Several years ago I had the pleasure of visiting Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, Florida. It’s a beautiful botanical garden with a mile and a half walk through various gorgeous exhibits, but the thing that caught my eye, the one thing I could not get out of my mind, was a bottle tree. The bottle tree was made out of the large stump of a tree that had long ago died. The bottles were mounted on pieces of rebar that had been placed into holes drilled into the old stump. Continue reading
I took the long way home last night after work because the highway was at a standstill. I actually prefer the long way because it’s a very scenic drive that winds along the Blue Mountain Range in Central Pennsylvania. Because the road follows the mountains, there are many blind curves and hills so I try to be careful because you never know what may be just around the corner or over the next knob.
As I came around a corner last night, a fawn, still sporting its white spots, jumped out of the woods to run across the road. I hit the brakes and slowed down, but the pickup truck, coming from the other direction, had no time to do so and hit the fawn head on. The impact caused the fawn to fly through the air sideways before landing on the road and spinning in circles across the pavement, coming to a stop just in front of my Jeep. As I swerved around its body, I saw two clumps of white fur floating down through the air towards the road.
Because of where I live I am used to seeing deer; they are everywhere and deer getting hit by vehicles is common. I’ve been in a cars that have hit deer and I see dead deer along the roads daily. But as I drove away from the dead fawn last night, I started to get tears in my eyes; the whole thing was so incredibly sad. I couldn’t help but think of the fawn’s mother who probably witnessed the whole thing and my heart broke for her. I’ve seen it many times, the doe crosses the road first; the fawn follows a short while later. Had the mother waited a few more seconds to cross; or had the fawn gone a few seconds earlier or later, he would have made it. Sometimes, five seconds can be the difference between life and death.
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I had been sound asleep because it was the middle of the night – just after two a.m. – when suddenly, I was wide awake and very confused. I thought I had heard a noise; a very loud noise. But as I lay there with my eyes open, listening, all I heard was the sound of the crickets through the open sliding glass door of my bedroom. But suddenly it came again, WHOOO-WHOOO-WHOOO. It was the loudest owl I have ever heard in my life. Then, way off in the distance, I heard another owl answer it, whooo- whooo- whooo, which caused the loudest owl to grace the planet to respond WHOO-WHOO-WHOO. Seriously, I had never in my life heard an owl that was so loud. At first, I thought it was fascinating, even funny, lying there listening to the two owls converse. But after an hour I didn’t think it was so funny; I couldn’t fall back asleep. Every time I’d start to drift off, I’d be awakened again by the loud WHOOO-WHOOO-WHOOOing of the owl. To try to drown out the noise, I closed the sliding glass door. But I could still hear it so I put the television on and when that didn’t drown out the noise, I put a pillow over my head. Eventually, all got quiet and I fell back asleep. Continue reading
My husband Steve and I have been going to Long Beach Island, New Jersey with our friends Joey and Betsy every summer for the past twenty-five years. Because we go to the same place every year, we know it well. Long Beach Island is an 18 mile long barrier island that is filled with little towns; there are no sky-scraper hotels or boardwalks. It is a family friendly island filled with beach houses, parks, marinas and shops. Continue reading
A few seconds after the doorbell rang my son Aaron knocked on the bathroom door, “Mom, there’s a state cop at the door”.
Although it was only the middle of October and not yet seven o’clock in the evening, I had been taking a bath because I was cold. “I’ll be right there,” I said, trying to keep the panic out of my voice. Continue reading