Even though I live in the city and have a tiny urban garden, the “country” where I grew up is only a half hour away. This is where my heart is. I was lucky enough to have a Mom that wasn’t afraid of the snakes, frogs and turtles my 2 brothers brought home to keep (at least for a few days before releasing them), she would let the large garden spiders alone so we could see the beautiful webs they made, and though we didn’t have much of a flower garden, we always had bouquets of wild flowers in the house.
Dad did his part too. We would stand on the front porch of the house watching a storm coming towards us from the west and he would tell me about warm and cold fronts and the secrets of the weather. He also instructed me in the use of a jackknife and how to use a camera. And he loved the birds. We would feed the birds off the patio all winter and he taught us kids their names. In the spring we would listen for the red-winged blackbirds and look for the baltimore orioles’ nests. I remember spotting an indigo bunting one spring, a rare enough occurance that left both of us silent with wonder.
Dad is gone now and Mom is getting older. I try to get over to the house (not the one I grew up in, but right across on the other side of the dirt road) on a weekly basis. I usually take over some laundry to do, and while I’m washing clothes, I do chores for Mom, especially stuff she can’t do anymore. We still feed the birds, pick wild flowers and mix them in with the few flowers she grows. I still love it out there, it’s my refuge from the rest of the world. I find comfort in hauling wood for the wood stove, pulling up weeds or hauling brush down the hill.
This last Sunday, I planned on going down to the small private lake to take some photos of the fall color, but got too caught up in the labor Mom had planned for me. If the weather permits, I’ll try again next weekend. I will also try to get a nice walk in the woods. Still, I did grab a few nice shots just around the house.