Song of the wave

I’m about climbing the walls with it getting dark so early and having so little time outdoors most days.

I’m so bored I’m actually cooking!

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And I’m reading some, which is nice to have the time for again. This evening I re-read my tattered copy of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet… which I first read back in high school. There’s an essay of his about gardening that I’ve been searching for, and haven’t yet found, but I did come across this beautiful poem by him online and thought I’d share it…

The strong shore is my beloved
And I am his sweetheart.
We are at last united by love, and
Then the moon draws me from him.
I go to him in haste and depart
Reluctantly, with many
Little farewells.

I steal swiftly from behind the
Blue horizon to cast the silver of
My foam upon the gold of his sand, and
We blend in melted brilliance.

I quench his thirst and submerge his
Heart; he softens my voice and subdues
My temper.
At dawn I recite the rules of love upon
His ears, and he embraces me longingly.

At eventide I sing to him the song of
Hope, and then print smooth hisses upon
His face; I am swift and fearful, but he
Is quiet, patient, and thoughtful. His
Broad bosom soothes my restlessness.

As the tide comes we caress each other,
When it withdraws, I drop to his feet in
Prayer.

Many times have I danced around mermaids
As they rose from the depths and rested
Upon my crest to watch the stars;
Many times have I heard lovers complain
Of their smallness, and I helped them to sigh.

Many times have I teased the great rocks
And fondled them with a smile, but never
Have I received laughter from them;
Many times have I lifted drowning souls
And carried them tenderly to my beloved
Shore. He gives them strength as he
Takes mine.

Many times have I stolen gems from the
Depths and presented them to my beloved
Shore. He takes them in silence, but still
I give fro he welcomes me ever.

In the heaviness of night, when all
Creatures seek the ghost of Slumber, I
Sit up, singing at one time and sighing
At another. I am awake always.

Alas! Sleeplessness has weakened me!
But I am a lover, and the truth of love
Is strong.
I may be weary, but I shall never die.

–Khalil Gibran

There’s something that happens about midway through this poem that causes me to laugh quietly… I’m not really sure what it is, but I love the smile it brings to my face.

To a sanderling

by way of explanation…


You’re inescapable here
water comes and goes
hisses like fat
you run straight through it
(mostly ahead)
watching your toes
or the grains of sand that fall between


I love your frantic grace
your controlled panic


That you take the roaring alongside for granted
as if the world
is bound to shake every so often



Your world shimmers
is minute
and vast
your beak focused
preoccupied
looking for something, something, something
a single-minded obsession
(You’re mine.)

OK… fess up! What common birds do you obsess over?

(I also have a thing for skimmers and blue jays. And all manner of ducks.)

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Comfort food

There’s nothing better on a blistery autumn day than a properly made pot pie.

(or a woolly bear caterpillar)

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Common folklore says the severity of the coming winter can be predicted by the amount of black on a woolly bear. It’s believed that if a woolly bear caterpillar’s brown stripe is thick, the winter weather will be mild and if narrow, the winter will be severe.

I’m guessing none of that mattered to the mantis.

(Click on the pic for a better view of the gory details)

How to photograph a tern

First find a marshy place

with a dock.
Around the dock, look for some comfortable pilings
where the bird might like to perch.
Then, on the pilings, photograph something for the tern
something beautiful and strange that will make it feel at home.
(I found a couple pelicans.)
Then wait with your camera.
Don’t speak.
Don’t move.
(Hide behind a piling if you have to.)


Sometimes a tern will come quickly
but it can just as well take hours.
Don’t be discouraged if one doesn’t come right away
wait.
Wait years if necessary
it doesn’t mean that your photo won’t be good.


When the bird comes
if it comes,
remain absolutely silent.
Wait until the bird poses for you
then quietly take frame after frame.
Move closer if you like.
Try not to cut off its tail feathers.
If you get too distracted or excited
and forget to show the best angle on the bird
or have too much pelican in the background
don’t worry.
(You can fix most anything in PhotoShop later.)


Just photograph the bird
with the prettiest splash of blue for a background
or green if that’s what you prefer
and remember to have fun.
Photograph the summer breeze, too
and the smell of the sunshine and the ruckus of the boat-tailed grackles.
Then wait for your bird to sing.
(With terns this is an optional step, of course.)
If it doesn’t sing, don’t be sad.
You did your best.


But if the bird sings,
it’s a very good sign.
(Terns seem to spend a lot of time looking at their toes when they should instead be singing.)
It helps to have a great lens when taking photos of birds.

It also helps to have a friend willing to loan you such a lens

be warned tho
you’ll want your own.
Santa
are you listening?
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Too easily forgotten

A lecture and slide presentation yesterday sponsored by SHBO on NJ’s native orchids has me reviewing photos from this place and drooling with the memory of it.

One problem with waiting forever to process photos is the forgetting of details that happens in between.

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I’ve all these photos of drop-dead-gorgeous flowers and can hardly remember the name of one of them!

I’m thinking this one is Ragged Fringed Orchid, as the deeply fringed petals make the flower look pretty tattered.

Am I right? Anyone know? Jim?