Sunday, February 28, 2010

White, Black

Full Snow Moon through BlackBerry Viewfinder on Binoculars, 2/28/2010

the spirit, the truth
of silent prayer~
just the moon on the road

GL, 2/28/2010. Prevail.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 23, 2010, journal entry, Cedar Waxwings

One hour.

Despite the chilled temperatures in the 20’s, the blue blue of the blue sky and the sounds and sound songs of birds hint at Spring. It is as if Spring, in her own run, has doubled back to grab the hand of Her companion Winter, pulling her forward.

Although I have been hearing the calls and the calls of a red-winged blackbird for several mornings during my runs now, he finally made his appearance yesterday, perched atop the gentle fog of shedding cattails, proudly showing off his handsome red and yellow broad, strong shoulders.

I regularly pass and bow to the fruiting trees who feed the overwintering birds, checking to see how many brown, orange, and red berries, designed to be eaten, remain on the trays of branches like peas on a baby’s high chair after dinner. Yesterday though, suddenly I gasped, stopped alive in my tracks as I saw what I thought might be a cedar waxwing. Spellcast, I watched these birds flit about alongside Spring-bringing robins, their flight reminiscent of skipping children. I determined that I would return later in the day during a break with my binoculars and BlackBerry camera, and I do return, and, although the red-winged blackbird called from the underarm of thickset bushes, I could see no waxwings. Even the sparrows were quiet as if resting in a sun-warmed porch for afternoon nap on a wicker couch.

So today, I decide that I shall use the measuring cups of time, my small binoculars, and BlackBerry to determine the path and distance for this morning’s run. With my waist pack filled, pigtails sprouting above my black headband, and purple Adidas jacket, out I go into the bright blue cold. I pass the red-berried tree on the very east corner-side of the cattailed marsh of Hazel’s Creek where I saw what I THINK are waxwings and am disappointed to see the tree vacant of occupants. No matter. I cast off toward the pond of tall cattails. The cattails are at least a foot taller than my almost 5’10”, 120-pound frame, shedding their white wispy tufts of fairy cotton-like dust, hosting Master Red-Winged Blackbird who throws his calls across the path to another who is posturing and preening, shuffling his wings like cards, perched atop even more cattails. I hear at least four volleying opinions in the wild melee of conversation.

I also hear the distinct accent of quails that sounds like the bubbling water of creeks, coveys hidden at the slim ankles of cattail stands, then see them as they lift off in an explosive bloom like a stove throwing off heat, sounding like the soft nickering of horses, their tear-drop plumes hanging from their foreheads, commas in the break of their foraging. They land, disappearing again in the thatch of even more cattails moving in the wind in the way of gently lapping water.

On a whim, I circle around and return to the east tree, knowing I still have plenty of time. I am glad I do, because chitchatting and flitting about with robins are my cedar waxwings undeterred by the cold. And they ARE cedar waxwings with wings and tail feathers a bright primary red and yellow as if they have been dipped in inkwells of paint. Upon my arrival, they startle up to the tops of evergreens, so I quietly hover in the moment like my Lincoln Park hummingbird, ignoring the chill of the 24 degree temperature. Sooner than I think, they return to the tree, feeding on its brown and red berries, their twitter a rhapsody of undulating knolls and dips. Hopscotching from limb to twig and skipping from twig to berry as though selecting the finest produce in the ultimate of natural markets, dandled by branches, their yellow small fills me with such delight I want to cry. I capture pieces of my 15-minute moment with my beloved BlackBerry and binoculars.

Enamored, with small electrical currents of happiness surging to my muscles, I pause by the abandoned building, where I find shells of blue-tivity in Spring and witnessed a sparrow move beyond the veil, and notice the stocky starlings still dressed for winter in their white spots not yet glossed over, in their constant stream of chatter, rattle, whir, and whistle, hanging out with chirring grey and brown sparrows, a wheel of rotating musical notes from the building’s roof to the staff of electrical wires.

I have been out an hour, and I may have gone only four miles, but to weigh the ridiculous happy I feel right now, I will need to hit my favorite kitchen supply shop and buy sets and sets of measuring cups.

‘Cause I am SERIOUSLY ridiculously happy.

Cedar Waxwings in Sunlight through BlackBerry Viewfinder on Binoculars

GL, 2/23/2010. Prevail.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Favorite flowers

Edible Rose and Marigolds on Glass in Dark through BlackBerry Viewfinder

not shrinking back
from the sunset...
Issa haiku

GL, 2/22/2010. Prevail.

Friday, February 19, 2010





Mallard Ducks through BlackBerry Viewfinder on Binoculars

(Makes me feel ridiculously happy.)

GL, 2/19/2010. Prevail.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 12, 2010, journal entry, Winter Green

12 miles.

Not much snow has fallen this Winter, although I recall one recent morning when flakes flew huge, and I imagined I was grabbing white white maple leaves with my mittened hands. Nonetheless, while cold temperatures chill mornings as I begin my runs and Winter’s posture stands tall, the same Summer peace I found sitting in the soft fabrics of my colorful sundresses poolside with my stacks of books as I watched my boys splash and dive, I discover in these runs wearing the black tights I long resisted and purple Adidas jacket. The deep ebb and flow of my breathing is matched by my legs’ long strides in the ritual of my daily right-brained run.

The green Irides of my eyes expand the black apertures of my pupils, communicating messages of exposed nests, from the cups of sparrows to the lodges of crows, with speed to the eye of my mind. I know when Spring redresses the whorls of tree branches in green and hides Nature nurturing Herself, She will guard these nests, hold them close to her chest like secrets, where I won’t be able to see. But even now, my own green eyes see the greens and the greens threaded in the Winter spun by the Wheel of Seasons.


Winter Green through BlackBerry Viewfinder

(But I’d like to think that I might still notice Winter Green even in the depths of snow.)


Winter garden,
The moon thinned to a thread,
Insects singing.
Basho haiku

GL, 2/12/2010. Prevail.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mosaic Tryptych




Kaliedoscope on Mosaic-Stained-Glass Light Bulb, 25 Watts, through BlackBerry Viewfinder

GL, 2/14/2010. Prevail.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Favorite flowers

Edible Yellow and Purple Pansy and Marigold Flowers on Glass in Dark through BlackBerry Viewfinder, 2/13/2010

GL, 2/13/2010. Prevail.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

February 4, 2010, journal entry

Six miles.

It is loud.

I have just ascended 63 Steps and have entered a short swath of rock and dirt path, and birds are everywhere. And they are loud. I must stop to absorb it all. It is unbelievable. It is amazing. Sparrows and starlings fly in crowds, partying it seems to me, yet they never get in each other’s way as they gracefully land on bushes that pulse in their perch.


Magpies sit atop green pine trees, owning their space without apology, chattering noisily, their black and white tux-like plumage and long tail, a luminescent tie in blue. Mag, mag, mag, mag, mag mag, they call, jabbering as they leap and giggle, cartwheel in fast-forward then rewind in the twisted knuckles of Winter tree branches.


Loquacious crows fly in a manner seemingly haphazard, definitely unlike the firm geese in their disciplined yet rotating arrow shape in the sky. The crows chase each other, shadows frolicking, shoot up and down, spread and compress, tossing out their calls of caw caw, caw caw, announcing their place in the universe. As the crow flies...throwing a dark net on the ground like dusk winding down to night black.


I hear loud coveys of quails click like my late summer grasshoppers, and they surprise me when they lift off in numbers in a brown turbulent arc of wind and resettle, melting in the tailfeathers of wheat-colored dried grasses.


Starling on the staffs of high wires are loud and vocal. Not native to the United States, they were introduced to New York City’s Central Park in the early 1890’s by Eugene Schieffelin who wished to bring all the avian species in Shakespeare’s writing to the States. They chatter, trill, and rattle, rotate and roll, individuals melding into a singular aggregation.


Small winter sparrows sweep upward for a moment, then dive under branches only to resurface in ripples, churring and chirping in their own aria. Their small cup-like nests, where Nature nurtures her own, are my favorite of all nests I have seen (although I wish I could see the nest of a hummingbird).


Ashes, Cunning, Death, Despair, Dust, Folly, Gammon, Hope, Jargon, Joy, Life, Madness, Peace, Plunder, Precedent, Rags, Rest, Ruin, Sheepskin, Want, Waste, Wigs, Words, Youth, and Spinach. (Bleak House, Charles Dickens, the names of Miss Flite’s birds.)


I stand still for several minutes until I begin to chill. I think I must return later in the day, and I do return like Spring moments during Winter with my BlackBerry camera in hand. I walk slowly and carefully. Earlier when I was running, the birds’ chattering was constant, not pausing in my presence, yet later, the ringing trees silence immediately upon my second arrival. I stand still for 15 minutes as sparrows land on the tops of weeds and branches, wings like quivering leaves in wind. Eventually, they return to their squeaking and churring, ignore me, and crows restore their caw caw, caw caw to metered lines as they gyre, and magpies, to their volleying calls of mag mag. The starlings and all resume their important work of pedaling the ancient spinning Wheel of Nature and swirl and swivel, bouncing between trees and skies. I want to capture them in the steps of my stride, so I lift my hand to snap pictures, but they flicker and swoop away, too quick and far away for my BlackBerry.


I am reminded of fabulous words like bewitching, superb, magnificent, light, fantastic, enormous, and magic.


(Although I do think I need binoculars. And another in-depth field guidebook on birds.)


Bird's Nest through BlackBerry Viewfinder on Binoculars

Where a Sparrow Was Just Seconds before through BlackBerry Viewfinder on Binoculars


Makes me feel ridiculously happy.


Sudden shower—
clutching the blades of grass
a flock of sparrows.
(Buson haiku)

GL, 2/4/2010. Prevail.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Favorite flowers

Cattail through BlackBerry Viewfinder on Binoculars

GL, 2/8/2010. Prevail.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Haiku 17

A Dawn Ritual


Dawn holds out Her hand
Purple poising in shadows
An endurance stance.


Earth holds Herself still
A bird’s lighting on branches
The weight of a hand.


My breath carries air
Heavily through my long lungs.

GL, 1/31/2010. Prevail.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Triptych in Silver




GL, 2/4/2010. Prevail.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

January 30, 2010, journal entry, Winter's Color Wheel

15 miles.

I think today is the day I shall officially visit the color wheel of Winter. In my 15 miles, I will be visiting Lincoln Park where I met my tiny hummingbird, 63 Steps, Manito, Cannon Hill, and Comstock Parks, High Drive overlooking a steep bluff, and the small marsh of Hazel’s Creek. Plenty of opportunities for the color I have watched Season’s Wheel spin, turning Autumn to Winter.


My hummingbird’s Lincoln Park marsh pond is partially frozen, its grey ice chips meeting the smooth rocky shore. I think my favorite summer running moment was encountering the enchanting hummingbird who cast her spell upon me with her lacey wings.

The short hill before 63 Steps is steep, and even though I am running, its pitch has me feeling like I am walking in place. As I jog up the braid of stairs, my hands alternate in their own stride up the rails.

Entering a short trail, the birds’ song is extremely loud. Starlings and winter sparrows dine on inflorescent yellow, black, blue, orange, and red winter berries, moving from the tops of trees' crowns to the bottom like a violin bow on its instrument, volleying in their melee of the bird melodies.

Bare Winter branches reveal nests hidden during Summer’s green lusciousness. I wonder if the clever seamstresses of these nests will re-use them or sew new ones for Spring.

The number of squirrels scurrying, pausing to nibble chestnuts and acorns in a staccato chewing, astounds me. In one place I count at least 12, holding still like russet pine cones, then with a vigorous shake of tail, scratch up oak trees to the safety of skeletal branches.


I see red and yellow, the oranges that hover between the two. White, black, and my silver-grey. Vibrant greens and the various shades of brown in cattails tied to water and frost-crispy sedges, and the surprise of Sun’s white reflection in Hazel Creek’s pond. I am delighted with the pink pine cone I find.

But I am not seeing purple, my very favorite color which sits in my mind in a way that sooths me like no other color.



After pausing to jot notes in my small journal, inch-long grey feathers and the quarter-size wax paper of an honesty plant’s seedpod tucked in its back pocket, I fold its covers and slide it and my pencil in my eggplant purple Adidas jacket. My purple jacket, the one I have been wearing all Winter along and in my right-brained half-marathon.

In my right-brained run today, I realize that I am the purple of Winter’s color wheel, and bow in respect to the unforeseen pleasures I have experienced this Season on my runs.


Eggplant Purple Adidas Jacket through BlackBerry Viewfinder

Makes me feel ridiculously happy.

GL, 1/30/2010. Prevail.