November Skies

Maybe the sun has been shining more, or maybe my outlook has been lighter, but I’ve noticed a number of beautiful sunsets this month. We live farther down a rather long hill, so the best views are always near the top of the street. This is also the best vantage point to watch thousands of crows stream in at dusk to circle the county courthouse a few blocks away in a local remake of Hitchcock’s famous movie.

I’m not sure why they congregate in this spot every year. Perhaps the glow from festive lights strung from surrounding streets to the building’s dome attract them. Maybe this ground is their ancient gathering place where thoughtless settlers happened to build a courthouse long ago. Whatever the reason, you know it’s the holidays when the crows arrive. Before we moved here, our own family holiday tradition brought us to this quirky city with its unique art galleries, funky boutiques and ethnic restaurants between Christmas and New Years.

If we stayed in the town square until dark, we would see clouds of crows swirl around the courthouse and settle in the trees. They are big and loud, and . . . make unwelcome contributions to the lawn and sidewalks. For years, the city’s maintenance department has tried various ways to deter the birds with fake owls and sound recordings, only to be outwitted by the crafty creatures.

Humans are once again reminded that nature usually has the final say, one way or another. Crows are smart–I can only hope the group of them isn’t contemplating murder.

Genie Magic

I’ve been busy in April launching a new adventure, so no daily poetry for National Poetry Month. However, I did participate in Susannah Conway’s April Love prompts on Instagram and enjoyed her “love letter” theme where we wrote to a particular love every day. Some of them were tough — “feet” for instance, or “money.”

And then there were the easy ones like “sky” or “books.” But my favorites by far were the esoteric prompts like “intuition” and “truth.” The above photo accompanied my love letter for “magic” on Day 23:

Dear Magic . . . You are the song from faraway chimes, the bite into June’s first strawberry, the felty down on a freshly hatched chick, and the smoke pouring from a heavenly genie’s lamp.

May your month of May be merry, and magic.

August Was . . .

Day 31: August Was . . .

As another August Break winds down, I look back over the three years of photos that were visual diaries of my daily life, and clues in how I responded to the various prompts and challenges that Susannah created for this particular project. Three years ago I was living in a different physical space, and last year I was learning to live in a different way. This year, I no longer see my world as defined by a particular house or yard, nor do I find myself separated by an individual identity as much. Instead, I am now part of the whole. I may forget this sense of belonging from time to time, but the photos here will always remind me that there is no beginning or end, really, only integration.

And so, I’d have to say that this special August was “transformational.”

Gratitude goes out to Susannah Conway and her marvelous prompts for August Break this year, as well as my “Instafriends” at Instagram. Many thanks to friends who connected here on the blog, including KristinaMike and Meg, with special honors awarded to Bonny and Maureen for commenting every day! You both kept me going on days when I hadn’t a clue what I was doing. And please check out Maureen’s own wonderful photographic response to my challenge with her August Countdown.

It’s been a pleasure, as always.



When you

reach a

half century

and still



than when

you were


April Love Prompt: 5 Years Ago

This year I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by combining  NaPoWriMo’s daily poetry challenge with Susannah Conway’s April Love daily photo prompts on Instagram. Each day of April, you will observe the same photo in my Instagram feed on the righthand sidebar that you see in my blog post along with an instapoem. We shall find out at the end of the month whether this was a brilliant career move, sheer laziness or a fool’s errand. 

Until then, care to join me in these creative waters where even fools fear to tread? The water’s fine.