Thursday, December 29, 2005

Spring Break!

Mary and I came across these earlier this week, on the other side of our county road, in a flower bed outside a bank. I've loved pansies since I was a kid; they were my second-favorite flower after tiger lilies. Pansies are also known for their hardiness, but down here they've been enjoying the sun and our relative warmth....

I don't know what this flower in our front yard is, but it's bound to make some bee very happy.

This is from one of the two red maples in our yard. We don't have snow, but we do have fall colors. Nights we sometimes dip down toward freezing. It's all luxury for me. One of the first things I noticed about this house is that its coat closet is tiny, more like a broom closet. What we can't fit there we've boxed up in the garage.

This time of year many of the lawns turn brown as we enter our dry season. That had surprised Mary, for whom winter had been the wetter season in California, when lawns turn from brown to green. Conversely, it was the crickets that surprised me when we first moved here. They sing year-'round, something to which Mary had been accustomed from her upbringing out west. Where I had been raised in the northeast they fell silent by Thanksgiving.

The dry season also means controlled burns, which is what this looks like to me. Beyond the housing subdivision (whose entrance gate is at lower right) lies the Withlacoochie State Forest, where controlled burns are not unusual. This one happened to occur on a day with an otherwise crystal clear blue sky. I'd seen the plume earlier today while driving to a meeting of the free-writing group I facilitate and pulled into the nearest parking lot to photograph it. By the time of the meeting the smoke had mostly dissipated.

Mary and I wear sweaters or windbreakers for our evening walks. Around our necks we wear small LED lights that flash red to alert any oncoming traffic to our presence in the road -- our residential streets have no sidewalks. Usually I wear mine in front while Mary wears hers in back. On clear nights we'll often stop in our tracks and try to find the Andromeda galaxy, which Mary can spot more easily than I without the help of binoculars.

We stop at the "post office pond" and look for signs of life. Sometimes we find small ripples in the water catching a glint off streetlights. Sometimes we just peer into a mirror.

The moon has now dipped close enough to the horizon that it is behind the trees at dawn. Below is a compilation of lunar photos I've taken over the past two months. The picture of me (taken by Mary) is originally from a trip we made to Yosemite in November 1997. Here I stand instead in my neighbor's "fairy ring" of mushrooms.


Blogger twila said...

Oh, I love this.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and they're yummy, too.

9:00 AM  

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