Sunday, April 29, 2007

Got any Guesses?

Don't scroll down, yet. Take a look at the reflection of the person on the car. See the yellow? Any guesses as to what might produce that splash of brilliance?

Bet you didn't guess a parrot:0) Here in Toledo, you don't often see parrots. No fair snickering. So we're a little desperate for entertainment. I mean c'mon! Wouldn't this be serious chick bait in any city?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Got Any Guesses?

I took a picture of a young man in our local park today. I noticed I'd caught his reflection in the car next to him. (That's a tail light and gas cap ) Have you any guesses as to what is creating the yellow in the reflection?

Thursday, April 26, 2007


A sunny day in the Japanese garden here in Toledo, found this novice 'monk' practicing his meditation . . .

Om . . . . . . . .
Om . . . . . . . .

He was oblivious to me as the sun, rock and wood joined his meditation.

Robby the Robot seemed to be in a trance, too. Om . . . . .


YELLOW ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

There's always one in the crowd . . .

Or many on a hillside . . . .

Or a couple out to greet the neighbors . . .

Or a family exploring the Spring marsh . . .

And it all begins here - with rain - with the water that makes 'yellow' happen. This radar image demonstrates the type of storm that drops the warblers (many 'yellow') into the woodlot in Magee Marsh which sits beneath all that yellow rain.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Ones That Got Away

Wren butt with possible exudate.

Twigs and Sandhill Cranes

Twigs and the Song Sparrow

Twigs and the Pine Warbler

Towhee head and butt.

X marks the spot where the eye should be.

There's a bird here - right?

You were all so kind about my great bird photography. Inspired by Lynne's posts about bird butts and the 'ones that got away' - I present a very small portion of my Gallery of Disappointing Bird Shots.


Monday, April 23, 2007

On A Brighter Note

So much beauty. So little time. The migration is on. Spring is here. I got a couple lucky shots today. Blue Winged Warbler, Pine Warbler. Trumpeter Swans. Ahhhhhh . . .


Saturday, April 21, 2007

I'm Going To Delete This Post

I thought today's post would be about my hubby and son actually READING AN INSTRUCTION MANUAL and about the nature walk my son and I took through a remnant wet prairie and the cocoon and green beetle we discovered there.

Instead I'm exorcising the evil that pulled alongside us on our way home from the walk. This cyclist waited up ahead in the turn lane with his grisly adornments dangling from his gear. My mind tried to rationalize it in every way possible. I came up with the story that he was out checking his animal traps and this is how a red-blooded American carries his hard day's work home. I grabbed my camera and took a few pictures.

Skeletons and bullet holes. A really lovely human being. When I magnified these pictures I felt sick. It's that window that you don't even know is there - that may open someday and reveal a horror you'd never imagined existed.

I apologize for this post. I won't keep it here long. Somehow in the wake of Virginia Tech - it really makes me sick - really. What do his friends and family think? Is this another 'Cho' waiting to emerge - to snap? So I leave you with a picture of the cocooon my son and I noticed earlier. It now seems more sinister.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

And Now For A Few Nice Words

After giving The Toledo Botanical Gardens a black eye in yesterday's post for their decision to fell the Sycamore tree - I thought it only fair to post a kind word and two of my pictures that celebrate the beauty also in evidence there. I offer you my poem which was inspired by one of the swans that floats elegantly on their ponds.

The Kiss

A summer rain eclipsed the sun
and turned the world upside down.
The pond unburdened by reflected sky
was now a mirror for the dragon fly.

Geese nodded hello to the rose mallow
who leaned far out and was bending low
to catch its blush in the dark pearled face
upturned by the pond for the sun’s re-embrace.

Before the breeze teased the clouds apart
the swan dipped its head and formed a heart
with a graceful ghost who echoed the bliss
of a day transformed by this watery kiss.

So moved was the wraith by this feathery love
he quivered with joy for the life above
and rippled away in white shimmering rows
that trembled again in my answering Oh’s!

Catherine S. Wilson


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Irony With A Painful Twist

One doesn't anticipate an assault on your sense of aesthetics and reason when you set out for a stroll in the local public gardens.

The recent balmy weather and the pleasure of wandering, found me perusing a Stonehenge-like structure at our Toledo Botanical Gardens.

Let's take a closer look. Ahhh - This is a memorial to some beloved tree. A permanent memorial to a gentle denizen of the air that could not be saved from the ravages of time. Nice.

But what am I seeing beyond this monument?

They've cut down the Sycamore tree that had lost it's balancing mate in a wind storm years ago on the other side of the Sycamore allee. My mind was resisting the evidence of my eyes.

This was a healthy tree, ready to unfurl its plate-sized leaves into Spring air.

The remnants of the tree, the sections of trunk that just hours before had swayed high up in the warming air, lay stacked neatly around a poetry plaque afixed to a stanchion.

(Click to read the poem or read the text below)

Years ago, the gardens commissioned these Poet Trees. They are placed throughout the gardens so that as you enjoy the visual beauty you may take time to pause and share the poet's vision of truth and beauty.

So what poem had caused people to pause beneath the canopy of this felled Sycamore and what wisdom was offered to them as they stood beneath the sheltering branches and whispering leaves?

Let's take a closer look. Perhaps you'll share my dumbfounded sense at the absurdity I witnessed as I stood in the sawdust reading this poem.

Sioux Prayer

It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives.
Nourish it then.
That it may leaf
And bloom
And fill with singing birds!
Hear me, that people may once again
Find the good road
And shielding tree.

Riiight . . .


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ah, well . . . .

I'd been invited to attend The 2007 Robert Frost Poetry Festival that ended this weekend at the Heritage House in Key West, Florida. My poem, 'Pruning', won third place in last year's contest. I chose not to go because of the mending still ongoing here at home. Truth to tell - a not small part of me was relieved. Reading my poem in public would have been very difficult. I've been told that it will make my poem less publishable to put it on the internet. But with health concerns on both my husband's and my part this past year, I've not even had time or the interest to submit it anywhere. So, mindful of the brevity and beauty of life - of the things that truly matter - I lay my poem at your doors and hope you will lift it gently up and recognize a heart not so unlike your own - struggling to find its way. I regret that it is a poem about regret. But, it is also about courage and making difficult choices. I hope, then, it may also be perceived as a poem about forbearance, forgiveness and moving forward, though not without pain. Someday, I hope, to balance it with a poem that soars.
Someday . . .


Pruning is such a delicate matter
as we choose what must relinquish the right
to remain aloft and cling to the ladder
of the arbor where the squabbling jays natter
about their perches for the night.

It’s the space you cleave between the branch
and the trellised bark -you know will bleed.
You see your questioning knuckles blanch
with the hope you’ve measured beyond mere chance
as required by the gardener’s creed
in the dog-eared books which try to say
about the choices a man must make
as to what must go and what may stay,
to love the light for another day.
The pruner knows his hands’ mistake

will leave the roots beneath his job
making their peace with the fool in the air,
judging his work while his temples throb,
as he stifles regret with a tight-throated sob,
about the error for the things in his care.

Catherine S. Wilson


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Raindrops and Snowflakes on Feathers

In the front yard, the Cardinal was feeling a bit ruffled by the set-back in the weather.

He watched the Easter Bunny batting away at snowflakes.

In the backyard, the ducks waited patiently for Spring. Even the drake occasionally closed his eyes.

It was that kind of day. A day for napping and dreaming of warming breezes and a few fragrant blossoms drifting gently down.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Honey . . . are you ready yet?

Sweetie, we're supposed to be at the Drakes by six o'clock.

I'm almost ready, dear.

Preeeeen . . .

Itch . . .
Scraaaatch . . .

Hmmmm . . .

Ahhhh . . .
OK. I'm ready.

Honey - you look great.
Thanks, Ducky.