Day Twenty-four, NaPoWriMo

That’s what I started out with, but then I sat looking over a little pond, thinking I might be painting or sketch-booking or something. Instead I fished my binoculars out of the trunk and sat watching a pair of blue herons building a big nest way up in a tree. There were lots of smaller birds and a handful of canadian geese too.

A heron slides past,
into the pines, some miracle
slicing air between branches
He returns, stick
held out enticing
Taking, she places,
he rearranges,
another gift and another
careful chosen, flown,
offered and offered up
shaggy plumage shifting
She leans her curves
against his solidity
above the growing nest
waiting patiently each time
for the return, the gift,
the hopeful placement
the careful adjustment
the inevitable eggs
the unstoppable departures.

There was some serious lopping after writing that one, hey it happens. All you people and you know who you are who ask – does it need that ‘the’ – can smile now.

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Day Ten, NaPoWriMo

Yes it was snowing again this morning.

The front yard fills up
with the early arrivals
grounded, bedraggled,
doubting themselves,
hoping for better.
They get more
sunflower seeds instead.
They scuffle nonchalantly
in the April snow,
all beaks toward May.

Monday in New Zealand

I’m writing you, gentle reader, from the Interislander Ferry as it bears Marge and me back to the North Island. It’s a great way to pass a few hours, have a bite of dinner, a drink, a cuppa and do a little reading and writing.

I’ve been flying the colors for NaNoWriMo today and have been reading my story so far. Made a few editorial changes but I’ve really been enjoying it. Come November first I want to dive into finding out the rest of the story.

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Today started out rainy and it spit rain here and there all along the way. We got back to Murchison in time for a bit of lunch and then back to Picton in time to see Marge’s friends before heading off to the ferry. You can see the photos from my phone today starting here:

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Of note was seeing a Weka, a large flightless bird who was visiting with one of the young women stopping traffic at one of the 23 construction stops we encountered along the way.

When all comes to all, the most precious element in life is wonder. Love is a great emotion, and power is power. But both love and power are based on wonder. — D. H. Lawrence

Monday in NZ

You can see some of today’s photos by clicking here, or always at the link at upper right:

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Today we went to a quilt exhibit at Our Lady’s Home of Compassion, as well as an exhibit about one of the sisters, Suzanne Aubert, who is now considered “Venerable” in the Roman Catholic Church and who it is hoped will become New Zealand’s first saint.

Then it was off to lunch – and a wonderful lunch it was – chicken pate with a beet relish and ample ciabatta… mmmm. And a glass of cider and a flat white (aka coffee) to finish.
Marge had a twice baked goat cheese souffle, wine and a brownie.

We ended the day by going for a walk at Zealandia. What a treat – lots of bird calls and songs, a tuatara and birds!

The Little Close Encounter

Go out into the woods they say. Commune with nature they say. Draw strength from all beings. Yeah. Well sometimes you go into the woods, think deep thoughts and write a big book. Othertimes you go for a walk and stuff happens.

I thought I’d record some of the beautiful bird songs Tuesday so I used my phone. I was almost instantly sorry I wasn’t video recording. As soon as I hit the record button of course all the birds stopped singing, so I take a few steps toward the birds I can see and hear…

The next thing that happens is two birds tumbling through the air together whooped down on me out of nowhere and continued on their way. Whether they were enjoying what we called in Zoology Class a ‘cloacal kiss’ or were joined in a turf war I didn’t get a chance to find out.

What’cha been doin’?

I’m waiting for the paints to set up in my new travel palette. What colors? Hansa Yellow Light, Quinacridone Red, French Ultramarine, Indigo, Sap Green, Hooker Green, Burnt Sienna, Sepia. All Daniel Smith except the sepia which is Winsor Newton.

And through circumstances too difficult to explain, I ended up with a wad of my own hair from combing and brushing and set it out for the birdies to use as nesting materials. A tufted titmouse got right to work on that.

NaPoWriMo Day Seventeen Haiku Day

Happy International Haiku Day!

Determined flying
Beaks slice frothy morning clouds
Springward northward bound

Faceted glinting
Restless metamorphosis
Springs up, vanishes. 

Out of night’s quiet
And still, sleepy murmuring 
The first bird’s clear note.