"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens."

Carl Jung


On The Nightstand
  • salt.
  • A Wolf Called Romeo
    A Wolf Called Romeo
  • Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival
    Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival
  • The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future
    The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future

Marsh Marigolds

Out of the sump rise the marigolds.
From the rim of the marsh, muslin with mosquitoes,
rises the egret, in his cloud-cloth.
Through the soft rain, like mist, and mica,
the withered acres of moss begin again.

When I have to die, I would like to die
on a day of rain--
long rain, slow rain, the kind you think will never end.

And I would like to have whatever little ceremony there might be
take place while the rain is shoveled and shoveled out of the sky,

and anyone who comes must travel, slowly and with thought,
as around the edges of the great swamp.

(Mary Oliver)


Rainy Day Barred Owl

gray skies of portent

thunder rumbles distantly

the rain owl dozes


An Abundance of Sparrows

We finally spent a few hours at our 'home away from home' this afternoon. It's been far too long since we've spent much time within Rifle River state park, so we loaded up Phoebe and my camera gear then hit the trails.  My favorite area to watch migrants along the highbanks of Grousehaven lake was pretty devoid of birds, with the exception of a couple of tail-wagging Palm Warblers, a singing male House Wren, many soaring Tree Swallows, and a few scattered duck species which dotted the choppy lakewaters on most of the lakes that we visited.  Once we made our way to the banks of the Rifle River, the air was virtually filled with the sweet songs of many sparrow species.  Song Sparrows were belting out their songs from high perches, while the understory and thick brush along a favored footpath was teeming with White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows scampering about the deadfall and leaf litter.  A pair of Eastern Phoebes were taking advantage of an aquatic insect hatch when they weren't gathering nest materials, and a Belted Kingfisher rattled along the waterway, stopping to hover now and then in search of minnows and fingerlings.  A Ruffed Grouse exploded out of cover within a few feet of my own while I made my way slowly back to the jeep, startling me as only they can do with their fast flurry of wingbeats. We kept our own Phoebe on a long leash when we let her out for a romp, since it's now breeding season for upland game birds and illegal for dogs to be running loose on state owned land.

While scoping out a large grassy field, we were treated to dozens of Northern Flickers that were poking around the loose soil and many Chipping Sparrows were doing the same, with their rusty little headcaps gleaming in the sun.  A lone Grasshopper Sparrow peered above the grasses just long enough to get a good look before he took flight.  The most abundant sparrows of the day were Vesper Sparrows,  busily hop-scratching under large white pines and along disturbed road edges, while pausing to sing their soft song now and then.

We didn't come across any wildflowers in blossom,  but bright fluffy plumes of pussy willows were putting on quite a show of color before the sun dissapeared behind an oncoming cloud front.   We'll definitely be returning again very soon.