Florida’s Fall

Just yesterday the geckos were
still hunting their night prey
under the illumination of the
porch light along the front
of the house. Before they can
shy away, I catch sight of them
flattened against the upper wall
high above the red, front door.

Just yesterday, I spied two toads
as I cleared away some weeds and
brush from plantings out front.

Just yesterday there were bees
buzzing around a small crop
of wildflowers that had bloomed
and formed an oasis of color
without any seeding from me.

Just yesterday a small mouse was
caught on the bird feeder;
determined, he stayed put as I
slowly approached. We eyeballed
each other until his nerves folded
and he scampered up and away
through the boughs of the ligustrum.

Just yesterday the roses were in full
blossom, red, pink, nearly white and
yellow stretching their thorny branches
against the wall and up the arbors that
help support their lanky, heavily
budded limbs.

Just yesterday, the bushy-tailed,
elusive fox was spotted fishing a frog
from the overflowed ditch that runs
behind all the houses. He paused long
enough that I could watch for a few short
minutes and then he vanished under cover
into the wooded, overgrown lot next door.

Just yesterday I came across the black
racer, moving quickly across my path,
eager to hide and disappear into the
wide hedge that lines the sidewalk.

Just yesterday the Mockingbird couple
chattered back and forth until one took
up its singing and the other chimed in
with quick chirps of admiration.

Just yesterday the humidity was at almost
saturation point, it might as well have been
rain that dampened my skin and frizzed my
hair. The afternoon thunderstorm cooled
the temperature but only added to the
heaviness of the air, the only relief–indoors.

But today the humidity has dropped and there’s
a slight chill during the early morning hours.
The sunlight has dimmed slightly and its heat
isn’t as fierce as it has been for several months.
There’s an almost imperceptible change afoot
perhaps only noticed by those who have
lived in these parts for decades…yes, fall has
arrived, I’m sure of it.

Join me at dVerse Poets Pub for Open Link Night.  Choose any one poem that you would like to share.

Small Stones # 18 and # 19

I pass a group of six Sandhill Cranes
standing in the front yard of a
house on my way home from
watching the baby all day.
Majestic, dignified birds,
tall, gray, with long slender necks
and those patches of bright
red feathers on their heads.
I never get tired of seeing these
incredible viewings of nature.

Photo of Sandhill Cranes:  Google Images

Four Red-Bellied Woodpeckers
fly up into a neighbor’s tree,
one makes a swooping flight
into our yard towards the
bird feeder. We see one
visiting the feeder everyday.

Photo of Red-Bellied Woodpecker:  Google Images

My Small Stones for yesterday and today for the Mindful Writing Challenge:  http://www.writingourwayhome.com/

Red-Shouldered Hawk–Setting and Description

Drying my hands on the vintage-style towel, I left the kitchen with dinner’s simmering, potato leek soup on the stove,  sending curlicues of steamy aroma into the air, and headed toward the bedroom to make the bed.  A mundane chore but one I did daily…I couldn’t stand a rumpled bed. 

Passing through the living room, I asked my husband if he would keep an ear out for a “boil over”.

“Richard, could you keep an eye on the soup for me; I’ll be back in a few minutes.”  He was sitting on the sofa scanning the day’s newspaper while keeping one ear tuned to the news on the television. 

“Sure,” he mumbled absentmindedly. 

The newscaster’s voice trailed behind me as I headed down the hall…”Another homicide victim discovered…” 

As I entered the bedroom, my eyes followed the path from the sliding glass door to the birdfeeder hanging under the Bay Laurel tree. A small gasp escaped and my eyes widened at the sight of the Red-Shouldered Hawk standing beneath the feeder.  Even though I’ve seen them numerous times, their sheer size and impressive vocals always astonish me. Positioning myself on the edge of the bed, after quickly making it, I had a clear view to watch her every move.

She stood nearly a foot and a half tall, her yellow and black, hooked beak and quick, black eyes were standard for this species of hawk.  I identified her further by the ruddy brown on the breast and shoulders and the barred tail.  The females are larger than the males and I was sure that this large one must be a female.  I studied her for ten minutes, lost in fascination, while she casually groomed herself… until I heard Richard calling me.

“Where are you, what are you doing!” 

“I’m coming,” I shouted, jumping up and hurrying towards the living room.  “Wait until I tell you what I just saw!”

Write2Day–Setting and Description:  http://liv2write2day.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/write2day-setting-and-description/

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