Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lion’s Pond and Beyond

1. Lion's Pond-kab Lion’s Pond Colchester, CT 12-9-11
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.
2. flooded-kabThe 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.
3. Mallard's-kab 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!
4. pond edge-kabAt the far end of the pond the bare trees in the woodland filter the rising sunlight.
5. frosty edge-kab Frost gathered on the grass and along the icy edge of the pond.
6. sunlight thru trees-kab 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.
7. frosted grasses-kab The frost encrusted grasses glimmer like sequins on an emerald and gold evening gown tossed carelessly on the floor...
8. tree reflection-kab …while a tall maple stands sentinel over the pond.
9. moss and lichen-kab 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…
10. Geese landing-kab 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.
11. Peaceful Mallards-kab A pair of mallards scuttles out of the way .
12. 2nd flock While I am waiting, yet another flock descends!
13. landing-kab I watch as they come in for a landing…
14. putting on the brakes-kab …dropping like black and white rose petals on the water…
15. settling down-kab …like a final benediction to Autumn.
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.”

In Case you missed it, I posted…
on the
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  1. Kathie, great post and photos. The reflections are beautiful. And I love the shot of the geese landing.
    Sending my thoughts and prayers for your mother. Sounds like a real busy time for you, take care.

  2. Kathie, I am so sorry for your mother's troubles and in consequence, yours as well. Thinking about that, it is the first time that I have been glad that you have moved back home much though I loved your posts from Arizona.
    One of course knows that statistically one in three will get cancer, one just hopes it will not strike in one's own family. We have had two strikes in ours.

  3. Hope you mom does well. It's great that you are nearby to be of help. She sounds like a grand lady. Your pictures are wonderful. (The juvenile oriole didnt' return after the snowstorm, but many have been reported since, so maybe he's one of them?? I can only hope!)~karen

  4. Sorry to hear about her illness, but so glad you are able to be there for her. That kind of service represents for me the true Christmas spirit.

  5. Nothing like some time in nature, watching birds to relieve stress. All the best to your mom and to you as well.

  6. A lovely series of photos, I will be thinking of you and your family at this time, not just because my own Mum had BC, but it does mean I understand a little of what you are going through. Take Care

  7. I love the way you relieve stress Kathie. I know it must be a tough time. My thoughts are with you and family.

  8. Eileen, it is very busy and thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers!

    Arija, I am so sorry to hear that cancer has touched your family. It is something I thought and hoped I would never have to deal with. Now I am having to learn about a subject I never wanted to know about. Thank you for your long distance love and thoughts.

    KaHolly, I am glad to be here to help. I hope that we all survive this! Thanks for the news on the oriole.

    Robert, thank you. Sincerely.

    Carole, nature is a healing balm to my soul. I feel the stress leave with each breath I take when I am in the midst of her beauty.

    Gaelyn, thank you also. I may not as many posts up this week. In fact, I will get none unless they are without photos! But, this is one time when family must take precedence over birds.

    Dan, thanks!

  9. I've been thinking of you all Kathie, and sending my prayers to your Mom. Love your photos. Being out in nature is a great stress reliever I find.

  10. Hi Kathie

    I want to wish you and your family all the best you have a lot on your plate. It is good you are close enough to spend time with your mom and still have some time to yourself. It is hard to do this long distance. The photos you posted on the Birds of Christmas were wonderful.


  11. gorgeous pictures!! especially the reflection one...beautiful!! i love them all!

    it's a good thing...for you and your mom, and the little ones running around...that you can be there to help out...give support & love...

    :) have a nice holiday!!

  12. I pray that all goes well with your mother! So much to deal with at one busy time of year. Lovely park shots.


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.