Tag Archives: nature

Growth in isolation

(Mar 21 3:27 p.m.)

Oh, the places you’ll go after moving to a city with so many stores within walking distance.  And so many firsts.  And not just the Firsts of the day program I attended, such as visiting a fire department and a police department, or the Firsts of the new residence, such as the first snowstorm, or first long power outage.

We’ve had quite a few dumps of snow here.  It’s Maine, after all. (Jan 19 3:08 p.m.)

Or first frozen hard-boiled egg because I put a salad too far back in the fridge; or other more trivial things like first nosebleed, or first ant; it was no April Fools joke to see that a-hole ant in my room the first of this month.

(Mar 5 7:25 p.m.)

But firsts like restaurants I’ve never visited before, from greasy burger joints (sometimes those hit the spot), to a Chinese buffet of many types of food, to a native-Spanish-speaking Mexican restaurant.  My mother and I had gone out less and less over time until it was rare that we ever did, but ever since I moved out, we’ve gone out twice a week, for lunch or a movie.  I’ve now had more pizza and lasagna in months than I had in years.  And on one part of my desk sits a pile of tickets. 🙂

(Jan 14 3:59 p.m.)

Often, we’d walk thru the Mall, and eat at the food court, even if the food we got didn’t come from the court.

(Jan 28 3:26 p.m.)

And… then the economic struggles hit home.  Across the country, stores and whole malls have been struggling for years.

The lights are on, and the room is loud, but the place is nearly empty. (Jan 28 3:31 p.m.)

But never would we guess what would come next.

(Mar 19 2:41 p.m.)

The coronavirus SARS-2 pandemic was the second punch that shuttered the rest and a great deal of U.S. commerce in general. Continue reading Growth in isolation

Cool spring

(May 8 11:30 a.m.)

Spring is already half-over.

(May 18 3:40 p.m.)

Which makes it odd that many of the tree leaves near home are still in early development or just budding, whereas trees in Biddeford and Portland have already bloomed.

(May 17 10:31 a.m.)

Of course, snow makes everything take longer.  (Not to mention, planted trees, flowers and grass are treated differently.)  It’s been cold for May— temperatures in the 40s (°F) versus “normal” numbers in the 60s.

Here are some photos of the progress so far.

(May 4 6:39 p.m.)

The leaves, of course, were buds.

Continue reading Cool spring

Immature, but slowly pushing forward

Early rain. (May 12 7:55 a.m.)

Summer solstice is now only forty days away.  But spring here still has a ways to go.  The birds may be singing, and the seasonal clothes may be lighter, but the leaves and buds are still in their early stages.

A fibrous early start. (May 11 3:40 p.m.)

Soft greens, and even reds, immature plant blooms come in a variety of shapes and colors.  This time the iPhone camera is being used to capture the early state of the budding, particularly the “front porch plant” buds.  (Click a photo to enlarge.) Continue reading Immature, but slowly pushing forward

Final Days of Summer (Part II)

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(Sep 13 4:37 p.m.)

Many of the ducks at Deering Oaks were wise to flee if I got anywhere close.  Large beings… potential predators.

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Blue-winged. (Sep 16 5:35 p.m.)

I watched some of the ducks fly from the hills to the water, gliding in as they landed, I guess using their legs as a source of friction to eventually stop.

According to Boreal Songbird Initiative, mallards (the “most abundant duck in the world”) are a member of the “dabbling duck group”— that is, they “feed by either tipping up or dabbling along the surface, capturing food and straining excess water through the lamellae (small boney tooth-like structures along the sides of its jaw).”

“When field feeding, Mallards generally feed around sunrise and again at sunset; however, in some instances, especially during a full moon, they will feed throughout the night. They will fly up to several kilometers to reach their feeding area, generally a crop field (e.g., corn, peas, barley).”

Friday the 16th was a full moon day… I thought I heard some voices or something outside the house when night fell.  I couldn’t actually tell what the sounds were, to tell the truth.  But back to the park… which wasn’t a crop field.

One mallard wasn’t so afraid of me. Continue reading Final Days of Summer (Part II)

Respect for defenseless animals…even pests

I know I’ve called the mice in the house ‘bastards’ many times.  They are pests, here, unwelcome guests that leave ‘gifts’ everywhere.  Everywhere.

But when you see one dying, it’s another story.  Here’s a brief account of what happened yesterday.

And it is pretty sad.  The poison causes internal bleeding, from what I remember.  Just to see the field mouse go in and out of consciousness…defenseless.  It would otherwise be cute if you didn’t know it has only minutes left on its life.  It unknowingly made its presence known to me by shifting around in the newspapers laid on the floor (the papers—a practice that came with the leaks in the house, and all the water damage…).  Some time later…

It moved on its own, almost willing to get somewhere, but it kept falling asleep.  Low blood oxygen will do that.  Once outside, my mother just turned over the tissue box, where the mouse plopped into the snow.

As an adult who suffers from undiagnosed medical issues and pains every day, I’ve said, I don’t want anyone to suffer.  Now I may have been a little cruel in the past, taking my misery out on other invaders in the house, but not anymore.  Just witnessing the mouse react to the cold, the snow, and drag itself forward, where I knew it would freeze to death—it wasn’t particularly horrific, but it was horrible enough.  So I nudged it back into the box.  It accepted.  Afterward, its breathing became sporadic.

The box was set near the corner of the house away from the back porch.  I checked outside some time later to find the interior of the box wet from splashes of water (it rained Friday).  The mouse was long-dead.  I thought about burying it for a moment, feeble as the thought was.

I take no pleasure in this.  I’d rather it/they not invade the house in the first place.  But once it’s done, it’s done.  Death happens, and life goes on.  Animals don’t understand the concept of death nearly as well as us, but they certainly move on.  Life can happen so fast, too; our bodies kill countless invaders within our blood all day long, where we get zero notification.

So we are all mortal here.  We have to protect ourselves, our family, our property, etc.  But cruelty to animals, even pests?  No.  No, you can count me out.