Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A long drink

Two weeks of “stay off your feet and take it easy” have left me parched--thirsty for contact with my yard, trails, fields and its life. And although I’ve done my best to sit and be the observer, so much of what I want to observe requires being out in it.
So, Sunday, my creative, problem-solving husband retrieved the old lawn tractor from the barn, lifted the mowing deck and handed me the key.
Escape was parked just outside the back door.

After dinner, camera hanging around my neck, I turned the key—and took off into the sunset in a blaze of…dust. The very dry ground, peeking through what remains of our crisp, brown grass.
As I neared the pond, 6 deer looked up from the other edge, stealing a drink at the old dam. I slowly stepped onto the dock to settle in; they stepped into the cover of the woods, but I could hear their feet rustling in the dry, fallen leaves. I assumed they’d move on into my neighbor’s field, but they remained, watching me watch.
Soon, a doe stepped forward toward the pond. Looking me in the eye, she stamped her foot. Not once, but several times. Her request of me was clear. In the 96-degree heat, they needed this space and its water more than I did.

I headed back to my little tractor and left the pond to the deer for this evening. There were plenty of other places to see—the goldenrod-covered fields glowing in the September sun, and the milkweed releasing its shimmering silken parachutes in the breeze.

New England Asters, late-season bloomers, provide nectar for butterflies and look like ribbon candies as the blossoms pass. Scattered through the grasses are delicate, lacy, White Heath Asters—a blur of white from a distance, but perfect in every intricate, tiny detail.

I couldn’t help but feel as if I were a cowboy, surveying his land. Across the top of the hill trail, bouncing and rolling in the saddle—over each rut, magnified by the little wheels of the tractor.
The noisy engine scared everything with an ounce of sense far from me.
But it felt good to be out, drinking it in.

Next time, I must remember the bug spray. Something about those anticoagulants made me irresistible!

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Rose Connors said...

Thank you for the asters- my favorite.

Q said...

Dear Nina,
Out in the saddle! Creative husband! Good idea. At least you can get from one spot to another. So lovely in your area. Sweet September blooms.
I am planting asters in my gardens as they are native here too. The mums always look so pretty in the nature centers but do poorly here and the butterflies like the asters best!
Glad you are resting legs and have found a way to get out on the trail.
Will remember your area in my rain blessing. So many areas of the counrty are too dry.

mon@rch said...

Those are all such amazing photos and fall coloring! BTW: I also have been eaten up the past two days by the bugs.

Susan Gets Native said...

What a good idea! Go tooling around on the tractor!
Heck yeah the anticoagulants make you tasty. Easier to suck you dry!
Don't you love it when a deer stomps at you? Such a fierce display from something that has pencil legs.

cestoady said...

I am glad you were thirsty and we could tag along as you put-putted on your lawn limo to view what must be the most colorful season in the fields about your home.

The dignified colors of the golden rods,accented with the royal purple and constellation-like clusters of the asters, are so beautiful.

Thanks for taking us on another fulfilling gaunt.

Mary said...

Nina, you quenched your thirst! Your husband knows you well... :o)

You did a good thing by turning around to let the deer quench their thirst, also.

The area in which you live is full of life and beauty - lucky you!

It was 96? Here, too. But this weekend we will shiver when it's 80 :o) No rain...

KGMom said...

Lovely flowers; lovely photos.
Chuckling on anticoagulants making you insect irresistible. One good bite, and they can drink all they want. Sorry--not funny, but it did make me smile.

Larry said...

I'm glad you were able to get out a little.-Your husband sounds like a good guy.-All you need now is a quieter vehicle.-Maybe sitting in a comfortable blind would work well.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Nina,
I'm glad you got a chance to head out again for a little while. And how wonderful that you were able to see so many plants and animals.

I hope your recovery is continuing on schedule and soon you'll be able to walk that route again.

nina said...

Maybe its just me....are there more mosquitoes this year than usual?