storm on the way…

8.12.14 ~ Groton, Connecticut

misty sunlit noon
swamp mallows basking in pink
a storm on the way
~ Barbara Rodgers
(By the Sea)

I first met this battered old gull three years ago in August of 2011, when we were expecting Hurricane Irene. Today he sat on this post right next to us, closer than he’s ever come before, and we heard his long and mournful cry again. He looks a lot worse for wear, his life has no doubt been difficult with that badly mangled foot. Now it looks like he has a barnacle or a growth on his beak. I think he was letting us know about the approaching rain storm. No hurricane this time, though.

 photos by Barbara Rodgers

this little flower…


“purple saxifrage, Svalbard” by Michael Haferkamp

As if some little Arctic flower
Opon the polar hem -
Went wandering down the Latitudes
Until it puzzled came
To continents of summer -
To firmaments of sun -
To strange, bright crowds of flowers -
And birds, of foreign tongue!
I say, As if this little flower -
To Eden, wandered in -
What then? Why nothing,
Only, your inference therefrom!
~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #177)

The polar hem – I became completely enchanted with the metaphor Emily used for the Arctic Circle! What wildflowers might there be living north of latitude 66° 33′ 44″ N? The purple saxifrage in the photo above grows on Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, well above the polar circle, at latitudes 74° to 81° N.

So what would it mean if this little Arctic flower found itself in Paradise? I suppose it could only mean what we think it means – the possibilities are infinite!

Gull Mystery

I wonder if some of these big juvenile gulls could be hybrids. I have given up trying to identify them…

All things come and go:
People, seasons, the wind.
Only the sea remains,
the sea’s breakers repeating themselves.
Never the same.
Always the same.
~ Kolbein Falkeid
(Sea & Sky)

 photos by Barbara Rodgers

Test Flights


On August first I was delighted to see what I think was a fledgling American oystercatcher chick, who was testing its wings. It was about half the size of the parents, who were relaxing on the other side of the rock. We first saw the parents July 19. Even though I took these photos with the telescopic lens, I find myself wishing for an even more powerful one! The flights were pretty short – taking off and landing smoothly are no doubt the most difficult part.



…ready for take off…



…and again…

…the proud parents…

photos by Barbara Rodgers

Gull Photo Shoot

My love for gulls is no secret. Yesterday evening we went down to the beach and found the gulls pleasantly eager to pose for my camera. Incredibly, I came home with 79 pictures of these common and seemingly unremarkable shorebirds.

It was a very windy day as you can tell by the ruffled feathers in some of these shots.

It’s a good thing I took so many pictures of the other kinds of gulls last summer because we aren’t seeing many of them here this year. (But we did have oystercatchers this year, much to my surprise and delight!) These ”regular” ring-billed gulls seemed very happy to have their beach back to themselves… I envy them at times…

Some bodyminds have more stormy weather systems than other bodyminds, just as some geographical locations have more stormy weather than others, and it is neither helpful nor relevant to compare ourselves to others. It is also very liberating to realize that change always happens on its own timetable, not on the the timetable the thinking mind conjures up. Especially in our speeded-up, fast-food, modern culture, we tend to want instant results, and life just doesn’t work that way. Most changes in nature happen slowly.
~ Joan Tollifson
(Nothing to Grasp)

As I sit here wishing for another bout of figurative “stormy weather system” to pass me by, communing with the gulls reminds me that change always happens on its own timetable…