Thursday, February 07, 2008



Today at 10:00 a.m. There has to be something better to do… I’m going to cut myself loose and sneak outside for a bit. Too many weeks without a break or a lunch hour is... just…too…much. If they miss me? They’ll get over it.

When you cease to notice subtle seasonal changes, it isn’t because you don’t care about them. It means you need to change your mind about what’s important and shove the interfering clutter to the side of your plate. Focus on what you would like to have in the middle of your plate, instead. My mind has become unclear, stale, and as uninteresting as that folder of outstanding invoices pictured above. Do I make sense? Gosh, I need someone to write for me.


Look around you. Face the sun and take out-of-focus photos if you are in a hurry. They are worth it. I've forgotten how to focus on buds and blooms.


Stand with your back to the sun, too, and see tiny life forms emerge. I suddenly remembered the April freeze of 2007!


Look at that stunning Nandina off the side of the road and stop the car, quickly.


I didn’t notice the Forsythias in bloom on Tuesday or Wednesday when I drove by the elementary school. Today, I did.


I heard its voice before I saw it soaring low above an open field.

Hallucinate. Believe you see a Golden Eagle from afar while your heart pounds, and smile. I truly thought that it just might be a Golden Eagle instead of a Vulture until I reviewed the photo ;-)

For you, Lynne.

Tip-toe a little closer. You’ll know when you’re pushing the card too far. And I did.


Vulture was very on to me. Darn.




I was certain this bird was a Black Vulture until I examined the underside of its wings and saw a little pink on its face. This is the first Turkey Vulture I’ve seen in North Carolina! Did I do good, Susan?

Remember to practice with the burst mode on your camera more often.


Twenty minutes later, back at the office, and everything was under control. No harm done. I felt invigorated, ambitious, and ready to tackle anything! Bring it on!

If you believe that, you need to clear your mind, too. Remove the clutter.


Cathy said...

Well. Maybe not anything, Mary . . . but that burst of Forsythia must have fortified your heart.

It certainly gave me a dream of Spring :0)

Ruth said...

We won't see Forsythia until the end of April. But your pictures give me hope!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I can't believe you have blooming ANYTHING! I was excited to see a little water in the street (instead of ice) but then you know our spring doesn't come to Minnesota until August! :)

Thanks for the beautiful TV. I hope your job settles down soon.

KGMom said...

I had to laugh at all those SIGN HERE tags. I have been out of an office like that for 10 years--but for a time, I was in charge of an office where I had to sign hundreds of letters. I developed a fast signature, I'll tell you.
You are already having buds in bloom? Isn't it too early?
It's only February.

entoto said...

Did you breathe, really breathe? I bet that *all* felt good.

And blooms! YIKES! I would fall down faint.

Mary said...

Donna, we had three days of above normal temps - 60 to mid-70's. It all happened way too early. The temps are plunging low now. Winter freezes last until early March, usually. Last April, we had a horrible freeze. We can't predict anymore.

PJ said...

What a perfect post! Seeing those little things absolutely renew us...

Carol Michel said...

Amen. Sometimes you have to get out of the office and breathe the fresh air and see some nature... birds, blooms, buds, whatever it as long as it is OUTSIDE. Then you can SIGH HERE with gusto!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

LauraHinNJ said...

Lovely pics! Lovely clutter!

(I can't ever spell silhouette right either.)

Anonymous said...

Mary, I think it was just the ugly duckling Golden Eagle! :)

Glad you got your head a little bit clearer!

Anonymous said...

Mary, I love all the little things you saw - the littlest bit of green, the soft pussy willow(?), and the lovely forsythia!

Jayne said...

It's true, that whatever we focus on in our lives, gets bigger. So, if we surround ourselves with noticing the small, beautiful things, that is what we are presented for the most part. Love that concept. Love that you got out for a bit and could see all the beauty around you! HUGS!

NatureWoman said...

Ohhhh, look at your blooms!! Yay! Glad you got out. Mental health requirements are that you get out at least once a day! Thank you for sharing the beginning of your spring. I'm looking forward to more!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That was a wonderful 20 minutes Mary. I hope you get many of those 20 minutes this weekend. Relax and enjoy yourself.

Dorothy said...

Mary, you *see* with your heart as well as your eyes.

Like you, we had warm weather for a little while..I'm afraid that little bit of Spring we experienced the past couple of days was just a tease though. I keep waiting for the blizzard....

Beautiful photos!
PS: Is there a Burst mode on *our* camera?

Appalachian Lady said...

Wow--in 20 minutes, you saw and photographed a lot. Great photos! We seem to have the Turkey Vulture here a lot more than the Black Vulture.

My daffodils are up but nothing blooming yet in Virgina!

OK--you made me want to get outside right now!

Peg Silloway said...

Thanks, Mary, for putting things in you usually do. Mountains of paper are good at glowering at us. You're wise enough to know that 20 minutes or 20 hours later they will still be there, but the sweet promise of spring buds and blooming forsythias might have passed. What's more important? No contest - we need air and light and the promise of new life. You remind me that I need to poke my head up through the mountain of work to find my blog voice again, too.

And I'm envious - in Maryland, forsythias are just a future hope! Thanks for breathtaking photos and your wonderful point of view.

Anonymous said...

Mary, your words and photos are simply stunning- from capturing the softness of the cedar waxwings to the naughtiness of the mockingbird, from 20 prs of cardinals to a kingfisher,(a photo that I would have been thrilled to have taken myself), all have brightened my days. And your precious posts of Chloe and Bella have made me laugh and then well up with tears at the same time. Your ability to put the world into perspective is a gift- it is a wise woman who knows that nature 'restoreth' the soul! thank you so much for sharing!
p.s. glad the burst mode instructions worked out for you!

Cindie Ulreich said...

I really enjoy your photos. I live in cold southwest Ohio and seeing the beautiful blooming things makes me smile. Feel free to look at my blog, too.

Cheryl said...

Hi Mary
you have just given my Mum and me such a good laugh. Iam glad I am not the only one that takes out of focus photos....I thought it was a menopause sort of thing! Loved the vulture had my mind racing. Will be back soon, have fun.
Looks like you are the only one that has entered my competition at the moment, so you may be getting the seeds. It closes on the
14th, so will let you know.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Twenty minutes outside makes the rest of the day go so much easier! The daylight is slowly getting longer too. That will help with after work outside time.
I so enjoyed seeing your buds and forsythia! Wow! The April freeze last year took spring and lots of plants here too. I am hoping for a late spring!
The photos of the Vulture are beautiful! I love the in flight shots.
Nice to be outside snapping photos and enjoying the Spring like temperatures.

Kathie Brown said...

Redbuds, Ahh-h-h-h! How I miss them! And forsythia! I don't believe we have either here in dry AZ. I can't believe they are blooming anywhere yet! How lucky you are! My backyard is still the bare earth of a new house. I can hardly stand it. I will have to plant something soon! It's starting to warm up out here also and the weather is coaxing me outside! I'm glad you took a break. How nice of you to share it with all of us.

JeanMac said...

Must be exciting to see blossoms!

TR Ryan said...

I so feel your pain -- I have been chained to the desk this week dying for an adventure. Are those 2008 blooms -- I will pack and move right now. You are lucky! At least you have color out the office window. Thanks for brightening the day!

Bek said...

Wow! Already forsythias in bloom? Even with high temperatures here this week, nothing major happening yet. I think we need to wait at least another month:)It's hard to be patient though.

Marie said...

Beautiful photos! I can see you love birds, so am I!

Chrissie said...

Forsythia already! Wow, you are ahead of us and I thought we were rushing into spring :-) Going for a walk, however short, with my camera always revives me. I'll be back to the invoices on Monday :-)

Mary said...

Oh Mary Spring is onits way here too. yesterday the birds were singing away at 5.15 in the evening! It did my heart good to listen to them saying goodnight!

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, come ON, Mary. You know that's a golden eagle.

: )
But yes, that is a TV. Good job.

Annie in Austin said...

Even turkey vultures are beautiful on a nice February day - but they're prettier when lazily sailing the updrafts than when sitting at the curb picking at a roadkill squirrel.

Is that really a deciduous magnolia opening? Hope it doesn't freeze its little petals off!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

kate said...

It was great to see the Forsythia blooms - they are such lovely harbingers of spring. And boy does the Turkey Vulture ever look majestic soaring overhead!

Marvin said...

I'm afraid I'd get lost during such an excursion and never find my way back to the office.

Larry said...

You are building some good i.d. skills.-Think of it this way-If Golden Eagles were the common birds and Turkey Vultures were rare, you'd be hoping for a Turkey Vulture-and you got one!

Sherry said...

Great post, Mary. It's so nice to be able to get out in the sunshine and see all the little signs of spring. Loved your cheerful photos, as always.

Kerri Farley said...

A Wonderful Post, Mary! Nothing blooming here....but I do see little buds coming out...which scares me some...what if we have a freeze???

Oh I can't wait for Spring and warmer weather...However I must admit I have enjoyed this winter more than any other winter in my life!