On Sodom Pond

Postcards from rural Vermont

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First solo on my 20-speed, to the fire station and back.

The wood ducks weren’t home, only a blackbird on an old cattail.

And white-bellied dragonflies, creatures who, like acrobats in aspic, peel themselves free for their 100-day flight.

Ferns were meeting secretly in the forest. May 31 017

A possom lay in the road, unseeing but as if it still might rise to finish its journey to the other side.

A caterpillar was dashing...to where?

Old corn became new corn. May 31 012

Dinner plates were shelved from the raven’s last tea party. May 31 015


May 31 010

And the plant stork delivered this baby rhododendron to the front lawn. She is pink and healthy and attracting lots of admirers already.

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Wet woods

In a drizzle, we went walking. We saw more wild things. Some are blooming, some are past bloom and readying for seed and fruit. We saw all this in about an hour. (Soundtrack: light patter on leaves. Lights: dim with occasional halos of light. Scent: sweet balsam.)

May 23 014  Aronia. (Ahem…mi-mi-mi-mi…)

May 23 016Wild raspberry. (En garde!)

May 23 018Canada mayflower, or false lily of the valley. (Don’t tell anyone you saw us.)

May 23 021 Jelly fungus. (Touch me, I’m soft.)


May 23 030 Star flower. (Ta da!)

May 23 032 Goldfinger (I mean Goldthread….

May 23 035 …see?)

May 23 044 Solomon’s seal (Beware counterfeits.)

May 23 046 Foam flower. (You should see the other guy.)

May 23 049 Interrupted fern. (It’s in this year.)

May 23 050Yellow rocket. (Taste my leaves!)

May 23 061 Turkey tail

May 23 066 Jack-in-the-pulpit. (Hey! But I’m still in my pajamas!)

May 23 076 May 23 078 New balsam. (Each branch gift-wrapped.)

May 23 091 Sphagnum moss.

May 23 098 Lichens. (Toupee, anyone?)

May 23 099Ground pine (Its spores used to be dried to make flash powder for photography.)

May 23 100 Fungus. (This is what you call organic listening.)

May 23 104Crabapples. (Oh, yes we are.)




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May 20 004

Today, when the pit of doom struck–overwork, money woes, creative stall, depression–I headed outside.

The far too many business calls and emails fell away, the noise in my head silenced. It was only me and the peepers and the blackbirds. I had only enough time to walk to the edge of the meadow, where I found this small arm of apple blossoms amid a tangled thicket. It was enough.

Today’s walk was not practical. But it was necessary.

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Wild Apples

May 17 012The frost has not shaken the apple.

They dot the hills of new green like the heads of white-haired giants lying down for a nap.

Unfurled petals are tissue pink and veiny, like the back of a baby’s ear.

They announce, I am growing!

I have not combed my hair. My limbs are untrained.

But see my shape. I am elegant, civilized, beautiful,even.



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In good company

First walk outside today since being sick. Many blossoms fallen after the frost last night. Who can blame them? Lots in bloom, including the blueberries. I brought inside several fistfuls of wildflowers to press so I can draw them later. As I headed inside, a blackbird shot overhead and I thought, I always have company here. A younger me would have cried out about country life, What ever happens there? Today, I say, What isn’t happening here?

May 14 007Ultrasound reads healthy baby pea.

May 14 010Riot under the tractor wheel.

May 14 015Bee yoga. Good for the digestive tract.