Sunday, August 29, 2010

things to remember

do not wait until after 2 p.m. to eat. you get irritable when you are hungry, which is to say that you get mean.

not everyone cares what bird is singing. but some might.

kids probably don't know what the word "euphemism" means.

cut the stems of roses at a slant.

watch out for earwigs in the petals of dahlias.

don't sit on the ground in the winter or you'll get pneumonia.

don't eat after 4 p.m. or you'll spoil your dinner.

sweep the floor before you wash it.

don't lay in bed at night worrying. you get irritable when you are tired, which is to say that you get mean.

is it lay or lie?

don't worry so much at all, you'll get lines in between your eyes.

if you are in a funk, if you are feeling mean, bake something sweet. if that doesn't work, put a dress on.

because i love dahlias

Sunday, August 22, 2010

field guide to this weekend

photos by John Boswell

this weekend we went camping on the nooksack and hiked to winchester mountain lookout at twin lakes. i do not get enough of the mountains! it is so beautiful up there! the air was crisp and cool, and made me feel october in my bones, made me want to make apple pie and apple crisp. and the view! i forget just how the plates of the earth come together and bulge up up up in jagged piles. i forget that sometimes, so far down here.

not many birds other than some dark eyed juncos and ravens.

i didn’t have my plant book on me but these are some wildflowers i saw:

broadleaf lupine (i cannot see a lupine without thinking: Miss Rumphius, my little brother’s favorite children's book)

white heather

pink heather


spreading phlox

sitka valerian

towhead baby seed heads, of the buttercup family (i love these! they look very Seussical, like the LORAX)

early afternoon today, jordan and i stopped by whatcom falls/ scudder pond to do some birding. it is so starting to feel like summer is wrapping up, with the smell of dry leaves and the overcast sky this morning, but the migrants are still around. the trick to seeing some serious little birds around here is to find a place of young vegetation and lots of tall shrubs and underbrush. stand still and wait. we were delighted to see many black –throated grey warblers (new for us!), as well as a couple flycatchers (pacific-slope? hard to distinguish without hearing the call, which we didn’t).

it was a good day:

black-throated grey warbler

unidentified flycatchers

male and female wilson’s warblers

red-breasted nuthatch (landed and hung out on a branch for a while, within ten inches of us)

spotted towhee

brown creeper

northern flicker

downy woodpecker

chestnut-backed chickadee

black-capped chickadee

and at the pond:

red wing blackbirds

female wood duck

heron flyover

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

some of my owls

my mom got me the salt and pepper shakers on the left as a housewarming gift, the rest were thrifted, spray painted gold, gifted

apartment preview

draft of a poem i wrote at 4 am

Your body pressed against me, the trees in the wind

For days the apartment was stuffy

and hot, the air thick. I felt like

one of those small flies, doing

circles in the air above nothing,

languid like.

We went to bed with the windows

open and the sheets thrown off,

sprawled out on separate sides

of the mattress. Not touching.

Somewhere in the night

the wind picked up and the kitchen

blinds rapped against the sill,

the recycling rattled across the balcony.

I woke to find that you had smoothed

the covers over us, and pressed

yourself against me.

I missed how at the old house,

the wind made the trees sway

and groan and crack, and I thought

one would come crashing through

the roof.

I am so young and still learning:

Life is a series of things you do not think

you will miss, until you do.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Clearing, By Jane Kenyon

The dog and I push through the ring
of dripping junipers
to enter the open space high on the hill
where I let him off the leash.

He vaults, snuffling, between tufts of moss;
twigs snap beneath his weight; he rolls
and rubs his jowls on the aromatic earth;
his pink tongue lolls.

I look for sticks of proper heft
to throw for him, while he sits, prim
and earnest in his love, if it is love.

All night a soaking rain, and now the hill
exhales relief, and the fragrance
of warm earth. . . . The sedges
have grown an inch since yesterday,
and ferns unfurled, and even if they try
the lilacs by the barn can’t
keep from opening today.

I longed for spring’s thousand tender greens,
and the white-throated sparrow’s call
that borders on rudeness. Do you know—
since you went away
all I can do
is wait for you to come back to me.