Today I meander the winding, rolling country roads near our home trying to find the perfect spring photo. My photography skills are a bit sketchy. There’s no guarantee that finding the perfect shot will translate into me taking the perfect shot… but I try.
I park opposite a family farm, scanning the landscape for an eye-catching scene. Nothing! Well, almost nothing. I glance across the road as I get into my car. Some curious creatures stare at me cow-eyed, quite literally. Their ears pitch forward as their gazes fix on me in wonderment. They are perfectly still. Well, almost perfectly still. They chew their cud incessantly, contemplating my intrusion on their usual view. I snap a picture.
Today I take the scenic route home, twisting along Nottleson Road. Rolling farmland stretches across the valley on one side, while tree-decked hills tower on the other. This is terminal moraine country, where glaciers made their last stand when the world was young. They retreated, dumping all the rubbish they’d been dragging along. The woodlands are littered with boulders and stones, mostly pink granite.
Today the cardinal sings with rich fervor in the nearby spruce, his red feathers flaming against the fprest green backdrop. Two chickadees call cheerily to one another from their hidden treetop homes. A beakside down nuthatch gives several little nasal grunts as it busies itself with a corn kernel it’s wedged into the tree bark. A pileated woodpecker gives a trilled fly-by call on its way to some solitary place. These big pterodactyl-type birds seem to be very shy. Somewhere in the distance a hawk’s raspy cry pierces the atmosphere.
Today I step out of my dark basement into brilliant sunshine. A breeze playfully pushes my hair into my eyes. I brush it away just in time to see a shadow cast over me. I quickly glance up. A bald eagle glides directly overhead, flying so low I feel as if I could reach out and touch him. I watch as he swiftly rides the wind across the river and into the red pines.
The first verse that often comes to my mind at an eagle sighting is Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up on wings as eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Great verse! (Which is why I throw it in even though it has nothing to do with my thoughts for today.) Interestingly enough, that is not the one God brings to mind. What God immediately brings to mind is Psalm 63: 6-7, “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.”
Today tiny icicles hang from the swing-set like clear beads dangling from a lampshade. Every tree, every fence post, every rooftop shimmers like glass. On a nearby hill, the tall, slender white pines bow toward a stand of silverstruck maples. They take up a graceful dance to the wind’s eerie music. They clatter like a string of Christmas lights hitting the hardwood, their limbs encased in icy coats. I don’t ever recall seeing or hearing anything quite like it. It is both intriguing and eerie. I wonder how many branches will break under the weight of the unwanted burden.