Murdock, September 2014


91 degrees, mostly sunny


“I can feel the sun now. The bird-chorus has run out of breath.” – Aldo Leopold

In a short walk from my home off of Lamar, one can go from complete urbanization to almost complete isolation in nature. I’m sitting on a white rock that is thankfully very smooth and comfortable, currently observing blue and purple dragonflies lightly touch the surface of a small pond connected to the creek. The water levels are approximately 3-4 feet down from where, it seems, it had been before not long ago. Looking at my feet I see a community of ants anxiously maneuvering on plant limbs in a single-file line, as if they need to get somewhere very important as fast as they can.

Despite the apparent dryness of land and soil, beautiful purple flowers are in full bloom to my left and are doing a little dance with the once-in-a-while (and very relieving) breeze, and I can almost hear them say hello. I look up, sitting under a tree, desperate for shade in this late summer heat, and see the bottoms of the layers of leaves with the sun shining through–my very favorite way to look at a tree. It’s a lovely pattern that almost becomes two dimensional when you close one eye. Unfortunately, the pretty yellow-green of the leaves is accompanied by a charred brown outer edge–suggesting to me that my little friends have been thirsty for a little too long.

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I can hear many birds, and right as I was trying to distinguish between the various chirps and squeaks, I hear a croak at my feet under a shaded rock. Not wanting to disturb his or her shady hideaway, I don’t look to identify it further. But, the birds! Some sound like babies, with sweet tiny calls. Others are deeper and strange. Some silent, simply gliding overhead effortlessly.

I walk a few feet to my left to observe the pond from overhead as the cicadas let out a long release of stress (or that’s what it sounds like to me). The first thing I see is a floating bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos, an eyesore. I look away and see a few tadpoles nearby, making their rounds, and scaring very easily as I dip the bottom of my pencil into the water. I decide to walk away now, very thirsty, and tip-toeing.

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