Friday, May 21, 2010

Meanwhile

The rain that seemed to go on endlessly just a few days ago has indeed ended and given way to bright sunshine, cool morning breezes and a clear blue sky.  And that cozy feeling you get when you can sit inside and do not very much because weather won't allow it gives way, in my present circumstances, to feelings of jealousy that Steve can be outside, carrying lumber around as he prepares to make railings for the deck, while I'm still inside relatively immobile.  But I can marvel at what Steve has shown me from the outside, and told me about.  And yesterday afternoon after the sun had gone behind the house I actually maneuvered myself out to the deck and enjoyed the fragrant air and the evening views up the creek.

We are in the middle of a natural wonderland.  Henry the blue heron makes daily, swooping forays up and down he creek, often landing right at the end of our dock to stalk some delicacy he sees in the water.  If Henry happens not to show up for a couple of days running, we ask each other where he is.  "Where's Henry?" has become one of those comfortable private catch phrases that mean more than they actually say.  (We had a "Henry" in Delaware, too.  We imagine that he found out where we went and followed us here.) 

Yesterday Steve saw two enormous turtles on the wetland fringes of the back yard. One of them left some scratch marks behind--is this egg-laying season for these turtles?  What kind are they?  We need to find out.  A hummingbird hovered over us as we sat on the deck, attracted to the extravagant salmon pink of the kalanchoe I bought to brighten Steve's office over a year ago.  The plant has thrived here, as if celebrating Steve's freedom, and the hummingbird's reaction to it suggested the sort of company we may have if we were to plant something with actual nectar, like a trumpet vine.  A trumpet vine requires strict, brutal discipline or it will become invasive, but the potential for crowds of hummingbirds may convince us it would be worth the trouble.....

Busy little Carolina chickadees and bluebirds flit and fuss incessantly from tree to tree along the water, and a tiny Carolina wren perches on the railing of our front porch at 4 o'clock every afternoon, like clockwork.  He "serenades" us with a teasing, single-note call that is way too big to emit from that afterthought of a body.  (The tiniest creatures seem to have been given voices that compensate for their lack of physical stature.)  On the other end of the size scale, there are at least a dozen osprey pairs nesting in the tallest of the cypress trees that grace the banks of the Little River, just beyond our creek. At least one of them does graceful reconnaisance over us every afternoon.  And then there are the crows, their raucous conversation announcing their arrival like so many ladies who have over-enjoyed a liquid lunch.

There are more wildflowers growing in the wetland than we ever dared hope.  I've shown you a picture of the wild iris.  They have now been joined by spiky little water hyacinths and a buttercup yellow ground cover whose name we don't yet know.  A wetland rose of sharon is growing almost within reach of the dock--we hope it is the scion of a plant whose seeds we collected along the river last fall.  It's still sprouting leaves and growing towards its full-season height, too early for blossoms, but the leaves and growth habit are unmistakable.

When I am once again ambulatory I promise to take some pictures of all these wonders and show them to you.  Until then, daydream a little....

15 comments:

Helen said...

Perfection perfectly described.

.... And many of the largest creatures make the softest sounds ... or no sounds at all.

Paula said...

Life sounds pretty good, despite your mishap.

Zoey and Me said...

So I raced over here to read about what your doctor said having seen him sometime this week. Nice post though. I enjoyed this one. You guys are in Paradise!

Jeff said...

Beautifully written, Ralph.

If you have time, you should read Verlyn Klinkenborg - especially his book, The Rural Life. I think you'd enjoy it since it's within the context of this new life you're leading.

Onward we go - it's Friday, temps are in the 70's, and the sun is streaming thru the windows. What more could you ask for, eh?

- Jeff

Ralph said...

And since I wrote this morning I have made a huge discovery: I can walk. One thing I learned from the doctor yesterday is that my leg nees to straighten--it actually relaxes the hamstring. It's most relaxes when the foot is flat against the floor. I tried it first with crutches, then realized they were in the way.

Things have been moving fast--much faster than I can keep up with here. Z&M, for up-to-the-minute news, check Facebook.

Jeff, thanks for the compliment and the suggested reading. I'll look into Klinkenborg.

Mim said...

Your post transported me to the backyard wonderland, dock, Henry, the flowers and birds that you are surrounded by.
Glad to hear the walking is progressing, Yes share pictures as soon as you can.

Cuidado said...

You sound content, Ralph, or you have good drugs. I was opposite when laid up. I was so frustrated and had a hard time relaxing. Good for you!!!!

Ralph said...

Thanks, Cuidado. I actually ended up stopping the codeine based drugs--Percocet and Vicodin--really hated the side effects. I'm walking around unassisted now thanks to being told one simple fact by the orthopedist: straightening the leg **relaxes** the musle. I had intuited teh opposite, incorrectly. Once he gave me permission to straighten my leg, that led pretty quickly to walking. I wrote this piece just before I experimented for the first time with trying to stand up. Lo and behold, I could balance myself on two feet! There's still a bit of an ache, which OTC pain killers are dealing with.

Glad you like the post. The natural beauty of this place is something I haven't explored much here and I saw the chance to do it.

nan said...

Henry the Heron! What an interesting visitor to be able to spy. Very glad to hear you are moving along toward recovery.

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The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I´m glad You´re able to walk again!

Sounds like a paradise when You describe how it is around Your home!
Take care now!
Christer.