I have been in Connecticut for a week now helping my mother as she undergoes chemo for her breast cancer. Along with the cancer she is also caring for three of her great-grandchildren until Christmastime when they will go to live with their maternal grandmother for the time being. Needless to say, it has been busy at Mom’s house and I will be back to help her again next week. But this morning I am on my way home after a week of cooking and cleaning, reading stories and decorating Christmas trees. There have been a few tears, but also lots of love, and hugs from little arms clinging to hope.
The week started with abnormally warm temperatures with highs in the 60’s. It stayed that way until Wednesday night when winter rolled in like a freight train with high winds, pouring rain, and even a bit of thunder and lightening. By Thursday morning the rivers and streams were flooding and when I took my youngest nephew to pre-school I saw that Lion’s Pond was flooded also.
It was still that way this morning, though now the sun shone brightly and pair of mallards floated lazily in the pond. They are the only ones who could possibly eat anywhere near the brightly colored picnic tables!
Sunlight slanting through the forest is not yet strong enough to melt the frost covered moss and grass. I am drawn back to this corner by the sound of bird calls in the woodland. I find a few titmice and juncos and hear a nuthatch “yank, yanking” in the trees.
The frost encrusted grasses glimmer like sequins on an emerald and gold evening gown tossed carelessly on the floor...
The subtle beauty of the woodland draws me in and I feel myself relaxing as each moment passes. After 20 minutes I get in my car and drive farther east on Norwich Avenue where I find a Red-shouldered hawk perched in a tree alongside the road. It is just after the intersection with Scott Hill Road and as I pull off to get a better look at the bird I also spot a few turkey vultures lazily rocking in the sky. A bright red cardinal flits into the nearby tangle of vines and across the street a gray and white Northern Mockingbird blends with the gray bark of more bare trees. But I see it and I smile. Yes…this is the way to relieve stress…
I continue on my way up Norwich Avenue to Exit 23 off Route 2 where the Yantic River forms a big pond. Usually I see so many geese here, but today only a small flock is floating on the water. But then I hear a noise! The “honk, honking of several geese fills the air. I turn to see another large flock descending to join the others on the lazy river.
With one last look, I feel I am finally ready to go home. I cross the street back to my car, open the door and climb in. As I close the car door I call my husband on my cell phone. He has the day off and has been patiently awaiting my return. “Okay Honey. I’m done bird watching, and I’m coming home.”
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