Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's that in the air?

Sunset February 16
February 16 sunset from the barn.
 Yesterday morning (actually, it was noon. We went up to Champaign Tuesday night to see Swedish superstar pop star Robyn and I slept in very late!) when I stepped outside, the air amazed me. First of all, it was warm. I mean, I didn't need a jacket warm! These past few days have been the warmest so far this year. But it's not just the warmth of the air, it's the smell of the air that's different. It was humid yesterday morning, and with the sodden ground, the air smelled like mud. And there were different birds around. I'm not sure what they were. There was one that sounds just like a pterodactyl. I heard it again this morning. And the vultures slowly circling over the fields. This morning, I saw a heron flying low over the yard on its way to our pond. Ah, yes... spring is around the corner. I can smell it! I was even able to spend some time yesterday just sitting on the porch. Actually, I was writing a letter and taking pictures, and just absorbing the pleasure of being outside and not being cold. Today is Thursday, and although the thermometer read 65 degrees this afternoon, it is far less pleasant. The wind is howling directly out of the south. The sky is ominous and gray. The power flickered off and on all morning, so much so that I started unplugging everything because I was sick of hearing things click off and then click back on. The ground today is even wetter than yesterday. The water flows east down the road and in the culvert in front of the yard. It was actually flowing at a pretty good clip! The ground sucks at your feet when you walk across it, puddles are left behind in footsteps, and where mole tunnels exist, one slowly sinks in.
Where the driveway meets the road meets the sky...

 I dreamt last night of snakes. In the dream, I was walking the dogs through the front yard, walking among all the twigs and branches still lying on the grass, and once among them all, realized that some of them were not branches, but baby snakes, just awoken from their winter slumber. By the time I realized what they were, they were on all sides of me. The dogs were playing with them, and I was trying to remember how to tell the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes. I woke up caught in the sheets with a dog growling at my side. I do not like snakes. Actually, that's not true. I am afraid of getting bit by a poisonous snake. I am sure we have them around here. Last fall, Kerouac found part of a snake in the yard. It wasn't complete, and probably fell out of a bird's beak. I know I'll encounter some. Hopefully I won't get bit, and will be alone, so no one can hear my screams!

But until that day, I am going to continue to enjoy the sublime beauty life in Hutton Township, Illinois offers me...
The driveway.

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