Dawn In Our Woods – Marilyn Armstrong

Rising sun.

Sometimes, Garry and I are guests on an overnight radio show. We used to do it every 5 or 6 weeks, but I was ill for a long time and I haven’t been able to do it for the past year. I loved doing the show and we always arrived home just as dawn broke. This was one of those post-radio show mornings.

This is mid March in New England. The sun in March is just starting its change from the white light of winter to the yellow sun of spring.

The sun is up.



The endless search for something interesting to shoot paid dividends today when we found a small private buzzmill down towards Douglas. Took lots of pictures, so more will come. Garry’s shots are particularly interesting, but I haven’t had time to process even half of mine yet. Tomorrow is another day!


Daily Prompt: The Natural World — Living There

I cannot remember a time when I did not live in or close to woods. I grew up in a house surrounded by giant white oaks, the last of the white oaks in the New York city area. So rare the city took care of them for us, though they were on our property. All the other white oaks had long ago been cut to use as masts for tall ships.

Two red lawn chairs are bright in a wintry woods.

Even when I lived in a city or suburbs, we spent vacations, weekends, most of our off-time in the country and often, very far out in the country. Places you could only get to by dirt roads. Awed? No, not so much awed, though often impressed. Except on the ocean where I am constantly aware how quickly Mother Nature can change from benevolent to terrifying.


I have sailed — in a tiny wooden sailboat — through thunder squalls. Not of my own choice, I should add. I had an insane husband who liked to pit himself against the seas. It gave him great stories to tell when friends dropped by. I thought him mad, but there I was, with him and the baby, so maybe madness is contagious.


Today, we live in a not-so-little house in the woods. I love the trees, hate the pollen and have really gotten totally sick and tired of the bugs, tons of leaves to clean up every year, not to mention a fascinating collection of critters who think our heated house is the spot for a winter retreat. Our endless battle against mice, rats and chipmunks never ends.


Then there are the bobcats who haven’t read the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries bulletins about being shy of humans and take up residence under the deck or in some other building next to the house, ignoring us and going out of their way to aggravate the dogs. Or the fishers who think the back lawn is the ideal place to sun bathe, snarling at anyone who tries to use the yard. The birds who nest on the deck, screaming at us and attacking should we dare attempt to use our back door. They leave when they are good and ready. They didn’t read the bulletins either.

75-Heron in FlightHPCR-1

For all that, I can’t imagine living in a concrete world again. I need contact with the earth, with all the challenges of living in a forest with wild things. Which reminds me, I really must remove the mouse nest from my car’s transmission compartment ASAP … I have no idea how they keep getting in there.

Being connected to nature is as necessary as the pollen-filled air we breathe and the inhalers I keep nearby to control the asthma.

Daily Prompt: Companionable – Becoming Together

The old man and his wife had been living in that old house for many years. The kids had moved away and were none too young themselves anymore. The grandchildren had children, almost grown children and long drives to visit each other were difficult. No one had much money to spend on plane fare and even if they had, there wasn’t much fun to be had at airports these days.

So the couple stayed home. That was okay. They were good together. Their marriage had come relatively late in life, after the child-bearing was done, though they’d known each other since … when was that? College I guess. more the 60 years ago. It didn’t feel so long ago, but the calendar didn’t lie.

Companions and friends.

Companions and friends.

Dan and Molly lived indoors more than they used to. They had a lot of property, but maintaining it had fallen by the wayside as back and knees and hips got increasingly creaky and painful. It was okay. The garden grew jungle-like, the flowers were a riot of colors even without tending. If the rain came, the flowers continued to grow. Even the weeds were pretty. Every year, they cleaned up as much of the fallen leaves from the towering oak trees as they could before their bodies started screaming “No!” Then they’d sit on the glider in the yard and smile at each other.

It wasn’t quite how they’d expected life to go. But they had each other. They could talk together, remember together and that was good. Special.


They had but one important wish, that somehow when the time came for them to go, that they could do it together.

Thus was their wish granted. Together, for all the seasons in companionable peace, in the shade of the tall oaks as they gradually became part of the land itself.


Daily Prompt: Local Flavor: Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight

I live in a small town in the middle of a lovely valley. Someone asked me what there is to do around here, which got me to thinking about all the cool things there are do in our town.

Beyond - Benches

I realized this was going to be a very short post.

Here’s the list of cool things to do in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Note: Everything except number 2 are warm weather activities.

  1. Walk the to the middle of town. Watch the water flow over the dam on the Mumford River.
  2. Attend a pancake breakfast at the fire house.
  3. If it’s not winter, go to yard sales. Find bargains. Buy some.
  4. In summer, go to a drive in. Bring lawn chairs. Sit outside and watch a double bill.

That’s it. But the scenery is  really lovely everywhere in all four seasons, so it’s a great place to take walks and photographs. We have a lot of churches. And you can go to orchards, pick your own apples and even cut down your own Christmas tree. Sometimes, you can watch the wild turkeys attack your car. You can’t do that in a big city!