Angels Among Us

As March continued to roar in like a lion, I stepped into the park this morning and was embraced by beauty. Snowflakes, white and pure and eternal drifted my way. Though I was alone, I wasn’t.

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For within each flake I felt millions of wings brush against my face–reminding me of those I know who are at the moment downtrodden and have hurdles to conquer. Some may be tiny, others immense, but all were angelic in nature.

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As the flakes gathered together, they enhanced the reflection of harmony . . .

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and illumination.

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They brought Heaven down to earth . . .

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and reminded me that even in the darkest hours I hope my friends remember that grace surrounds them.

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May they find healing energy,

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creativity,

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and unwavering strength–both inner and outer.  Support is everywhere and often floats softly about while carrying a bigger presence.

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May they realize they are surrounded by so many angels offering comfort, reassurance and encouragement,

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while looking so ordinary that at times they may not be recognized.

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May they maintain a sense of balance going forward,

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and let the flakes soften any rough edges.

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May they listen carefully . . .

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and hear whispers in the breeze that I trust will tickle their beings.

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May they hear the universe sing (or occasionally quack),

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its song as sweet or maybe sweeter than that of the cardinal.

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And at the end of the day, may they follow the tracks home, no matter how big . . .

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or small.

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May they continue to look up as the flakes fall and know that our friendship is a privilege I honor.

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May we all recognize the angels among us, innocent and yet brilliant. Even on a days when a nor’easter blows through. Or especially then.

P.S. I was going to dedicate this post to Jin, and Tom, and Cris, and Bob, and Ronny, and Becky, and Bev, and Pammie, and Rosemary,  and so many others. I do dedicate it to them, but really–to everyone for I may not know what you face day in and day out. May you all persist and be strong.

 

 

 

 

Finally Flakes

White stuff fell from the sky today–a late date for our first measurable snowfall.

dandelion

Yesterday, I saw a dandelion blooming in Denmark as I participated in Maine Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count. Today, I assume that yellow blossom is snug below about five or six inches of snow.

While on the bird count, I practiced using my new macro lens, but didn’t have the telephoto lens in my pack because it wasn’t working correctly. Miraculously, I solved that problem this morning and am back in business–taking photos with several different foci.

chickadee

hairy

ruffled red breasted

From the get-go, the feeders provided a source of energy and entertainment. I wonder who ruffled the red-breasted nuthatch’s feathers?

cat trax

Perhaps it was a cat. Let the tracking season begin! I noticed this set leading from the barn, where we watch anywhere from one to six neighborhood cats emerge. I’m not sure which one owns these prints, but it stayed close to the house rather than making the usual venture to hunt below the feeders.

vernal pool slush

After scooping the driveway snow, I was antsy to check things out in the woods. The vernal pool is covered with slush–we need a few nights in the deep freeze to firm things up. Looks like we could hit negative digits by next week. Not sure our bodies are acclimated for that this year. Pile on the layers.

grouse trax

Without meaning to, I flushed three ruffed grouse–only their prints showed their presence. And my heart beat.

turkey trax

A flock of turkeys had also traveled my way, leaving behind their trademark signature.

snow on wood pile

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I hadn’t expected too many tracks, so pointed the lens toward the snow and its presentation on a variety of subjects.snow on astersnow on hardtack

Atop asters and hardtack,

snow on balsamsnow on bulrush

balsam fir and bulrush, each crystal clung.

 snow on cinnamon fern snow on sensitive fern

Some were embraced by cinnamon and sensitive ferns,

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Still others formed blankets of protection.

frullania, leafy liverwort

And then I turned my attention elsewhere. The leafy liverwort in the genus Frullania beckoned a closer look. Like mosses and lichens, liverworts are nonvascular flora.

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Most are green, but Frullania is brown. As it weaves in and out of the crevasses on the ash bark, its structure reminds me of ricrac, that zigzaggy trim we used to add to sewing and craft projects.

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This hornet nest always deserves an examination of structure, texture and design. Constructed from chewed up wood strips mixed with sticky saliva, this is an incredible undertaking.

nest compartments

Each tiny cell once housed an egg. While the males and the old queen died in the autumn, the females who mated have burrowed into tree stumps and other cozy spots to survive the winter months.

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One of my favorite finds today: clusters of striped maple samaras dangling from a tree–waiting for the right moment to disperse. Insect wings come to mind.

 slush

Because the ground hasn’t frozen and we’ve had so much rain lately, I left a few slushy prints.

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As I retraced my steps, I discovered I’d had company. Unfortunately, I never saw the two deer that crossed behind me. We were silent partners in the winter world.

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Home again, I’m thankful for the male cardinal that graces the backyard on a regular basis. Sometimes his mate accompanies him, but I didn’t see her tonight.

It’s beginning to look and feel like my favorite season has arrived. Flakes finally fell–YAHOO!