Wood’s Journal, Saturday, February 20, 2016

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blog sketch bluebird

Written by: Martin James Wood

 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sky: solid deep blue

Air: warm and breezy

Precipitation: none

Ground: clear and wet

Sunshine: bright sunshine

Temperature: 67 degrees

Time out: Saturday mid-morning

The Nevada Caucus resulted with Hillary Clinton triumphant by a very small margin for the Democrats and Donald Trump continues to be out front for the Republicans and wins the South Carolina Primary this week. There seems to be some controversy in the news over the replacement of highly respected and recently deceased US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. We seemed to have had a vast range for the mercury this week, with temperatures as low as the negative single digits on up through the upper sixties as experienced today. I have to admit that the ever-changing erratic temperatures and weather has made for a quite pleasant winter for myself and many others here in the hill country of Pennsylvania. We’ve been able to witness some very cold wintry days, and as quick as the cold snaps have come on, so have the warm sunny spells in between.

Walking this rocky ridge which follows along the river below, I witness two hawks above as they soar in playful circles. When the larger approaches the smaller one, it screeches as if it’s coaxing the smaller one along and the smaller one answers back with his screech. They continue this affair as they sail higher on above into the deep blue firmament.

I stop as I hear the warm breeze whisper along the ridge and watch the current caress the long needles of the white pines grown out from the rocky cliff. I then move further into the wood-line to follow the path which takes me down along the water’s edge and then enters a small clearing facing an oak grove. Upon arriving at this grove, I notice two blue jays touchdown on a low lying branch just ahead of myself about ten feet off the ground. The ever happy jays sing for a little while and the larger one inserts food into the mouth of the other. He, the larger one, takes to the air and the slightly smaller one, the female I surmise, follows.

Standing among the tall oaks, it is quiet for a moment and I notice the change from the invigorating piney scent of higher up earlier to now a refreshingly musty earthy smell. Detecting the hollow sound of some quick repeated knocking in the not so far off distance, I Squint in the direction of the sound to try to catch a glimpse of the woodpecker that I’m hearing,,, but unfortunately, I’m not able to spot the colorful worker, that I’m sure he is.

As I move along, there are more blue jays diving and feeding here and there. The crows are flying overhead crowing jubilantly, along with the ecstatic calls from the jays. The soft forest carpet seems to be the perfect playground for some gray and red squirrels running about. The jubilant feeling is very contagious I realize as I catch myself smiling at the squirrels chasing one another up and down the oaks.

Climbing the trail out ahead, it leads me by an old orchard which appears to have been a planned fruit garden many years before. I notice some robins and a beautiful pair of bluebirds perched among this wildly overgrown thicket. They seem to not care of my presence as I approach them and they only seem to have interest in one another and the sunny day, which allows me to observe the mates at almost an arm’s length away. The soft light blues are quite a contrast to the branches around them and the robins who are also close by. The robins and the bluebirds continue to look about and not care of me and fluff themselves in the sun and stretch their little necks toward the blue sky which I realize is the only matching element of the bluebirds. The song of the birds and the warm sun on the natural innate surroundings leaves one feeling not only jubilant, but also quite jovial.

Upon my looking back down toward the ground and a little beyond the orchard, I discover an old stone foundation which has to date way back to the late 1700’s to 1800’s… I suddenly feel a little saddened to think at one time this house and orchard was once part of someone’s dream,,, their life… Someone must have poured their blood, sweat and tears into this homestead, and now,,, it’s gone and long forgotten…

Change always seems to bring controversy and stir the soul, but somehow beauty seems to remain and allow for jovial comfort…

 

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© 2016, The Wood’s Edge Publications/Martin James Wood. All rights reserved.

About Martin James Wood

Nature enthusiast Martin James Wood is an outdoor writer and blogger for The Wood’s Edge. He has spent his life among the forests and woods, admiring nature with a camera and pen. His writing, artistry, and outdoor photography celebrate nature’s simplicity and beauty. A Pennsylvania native, Martin James is a loving father and husband, and a friend to our nation’s forests who believes in protecting and preserving our wild lands.

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