Autumn wings haiku

Familiar cheeping
at dusk, out on the front porch
-can it really be?

Opening the door
a fluttering of feathered wings
-the finches remain?

Should I be so blessed?
I shall need to buy some seed
for the frost has come.

House Finch with Goldfinch. beaucon. CC BY-NC 2.0.

House finches are regular nesters in my front door wreath from Eastertime through the summer; I have not been aware of their remaining so close by in the autumn months. They aren’t nesting now and as yet I haven’t ascertained where exactly they’re living, only that it’s somewhere near the porch. I see them fly when we pull up in the driveway, and when we open the front door. I can’t even get a good look at them; they’re being evasive.

Their presence lifts my spirit immeasurably: Take heart, be of good cheer, we are still here… the fluttering of wings was so near my face when I opened the door in the dark after hearing the familiar bird voice. It wasn’t alarming. Out in the yawning chasm of night flew the little bird, with my soul tethered to it by inexplicable hope.

Anole awe

is the key
to surviving
and savoring
your days
in the sun

Anolis carolinensis, green anole, Carolina anole: call it what you will, it is hanging out on the side of the house, basking in the October afternoon sun, feeling green…

…while its pal here, hanging out six inches away, momentarily eschews greenness for a more autumnal hue. Green anoles are sometimes called American chameleons.

They are also considered signs of good luck, prosperity, renewal, and healing, due to their ability to regenerate their tails.

The anole figures large in Celtic lore as a spiritual guide and a symbol of life, death, and rebirth.

You have to wonder, looking at their tiny, wise, ancient eyes…

with thanks to E. Johnson for the photos

Acts of faith haiku

do it anyway
acts of faith are rewarded
refueling the soul

One little ruby-throated female visited the feeder this afternoon. Although days had passed without a hummingbird sighting, I refilled the feeders and left them out anyway, in case…


In the wake of
my hummingbirds’
it has been suggested
that I befriend
a crow.
I don’t know…

American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos. jpmckenna – Plotting 2020 AdventuresCC BY-NC 2.0.

—A crow’s endearing pose? To give them their due, crows are highly intelligent; they use tools. They play. They mourn. And this, from the Corvus entry on Wikipedia:

Crows have demonstrated the ability to distinguish individual humans by recognizing facial features. Evidence also suggests they are one of the few nonhuman animals, along with insects like bees or ants, capable of displacement (communication about things that are not immediately present, spatially or temporally).

Not tiny and fairy-like, but certainly enchanting…furthermore, as I finished this post and went outside, a crow called —caw-caw—from the pines…

Dinnertime guest

He comes to dine each evening
between four and five o’clock
resplendent in his crimson cravat
in an emerald flash, he’s gone
breathless, I await his return

A female ruby-throated hummingbird giving the feeder over to a male: If you look closely, you can see his tongue lapping up the sugar water. A hummingbird’s tongue is forked, like a snake’s, with edges that trap nectar. During my impromptu summer study I’ve learned that males are the minority. They are fewer and never linger as long as females. So many days have gone by without sighting a male that I wondered if they’d all migrated; they are the first to go. Then this fellow began arriving every evening for dinner. He’s quite punctual. I’ve been reading that hummingbirds may not leave my central North Carolina neck of the woods until winter. We shall see… in the meantime, I watch and marvel over nature, its rhythms, its endless curiosities.

Peaceful pulsations

It is said that jellyfish are the most energy-efficient swimmers in the sea. Simple creatures
lacking brains, hearts, and central nervous systems, they have eyes, mouths, and nerves. They see, eat, and feel. Growing up on the east coast, I was terrified of them. One brush of those hairlike tentacles while playing at the seashore welted my legs and burned like fire. What a study of opposites, jellies: fire in the sea, simple yet complex, eliciting fear and, as with this video, a sense of deep tranquility. I once read an article about the immortality of a species of jellyfish—when threatened or harmed, it’s able to return to a previous developmental stage and regenerate itself. Fascinating, mysterious, perhaps even haunting… but a word I wouldn’t have used in connection with jellyfish (stinging nettles, as Grandma called them) is beautiful.

Until now.

Sea Ceremony

peaceful pulsations
sea nettles trailing bride’s veils
deep tranquility

Atlantic sea nettles. Thanks to my friend E. Johnson for this video.
Try watching while listening to Enya’s “On Your Shore“:

Strange how my heart beats
To find myself upon your shore
Strange how I still feel
My loss of comfort gone before

Cool waves wash over
And drift away with dreams of youth
So time is stolen
I cannot hold you long enough

And so this is where I should be now
Days and nights falling by
Days and nights falling by me
I know of a dream I should be holding
Days and nights falling by
Days and nights falling by me

Soft blue horizons
Reach far into my childhood days
As you are rising
To bring me my forgotten ways

Strange how I falter
To find I’m standing in deep water
Strange how my heart beats
To find I’m standing on your shore

Songwriters: Nicky Ryan / Roma Shane Ryan / Enya