SUN-SEEKING, Literal and Metaphorical

Is it November, –or is it THIS November–, that renders sun a memory?

What images, what journeys hold light so crucial to me, ever more essential, every day?


Autumn Along the Stony Brook, 2016, November


Key birding buddy, Mary Wood, and I ‘hiked the day down,’ –mostly wordlessly, often birdlessly–, after the election.  November surprised us with remnant vividness.

Walk with us.  Climb with us.



Birding Platform Over the Wetlands


Map – Charles Rogers Refuge – off Alexander, near Princeton Canoe and Kayak Rentals



Likely Birds – Red-wing Heaven in Springtime


We owe this lovely restoration to Winnie (Hughes) and Fred Spar, and Tom Poole.  I know Winnie through U.S. 1 Poets, and Fred and Tom through D&R Greenway Land Trust, where I work.

Finding these images on this gloomy day reminds that all that matters in my life is preservation, — of nature, of beauty, of wild spaces.

Oh, yes, and freedom.  For the wildlings and for us.

Winnie and Fred, in their fine new signs, give honor to legendary birder, quintessential birdwalk leader, Lou Beck, of Washington Crossing Audubon.

We all give credit to everyone who reaches out, through whatever non-profits, to save the wild while we can.  Thoreau was right, you know:  “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”



Restored Wetlands — Note Return of the Cattails, and Purple Martin House and Gourds



“September, we’ll remember…”


Upside-Down is Better than Right-Side Up




Finale, Rogers Refuge and the Stony Brook



“From Both Sides Now”



November Tapestry in the Stony Brook

Memories of this refuge especially include green herons.  Not this day, not this season — but often.  Sometimes, kayaking nearby, one spots green herons mincing along the banks of the (D&R, of course) canal, then lofting up into Refuge trees.



Green Heron by Brenda Jones



Spring Species, Rogers Refuge


Spring brings not only winged miracles. This refuge is yellow-flag and blue-flag Central in May.  Wild iris of the most vivid hues, The Rogers is worthy of a journey for ‘flags’ alone.



Blue Flags from Versicolor on Interniet


Invasive species had driven out cattails essential to territorializing red-winged blackbirds.


Male Redwinged Blackbird, Territorializing, by Brenda Jones

Seemingly inescapable phragmites, — bush-tailed grasses beloved of decorators–, are too frail to support the weight of males, ruffling scarlet epaulets, vocalizing welcome to females and banishment to rivals, in these woods and wetlands.


Phragmites Height from Internet

Restoration, a key facet of preservation, is visible in the final scene of Mary’s and my November walk.


Late Light in the Cattails

12 thoughts on “SUN-SEEKING, Literal and Metaphorical

  1. November, which is (also) my natal month, is the darkest and dreariest month of all, at least in my experience. I know the days are even shorter in Dec., but it’s the time change, the bringing down the curtain each day before I’m ready, that does me in. Those “April is the cruelest month” people must be skipping November, or…how quickly they forget! 😉

    • Faith, thank you for commenting and co-miserating — no idea how to spell that, but you get what I mean. Indeed — April is a piece of cake compared to our natal month. It must have been a terrible shock for each of us to burst out of the light between lives into so much darkness, and cold, no less. However, you appreciate coolth. Light, light, … desperate for it! Blessings always, c

    • “Tall phragmites” — almost redundant, but you probably don’t have them in Oregon. This is what happens when the invasives take over, banishing natives needed by other plants, by pollinators, by insects, by birds who evolved along with those plants and with the insects who evolved along with those plants. If Nature could speak to us, her communication might well be, “Don’t MESS with me!” Thanks for commenting, Penelope. c

  2. Carolyn, your photos are wonderful. Thanks for introducing me to that “secret” trail along the Stony Brook. It was so peaceful…it was just what I needed that day. Mary

  3. Yes, dear Mary, that day, that ‘secret’ walk tucked in amongst the forest shrubs and along the brook, was just exactly what each of us, both of us needed that day. As the pictures reveal, which seem better than the reality, in retrospect, this was one of my richest walk experiences ever. Thank you for the openness with which you imbued that crucial day! Carolyn

  4. Carolyn,
    I love your autumn water reflection photos – particularly the first one along Stony Brook and “From Both Sides Now”. They are very special. Thank you for sharing the beauty of fall! It has been a lengthy, magical autumn here in Illinois, too.

  5. Honey, there is no better birthday present for me than your comment on that walk and those pictures which even amaze ME. It didn’t look that GOOD while we were walking, though our time was magical. So silent, private, all aglow, the rippling peace of that brook. And pockets of incandescence when we least expected them. I know you and I walked that preserve one time, and it was not this fulfilling. Thank you for connecting, and sending blessings to James always. Love, me

  6. beautiful pictures loved the scenery and the birds, among my favorite creatures. November can be a cold month, but two of my favorite people were born then, you and my oldest son Mark.

  7. O, JoAnne, I’m so honored – to be in the same league with Mark… thank you, profoundly

    two of my favorite people were born then, my daughters, and one of them is reaching out to me for the first time since June — I have to be grateful for crumbs from the table…

    and for friends so dear as YOU! me

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