Pumpkins in a pot…

My daughter loves…I mean LOVES pumpkin seeds.  Every year for Halloween the seeds from the jack-o-lanterns are saved, washed, and roasted..and vanish very quickly afterward.  This year she put some into a sandwich container to roast later…and when she went to roast them….they had sprouted!

Image result for pumpkin seed sprouts

The obvious thing to do, of course, is…give the seeds to mom.

Pumpkins don’t really ‘thrive’ here in the Lowcountry…too much heat, no cold snap.  But heaven knows if they were ever going to grow, this nice cool weather is the tome to try. So I dragged out my big ‘tree’ pot, dumped in mulch, and topsoil and voila!

Sprouts of pumpkin seeds

The pot will remain outdoors soaking up warmth and sunshine until fall chills arrive, then move to the porch where the sprouts are protected from any untoward weather.

Can’t wait till spring.  Image result for 4 month old pumpkin plants

Hope springs….

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Fall takes flight

There are, in case you haven’t noticed from previous posts, LOTS of birds in the Lowcountry.  Which birds changes a bit with the seasons, although there are plenty of year round residents.  The last couple of months have rewarded our watching with a familiar resident, but in a new location. Bald eagles have moved to the pond at the elementary school. October is the beginning of nesting season here, so we were delighted to find they have taken up residence where we can look for them every week.

Image result for bald eagle in South Carolina

The pond is prime territory, open flight paths, but plenty of trees for roosting and nesting, and a gator free pond stocked with an abundance of fish.  By next month the eagles should be laying, and by early spring there will be nestlings to captivate the careful observer.

Snipe may be the stuff of stories and campfire pranks, but here they are among our oddball seasonal shore birds.  Wilson’s snipe are hard to spot, they are so well suited to the area, but fun to find strolling through a local ditch or in your yard.

Snipe-One

After another successful breeding season here in the Lowcountry,  our woodstork population continues to make a comeback from endangered to threatened.  They are ungainly to look at, but amazing in flight or roosting in groups in the trees.

Wood Storks

When you don’t happen to see wood storks feeding in

As fall cools into winter, we are thankful for the return of our seasonal birds. Another year of survival, another hope we can reduce climate change and protect these animals for our children and generations to come.

Welcome home.

Full Moon Magic

Tonight the actual full Beaver Moon shines down upon us all.

Image result for Folly beach by moonlight

The moon is in close proximity to our little blue planet, and it shines upon us bright and filled with hope and encouragement. It reminds us of the slow turning of the universe…always changing and moving forward.  And as the moon reaches its perfection in fullness …so can we all.  Now is the perfect time to turn our dreams into goals and our goals into actions. To reach beyond the limitations we have placed upon ourselves and become more. Dream more. Dare more.

I danced beneath the moon tonight. The tide was soft and the breakers gentle, singing the ancient song of creation and love.

T H E F U L L E R V I E W  ( Fullerview photo)

Then the return to reality…to kids, and dogs, dishes, and deviling eggs for tomorrow when we celebrate not moon, but sun.  The blessed warmth of autumn’s embrace, another chance to cookout at the park, try new recipes, hear the laughter of the children at play. Bird songs, frogs in the reeds along the ponds. Paths to wander and sights to share.  A new abundance.  A new promise.

May we live up to the promises we make tonight…and remember them in all the days to come.

 

The life blood of a blue planet

As fires ravage the west coast…we pray for rain. In India, Africa, and Asia droughts and lack of rain parch the lands, and wells and reservoirs are going dry.

Image result for dry reservoirs in california

Our aquifers are being depleted at alarming, no…terrifying! rates. And while the recharge (refill) rates vary…most of the large aquifers now being drained to sustain farming, mining, and industry, and support cities in arid western states…need centuries to recharge. 21 of the 37 largest aquifers on our tiny blue planet are being drained at unsustainable rates. Considering that they are the sole source of life sustaining fresh water for hundreds of millions of humans, that we have stressed them beyond the tipping point…where our demand exceeds their ability to be renewed…there is no time to spare in resolving this.

And there is no outcry. The problem perhaps is that “the problem” can’t be seen. It isn’t as easily evident as dried up reservoirs and forests burning due to drought. Big businesses demand their “right” to use as much water as required for their stockholders to continue to make huge profits. When the water is gone…what then?

Water stuck closer to home for me this week. A family not far from where I live have hit some hard times…it happens in these uncertain days more than ever before.  A big family, an unexpected baby girl eight years after the youngest of the five boys, and not enough money to keep the water turned on. That happens in poor neighborhoods all across America. Not expected in middle class suburbia, is it?  People surprised and saddened me with their lack of compassion. The family tries to hide their problem because other children make fun of their boys. I stopped over today and got a car load of big containers and jugs which I refilled at my house and returned to them under the cover of night…when judgmental eyes might not see. A routine thing, three or four times a week. Not noteworthy in any regard save that a simple act of kindness as a neighbor should need to be hidden.

They have worked out a payment arrangement with the water company…another few weeks and their water will be restored…but how sad people turn away from need, instead of reaching out to one another.

Water shouldn’t be beyond the reach of everyone in this country. In a perfect world, where humans cared more about other living beings and less about possessions, would we not, each and every one, strive for the best for all and not only for ourselves?

Image result for african family at a spring fed well

Such a small, fragile world made all the more remarkable for the blessing of abundant water. If a few jugs of water makes such a difference, imagine the loss when the source of that precious water is gone.

We have to find a better way, world. While we still can.

Image result for water spring

 

 

Changes marking time

Some things here at the old house in on the island don’t change a lot … the live oak trees, the spanish moss, the way the sandy soil of the yard sinks underfoot.

Other things seem to be in perpetual flux.  The sounds of traffic on the road a few blocks away. The scents that whisper on the incoming breezes…right now, sweet with jasmine and wisteria…or sometimes earthy and salty with the scent of the marshlands.

The changes I mark most  are the ones whose change reminds me that, over the span of time, nothing changes so very much.  Constant changes.  Like the ocean tides. The great horned owls in the hollow of the live oak…mating, brooding, raising their young…and moving on until next time. The anole coming out with the warmth of spring…big dominant males puffing their throats to warn off the small, slender teenagers with their cocky attitudes, and the coy  females who in the end, really make all the decisions.

Image result for male anoles fighting

Frogs and toads are laying their eggs, and soon that too will signal change as they become tadpoles and tadpoles become frogs/toads and the damps areas of my yard come alive with song.

The pear tree has blossomed already.  There will be fruit before long.  I await the promise of the fig I have so carefully nurtured through all these winters and this spring’s random frosts far too late in the year…. without someone to cover and protect it, there would be no sweet fruit this year.  No promise of tiny baby fig trees to grow and continue into the future.

Image result for fig saplings

Changes that serve as reminders that it is my privilege and my duty to protect this fragile environment around me.  I don’t grow exotic plants.  I nurture the ones nature placed here…and the ones generations past left behind.  Like the ancient azaleas lining the yard and standing in odd circles about the yard where once… decades ago, they surrounded some long ago tree….now lost to the changes of time and the vagaries of weather.  Yet the azaleas remain, reminding us of time past…and changes yet to come.

Immutable change…as constant and unpredictable as my ocean.

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Missed a few days here…

…some because I was just swamped with life, and then some because… I couldn’t think of anything worth sharing.

Now I’m back to try again.

Today was gorgeous. Sunny, around 80F, a soft breeze.  Birds singing, squirrels courting, azaleas, camellias, and spring flowers in mad profusion.  Children calling and laughing.  Remy, my Staffordshire, went out early and just didn’t come in.  Found her stretched out in the backyard, sunbathing.  Life is good.

On the writing front, things are … bumpy.  I am thrilled I completed the edits on Khyr’s story.  It is tighter, cleaner.  Not perfect…they never are…but I am proud of it.

The harder part is ahead.  What next?  I have a story I love.  Characters I adore and want to send out to meet the world.  So far the suggestions from those I know and care about who are part of the publishing industry (authors, editors, etc) are very very disheartening.  I am not usually one to be thin-skinned at all.  I accept critiques with delight in what I can learn and possibly improve.  I am open to advice and criticism because I want so very much to be the best possible writer I can be…

But this time…it is like ripping my soul out.

A friend whose clarity and wisdom I much appreciate suggested it is not just ‘this’ … but that it is another layer of pain and stress on top of all the monumental stress and fear we are already coping with in our day to day lives.  Another layer of hopelessness.

I want to tell you….don’t give up.  Don’t give in. We are strong enough to overcome the fear and the sorrows.  Strong enough to keep trying, to hold onto the precious things…like flowers in the morning sun, and our children’s laughter… and remember that the fight is worth it.  The human race is worth it.  Our world is worth it.

And, hopefully, in the end…maybe even just this small writer’s dream will be worth holding onto … until it is time for it to bloom as well.

 

sometimes your heart breaks

…yesterday was one of the hardest days of my life….worse even than losing my husband.

It will make us stronger. And I don’t surrender to the sorrow and loss…not now.  Not ever.  But it takes a bit to bounce back.  So tonight… when I am much too depressing for polite company 🙂  I will just leave my dear friends and companions with a lovely Fantasy to hold on to…

Look up.  Keep believing.  Keep dreaming.  Out of the sorrow…something beautiful will rise.

winged beauty...