Along Little Indian Creek

DSC_5317Right along Little Indian Creek, in Floyd County, is a park named for Letty Walter. It has a ball diamond, tennis courts, shelter houses and a playground. The creek was running fast from recent heavy rains, and made a beautiful noise like some of its bigger cousins in the Smoky Mountains. That is what it reminded me of, the Smoky Mountains, but the river stones are different. The mountain streams hold large stones, of various hues, rounded by water running and rolling them for eons.

Southern Indiana was formed differently by glaciers pushing south from Wisconsin and Canada. One glacial period after another 20 to 40 thousand years ago pushed minerals, stone and earth further and further south. With each freeze and thaw the glaciers deposited a homogenous mess dragged from the north into Southern Indiana. Central and Northern Indiana are flat, Southern Indiana is blessed with rolling hills, and in Floyd County they call them “Knobs”.

Among the glacial deposits called “till” is a mysterious stone called a geode. They are round and hollow and bumpy like a cauliflower and are found in abundance all around the area and geologists don’t know exactly how they were formed.

Wondering along the shore, head down, in proper rock hound fashion, I began to notice the creek bed was littered with baseball and golf ball sized geodes along with fossils, sand stone and iron ore and hundreds more stone types I don’t even know the names of. There was also litter, shards of sand smoothed glass and pottery, rusted metal and farm debris. It was a visual treasure trove.

My Daddy was a rock hound and my brother and I spent many a weekend rock hunting with Dad. In a frenzy we would run around gathering up geodes like Easter Eggs and pile them into the trunk of Dad’s car. Now days, I am content to pass them over to let someone else find them and discover their mystery. Dad would place them around the flowerbeds at home, and sometimes we cracked them open to discover the crystals inside. I would think they were diamonds, my brother, older and “all grown up”, would tell me how silly I was.

It was a beautiful morning and I had come here to escape a gloomy couple of days and to clear my head. The sun was warm and the bird’s voices filled the air with early spring excitement. The creek roared along, reminding me of other places, and other times. Sycamores, beech trees, cotton wood and cherry trees and the smell of earth all combined to bring me back to earth. As Mosier Knob road unraveled like a soft silky ribbon winding down the hill, I was deposited back into the lowlands renewed.

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Idiot

After yesterday’s beautiful sunshine the world looks grumpy out my window today. There is a thin layer of ice over everything with a powdering of snow on top. The neutral pallet lends a beautiful contrast to the cardinal and house finches fluttering between the shrubs and my feeders. Beyond the road the trees in the park are finely penciled with the ice and snow.

The thermometer is pushing 38o so the dripping and sliding begins. Kiki, the Cat sits on her perch in the kitchen window alternating between trilling at the birds and dozing behind half closed lids.

A perky little Carolina Wren swoops in to the outside sill of the window, just inches from Kiki on the inside. The wren, in its bob and weave fashion, looks as if it is checking out the inside inhabitants, or it just might be shadow boxing with itself in the reflection. Kiki is giving me a sulky annoyed look, oblivious to the wren as I urge her to “Look, look behind you! Look!” but she continues her scowl only at me.

“Idiot”, I tell her, when the bird flies away, I reach out and scratch behind her ears.

Oh, Christmas Tree

Christmas gifts are stowed away, mistakes taken care of and just settling in to decide what I might want to do in the near future. Winter greys are upon us and I have to keep my head above the doldrums onslaught. I have a back garden to plan, annual chores to think about…..

A few weeks ago I thought I would like a dog, so I adopted one from the local Animal Shelter. The dog was beautiful and responded so well to training, but it quickly became apparent this was more of a chore than I really wanted to tackle at this point in my life. Standing outside in the rain at 10 o’clock at night, shoveling dog poo, up at the crack of dawn to tinkle. Total disruption of my simple, quiet life. He didn’t make my heart go pitter-patter. (Pitter-Patter is my time honored indicator that I am in love!) I took him back.

I’m just waiting for the shit to hit the fan when my friends find out . . . . plus analyzing the state of mind that allows me to do such a silly thing in the first place!! Hmmmmmm.

Oh, Christmas Tree – Con’t

When it came time to put up my Christmas Tree this year I didn’t want to. But the family Christmas Eve get together was is at my house, has been for 30 odd years, so I was obligated. I just didn’t have the heart and could not talk my daughter into the act. Seems she had already put up 3 Christmas trees already! Geeze.

I am a self aware kind of person, I asked myself, what’s with this? Seasonal depress, age depression, no children around the tree? Hummphf. Seems a little of all three, so push your ass through it!
And I did.

I love my family! I am so blessed to have so many cool people in my family. From Rachael to Uncle “Bean” and everyone in between, what a spectrum of wonderful people. I’m so blessed they want to spend a few hours with me every Christmas Eve.

Thank you, Lord!

New Autumn

The trees have started to turn and a few have taken “the fall”. As if on schedule the dreaded starlings have swooped in to my front yard. Saturday morning in my favorite window watching the invited birds, wondering how to twarth the uninvited ones.
This week I experienced “flashes and floaters” in my left eye, my first day on the floor at my new part time job, concern I might have to euthenize my cat Kiki, and once again getting my foot stuck in my mouth and almost causing a family hail storm.
My eye doctor assured me the flashes and floaters were a normal part of aging. That’s a bitch…..
Kiki got loose a week or so ago and injured her right hind leg. She wasn’t better, so I took her back for exrays to determine what our options were. I am to give her steroids for 21 days and see if she gets better. One week seeing her writhe in pain was awful and if there was no hope she would get better I didn’t have the heart to make her suffer any longer. But the vet assures me this could take a month to get better. So……
My nephew Brian passed away in March unexpectedly. In the confusion and haste there was a snafu regarding two songs to be played at the funeral: Imagine by John Lennon or I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me. I think both of them are spiritual in their own different ways but when you are expecting one and the other plays it can be devastating at a time like that. Hoping to make my brother feel better I found the appropriate music and planned to visit the grave site with him to play it. I tried to explain what I wanted to do to my niece at lunch, and didnt explain myself very well. Next thing I know her husband calls and wants to straighten things out….nothing to straighten out, I just explained myself BADLY because we both started tearing up, in a public place.
GEEZE. I have often said if I tried to make a mess of things on purpose I couldn’t do a better job than what I screw up by accident…..

Hummers – Itty-Bitty Pritty

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We only have one variety of hummingbird here in Southern Indiana, but what they lack in diversity they make up for in itty-bitty cuteness.  They weigh .11 ounces, a massive wing span of ….. 4.5″!  Compare that to the bald eagle’s 7 foot wing span who weighs in at 9 lbs.

I had no visitors early in the year, probably because there was lots of natural food for them, but last week I saw one buzz my seed bird feeder, so I scrubbed down my hummer feeder, made the 1 to 4 sugar to water syrup and hung the thing up.  The ants attacked first then the honey bees. Hummers are so small the bees ran them off!

I spent several days researching what to do about the ants and bees.  Oil.

I use motor oil on my seed feeder post to slow down the squirrels so I slathered that on the hummer’s post and the ants slogged to a halt. Too thick to traverse! (How’s that for allegation?!) I didn’t want to harm the bees so I used a mixture of vegetable oil and peppermint flavoring. Who knew! bees don’t like minty freshness!  (You can also smash fresh mint leaves on the feeder to get rid of them if you have it.) 

This is one of the first pictures I took once I got the others out of the way.  I know they will be stoking up soon for their bizillion mile trek to warmer climates and I will keep the feeder full until they go.  They are such amazingly tiny creatures sometimes I could sit and watch them all day long!

 

 

Pets

We make such big places in our hearts for our pets, the love is pure and unfettered by all that baggage we humans put on one another. I know that we humans understand where they went, but I always wonder, do the dogs/cats? Do they grasp the concept to death and grief, especially how in our domestic lives we protect them from the whole “pack” life/death experience. I know they are way smarter than we give them credit for and I have no idea how to make them feel better, especially if I am hurting at the same time.

I do know if I am crying, my cat climbs into my lap and onto my shoulder. I know that simple gesture tells me something about the two of us. She makes me feel better, does that go both ways? I think so. I hope so.

I guess as they are comforting us we are comforting them. Finding the new norm, getting through it. Can’t get over it. Can’t eradicate them from our hearts and minds. I guess for a dog or cat you can’t completely eradicate their scent either. There used to be a pet medium on TV and she convinced me that our pets are still with us. Which might explain my cat’s strange behavior from time to time! I like to think that is true.

I am so sorry for the loss you and your family has had. I know you have a big big heart and you will find a way to fill the big hole your dog has left.

But don’t linger in the hurt too long, remember the joy and love and laughs your dog brought and step into the light when the time is right.