Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (and a Publication Note)

Heron May 7

I visited with friends last Saturday, sampling dishes of couscous and sweet potato frittata and chia seed pudding. After eating, we took a stroll around my friend’s yard, which slopes down to a watery area. A watery area with a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron!

Heron May 7

My friend has seen these birds in her yard several times in the past, so we weren’t caught completely by surprise. Even so, I was very excited. (And very grateful that she had suggested I bring my camera.)

Heron May 7

We watched for a while as the heron hunted in the shallows.

Heron May 7

Then we wandered on, exploring more of the yard.

Snails May 7

Flowers May 7

Flowers May 7

When I was leaving, as we all stopped on the driveway to say our goodbyes, the heron flew into a pine tree in front of the house. To our amazement, it crept out onto a branch and settled into its nest! Right in the front yard!

Heron May 7

I’ve already packed my tripod in the car, so I won’t forget it next time I visit. The nest is too high for steady video, without a tripod…

Publication Note: My poem “Roads” posted at one of my favorite poetry sites, Poetry Breakfast, on May 9. Many thanks to editor Ann Kestner!

A Hummingbird and a Publication Note

Hummingbird June 11

The honeysuckle has been in full bloom much of the summer, but hummingbirds are rare so far. I’ve only seen one a handful of times, and each of those visits has been brief.

Hummingbird June 11

Last summer was our first hummingbird summer, so I don’t have a feel for “normal” hummingbird activity. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens as the summer wears on.

Hummingbird June 11

Publication Note:  My poem “Doppler Effect” posted at vox poetica on June 19. Many thanks to editor Annmarie Lockhart!


Tulip May 2



Today’s page is a glass
Full of photos, light filtered
Through fixed apertures

Condensing the wordless
Wavelengths inside a tulip
The pollen-specked petals

Of a petunia, each a whorl
Of absorption and reflection
Negative memory cropped

Into nostalgia, where time
Hangs in air like warm honeysuckle
Calling and calling and calling

Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees
Written mid-flight, wings stilled
Under clouds that never gather

Rain imprisoned in pixels
Zeroes and ones that never sum
A series of stopped moments

Stored in archives
Until decanted
As shared streams of code

A digital elixir
To ease the analog ache
Of incurable mortality

Bee May 20

Honeysuckle May 19

Hummingbird Hopes and a Publication Note

Honeysuckle April 9

A few years ago I spent several months filling, emptying, cleaning, and refilling three hummingbird feeders. Instead of hummingbirds, the feeders attracted wasps and ants. Disappointed, and convinced I had done something wrong, I put away the feeders.

Last year my hummingbird hunger stirred again when we lost our Fourth of July rose. Surveying the large gap in our yard, we decided to plant with hummingbirds in mind. After a bit of research, we filled the space with honeysuckle, bee balm, and Rose of Sharon. The honeysuckle and Rose of Sharon grew enough to open a few blooms over the summer and fall, but the bee balm was past its flowering season by the time we planted it.

Bee Balm April 13

Rose of Sharon April 13

All of the flowers survived our long, cold winter, and last week we added a few annuals to the mix (because it’s impossible to resist the instant reward of planting a flower already in bloom.)

Flower April 13

All we can do now is wait. Will they come?

Flowers April 13

My last bit of news today is a Publication Note — three of my poems are posted at The Blue Hour! Many thanks to the editors!

December Again

(I posted this poem in December of last year, but I can’t resist posting it again…)

December 1

Whoa, December, wait one minute
I’m hardly roused from my feasted slumber
When you start to number my days

Set clocks and worry flocks of shoppers
Lost in evergreen lots and sticker-shock
Tick tock, sweet silver bells ringing the hour

As if to hurry my step into line
My dour minuet with Father Time
Stumbling on to the end

The bitter end of another year
Another calendar page, scrawled
With duty and a glitter of waste

With things I never desired
The blouse gift-receipt, creased
In haste and taped over the size

I couldn’t accept, a final refrain
After the glaze is scraped
From cold and golden morns

And oh, December, wait please wait
For the lights to change, for fire
To blaze through our litter of wrappings

Pause tonight among muttering beasts
In their scatter of straw, their dusty ease
From lust’s numb ache, from labor’s strain

Rest among these flight-tired geese
Mid-route, heads tucked under folded
Wings, murmuring psalms to themselves