Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Warning label

My friend Brenda hangs a poster in her home workspace that says, "It could be that the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others," or some such interpretation of that theme.

And that's a little how I feel about today. FINALLY this morning I got out for the long-neglected walk, and OOPH. The season has changed and I missed the entire process! Travel and work and an unfortunate encounter with an ice-covered step kept me either on the run or under an ice pack for most of the last month, and while I was away my familiar landscape got an extreme makeover. One portion of "my" trail has been scraped away by hospital-constructing bulldozers. Another has been widened and covered with new gravel. Yet another has been denuded: large clumps of willow taken out around the lake to make room for more fishermen. (I guess.)

The swallows are completely gone and the juncos have come down from the high country. Many trees are completely bereft of leaves. And I am chagrined that I wasn't there to note the change in gradual increments instead of great swaths. (This is the part about serving as a warning to others: do not let doing interfere with being!)

My one consolation is that the "good winter ducks" have started to arrive: ring-necks, gadwall and wigeon are in. A few grebes, a few mergansers.-- and one handsome wood duck. Sands Lake's lone summer coot has 8 or 10 buddies now, and an osprey haunts Frantz Lake before continuing south.

The milkweed has transitioned from pink flowers to brown husks, so I brought a chunk in from the trail to draw this afternoon. My original intention was just to make a pencil drawing, but the temptation of a brush close at hand was too great. I'm not sure I like the drawing as well with the color... but there you have it.

And yes, I'm walking tomorrow- before it starts snowing or something!