Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sourwood Sunday with Swallowtail

Did you know that woodpeckers whine? I didn't either. This morning I was sitting on my deck soaking in the morning shade and semi-coolness before the heat of the day chased me inside. Close at hand, two woodpeckers whined.

I found one in the chestnut oak to my right. There it was, a Downy on a limb. Whining. Dude was looking right at me until he lost interest. Then he attacked the thick bark with his thorn beak, sending it flying.

The other was in front of me, hiding behind a veil of leaves. Whining. I spied her when she hopped on the trunk and hammered away. From her looks she was a Hairy Woodpecker. Interesting that both subspecies would whine.

The cicadas are chorusing. I had forgotten what it was like to live in the south and and experience their rhythmic song. Last week I started taking the time each day to just sit, close my eyes and let my body feel the the sound of the cicadas singing the earth's rhythm.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed scores of butterflies partaking of a blossoming sourwood tree about fifty yards from our deck. The sourwoods have been blooming for weeks and are waning. This lady still blooms, though the blossoms are fewer. So are the butterflies, mostly tiger swallowtails. They flutter then light, clinging to blooms that curl forward to receive, like hands in supplication.

Eric, in answer to your question, this is one way I create. I sit still, I watch, I listen. I hear. I feel. I see. When I'm feeling, senses engaged, the voices cease and my head quiets.

I let my mind be quiet. Or wander if it wants to.

I be.

Now for some pictures of me be-ing yesterday.

This is me.

Sun kissed.


Somewhere down that lazy River.

The Chestatee outside of Dahlonega.

Floating on a 'catamarran'.

With an oar.

Spinning stories in my head.

My two companions, Carolyn and Beau. Waiting patiently on moi.  

There were five turtles just before I snapped this, but one plopped off in to the water.

Notice how muddy the water is? We had heavy rain, two days in a row. The water is about two feet higher than usual.

It was a leisurely float, no real paddling other than to steer. Several class one rapids of the pre-K variety. Two class two. Maybe first grade. Nothing more strenuous.

Just a lazy be-ing day.

This looks like a black swallowtail, only it has no tails. So hmm...Anyone know?

She was hanging out on a sandy beach along the way.

We stopped here to stretch.

And eat an apple.

She graciously shared her beach.

This is Bugsy under my 'new' wicker thrift store chair this morning. He's always in to just Be-ing.

This song was stuck in my head as we floated down the river. I had never seen this video. My my. Would you stand in line for a kiss like this?

And who knew Robbie was such a hunk?


Belle Wong said...

This is beautiful. I love the thought of be-ing and then writing with all of the senses alive!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Pandora is playing "El Bimbo" by Paul Mauriat -- and I like the breezy, lightness to it. Or maybe I am El Bimbo!

And I would whine, too, if I had to get my breakfast by repeatedly ramming my head into a tree.

My terrace, overlooking the bayou bordering my apartment complex, is my sanctum for just BE-ing. The gracefully swooping egrets, the ripples of the fish as they leap from the water, the creature from the Black Lagoon rising from the depths --

Just checking if you were paying attention!

Have a healing Sunday, Roland

Unknown said...

Love the photos! The water is so brown and murky. A great lazy river to just float and be. Great post.

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Belle, thank you so much for stopping by, I'm glad you enjoyed. Please come back.

Roland, I youtubed El Bimbo. If I got the same one, you're right, breezy. With dancing girls. You? El Bimbo? Ha. Unless it means something other than '(s)he's a bimbo'.

Your terrace sounds like a lovely place to BE. Do you ever see gators?

I once saw the creature. I swear. I was young, too young for anyone to listen, but Jon and I both saw this humongous black thing (that was much too big to be a snake) in the pond by my mother's hairdresser. Of course they just laughed and poo poo'd us.

I haven't felt the same about getting in a body of water ever since. You should've seen me in that muddy water yesterday. I have to clamp that out of my imagination just to get in!


Anonymous said...

Great Photos! I especially like Bugsy the lazy cat. He kind of reminds me of me. I am often accused of being a lazy Old Geezer.

Jemi Fraser said...

Beautiful! Just be-ing is something I don't do nearly enough! Thanks for the reminder to take some time :)

Jules said...

Oh the lazy river and any class rapid brought back canoe nightmares for me but that is another tale. lol

As for my spot for just me? Well I have a deck and woodpeckers also but lately every time I sit out there and just as I'm about to find that peaceful place within...I'm attacked by mosquitoes! :D

Rolands reason for the whine made me spit out my drink.

Wonderful post!
Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I youtubed Paul Mauriat's El Bimbo. No dancing girls but still got the light, breezy tune. Darn. I was looking forward to the dancing girls.

Jules, I'm glad I made you laugh. All of you have a great Sunday, Roland

Walter Knight said...

Those Woody Wood Peckers were not whining, that was their mating call.

I hope you did not interrupt them, we need more wood peckers.

I loved the photos of the turtles. Were they "snapping turtles." I hear they like to nibble on toes.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Walter, whining is a mating call?

Gee, it never works for me.

I want to thank you for all the nice comments you leave on my blog, Roland

Walter Knight said...

Wine, rather than whine, works for me every time.

I love Roland's blog. More authors should be proud enough of their work to put sample chapters out their for readers to view like Roland does.

I tried to convince Roland to query my publisher, but he is holding out for bigger publisher.

I hope you all the best of luck. Those New York publishers can be meaner and harder than the scary ghosts in Rolands New Orleans back alleys.


Talli Roland said...

What an atmospheric piece of writing! I love the photos, too.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading this post and seeing the pictures. You made me feel like I was right there with you.

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

I feel so honored. I love that you all came by and that you related and enjoyed. The conversations we share, here and at your blogs, are the bright spot of my days.

Thank you, thank you! I'ff off to get a few hours of writing in.


Elizabeth Mueller said...

Wow, very interesting! I had no idea that ANY bird could whine!

I love your pictures! :)

The Words Crafter said...

You take some great pics! Looks like a fun time on the you think cats would make good writers, since they know how to be?

Anonymous said...

Great song! Haven't heard that one in a few years...

Terry Stonecrop said...

What a great post! I'm glad I saw your comment to Roland's or I would have missed it!

Beautiful photos. And the, Call Me Mellow Yellowness, of it all:) Love it! Those snapping turtles.

We have woodpeckers pecking away at our trees and doing the Woody call. But I haven't heard them whine. Hmm. Maybe they need that blue pill, huh, Wally???;)

Thanks, Olivia, for this reminder to slow down and listen to those cicadas!

Unknown said...

I always imagined that woodpeckers cackled like Woody! Looks like you had a good time on the water and BEing yesterday.

Anonymous said...

One potent memory I have is the sound of the evening insects at an old cemetery in Fayetteville, North Carolina. We were on our way farther south and spent the night in the outskirts of the city. We went exploring that evening.

Writing while immersed in a place is the most powerful for me. I wish I could do it more.

Velvet Over Steel said...

Olivia, I absolutely Love your writing AND these pictures!

I felt relaxed and peaceful after enjoying this post. Thanks for the reminders of the 'simple' beauty in nature & life. :-)

I can't wait to read your new book!


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