Two Writing Teachers. Go on over to read some terrific slices!
I am reminded of the John Moffitt poem that begins like this:
To look at any thing,
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:
and you can find the rest here.
I had Sunday afternoon, a cooler day, to do some yard work. A cold front is on its way, so the temperature had dropped to the 60’s and it was a pleasure to be outside doing a task that I had put off, but needed to do before the Monday trash pickup. This is definitely a slice of my life, to work outside when I can, now planting a few seeds, pulling grass from the flower beds, sweeping the caterpillar-like seeds dropped from the aspens.
This time, my task was to rake all the little sticks that drop consistently from the cottonwood tree in our backyard. While it’s a beautiful old tree that gives wonderful shade, cottonwoods are messy and drop sticks constantly. We’ve had some high winds recently and more have blown down because of that too. And so I grabbed my rake, a trash bag and was off to the chore.
Raking sticks doesn’t seem like much to write about, does it? However, while raking and picking up the larger sticks to save for kindling next winter, I saw robins, crows, chickadees, wrens and a glimpse of the kestrels that nest next door every spring. I watched ants carrying what looked like a part of another insect to their home (two working together). I found some roly-poly’s (wood lice or pill bugs) close to the trunk of the tree and watched them scamper for the dark. The squirrels fussed at me to bring peanuts and even though I was close, drank from the birdbath. I saw lots of ladybugs and felt good that they were doing their job eating the tinier insects from my flowers. There were garden spiders out too, making their rounds of food gathering. And I found a clump of beautiful fungi, which I haven’t been able to identify, but clearly they too are having their meal. (Look at the upper lefthand corner of the photo.) Just being in a small part of my back yard and on the other side of the fence in the park became a wonderful look at the animals there. I imagine I missed a few, too.
All because I was gathering sticks, and looked long!