Thursday, June 23, 2011

Solace for the Night Owl

Summer solstice is behind us.
And with it, have gone the lengthening days that offer me, each evening, a reprise—several hours more to explore the outdoors. The very trails I walked this morning, with fading light, become wholly unknown. Though the path is familiar, the journey never the same.

I treasure the long days for their evening hours—
their time to watch fireflies light the hedgerows,
their time to capture katydids from within tall stands of grass,
their time to walk the edges of my pond and find the largest bullfrog, neck-deep in moonlit water, watching me,
their time to bring sounds from the nighttime woods and weave them into each night’s dream.

Bullfrog, male in pond

I’m beginning to recognize that, even in this year in which spring seemed to be moving more slowly than usual, we have arrived at this turning point of daylight exactly as we should. The certainty of summer’s onset reminds me that, more than merely being very late, this year, spring was very short.
Can it be that it is already time to give day-lit hours back to the night?

I would wish for yet another encore—
more sweet-scented walks to visit milkweed cloaked in moths,
whose eyes glow golden in my light as I pass by.
Take care, for there is a curtain falling slowly.
The actors in this summer play soon take their final bow.

Moths on Milkweed


Need something to look forward to in the coming months?
Looking for a way to celebrate summer’s end?
How about the Midwest Birding Symposium, taking place mid-September in the lovely lakeside community of…Lakeside, Ohio.
This cozy, gated community on the shore of Lake Erie will come alive for 4 fun-filled days of everything bird-related. The Midwest Birding Symposium (MBS) rotates through each of the Midwestern states, remaining for 2 consecutive hostings in its biennial occurrence, before moving on to an adjacent hosting state.
I attended Ohio’s last Symposium in September of 2009. What I can only inadequately describe as a top-notch performance and gathering of avian experts, enthusiasts and environmentally-minded individuals (It’s not just birds. Last year David Sibley introduced his new Guide to Trees) is coming to town again! And having had a wonderful experience last time, I’d be a fool not to get on board while I still can.
There’s a cute little ice cream shop on the corner, an historic hotel with skinny rooms and tall ceilings, rolling lawns and unending sidewalks, a cruise on the lake, programs and performances…and birds.
Sound too good to be true? It pretty much is.
Would you like to meet some of your friends from around the country? Or listen to some helpful hints from birders we all have grown to admire? They’re all here—milling around on the sidewalks, sipping coffee, signing books…finding birds.
You should be, too.
Registration is open! Drop me a line and I’ll look for you!
I can’t wait for September!
It’s solace for this night owl.

Official 2011 Midwest Birding Symposium Blogger

Barred Owl

Great Horned Owl

Long-Eared Owl

Owls presented by "Back to the Wild"
MBS 2009

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Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Ruthie Johnson and I are driving down from Minnesota! See you there-

KGMom said...

I'm in full agreement on your observation about the shortness of this year's spring.
I love the transitional seasons--spring, fall. And I resent weather (or whoever)robbing me of nature's gentle touches.
I just knew we would go from cool cool too cool spring days to -- BAM -- summer.
I like your note about the lengthening days and then shortening days being immutable. It is one of the benefits of living further from the equator. When I am near the equator, as I have been in some travels--I can't get used to the sun-up/sun-down 12 hour clock work precision.

Heather said...

Nina, you beat me to it! I had a similar idea... lamenting the shortening hours of daylight, and then looking forward to a wonderful gathering in September. Seriously. I still might use it (my slant is a bit different).
Can you imagine that it was only just at the last MBS that we finally met face to face? That seems ages ago! See you there!

Patricia Lichen said...

Such a lovely post on the solstice--expressing the way I feel about it too--but with so much more poetry than I could muster! Your photos are always fabulous--but for me--there's something about the moths and milkweed one that is astonishing--I think it is the way in the first second it appears to be a plant, and then the moths (and more moths, and more) quickly reveal themselves.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Only you would wonder who's visiting the fragrant ball of milkweed flowers at night. Only you would capture that in such a terrific photo. Ooh, I'd rather not think of that solstice curtain being pulled. But oh, I'm looking forward to seeing you and so many other friends at the MBS. Thank you for such a lovely and creative plug!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I don't know exactly what has me in the doom and gloom mood about summer's end. Is it that I've been more closely tuned in to watching breeding birds and the brief window of capturing dragonflies or butterflies?
Whatever the reason, I have to admit, having the MBS to boost morale right when summer flowers are fading is PERFECT!
I am so looking forward to this!
The people, the place, the birds--the friends.