The diversity and abundance of so many unique and beautiful wild neighbors, to me, begs the question, is it possible to be blessed so lavishly that the gift is taken for granted, under-appreciated, and disregarded as nothing too special? ...to say that, its no big deal because its just the way things are. But the way things are in this northern hardwood forest is a special gift indeed! In addition, as much as I appreciate it these insects and birds who reside here likely do even more!
Pausing for a moment to appreciate a yellow-belled sapsucker systematically harvesting the sweet flow of a sugar maple, a common sight here in mid- April, I thought to myself, one does not have to know all there is to know about a particular field of study to engage in wildlife identification. Part of the joy of sauntering in any wild space is the experience of making the acquaintance with new neighbors, and getting to know old neighbors better. This is a discipline for the novice as well as the professional, that, thank God, never ends.
My attention captured by the call of a flock of crows, I fixed my gaze high above the waters of Pine Creek where a raven is mobbed by crows over flowing waters between steep canyon walls while an eagle ascends spiraling heavenward on broad wings. It is so good to be here today.
Upon arriving at the confluence of Pine Creek and Pinafore Run I made my way about 50 yards off the trail. Pinafore run was flowing strongly; water turning white where it cascades over around and between the boulders that fill this ravine. Next to these cold flowing waters, I crouched among the brown leaves and green stems for a better look at those wild neighbors who I came here to see.
Greetings to you, sharp-lobed hepatica, the one with fuzzy stems, pointy-lobed leaves, and petals of varied pastel tones; your happy blooms that quiver in the gentle breeze inspire in my heart thankfulness for you and praise to the Spirit Divine who made us all. Thank you.
To all my wild neighbors who've welcomed me here, for whom I am deeply grateful, thank you.