Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

May 28, 2011

The Park Outside My Front Door



     The noon passerby passed through my side yard and was crossing the road to my neighbor’s yard. He briefly, stopped to investigate when I called out a quiet “Hello.” My voice must have intimidated him, because his pause was only momentary before he walked through my neighbor’s yard at a slightly faster pace.

     The deer is only one of nature’s visitors I observe while sitting on my patio, typing on my laptop or reading the morning newspaper, on this year’s only occasional balmy days. A yellow Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly flits back and forth over my front yard. A black butterfly with blue markings flits about the stones on the driveway. Small birds land on one of several bird feeders, pick up a choice tidbit, and fly off. I’ve learned to recognize Mr. Cardinal’s call to Mrs. Cardinal. His bright red contrasts to the almost solid green and brown paint brushed through around the bird feeder at this season. I watch a squirrel at the bottom of our “squirrel-proof” feeder, mounted on a six foot high white, plastic pipe. He’s discovered the seed droppings on the ground, and sits on his haunches, nibbling a seed he found. He watches me, and must consider me non-dangerous, because he continues to nibble away. After he finishes, a chipmunk arrives and takes his turn at foraging for the dropped goodies. Meanwhile, an array of flyng critters—not the disruptive black bugs—flits by me. Bees nibble at the nectar in the flowers. A noise occurs to my right—it’s a humming bird, feeding on the nectar I’ve provided for him.

     Then my eye scans the view. Red blossoms along a rock wall, pink azaleas at splash color against a batch of five foot high interrupted ferns. My neighbor’s rhododendrum bushes—one fuscia, one school bus yellow—peek through a row of hemlock pines along the road. More yellow dots the yard and the stone fence—buttercups, nature’s offerings. Tiny sky blue flowers intermingle with purple spikes along my patio edge. A week ago they were scattered through the front yard, but then, my husband Monte mowed the colorful carpet down. I cave in on the issue, needing to balance his need to mow before the yard becomes a hayfield with my need to enjoy the spring’s bountiful blessings offered in a rainbow pallet.

     A door slams somewhere beyond the neighbor’s yard and the deer races back across his yard, the road, and disappears in my side yard.

     I take a break and walk to the end of my patio. The long picnic table holds a variety of potted plants: begonias and impatiens. Pots placed strategically under the big hemlock pine contain the same plants. These don’t need deadheading. I have a few golden marigolds some petunias, and a geranium that I have to remember to keep blooming by deadheading. I look out over the patio railing and see the large patch of purple mini-iris and a few full-sized yellow ones. I notice the plentiful buds on the Mountain Laurel bushes. Another week and their pink-edged cup-shaped white blossoms will erupt.

     People frequently ask me why I don’t go to the local parks. Why should I? I only have to step out from my patio door and I am surrounded by trees, a meadow, a rainbow of color, and many of nature’s most delightful critters. I hear the birds chirp, calling to each other; the wind rustling through the tall trees, and the creek flowing by on the other side of the road. I feel the soft breeze.

     It’s my own personal park, a peaceful place to think, read, and write. And I ponder how I would feel if I lived in a city highrise apartment building, how people survive without having a park outside their back door. Then I realize how lucky I am, and give thanks for my blessings.



Laurel Mountain Borough, Pennsylvania: Quaint

Idlewild Amusement Park Memories

Memorial Day Readings on Military Men




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