Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Early Rambles

And so they continue... routines of staying home and doing homely things like garden preparation, general yard work and baking, of taking long rambles with Beau in early morning before our favorite haunts are tenanted by aggressive (unleashed) dogs and their thoughtless owners, by sleepy walkers, bemused gawkers and weekend warriors. Today is Beau's seventh birthday, and we are taking a long walk, rain or no.

Nights are still cool here, but early mornings are perfect for wandering, and we seldom encounter anyone else on our outings. In the overstory, grosbeaks sing a benediction to the rising sun, and woodpeckers drum along on nearby trees. Ducks paddle up and down the creek, slurping up tasty bits from the bottom and waggling their tail feathers. As we go along, Canada geese fly overhead between the river and local farm fields, now and then, a solitary heron or a Great Northern Diver (loon) in graceful flight. 

This morning, a Double-crested Cormorant flew over our heads on its way north. As I looked up at it, I remembered that the word cormorant is actually a shortened version of the Latin corvus marinus meaning "sea raven". For centuries, the cormorant was thought to be a member of the corvid family, and sea raven was the only name by which it was known. With its glossy dark plumage, brilliant aquamarine eyes, orange throat pouch and bright blue mouth, it is one of the Old Wild Mother's most beautiful water birds. 

The early flickering sunlight in the woods is grand “stuff”, and it has a buttery, caressing quality. Greenery is coming up everywhere through the tattered remnants of last autumn's finery, delicate ferns down near the creek, the leaves of trilliums, hepatica, trout lilies, woodland violets, wild columbines and tiny hyacinths on higher ground.

Whenever we pass through her grove, I stop to greet the Beech Mother and pat her gently. I would love to give her a hug, but she is an old tree and my arms are not long enough to go around her magnificent circumference.


Pienosole said...

Happy Birthday, Beau! ☀️

Gill said...

Your words transport me to images of sheer delight.
A trip of pure awesomeness.
I walk with you & Beau.
Thank you ❤️

Blondi Blathers said...

Sea ravens. Who knew! Thanks for that. -Kate