The Mailbox

Who doesn’t love receiving a personal letter or card in the mail???  I was excited to paint this picture of a row of weathered, rusty mailboxes.   My colors came out a bit dark, so if I repainted it I would lighten them up a bit.  But I love the picture.  When I look at it, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling thinking of all of the mail I have received in my box over the years when writing letters was the way to communicate because long distance calls cost a fortune.

I love being able to send emails for quick communication or pick up the phone for any whim of a thought since I have unlimited long distance.  But I still get excited when I open up my mailbox and see a personal letter or card sitting in there waiting for me.  I used to tear into the envelope immediately but since I get so few, I now savor the moment.  I wait until I have some down time and make a glass of iced tea and sit out on my porch swing to read and enjoy the letter, hearing the writer’s voice as I read.

Writing a letter to someone takes time.  And most of us have the time to sit and write but don’t make that a priority.  But truly, we should all make time to sit down and write because writing warms the heart, I think because it is calming.  It also improves memory (that’s a great one for aging minds) and inspires creativity.  I always feel wonderful and happy after I’ve written to someone.

Can you do it?  Take the challenge?  Set aside a half hour once a week and write a hand written letter to someone?  Give it a try.  (It’s a great summer idea for kids, too!)

Cirsium

On my walk this morning I was intrigued with these two emerging thistles and thought, “A thistle’s my sunshine on a cloudy day, along with a whistle to blow my cares away.”

I guess I’ve been intrigued with the thistle since junior high when I drew this ink sketch in art.

But the question is why?  I love its purple color with all of its spikes an love the leaves and their texture.

This is a brand new budding thistle

growing next to one that had a couple of days head start.

So I went to this neat book filled with flower definitions

to read about the thistle.

Alas…together they stand

“tough and durable, defiant against aggressors.”

I couldn’t decide on a title so looked up the genus name for thistle which is Cirsium.  I then discovered the ‘higher classification’ is the Daisy family, my favorite flowers; when I see them, my heart is always filled with joy.

daisy

And now I know why I was drawn to the thistle today.

Walking with Riley

flag iris

I discovered these irises hiding in some grass alongside the road on my walk. this evening  I went for a 3 mile walk with Ole Riley Dog, my surrogate pet.  I think he’s about 10 years old in human years and he’s still cute and fuzzy like a pup.

riley.jpg

He loves to walk with me but was quite sly this evening, as if he was really too tired to walk but could not pass up the opportunity.  Part of my course is walking to the end of a  road and turning around.  That stinker saw the direction I was heading, stopped in the road and waited for me to walk to the end of the road and turn around.   He did this on 3 occasions acting  tired and yet, when I told him it was time to go home, he got all sad with pouting eyes.  No kidding-this dog really does pout and look sad when things don’t go his way.  Talk about a dog with character!  🙂  He always makes my walk interesting.

As I came up over a hilltop I saw the tall fescue grass and tree tops bathing in the golden glow of the sunset,

golden fexcue

and then enjoyed the sun as it dropped down below the horizon.

golden sunset

So what do you think…can dogs intentionally pout and look sad?

Wispy Wheat, Fuzzy Cotton and Slithering Snakes

wheat

I love the soft wispy look of the wheat as the top part develops.  That top part with the grain is called a spike…(I had to look that up).  I especially love sitting on my porch and watching the wheat sway in rhythm as the wind blows across the fields.  Today was a perfect day with a hot sun making the shade feel cool and a nice breeze stimulating the movement of the wheat.  I didn’t notice it until after I took the picture, but there is one renegade spike of wheat standing tall above the others.  Do you ever feel like you stand out in a large group?

It’s such a simple slice to enjoy nature all around me.

And that was yesterday.  This morning my husband and I took a long walk in the refuge.  Our sense were tantalized by the sights and sounds surrounding us.  Songbirds serenaded our walk.  The cottonwood seeds have escaped their pods lining the roads and water top with cotton, making it look like a light snowfall.

cotton

We saw snakes galore on the road and swimming in the water from black snakes to water moccasins; of which my husband can NOT resist getting the moccasin to gape and show its white mouth.

cottonmourth

As we walked he said, “It’s a good thing the bald eagles have moved on or they’d have a field day with all of these snakes.”  A tenth of a mile later we see a bald eagle fly from a treetop, leaving behind another-possibly a nesting pair (he’s a little fuzzy looking).

eagle2

Squirrels, deer, beaver, a box turtle, and a raccoon.  I feel like I have the makings for my own, “Partridge in a Pear Tree”.  Now to get some pictures uploaded.  Check back for them.  🙂

Getting Anxious

It’s been 5 years since we’ve been able to put the canoe in the water and go fishing on the river in May.  The water level was low and safe at 4′ by the bridge and the air was summertime hot.  Today, the river is 24′ at the bridge, slowly coming down from its record breaking 36′ which actually went over the bridge.  When we canoe under it and look w…a…y up there, it seems impossible that the water could ever get that high.

mayfish

It will be interesting to see what changes were made from the rushing flood waters.  New fishing holes will form while old favorites will disappear.  Even the course of the river changes opening up new channels and cutting off others.  I’m starting to get that twitch in the wrist…ready to cast and more anxious to catch.  It will probably be at least June, but may not be until July (like it was last year).  It all depends on how much rain we get.  Will this be it and we go into drought like conditions or is this the beginning of a very wet season?  Only time will tell…and patience must prevail.

Rushing

I feel like I’ve lived in a whirlwind state of rushing for the past 2 months.  I loved the SOL challenge of writing daily and when that was over, I thought I’d take a breather.  But my friend shared the A to Z Challenge and I could not resist.  For the first time in a long time, I’ve been able to sit and enjoy everyone’s blogs that I follow-so many superb writers.

If you are from the US, you’ve probably heard about all of the flooding in the midwest.  If you are not in the US, have we made your news?  I’m right in the heart of it.  While I am high and dry, there are so many that are not.  And as the water levels continue to rise breaching spillways, washing out roads, causing evacuations down river, our road connections to the outside world are dwindling down to just a couple of routes.  I guess it’s a good thing we don’t have any travel plans in the near future.

While I’m not rushing to write, I’m surrounded with rushing water.  Here are some pictures I’ve gotten.

The water going over the emergency spillway washed out the road below.   This happened 6 years ago in the big flood.  They rebuilt with huge culverts but the road still washed away.

dam hwy

A swollen river that is usually 3-5 feet deep is over 20 feet and rising.

swollen river

Crop fields have become lakes with white caps from the high winds.

field lake

During a break in the rain a couple of days ago, I got out for a walk and found this little stream of cascading water that I have named Trickle Falls.  Zooming in makes the water fall look more grand.

trickle falls

Rushing waters be still, calm down to a trickle.