Wicked Wednesday

There is a certain sensual quality to water.  The way it moves, sounds, feels as it caresses the body.  It’s rather a consistent player in my writing, I’ve noted.

Escaping to a quiet pool or stream, standing beneath the flow of water.  Image result for tropical waterfalls

It becomes a sensual escape.

Likewise, music that evokes the emotions water rouses within us provides an escape from the mundane and a fantasy in its own right.

Bring on the water…and let it sweep you into its wild embrace.

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December Dreams…

It’s Friday, and a new month begins. Already the temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling, and night comes far too soon. First day of the month and already I am looking forward to Winter Solstice and the promise it brings.

But for tonight, this peaceful night, with the room filled with my eclectic mix of music on Spotify, Remy–my Staffordshire Pitbull–curled up beside me and our sweet old chocolate lab, Meg, sleeping on my foot, it is a good winter night.

Lab going for a nice ride..love his white face... There’s a lot of white on her now, but she’s still our baby girl.

I have been pursuing dragons (of my sort) across the pages all day. That is always fun.

Related imageAdorable!

Also another reason to get my protagonist to shed his shirt 😉  Water. Dragons.  Heroes.  Yep, it’s been a good day.

Image result for waves crashing on sea cliff gorgeous photo by Giovanni Allevi… perfectly captures the mood of the sea for the story.

Welcome back December.  Please be good to us this year.

 

 

Snake birds and sunshine

The sun was warmer today, mid-70s, gorgeous for autumn.  Passing the school pond, I paused to enjoy the many birds that gather there as the cooler days approach. Ibis strutted the lawns, snapping up bugs. Herons…white, blue and green, lined the banks, and stalked through the shallows and reeds. Loons swooped and dove.

What I stayed to watch were willowy, snaking necks and heads cruising through the water, body unseen until a small fish flashed in the late afternoon sun as it was flung upward and snatched in the long, spear-like beak.   Image result for anhinga images

Image result for anhinga images

photo by Phil Lanoue

Image result for anhinga images

Larger ones were speared.

And after a successful fishing ‘dip’, the bearers of the snake-like necks for which they are named came ashore to perch, spread their wings, and dry off.

Image result for anhinga images

Image result for anhinga images

Anhinga.  Their name coming from the Brazilian Tupi language and meaning snake bird or devil bird.

Welcome to the pond you devilish beauties.

 

Fantasy Friday

Possibly not the kind of fantasy others expect me to indulge in…those usually involve warriors, weapons, water, and your occasional monster or two. Sometimes a bit of romance/sex just to keep things interesting 😉

No, decidedly NOT suitable for YA. Which works for me.

But today, and tonight…actually for the majority of this entire week…my fantasies have been more decidedly domestic, a lot less fun, but terribly relevant just now.  I am missing our old house, the neighborhood, my gardens and the landscaping I loved.  I have discovered I cannot function when my nights never embrace the darkness; there is always some hideous street light or spot light denying the night and obstructing my view of the moon and stars.  I miss nightly strolls in the dark, just gathering my thoughts, organizing this wild clutter of rampant imagination, and centering my soul.

Where, then, can we go, me and my small troop of offspring?  The countryside may be well suited to this introverted earth mother, but my boys are more like David was…happier with sidewalks or biking/hiking trails, and civilization (at least parks) within reach.

Image result for cleveland metroparks hiking trails

Finding a compromise should be interesting.  I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, other more entertaining versions of fantasy (yes, the ‘other’ kind) are running rampant through my pages with the current focus remaining on dragons and eco-themed ships on both air and water.

FOILER: Båten har L-foiler
på sideskrog og T-foil på senterskrog.

steampunk airship 3d model fbx c4d 6

 

Think they are any match for a flight of dragons?

Image result for group of dragons in flight

This is way more fun than trying to imagine what kind of place we should call home next.

Yay! Fantasy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flights of fancy…

Owls. Today, for quite random reasons, but then again, I am frequently rather random and scattered in where my thoughts take flight…today I kept thinking of owls.

I am quite taken with owls…with the amazing raptor hidden within that soft plumage, the wisdom in their eyes, the way they turn their heads to look back as if it were the most natural thing in the world…which, of course, it IS…if you are an owl. Most of all, I am fascinated by the way they suddenly, silently appear. No wonder they have been  called ‘ghost birds’ and are often associated with spirits.

Great Horned Owl, Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, by snooked.

In the ancient live oak at the old house there was a huge hollow in the trunk, a souvenir from Hurricane Hugo. A pair of Great Horned Owls took up residence in the hollow, and I never tired of watching and listening to them. In the daytime they were all but perfectly camouflaged within the foliage and the deep recess of their nest, at night I would spend long hours listening to their calls. At sunset the male would begin his territorial calls…the hoo hoo hoo hoo-hoo we all associate with these birds.  Later at night the call changed, higher pitched, and with a different pattern…sometimes not hooting at all so much as chirruping or screeching. A wondrous thing to fall asleep with the soft scented breeze from the sea drifting through the windows, and the low call of the owls singing the night to sleep.

In Ohio one of my favorites were the barn owls who took up residence in the stable. You don’t really see barn owls so much, as they really prefer the dark of night to do their hunting, but we surely could hear them.  Barn owls don’t mess around with hooting, they shriek, whine, screech, and make all manner of odd noises.

Image result for barn owl

Late one night leaving the stable a silent blur of white swooped just over my head, and my heart leapt like a rabbit on the run. Just the barn owl making a territorial ‘statement’ about my being on her turf during her watch.

If I choose to believe the wisdom of my Native American lineage, and I do believe they were, and often are, more in touch with the world than we…I think perhaps the owl would be my “spirit” animal.  There’s nowhere I’ve lived there weren’t owls. They are a constant and comfortable familiarity in my life.

I saw an owl in the tree here the night we moved in. Never thought much about it…till today. Some flights of fancy are taken on silent wings.

Image result for eastern screech owl

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.

There are waves…and then…

…there are WAVES.

Now I, personally, find huge waves fascinating. The power, the sound, the way they break.

Then again, I also enjoy following tornadoes and I love thunderstorms.  Maybe it’s just me.

Today a friend up on the North Coast, specifically Lake Erie, posted pictures of the waves there.  I remember the waves. That lake scares the fur off me in a way the ocean never has. It is one freakin’ scary body of water, but I DO love the waves.  Since she reminded me… here are a few pictures to show you what I mean.

Image result for huge waves lake erie

photos by Dave Sanford…amazing aren’t they?

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Just one dang freaky lake, especially when winter storms get it churning.

The waves on my ocean are just as powerful and evocative…but somehow, even when they are raging, they delight me.

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You just gotta love it.

I do.