Autumn Reflections

A few weeks ago, my husband had a heart attack.  It was the last thing that we had expected.  He was only slightly overweight and at his last yearly checkup, all his tests had come back perfect.  Thankfully, he is doing well now and we are learning to adapt to a few life-style changes.  Times of crisis tend to cause you to reflect upon and appreciate the good things in your life and the people who are there for you during those times.

“If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.”  ~Mitchell Burgess

A chosen spot

When I first arrived at the boardwalk, I could see this heron at a distance out past the trees.  I thought that my presence might spook him and cause him to fly away.  Instead, to my amazement, I saw him take flight, settling in a spot closer to where I was standing.  As I watched, he casually snatched a couple of tiny fish out of the water.  Then he remained in his chosen spot, watching me as I walked up and down the board walk.

“Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot.”  ~Aristotle

Standing among the duckweed

This spot at the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refugee is one of my favorite places to stand and listen to silence, intertwined with the occasional sweet sounds of nature.

“In mid-wood silence, thus, how sweet to be,
Where all the noises, that on peace intrude
Come from the chittering cricket, bird, and bee,
Whose songs have charms to sweeten solitude.”
~John Clare

Keeping cool

It’s been a hot summer, and these blue dragonflies at Reelfoot Lake were trying to keep cool.  In order to stay cool during hot weather, dragonflies raise their abdomens straight into the air to reduce their exposure to the sun.  They also use their wings to deflect the sun.

“He who keeps his cool best wins.”  ~Norman Cousins

Bird watching

Back in early May, I spotted two birds in the Reelfoot Lake area that I had never photographed before.  The first was an Eastern Kingbird.  Quite a dapper looking fellow, he was sitting in a Cypress tree out in the lake.  I watched for some time as he flew off to snatch insects out of the air and then returned to the comfort of his perch in  the tree.

The other was a Baltimore Oriole sitting in a tree at the State Park.  He and his female companion were busy with the task of nest-building.  Between all the flurry of activity, he seemed to be dutifully guarding the site.  Baltimore Orioles migrate through our area in the springtime, but generally move northward for the summer.

You never know what you’re going to see when you get out in nature, find a quiet spot and take the time to listen and observe.

“Sometimes when we just stand still the grace finds us.”  ~Mary Davis