Today's walk around Island Lake was my first in a week or so due to the leaf mold, ragweed and goldenrod that had been kicking my butt. And there's only so much closed captioned t.v. one can watch at the gym. As luck would have it, we had a freeze last night so that it was 37 degrees when I walked this morning.
My little part of the world had really changed in ten days with many leaf-less trees and a lot more open meadows. The small orchard area that I've photographed often is now nearly empty with just a few frozen apples left on the top of trees. The spot where I've been seeing deer is wide open to a marshy area now. A bittersweet melancholy was kept at bay by the bright blue skies and yellow leaves fluttering on tall birches. A handful of mallards remain dredging what's left of the algae. No sounds of geese now except for the noisy intermittent flyovers each day. The herons and egrets have been gone for a couple of weeks so that even the little pond across from our apartment is deserted and quiet. Yet, life is good.On the bright side, the over-wintering Chickadees were out in full force as well as the screaming Blue Jays, Downy Woodpeckers and a migrating Sandpiper was peeping along the lake's edge. A few Robins, Grackles and Red-wing Blackbirds are still feeding. And I saw my first Junco of the season! Life is good indeed! I purposed right then and there that I would get a jump on my new year's resolutions. I will spend time during the long winter ahead learning about bird migration. Since my little feathered friends don't send post cards, at least I'll have a better idea about where they've been when they come back in the spring.
Note to self: Remember that the seasons pass swiftly, even the wintertime. It will be helpful to recall,
But as for me, I will always have hope. . .Psalm 71:14,
& Emily Dickinson's words:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,