A Real Fungi

Monday is Labor Day here in the states, and Studly Doright has the day off work. Since he’d played golf on both Saturday and Sunday, Studly decided to do yard work on his holiday. I was drafted to assist. Oh joy.

My job was to drive the lawn mower around the yard and load fallen branches into the trailer while Studly used his manly skills to chop branches that were too big for me to lift. We’ve had two fairly severe thunderstorms this past week, so I filled my little trailer multiple times.

Once I’d finished my part I handed over the reins of the mower to Studly who insists that he’s better at the job than I am. Hey, I only almost backed over his foot twice today. That’s a real improvement over previous performances.

Doright Manor sits in the middle of a forest on a small lake. I grew up in the Texas panhandle where trees are few and far between, so I never get tired of exploring our woods. Today, while Studly was mowing I found this little party animal:

Yep, they tell me he’s a real fungi.

Peace, people!

Timberrr

Studly Doright is making progress with his recovery from surgery on his sciatic nerve. He still isn’t sleeping well due to intense nerve pain, but he manages to push through somehow. He’s tough.

Saturday he joined his golf group for lunch where they regaled him with tales from their morning round. He misses golf almost as much as he misses his sleep.

Studly returned home at one, just as a thunderstorm rolled in. He and I both took a much needed nap while the storm raged outside. When he awakened Studly surprised me by asking if I wanted to go to a movie. Well, duh. I ALWAYS want to go to see a movie.

I’d already seen Solo, but Studly hadn’t, so we spent the afternoon in that galaxy far, far away. I enjoyed it more the second time than I did the first, and Studly gave it his seal of approval. Afterwards we enjoyed dinner at a Japanese steak house to round out the evening.

Before the film started, though, our neighbor texted me a picture of a tree that had fallen in our neighborhood. When we returned home we drove passed our home to take a look.

It’s hard to tell from this angle, but the tree fell on top of a trailer loaded with sod, narrowly missing the pickup truck that had been pulling the trailer. We aren’t sure if it was felled by lightning or if our oversaturated ground gave way. Such is life in the forest. Hopefully no one was injured.

Studly went to bed early, hoping to get some sleep. Fingers crossed.

Peace, people.

My Morning View

Our little piece of the lake behind Doright Manor is my happy place. From my favorite spot on the sofa I watch the day unfold.

If you look closely you can see one of two fairy houses in the bottom right hand corner. The fairies are stealthy, though, and we only get glimpses of their daily activities.

Occasionally a snowy egret sweeps low over the lake. A pair has nested here every year since we moved in, and most likely long before that.

We haven’t spotted an alligator yet this year, but I’m always watching for the telltale bubbles.

Fish jump, turtles perch on logs, and frogs, who are quiet right now, have a concert scheduled tonight and every night this summer.

Lizards provide entertainment for my cats. They climb the window screens, secure in the knowledge that their furry nemeses are stuck inside on this late spring morning.

Oh, let’s not forget the snakes. We’ve seen a few this year, but the birds and the squirrels give us warning. I click to the squirrels and whistle to the birds.

Who’d have ever thought a girl who grew up in the dry, dusty Texas panhandle would ever get to live in such a place? Certainly not me. It’s heaven.

Peace, people.

Forest Storm

Skies darken, winds howl

Acorns fall before raindrops

Squirrels take cover

Deep blue framed window

Mute witness across the lake

Watch the storm with me

Thunder fills the gap

After expectant silence

Lightning left behind

I sat on the screened in porch yesterday afternoon as a storm moved in over the lake. The blue window in the middle picture took on the appearance of a face when I looked at it closely. Then, the bottom photo has a somewhat sinister appearance. See if you can find what I’m talking about. It freaked me out a bit.

Oh, and as I finished typing that last bit we had a very close lightning strike followed by an instant house-rattling clap of thunder. Scout (our cat) and I made a hasty retreat into the house. Whew!

Peace, people!

The Edge

  
I stopped at the edge of the forest, my feet toeing the line

Between sunlight and shadow, where squirrels scampered

Among crisped leaves, up and around the magnolias. No physical

Barrier barred my way, no fence or wall impeded, yet

My eyes lost focus in the dappling of the light, and I 

Hesitated to stray outside the confines of the civilized

World, where the rose-scented wind had my back. 

  

Criminal Animation

On a typical Saturday morning one would usually find me wandering around Tallahassee or neighboring communities while Studly plays eighteen holes at Southwood Golf Club. I had planned to explore the annual LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival this morning, but a bulging disc (not nearly as glamorous as it sounds) and the threat of rain have kept me homebound. Maybe tomorrow….

I’ve had a couple of cups of coffee enhanced with Irish cream, and a protein bar for breakfast. The forest in my backyard is bathed in that processed chrome lighting that accompanies cloudy days in the Florida panhandle. It looks as though a fae clan might emerge at any moment to dance around the toadstools growing beneath a magnolia tree. I keep watch, just in case.

I’m doing laundry and watching Saturday morning cartoons, and I have a complaint to lodge. Namely, whoever the hell is doing the animation for the cartoon Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks should be arrested posthaste and forced to serve a life sentence watching the original series. Maybe he/she/they would learn what Alvin and company should look like and draw them accordingly.

My years spent sitting enraptured by Saturday morning television surely qualify me as an expert in the field of cartoon esthetics, and what I’ve witnessed this morning is a disgrace. So, how do I report this travesty? The chipmunks look like sleazy rodents instead of clean cut, chubby cheeked faux-teenagers. 

Flipping through the channels I find that few of my other cartoon favorites have fared any better. They’re either so heavily computer-generated that they look nothing like the originals or drawn so poorly that their original animators must be rolling over in their respective graves.

Today’s children, though, have been raised on this second-rate fare, plus, they have so many more choices than my brothers and I had with our three channels (ABC, NBC, CBS) that I suppose they don’t realize what they’re missing.

But I do, and it makes me sad. 

 

Now.
 
 
Then.
 

Peace, people.

Fickle Forest

  
with each moment
the forest changes
from deeply shadowed to
sun-dappled peek-a-boo,
from deathly still to
alive with the flutters
of cardinals and the
skittering of squirrels.

  
the darkness is there
even in the midst
of the brightest day;
the scurrying of
unseen creatures
disturbs the silence,
glimpses of white
magnolia hint at light.