Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Slice of Loving Nature

  Join us on Tuesdays with the Two Writing Teachers and others who post. 

             I just returned from two weeks on Captiva Island, in a house by the ocean with my family. Aside from glorying in the ocean, swimming and playing every day, saying goodnight to the sun, I do what I seem to do everywhere, watch the animal life. I couldn't take pictures of the live sand dollars I found, but we brought them out briefly in order to wonder at their small waving tentacles. I couldn't take a pic of the black snake with yellow under the head I saw wriggling through the sand, but I'll remember where I think it lives, in an awesome tree outside the house that must be home for a wealth of small creatures. My regret is that I don't have the time to observe for months. I think I would see changes that would surprise, just as I do in my own home. I'm hoping that the grandchildren will continue to notice, love and respect their own natural worlds as they grow up.
    That special tree where the snake disappeared.

    Here are the animals I managed to capture, among so many others we saw. 

    Live shell found, observed, and returned to the sea.
    We adored watching the little sanderlings
    who scurried past with one eye on us.
    We stopped at a coffee house and found a tiny crab.
    This short-billed dowatcher arrived every
    Evening walk by the house, lots of small
    crabs out for their own strolls.
    Never easy to catch a lizard still enough
    for a picture, but finally found one!
    Discovered on the front walk one morning.
    We think it was a young heron.
    Crane on the next door roof. 
    Not alive, but loved anyway. Created by my
    son-in-law, Carter and Imogene.
        "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Sunday, July 23, 2017

    Monday Reading

                  Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to discover books you'll love!                                      
                          tweet #IMWAYR

          We had a wonderful time at the beach, and I visited two of the terrific book stores on the island, too, always fun. I did finish Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave, but not Nikki Grimes' One Last Word. I'll start soon. Now I'm reading Eula Biss' Notes From No Man's Land, American Essays, a fascinating collection of this woman's observations in various parts of the country, including thoughts about race, those left behind, historical background, too. 

            The writing is to be relished, the story to remember, to re-read again. It's a love story swirling in the beginning of World War II in London, touching on other parts of the world between the British and the Germans. There is one page where two of the characters spoke of war that touched me deeply, and part of that holds these words: "Perhaps it was true, thought Alistair, that Septembers would come again. People would love the crisp cool of the mornings, and it would not remind them of the week war was declared. Perhaps there would be such a generation."
              It’s a fantastical story. After all, when would an alligator really show up at dance class? But it did, and while the teacher and dancers were a bit scared that the alligator (called Tanya after a famous dancer) might become “bitey” (author’s word), they did welcome her. And they did their best to accommodate her needs, like creating a part in the coming recital. The mystery is that after that, she disappears, and where she went is what you will discover when you read the book. I liked the end, but wish there had been a bit more added within this end. Young dancers will like it, I suspect! All those tutus!

                     Here, Matthew Cordell has “brushed” a story in his unique style of sketch and color of the feelings and dreams of parents with a new child. Where will that child go, what will befall him or her? “A great journey was beginning on this very bright night” declares the parents as they hold their baby and look up at the stars. Holding love in their hearts, we see these parents dreaming of the future, holding close the present. This will make a wonderful gift.

    Saturday, July 22, 2017

    Celebrating Family

    Celebrating with Ruth Ayres at Discover, Play, Build, and linking with others who share, too. I'm always grateful to Ruth for our weekly celebrations together.

    By the time you read this, I'll be on my way home from our ocean vacation. There is much to celebrate and those of you who know my posts on FB or Instagram know most of it. This time, I am grateful and celebrate my children and their spouses who work hard to ensure they make the time to get together each time we do this. It isn't easy maneuvering jobs and vacations at the same time, but we've managed it for five years now, planning for more! The first time I came to these islands, Arvie and I brought Carter, so it's my sixth year here loving the ocean, exploring with family!

    Imi didn't want to turn around!

    Clearly, Carter has changed a bit since this was taken.

    Thursday, July 20, 2017

    Poetry Friday - "Nothing-to-Do"

    Katie hosts today at her blog, The Logonauts! Thanks, Katie! 

             I've been at the ocean's edge for nearly two weeks now. The last part of my family has left to go home, and I have one more day to savor. Today I've walked it, driven past it, watched others dive in, and swum myself, looking for signs of the dolphins, manatees and manta rays that we've seen before. I did see the wonderfully different bunnies again, and crabs were out in the evening. 
             I've watched my grandchildren and children play and laugh and be, here in the magic of nothing-to-do but follow John Masefield's Sea Fever: "I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky." 
    The grandchildren say goodbye to their own final sunsets.

       Nothing To Do

    My dreams tangle
    with the reality.
    The ocean flashes, splashes,
    dashes in to smooth the sand,  
    backing out to allow a shell shock
    of quick gathering.
    The body arrives,
    knots untied
    from the joy of immersion.
    Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

    Thursday, July 6, 2017

    Poetry Friday - Sensational Swap!

              Carol Varsalona, poetry collector extraordinaire, and new grandmother serves as our first July host of Poetry Friday today. She blogs at Beyond Literacy Link. You're welcome to visit for lots of poetry wonders, including the announcement of Carol's most recent collection, the Springsations Gallery about to be shared! Thanks, Carol!

    As posted recently: One of the delights several times a year is the Poetry Swap created by Tabatha Yeatts, at The Opposite of Indifference. See the sidebar for the beautiful image she created for us swappers!

    This week, I am grateful for another gift of "happy mail", as Keri Collins Lewis called it when I emailed my thanks. I appreciate the collage created on the notecard face, love those 'happy' message cards, and adore the poem. 

            I'm off Saturday to the beach for a couple of weeks, carrying this poem along, steering toward adventure, just as Keri wrote! And looking for clamshell clouds as Brenda wrote in the poem I shared last week! Thanks to both, anticipation is high!
        A special, and yummy, announcement from Tabatha Yeatts who is our host next Friday at The Opposite of IndifferenceJuly 14th is National Macaroni and Cheese Day. The Poetry Friday Roundup will be in honor of the event and for those who wish, please share for an optional Mac-N-Cheese theme!