From the steps to the tidepools.
High tide in my favorite tidepools just steps from our porch. When it is a hot day and the tide goes out, I can harvest my own flaky sea salt.
After a hard and hot (temps around 107) media tour in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, we are finally HOME.
We walked in our front door, threw open the windows and screen door, and a gentle, brisk wind from the sea washed all our troubles away.
We filled our birdfeeders, made syrup for the hummingbirds, and talked to the family of crows that came to know us years ago. They assembled, cawed, murmured, clicked their bills, and demanded their food. Within minutes, the goldfinches, nuthatches, white-throated sparrows (who wake me early each morning with their delicious songs), chickadees, red squirrel, and chipmunks appeared. And somehow, the hummingbirds forgave us for our late arrival and the lack of flowers, and feasted almost immediately at their feeder.
On our front porch, we were scolded by an anxious mama and papa caring for a nest full of young. In the old robin's nest where we tended robin babies last year, we found baby Dark-eyed juncos. They fledged just two days after we arrived, and we watched them take their first flight.
The last baby junco
Our patch of wild blueberries is really producing, but we'll probably never taste one with the birds and beasts feasting (they're welcome).
I will be getting settled now, finishing the last illustrations for my new children's bird book, and doing the recommended rewrites.
Here is a poem that fell out of a book I picked up yesterday. It seems so appropriate.
by Eugene Field
I once knew all the birds that came
And nested in our orchard trees;
For every flower I had a name–
My friends were woodchucks, toads, and bees;
I knew where thrived in yonder glen
What plants would soothe a stone-bruised toe-
Oh, I was very learned then;
But that was very long ago!
I knew the spot upon the hill
Where checkerberries could be found,
I knew the rushes near the mill
Where pickerel lay that weighed a pound!
I knew the wood, –the very tree
Where lived the poaching, saucy crow,
And all the woods and crows knew me–
But that was very long ago.
Sending love from Paradise,
P.S. THANK YOU for cards and letters, e-mails and gifts. Yuki, my herbal friend from Kentucky, I thank you for the lovely gifts from Japan including The Herbs magazine with the photo of the two of us and the story about my books. Your packet went first to California and was then forwarded to Maine. WISH I COULD READ IT! You are a sweetheart.