Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Morning Rain

Mist Shrouds the Mountain Tops
Pastures Hide Killdeer and Blue Heron
Morning Traffic in the Rain
Wigeons Don't Mind the Wet and Wind
Snow Up High
Turtle Log
Abandoned Pond Nest in Winter
Mist shrouds the tops of mountains as rain drizzles on Elmira Pond. The wind gusts with that hollow window howl that makes me want to curl up beneath a velvety blanket with a good book. It's chilly, but not enough for a fire, yet when the winds whirl mist off the mountains I can see that it's snowing in the higher elevations.

A killdeer is my morning tease. I can hear her shrill cry above the wind at my window, but I can't see her. I look with bare eyes and binoculars. Scanning the pasture, the pond's eastern edge and the overgrown dead grass of the Bluebird Ranch I don't glimpse her movement or flash of white underparts. But she continues to shrill, kill-deeah-dee-dee.

Other than the wind there seems to be no obvious threat to the killdeer's cry. Maybe she's just as bad at singing as I am and only sounds distressed. While I can't see her, I know she's plucking insects from the pastures. It's the favorite food this time of year and I welcome the diners.

Because we run horses here in the summer, our pastures look like they have a winter buzz cut. Fuzzy green new growth is barely showing. It will be another month before there's enough grass for the horses and by then the killdeer babies will have hatched. If there's a nest.

The birds of Elmira Pond are crafty at hiding their nests. This past winter, I stumbled across several of them, amazed that they even existed. The winter winds gusted other nests out of tall pines. Nests can be rebuilt; the builders are good at what they do. I just supply the materials--grass, mud, sticks and even loose strands of my own hair that I toss to the wind, "for the birds."

Blue heron stands across the pond from all the killdeer chatter. Between my vantage point and his, wigeons and geese float in the rain. Birds don't seem to mind. Already there are frogs on the pond--I started to hear peepers this week. At night, I step outside and peepers fill the night with calls. I know when a predator invades Elmira Pond because the peepers go silent. It's eerie when they do. So I feel safe out in the dark when I can hear them.

But this morning, they are potential breakfast. Blue Heron patiently waits like I do, standing still, waiting for that final percolation of the coffee pot. Then I dive in, filling my mug, savoring the heat and aroma as if it were my first taste after a long migratory flight.

The exposed log in the pond--alternately it is the basking spot for many--holds five turtles this morning. I wonder what rain on turtle-shell sounds like and if the turtles enjoy the drumming as much as I do when it pummels the metal roof of my house. Soothing, rhythmic sounds to accompany the wind.


  1. I love reading your Elmira Pond blog posts, Charli. You pictures and story took me to where you are for moments, with sounds, sights, and smells that whispered in my imagination.

    1. Thanks, Susie! I'm so glad you can stop by and breathe in the gentle rain.

  2. The rain on the turtle's shell, from within, must sound like the heartbeat of the Great Spirit. I love that you made me imagine that for the first time ever.

  3. And now you've made me imagine that! Oh, lovely, uplifting sound! Thank you!

  4. Every time I read one of your articles, I always step away feeling like you live in a haven of blessed peace. I know nature isn't always peaceful, but your descriptions always sound so beautifully tranquil and relaxing.

    1. In my life I had a very rough "transition." I took it to be one of those moments where I could choose to make lemonade or become nothing but sour pulp. When my husband and I found this place it was nothing short of miraculous. Every day I see "green pastures and quiet waters." I know that God led me here for rest. But I'm amazed at how many stories have bubbled up from a little bog pond. It's been my guiding light in writing. So thank you, for seeing the peace in Elmira Pond. The world is chaotic; nature can be cruel; but every day God affirms life right before our eyes.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Dawn. I love that I have people to share this journey with!

  6. Once again I am transported by your wonderful words and pictures to a place filled with its own kind of peace and beauty that refreshes and renews the soul.

    1. Thanks, Elf! The clouds of Friday departed and it was a lovely weekend, complete with a visit from my daughter, Briana. We watched the pond together.