9.17.12 There Will Be Blood

Birds 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
One thing I love about living closer to nature is how attuned I have become to the seasons. Although fall is still my favorite— for its surge of energy, its bittersweet luminosity—I have developed a much deeper appreciation of each one's particular qualities. The light, the air, the plants and the animals all telegraph the changes and make me so accutely aware of the cycle of life. In nature, death is not hidden away. Decay, rot, disease, skeletons—even genocide and homicide—are all around. These signs of death can sometimes be chilling, but also poignant and beautiful. You come across "scenes," learn to piece together clues and decipher narratives. On the rickety porch of an abandoned cottage nearby (I stop by there often to check out the old apple tree, the twining vines of wisteria and wild grape, the rampant patches of day lilies and iris), I found this tattered bird's nest. Inside were the dessicated skeletons of two baby birds. They reminded me of Heckle and Jeckle and I took them home, adding them to my collection of deer vertebrae, dead bugs and found feathers.
Bird 790 xxx
empty nest
How did they come to be there? They must have been abandoned by their mother and left to starve to death. Perhaps she was eaten by a cat or a bird of prey, or fell ill and never made it back to the nest. Such a tragedy that these two were unable to fend for themselves. Were they robins? Chickadees? My powers of deduction end here.
Dove 790 xxx
peace be with you
I found this beautful mourning dove at the foot of our driveway. It must have been mere moments after some other creature eviscerated her. You can see by those few black seeds spilling out of her that she had recently been dining at our birdfeeder. Her head was nowhere in sight. A treat for some hawk? Had a fox made quick work of her? I never knew.
Snake 790 xxx
scale back
I was amazed that this garter snake let me get so close to take its picture. Afterwards, I got a stick and tried to nudge it off the road so it wouldn't get run over, only to discover that it was dead. It looked so alive, perfectly intact. Did it die of old age?

Life is fragile, fleeting. The seasons rush by. Things die and are born around us every day. Allow yourself to explore all of it. Do not shield yourself from anything. Experience the full spectrum of emotions. Being truly alive means acknowledging death and moving toward it without fear. It is part of the profoundly beautiful mystery and this wondrous journey we all share.


Hello Laura, I had to struggle with this post, but that's good. I'm shedding some tears over these photos, and your words about them helped. Your last paragraph is a good "summing-up."
Susan Kallenbach on September 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm —
Susan, I'm glad it moved you. It's good to wrestle with these emotions, I think. xo
laura on September 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm —
sigh. indeed. lovely!
janet on September 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm —
Thank you so much for this post...you see things with the clear, pure eye of a child. Thankyou for reminding me to look.
Suzanne on September 18, 2012 at 10:12 am —
Tough post but beautiful and so true. Took me off guard so I'm sitting here all lachrymose. (-:
Robin on September 18, 2012 at 10:25 am —
Profound ... and yet we are confronted with these things every day in practically every circumstance. We just choose to 'fix' appearances so they don't seem as fleeting, as impermanent, as they are. Thank you for this reminder and for the arresting imagery. Recalls Anselm Kiefer and Paul Celan.
Vetivresse on September 18, 2012 at 10:29 am —
Just startling beautiful, Laura.
Roy on October 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm —