Late August Reflections 2020

Squirrel guarding his garden – August 28, 2020

These old bones of mine are carrying less weight

though my heart grows heavier each day

broken open by a world of suffering

from losses, confusion, and catastrophes

Yet there are moments of wonder

in the most unlikely of places

A doe munching sunflower seeds

from the perfectly positioned bird feeder

undisturbed by floodlights last night

as the motion detector on my porch triggers

when I emerge from my side door

She briefly acknowledges my presence with a gaze,

and rotates her amazing ears when I speak softly

to let her know she has nothing to fear

When she’s had her fill of seeds, she bends down

and selectively samples the offerings

from the neglected garden below

and quietly disappears behind old trucks

into the brush by a stream

that surfaces just here in this neighborhood

before it goes underground on its journey

to share its water with the superior lake in the east


Who would believe a tiny open field

in an urban neighborhood

could host a never-ending variety of visitors –



skunks, rabbits, pigeons, crows, squirrels, and songbirds

while the music of crickets fills the air

welcoming the imminent arrival of autumn

Squirrel savoring what the doe left behind



27 thoughts on “Late August Reflections 2020

  1. The king of his domain. They have so much personality. Thank you for sharing and providing a moment of escape. We saw our first squirrel show up in our neighborhood this year. Probably do you to the new bird feeder I put out. The squirrel was brazen. Three of our cats surrounded him/her at which time it was made clear he did not like being disturbed at lunch.. The cats licked their prideful wounds and returned to their places of slumber.. wishing you a wonderful weekend my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Ray, and for sharing your delightful experiences with your new bird feeder! Squirrels are indeed brazen when it comes to their commanding defense of food sources. I have watched them grab little green tomatoes, and baby squashes and cucumbers. This year, though, they left a present in return – a huge sunflower that grew from one of the seeds they buried in the tomato garden!

      Sending my best wishes to you, dear friend. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, Neil, it’s so good to hear from you! Thank you for sharing your thoughtful observations about the presence of our animal friends even in built-up urban environments. For me, they are a never-ending source of wonder and amusement, although I admit I made a hasty retreat from a skunk a few evenings ago when she eagerly approached me in the twilight hours.

      Sending my best wishes to you! 💜

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Bob. Squirrels here tend to be well-fed, although this year there seem to be fewer of them. In other years, they have harvested tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers before I could get to them. This year they have focused on bird feeders!

      Sending my best wishes to you, dear friend. 💜


  2. Beautifully written, Carol. I often see these same creatures in my suburban yard (except for skunks, of which I see enough of the human variety to make up for the absence of wild ones). 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Mister Muse, and for adding adding a touch of your delightful humor. (Honestly, I prefer real skunks more than I do the human stinkers.)

      Sending my best wishes to you. 💜

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful post, Carol. You honor the wonderful creatures who live in places we don’t and I feel they know they are safe with you. These sentiment beings read our energy…and know us often better than we know ourselves. Wishing you well, my friend. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This year Tubularsock’s garden produced so many tomatoes that Tubularsock LET the squirrels have their share rather than running them off.

    The first time Tubularsock had two tomato plants grow 7’ tall. Each of them produced enough tomatoes to feed most of India! But because of tomato jet lag Tubularsock gave them to all the neighbors instead.

    The rest of the garden over did itself as well and Tubularsock attributes all this to the Covid shut down. Way less pollution ….. both air and noise. So much so that the birds started up singing in the morning again.

    Unfortunately people are moving again ……. will we ever learn?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your garden experiences, Tube. It’s so interesting to hear about your tomatoes. So many people here, including me, have had a similar abundance of tomatoes from monstrous plants. Your observations about the impact of the COVID shutdown are also interesting! The paper factory in my neighborhood closed permanently, and traffic has been significantly reduced. The air has definitely been more breathable!

      It’s hard to for me to guess what the future will bring. Your final question is at the heart of the challenges we face! Will we ever learn?


  5. What a lovely poem, my friend! I hope you are well–and teaching! Is the school year on computer screens for you, or in a classroom? My sons are on computers, but my daughter’s in a classroom. I’m praying all can be in a classroom soon. Otherwise, we are well here–not necessarily sane, but I think a little insanity keeps the imaginations lively, lol.

    Your poem reminds me how lovely it is to live in little farming communities. We are each of us in our own little dens here, gathering food as best we can, just as the foxes, deer, turkeys, and cranes are around us. One of my favorite sounds in the morning is the family of cranes who often fly over us to enjoy the river two blocks away. Such moments warm a tired heart, indeed. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jean, I discovered your beautiful comment still awaiting a reply. I love your comments about teaching and the school situations for your sons and daughter. I can’t imagine how challenging it is to work and homeschool at the same time, although your most recent posts have given me a taste of that. Your reflections about living in a farming community touched my heart with nostalgia. I miss the northwoods in Wisconsin where I lived off the grid for ten years 20 to 30 years ago, just outside the boundaries of the reservation where my mother was born. Winter was my favorite time there.

      Blogging always suffers in the fall. Classes begin just as harvesting season arrives, making it impossible for me to keep up. This year, though, I saved all of the emails telling me there were comments in moderation awaiting my approval. Pages of emails about comments still waiting for a response, some of them from April! My new year’s resolution was to answer them all as a way to put the past year behind, hoping the new year will be kinder to us all.

      I thank you for your patience and for not giving up on me, dear friend. Sending my best wishes to you and your delightful family. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I completely understand, Carol, believe you me! With this new full-time course load and the boys still learning remotely, time to write/blog/read is at an all-time low. But we have to have hope. We have to reach out when we can, even if it’s just with a few words here and there. I love that we can connect here when we can, and though much time may pass between meetings, the meetings themselves are always sweet. xxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

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