Yesterday and today again we've had a great view of the fog rising from the valley. I'm so in awe of the continued beauty and natural surprises each day unfolds for us. Noah has been able to watch rainbows in the afternoon over the valley the past few days. Dragonflies dart around the yard (yesterday brought white tails and a halloween pennant!).
We share our home with a wide variety of spiders as well. This morning I had two different types of jumping spiders join me as I sit outside drinking my coffee. As soon as I got my camera they disappeared. In the outdoor basement stairwell a different kind of spider has made an incredible web - it started as a chaos web, logng webs in no obvious order, spanning across the entire opening. The spider at that time was around 1/4 inch big (including legs). Now, roughly a week later, it has added a beautifully symmetrical round web a layer above the chaos web, sitting right in the center. It's grown to roughly 3/4 inch now, neon green with yellow and black likes & spots. Large round abdomen, sharp pointy legs. I've not been able to properly ID it but it reminds me of the garden spider family - I'll keep watching to see.
Before the heat of the day set in I got ready and headed out to the farm (family farm where I help out when I can, also where my big veg garden has been the past few years). The route from our new house to the farm takes me through a back-road section of the marshes, one of my favorite drives. I crossed the train tracks and turn the corner and I can hardly believe my eyes. There, on top of the bright yellow railroad crossing sign, sat a barred owl!! I stop right there in the middle of the road not believing my eyes. The owl, no qualms or concerns about me, sat on the sign watching as some small rodent made its way underneath. After a minute it took off in a flash down to the ground where it quickly gobbled up its prey (always keeping one eye on me) then up to the tree (photo one) to look for another tasty treat. Amazing, I thought, what an incredible experience. I thank the owl for letting me take its picture and continue down the road. I go about 1/8th of a mile then slam on my brakes again (my poor car). A second barred owl (photo 2)! I can not believe my luck. This one was a little more shy, looking back to where the first owl was from time to time. I sit with it for a while, chatting and photographing, till I thanked it and went on my way.
Seeing these two relit something in me, reminded me there's so much yet to see, it's time to get back to those things you love - why I get up early to photograph the dawn. We're pretty well settled in the house now, I can get away without much concern. I've needed a sign, who knew that sign would be sitting on top of a bright yellow sign!
At the farm I found one great subject after another (see additional photos).
You can preach all day to slow down, look closer, take your time, that's all very easy to say, and while it's all true and so fulfilling in action, it's hard. Sometimes a lucky spark has to come along and reignite the fire inside.
I hope you all find your spark, just when you need it.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.