Livin’ the dream

We are almost two months into the grand experiment and I must say, I’m having a lot of fun.

Every day there is some new amazement; some days have multiples of them.

I’m developing rituals since I’m a creature of routine. Opening the barn in the morning and closing it at night is sort of a way to bracket the day. The other day, this guy appeared by the barn door. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I kept a few books out, thankfully, so I went to my – no kidding – Reader’s Digest North American Wildlife book and have tentatively identified this as an eastern spade-foot toad. I think he or she is really cute! It’s 7 am and already I’m thrilled.

Then, walking up the path, I stop for a moment and just listen. I hear some rustling of leaves, close. I squat and peer and what emerges from the woods but a walking-stick. I’ve seen lots of them around, now, but this is the first actual movement I’ve witnessed. Not one, but two walking-sticks, actually. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I’ve looked up walking-sticks and have learned that they eat leaves and are related to praying mantis. In some species of walking-sticks, the females don’t need males to reproduce, they essentially self-clone. People keep them as pets (accidental releases have the same kind of consequences as boa constrictor releases in the Everglades) because their life cycle is about as long as a school year and they don’t “need” a lot of room. I’ve seen them stay in exactly the same place for hours at a time.

I saw a summer tanager for the first time in my life recently.

I’m living the dream. How many people can say that? I am a ridiculously fortunate woman. Since I know practically nothing about the natural world, this experience is rich in intellectual stimulation. I want to know everything right now! Everything about this place offers creative possibilities.

And, there have been more thrills and chills, I must say. I’ve been almost wiped out on the roads three times now. I don’t know if Missouri has a insecurity complex, but they call almost every road around here a highway. The roads are in fantastic condition to this ex-Michigander. Last night, we drove home lit only by the sliver of a moon and stars everywhere on twisty hilly roads. In my head there is the mantra: Respect the center line.

We’ve seen gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

Even on this dying planet, the beauty and diversity of life is awe-inspiring, sort of a trite word, but I can’t think of one that describes what I feel inside when I look around me. I look at the world now, knowing that we are in the Sixth Great Extinction, and feel gratitude that at least I get this peek before it’s gone.

That is enough.

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8 Responses to Livin’ the dream

  1. Chris says:

    I could not be more happy for you. It has been my dream to see you happy. Stay there in that space internally and externally

  2. witsendnj says:

    Sweet! Made me feel happy just reading that, how truly delightful to know you are enjoying your big switch. I’m so glad you are having this time out in the country which reminded me how lucky I have been to live in the woods all these years.

    • igotsomethin says:

      Hey, Gail, thanks for the comment. Been thinking about you since having an arborist out over the weekend. Doesn’t hold with global warming, of course, and pollution and particles in the atmosphere is GOOD because it causes rain, so no worries over the trees. Just a case of borers and dehydration. He’s recommending lots of systemic insecticide and everything will be okay. Bwahahahaha!

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