Monday, November 24, 2008

My World: Signs of the Season


It’s the best time of day out here on the patio. The sunlight is soft and warm as it falls over the edge of Mt. Fagan. It casts a silvery golden luminescence over the slopes and into the sky. As I gaze off to the southeast towards the mountain, the air seems to simply sparkle at this time of the morning. It draws me towards it as if I could follow and find myself awake in a dream.

(Rock Wren by Gus Feb 2008)

I’m sitting here under the covered patio thinking of autumn and winter holidays. I am far from my family and all the familiar signs of the season. There are no honking geese overhead, no dry rustle of fallen leaves blowing about in the corners of the yard. I am in a new place with new signs of the change of seasons. Here I have the trill of the rock wrens as they bob along my block wall, or call from the neighbor’s rooftop.

Here the phainopeplas have returned to guard the mistletoe that is one of their food sources, the ripe berries red against azure blue skies.








Here in Sycamore Canyon the winter raptors have returned, and the Cooper’s hawk is hunting my bird feeder on an almost daily basis. Yesterday it once again dropped onto the fence along the wash peering deep into the brittle bush as if it had x-ray vision. Then I watched amazed as it dove deep into the foliage and was swallowed up by leaves. It emerged empty taloned and hungry and rose into the afternoon blue of a faded sky.

(Cooper's Hawk 11-23-08 by Kathie through the glass of the den window.)


This morning I am sitting here with my breakfast spread before me. I pulled a pair of pants on under my nightgown and threw on a sweater. I want to be out here before the light changes. I want to be out here in the magic. I notice that I am eating pumpkin muffins, and half a grapefruit. I am drinking Suisse Mocha in my red Christmas mug where a jolly snowman smiles back at me. This is the only snowman I will be seeing here in the desert. In another glass I have poured myself some apple cider. I realize I am craving the foods of autumn. It’s as if I want to eat the holidays.


The wind is starting to pick up as I sit here. We are in for a change the weatherman says. By Thanksgiving we could have temps in the low 60’s and rain. He said it has only rained one out of every ten Thanksgivings here in Tucson. I know that last year Gus and I ate breakfast on the patio in our shorts bathed in a warm autumn light. Today I see a few high thin clouds drifting across the sky. Are these the vanguards of the coming storm, or just a tease? I will find a new way to enjoy the holidays in this desert landscape. I am learning the new signs of the season. Like the wildlife around me, I will adapt and change and grow, but in my mind I will also remember New England where, at least in my childhood, we drove past naked trees over snow covered roads on the way to Nana’s house on Thanksgiving Day. The snow crunched under our feet as we traipsed from the car to the back door and entered the warmth of her house like an embrace.

Visit MY WORLD Tuesday for your own personal tour around the globe!

23 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Memories,what a wonderful thing to have.I smiled at your snowman mug.My son and grandaughter made a real snowman a week ago and he is still standing tall. Happy Thanksgiving.
Blessings,Ruth

kjpweb said...

Beautiful! Especially the Rock Wren shot is superb! With this post you could have signed up for myWorld! ;)
Cheers, Klaus

Deborah Godin said...

Kathie, this whole post was sheer poetry! I love your narrative about the seasons and the different locations, all the reminiscing and the descriptions of a desert autumn and in the northern climate. And the wonderful photos. I have never seen a Phainno...oh, I need more coffee before I attempt that w/o a spellcheck. Anyway, I've only ever seen the ones in field guides, that someone has painted. What a thrill!

Kathiesbirds said...

Ruth, the approaching holidays are making me reflective and nostalgic!

Klaus, I may just turn this in to a MY World post. I am waiting to see. I often forget that I am so far behind the time from the rest of you in the east. I thought it was too early.

Deborah, thank you. Sometimes the words and feelings are so strong. They just come to me and I must write them down. I was in a mood today and the words were flowing freely.

bobbie said...

I love your vivid descriptions of both your present place and your past. and your photos are gorgeous.

Kathiesbirds said...

Thank you Bobbie!

Larry said...

Wow! What an awesome photo of that hawk! You're ticking me off with all that talk of weather in the
60's over there.-I froze this weekend!It was not only cold but windy too-I don't like wind unless it's 90 degrees or above.

Balisha said...

I think it's my first time here. Loved reading about your life in Sycamore Canyon. Wonderful photos.

ewok1993 said...

You paint your world with words so vivid, so descriptive. I love it.

Oh, the pictures are great too :)

Happy Thanksgiving.

Guy D said...

Great post, I absolutely enjoyed my visit.

Cheers!
Regina In Pictures

fishing guy said...

Kathie: Looks like you took Klaus's advice and joined in. Welcome aboard.

Vickie said...

Lovely post. I felt like I was on the patio with you. How special to see this hawk so frequently and a wonderful photo!

I know you miss the cold land traditions. But you seem to have them all right there with you, in you mug and in your memories. I know you will also enjoy the new traditions and season changes.

Mary said...

Dear Kathie,

Hugs to you. Writing from your heart is your strength, you know...

I feel what you feel. Away from family during the holidays tugs at the heartstrings and we struggle to make it all the same as it once was. Although it isn't easy to find similarities, we make our new surroundings our own. New tradition with the beauty that surrounds...

You got it. It's wonderful there where you are. Look at those Cooper's eyes!

MISS SNOW? I sure do.

I need to visit you more often!

Hugs,
Mary

Wren said...

Lovely post, very reflective. And the cooper's hawk photo is to die for.

babooshka said...

The rock wren is such a cutie. Our migrating birds are definitely chaniging here. I wish I had a visiting hawk, but 'm sure my sparrows don't.

gina said...

i know you must miss those new england holidays...they sound near perfect. :) but the scenery you are surrounded by is near perfect as well. i love your bird shots...i've never seen a rock wren or phainopepla before! so cool! and that hawk is fabulous! a good read.

Gaelyn said...

It appears to be a beautiful place to be. You look at his new environment with fresh eyes and mind. Thank you for sharing.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

beautiful post awesome photos and fantastic sentiment!
Happy Thanksgiving!

The Good Life in Virginia said...

life in the southwest is very different from new england...and yes it takes some adjusting. i know when we moved from california to virginia i so looked forward to the seasons. and i am still appreciative of the seasons even when i know if i were in california right now it would be temperate and not dipping into the 30s tonight...lol

thanks for sharing.
enjoy your posts.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I lived in Tucson for two years ... and then left for NE because it was too hot (and a job beckoned). Now I'm down in south Florida, where, if you factor in the humidity, it's hotter. Who would have figured.

Celeste said...

Happy Thanksgiving Kathie, fantastic Coopers Hawk shot.

Denise said...

Hi Kathie, another wonderful post, fantastic photos. Happy Thanksgiving!

Amy - "Twelve Acres" said...

Kathie, it's been forever and a day since I've visited! I feel like a heel! I had a Cooper's Hawk visit this weekend and I'm fairly certain it was a juvenile. My son captured a video which I posted today on my blog. I thought of you instantly when he showed it to me! I love the photo of the Cooper's you took. Those sharp eyes look so fierce. I'm glad I'll never have to worry about being ripped apart by a hungry raptor!