And whack I did.  There were four branches left.  That was when I discovered a strange looking object hanging from one of the branches.  Something was jiggling loose in the back of my memory bank.  I had seen this object before.  It was the nest of a Bushtit.

Now I know you are supposed to leave bird nests alone, and I probably would have, even though I have quite a collection of all things nature...I am after all a modern day Henry David Thoreau.  But, I had no choice, the nest was attached to a branch I had to remove, plus, I'm sure my gardener never would have seen it, nor cared a twit about it, I, on the other hand did care more than a twit, so I carefully  removed it from the branch. And...brought it and the nest into the house to add to my collection.  Naughty, me.

The nest is nine inches long, and four inches at the widest point.  The Bushtit bird is a mere 3 to 4 inches in length.  The nest itself is mostly downy stuff and moss, and very intricately made.  I'm enclosing a picture, here.
Anyway, Isn't nature wonderful? And is the gist of this blog.  I may be getting older, I may have wrinkles, I may even hobble a bit when I first stand up,  I may even get in Old Woman 'snits' from time to time.  But I'm young at heart, and things still delight, surprise, amaze, and bring me joy.  Lots, and lots of joy.  I still examine bugs, and wonder how acorns grow, and in spring will take a key from a maple tree, take my thumb and peal it apart and stick it to my nose to charm my grandchildren who have never been taught to do that.  I will hold a dandelion flower under their chin to see if they like butter and put a snake skin in a jar to show that snakes do shed. 
So, no matter how old I get, through the eyes of a child, I will continue to marvel at sunlight, and moonlight, and firefly light, too.  I'll collect bird nests, and their eggs that don't hatch...and autumn leaves and spring flowers.  I'll still try to catch Snowflakes on my tongue, and suck on an icicle, too.
Thoreau once said something to the effect, that man spends his day only seeing what he chooses.  Ah, but it's the man who looks, that really sees, and learns something from every sighting.

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