Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Planning the garden.
No bugs, no weeds, perfection.
Optimism reigns.

After Christmas

Bill and I extended our Christmas  celebration with a trip to Paris...Paris, TN, that is. We met David & Trisha, Laura, Mike, Claire and Amanda at a cabin at Paris Landing State Park. The weather was dreary, but spirits were sunny. Wednesday afternoon we took a wet drive through the Elk and Bison Prarie in Land-between-the-Lakes Park. It was thrilling to see the animals up close from our car. They were peacefully grazing just a few yards from the road, not bothered by our presence.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tennessee Sandhill Cranes

By thousands they come
Hiwassee winter refuge
Sandhill sanctuary

Yesterday (12/23) we visited the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge for the first time. This area, near Cleveland, Tennessee, is managed for waterfoul and thousands stop over on their migrations. Thousands of Sandhill Cranes spend the winter here and thousands of others stop over to refuel on their flight to Florida. My little camera cannot do them justice. We were surrounded on all sides by these magnificent birds and the sound of their bugling was magical. For more information: Tenn Watchable Wildlife

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lunch at Laura's

Oven-warm, homemade bread
Spicy peach jam, taste of summer
Feed body and soul.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day

Host of cardinal
Feast with nuthatch and titmouse.
Proclaim the season!

At my feeders and trees today:
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Cardinal - male and female
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Chickadee
Chipping Sparrow
Eastern Bluebird
Rufous-sided Towhee
Mourning Dove
Song Sparrow

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December's breath

December arrived
With frozen breath, darkened days,
Too much cold for me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Majesty, November 25

Royal purple gold
Celebration majesty
Sunset for the gods.

False Promise, November 24

Brightly dawn arrives
With false promise for late fall.
Winter is looming.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Spashed with purple hue
Tended but by nature's hand
Golden fields of fall.

October At the Beach

Rolling crashing waves
Threatening colors stain the sky
Beach before the storm

Amanda runs fast
Eyes sparkling and arms pumping
Racing the waves

Claire shoveling sand,
Collecting shells, jumping waves,
Always on the move

Like a graceful gull
Spirit soars upon the wind.
Sea and self converge.

Early morning calm
Holding promise for the day.
Promises fulfilled.

We're dolphin hunting
Cruising down Cotton Bayou
Hoping for a glimpse.

Still the heron waits,
Watching, anticipating movement.
The sea will provide

The redfish are running,
Glinting gold in deep blue-green,
Darting, turning, dive.

Monday, September 13, 2010

September Days

Fog drenched morning
Becomes ceruleun noon
Becomes star-specked night

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Chapter - RVing

This week we began what may be a new chapter in our lives together. We bought an RV. It is used (of course), and very compact. Just the right size for a couple. We can carry a larger group for a day trip, but it sleeps just two. Haven't planned the first trip yet, but it will be a short one. Any suggestions?

Existential Fishing

Fishing is excuse.
Observing, waiting hoping:
Being is the game.

Last Tuesday evening the air finally had a hint of cool and the lake was abandoned to us. We caught a few small ones and saw a bald eagle. Altogether a very successful outing.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Farm Girls

Family project
Planning, building, gathering
Chickens home to roost.
Gathering eggs
Maude the Hen

Portable Pen

Fresh grass

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Gardens

St. Fiacre guards
Garden beauty his domain
Peace his legacy.

Garden is Shalom
Holiness made incarnate
Labors own reward.

It has been more than two weeks since I've paused to make a post. The gardens - vegetable, fruit and flower - have consumed my energy. July and August are the most challenging months in the garden because of the heat. Even so, my pantry, freezer and spirit are filled with garden bounty. Next week: apples and planting fall greens if the weather cooperates. For more information about St. Fiacre, visit  Dave's Garden.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hickory Creek Cove

Mist rises slowly
Over water smooth as glass.
Morning paddlers dream

Mom and Pop tag team
Back and forth with tasty treats,
Bluebirds feed their young.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

North Fork of the Holston

A week ago Bill and I spent the weekend with friends who have a farm outside Abingdon, Va. Their property is bounded by the North Fork Holston River and Brumley Creek. We spent two hours kayaking down the river, taking out at their property. A storm upsteam had muddied the river, but improved the flow. It was our first trip on moving water. We had a great weekend.

The Ride

Rain Swollen river
Carries us joyfully down,
Riding rocky waves.
River Guide

Heron leads the way,
Flying ahead then pausing,
Guiding us homeward.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Drama at Breakfast

A delightful drama played outside our breakfast window this morning. From her perch at the window, Kali cat had noticed the rabbit in his usual spot in the yard. She asked to go out and was soon stalking her prey, imagining herself to be the white tiger for whom she is named. We watched as she carefully approached the rabbit, tail twitching slightly. Meanwhile, the deer who had been enjoying fallen apples nearby noticed the activity and came to investigate, ears forward and a curious look on her face. She slowly circled behind the rabbit and came between the two, keeping her eyes on the cat. The rabbit seized the opportunity and bounded toward cover under the wisteria. The deer cautiously stepped forward and then back, uncertain about the cat crouched low in the grass. Suddenly Kali made a break for the deck and resumed her stance under the picnic table. The deer, having come so close to the house, looked around and tasted the white clover. It was good. She moved forward to explore the bird feeder, lingering long enough for me to get my camera and take a few shots through the glass door. What a great start to the day!

The Doe

Cautious and alert
Curious doe approaches,
Unthreatened at home.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gulf Coast Images

I began writing haiku on an annual spring fishing trip to the Ala/Fla gulf coast, to Perdido Key, Fla. I share my images of the gulf coast to bring contrast to the images I see on TV today. The coastal waters and marshes are a treasure beloved by millions, those who make their life and living there, and those like my family who visit there as often as possible.

Images from Pensacola Pass, Intracoastal waterway and Gulf Island National Seashore near Perdido Key, Florida, March 2007:

Shimmering, splashing,
Thrashing, rolling, flashing fin,
Leaping, diving, gone!

The Catch
Feel sun and cool breeze.
Watch birds soar and fish feed.
Catch just one...Enough.
Empty beach, white sand
As far as the eye can see,
Recreate spirit.

Grand Isle, Louisiana, 2005-2006:

We had several great seasons fishing at Grand Isle, La. Then Katrina destroyed the fish camp we rented from friends and significantly damaged the island. The resilient people built back. The current man-made disaster will be more difficult to overcome. The images below are from 2005 and 2006. Eddie worked the rigs and loved to fish.  He put us on some great speckled trout. I wonder what he is doing now.

Orange Beach, Alabama is our favorite vacation spot. We typically go there twice a year and hope to spend more time there in retirement.  The debris in the photo below is natural, unlike that which is washing up today. As I observed in 2008:

Beach Debris

Scattered debris of
Broken shells, remnants of life
So fragile and brief.

I  have faith that eventually, life will win out and nature will heal. Someday again, the sea will provide for those on the gulf coast.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chimney Top

Ascend the mountain
One foot after another.
Achieve the summit.

Our annual group hike took us up Chimney Top in the Smokies. I thought I could make it, but wasn't sure. I haven't attempted anything that physically challenging in a long while. I'm glad I tried and pleased that I made it. Twenty-five years ago it wasn't the same challenge.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Mountain hike reward
Elkmont fireflies on display.

I have just returned from a night hike near Elkmont Campground in the Smokies. A group of friends went up to see the unique firefly display of synchronous flashing. It was something that can hardly be described, but must be experienced. A firefly lightshow accompanied by mountain stream music. It was well worth the damp, dark trek up and down. No pictures in the dark, just those that linger in memory.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer Storm

Dark before the storm,
Air still with expectancy
Awaiting cleansing.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Flower Chains

Summer innocence
Little girls and flower chains
Round the world the same.


Summer night frog song
Chorus repeated tirelessly
Lullaby for sleep.

A friend has recently challenged me to record my frog sounds and include with the post. I'm working on that project.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


King Rana Bullfrog
Teaching stillness and patience
Waiting by the pond.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Roses

Happy Mother's Day. I have a red climbing rose that begins to bloom on around Mother's Day every year. It reminds me of the tradition of wearing a red rose to church on Sunday if your Mother was living and a pink rose if your Mother was not living. We always picked our roses from the wild ones growing along the fence. I no longer follow that tradition, but I remember it every year and honor my Mother in my heart. In 2008 I wrote a series of 3 poems about the rose.

Promise in the bud
Of great beauty yet to come,
Glory unfulfilled.

Promise in the flower
Of sweet perfume that lingers,
Holding memories.

Promise in the fruit
Of ripened maturity,
Leads to life again.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Wisteria drips
Sweet perfume and purple bloom.
God's extravagance!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lost Week

For a week I have not breathed the fresh air, smelled the sweet perfume of spring blooms, heard the chirping of birds, felt the warmth of sun on skin or seen the glory of spring days. For a week I have been in the hospital fighting a blood infection. Today, after 5 nights and most of 6 days, I am home sitting on the deck recouping. It feels like heaven. The doctors, nurses and staff did their part admirably in providing the right care at the right time. Laura was faithful to cheer me and her homemade tea and bread sustained me when I could not manage the hospital food. Bill was my rock and comforter. The smothie he made me every morning nourished my body and his quiet presence, attentive to my needs, nourished my spirit. The concern and prayers of my family and friends enabled me to look ahead to better days. Thank you all for the part you played in my recovery. And thanks be to God for his ever-present care.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Break Continues

We enjoyed Claire and Amanda for a sleep-over and we all enjoyed playing outside.
April is also the time for dogwoods and redbuds and blooms of all kinds. Sometimes the weather is just right and everything blooms at once.

Redbud Smile
Redbuds peeking out
Beneath forest canopy
Purple smiles of spring.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 6

Sometimes all the elements fall into place. Working in the garden, observing birds, kayaking with Laura, Claire, Amanda and Bill, and doing a little fishing with the girls. What a day! Record high temp made us think late June instead of April. We have been gardening in the same location since 1975. Much has changed over the years even as there has been a constancy. My garden meditation:

Told in four stanzas
Repeated year after year
My garden poem.