delithopia

Notes from the Waxhaws

Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Orbis tertius

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I come here to remind myself…that I live on a planet circling a star…in the vast blackness of space. Nothing but sky and sea…with a view into infinity. Life is reduced to its simplest terms. All else fades into insignificance. 

Written by Jim

February 24, 2017 at 6:28 pm

Frost and fire

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After a frozen night…the trees blaze beauty in the warming sun. 

Written by Jim

November 20, 2016 at 8:50 am

October morning

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On a quiet, cool Saturday morning…Sweet Gums are turning outside my window. 

Written by Jim

October 15, 2016 at 8:53 am

A world of dew

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I awoke this morning…cold under the blanket. After what has seemed like an interminably long and hot summer…this felt different. Outside, everything was adorned with silver jewels…caught in the rays of the rising sun. Each dew drop…as Andrew Marvell once pondered…

“Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express The greater heaven in an heaven less.”

Each clinging dew drop…on this cool Carolina morning…reflecting the world around it…and reminding me that we too, are but reflections of something greater…waiting for the warming rays that will soon release us…and return us to our source. 

Written by Jim

October 1, 2016 at 3:15 pm

In alignment

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Shortly before dawn this morning, I ventured out onto the front porch. The planets were in alignment. Mercury was too low in the sky…behind the trees…for me to see. But, plainly visible were Venus…Saturn…Mars, visibly tinged red…and finally, brilliant Jupiter. I heard something scurry through the frost-covered shrubs…and then saw it stop in the open. A rabbit…casting a moonshadow. 

Written by Jim

January 30, 2016 at 2:16 pm

wee folk

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Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
~William Butler Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire

I thought I heard a bit of a commotion during the night. Some garden fairies seem to have taken up residence during the cover of darkness…

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Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I think that people who can’t believe in fairies aren’t worth knowing. ~Tori Amos

Written by Jim

July 12, 2015 at 7:33 am

Night visitors

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This Spring, I created a walking path that wends through the trees and brush on my one-acre lot…leading towards the woods. One day, I happened upon an Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina), who was laboriously scuttling across the path.

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This turtle is a ‘land turtle’, and can live to be over 100 years old…so he may be around here longer than me…if he doesn’t succumb to his most dangerous predator…the automobile. I carefully picked him up to get a better look.

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His plastron (the bottom part of a turtle’s shell), is hinged…allowing the turtle to completely enclose itself for protection, after pulling in its head and legs. The conservation status of the Eastern Box Turtle is threatened and vulnerable…so this one is free to roam my trail whenever he likes.

Seeing this turtle set me to thinking what other wildlife might be in the area.  So…I bought a trail cam and attached it to one of the trees along the path. It has a motion sensor, and can take pictures when it’s dark outside, using a night vision flash. After it was in place for about a week, I removed the SIM memory card and plugged it into my computer to see if I caught anything. My first victim was a small White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)…a doe to be exact.

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This morning, I again retrieved the SIM card to see if I bagged anything else during the week. While I was looking at the pictures…this next one startled me. A rather sinister-looking creature was evidently lurking about in the wee hours of the morning. I’m not sure what the range of the fabled Kentucky Hellhound is…but I’m hoping it hasn’t expanded into these parts.

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