Those of you who are Facebook friends are aware that I had an accident a week ago. I tripped on a wire in the yard (very typical!) and ended up with the most painful injury I have ever experienced, a torn hamstring in the left leg. I’m on the mend now, even walking, albeit exceedingly gingerly. This was written this morning, just prior to my discovery that I could actually use the leg.

The rain that seemed to go on endlessly just a few days ago has indeed ended and given way to bright sunshine, cool morning breezes and a clear blue sky.  And that cozy feeling you get when you can sit inside and do not very much because weather won’t allow it gives way, in my present circumstances, to feelings of jealousy that Steve can be outside, carrying lumber around as he prepares to make railings for the deck, while I’m still inside relatively immobile.  But I can marvel at what Steve has shown me from the outside, and told me about.  And yesterday afternoon after the sun had gone behind the house I actually maneuvered myself out to the deck and enjoyed the fragrant air and the evening views up the creek.

We are in the middle of a natural wonderland.  Henry the blue heron makes daily, swooping forays up and down he creek, often landing right at the end of our dock to stalk some delicacy he sees in the water.  If Henry happens not to show up for a couple of days running, we ask each other where he is.  “Where’s Henry?” has become one of those comfortable private catch phrases that mean more than they actually say.  (We had a “Henry” in Delaware, too.  We imagine that he found out where we went and followed us here.) 

Yesterday Steve saw two enormous turtles on the wetland fringes of the back yard. One of them left some scratch marks behind–is this egg-laying season for these turtles?  What kind are they?  We need to find out.  A hummingbird hovered over us as we sat on the deck, attracted to the extravagant salmon pink of the kalanchoe I bought to brighten Steve’s office over a year ago.  The plant has thrived here, as if celebrating Steve’s freedom, and the hummingbird’s reaction to it suggested the sort of company we may have if we were to plant something with actual nectar, like a trumpet vine.  A trumpet vine requires strict, brutal discipline or it will become invasive, but the potential for crowds of hummingbirds may convince us it would be worth the trouble…..

Busy little Carolina chickadees and bluebirds flit and fuss incessantly from tree to tree along the water, and a tiny Carolina wren perches on the railing of our front porch at 4 o’clock every afternoon, like clockwork.  He “serenades” us with a teasing, single-note call that is way too big to emit from that afterthought of a body.  (The tiniest creatures seem to have been given voices that compensate for their lack of physical stature.)  On the other end of the size scale, there are at least a dozen osprey pairs nesting in the tallest of the cypress trees that grace the banks of the Little River, just beyond our creek. At least one of them does graceful reconnaisance over us every afternoon.  And then there are the crows, their raucous conversation announcing their arrival like so many ladies who have over-enjoyed a liquid lunch.

There are more wildflowers growing in the wetland than we ever dared hope.  In addition to an unexpected wild iris (the original fleur-de-lis of France–who knew??), there are spiky little water hyacinths and a buttercup yellow ground cover whose name we don’t yet know.  A wetland rose of sharon is growing almost within reach of the dock–we hope it is the scion of a plant whose seeds we collected along the river last fall.  It’s still sprouting leaves and growing towards its full-season height, too early for blossoms, but the leaves and growth habit are unmistakable.

When I am once again ambulatory I promise to take some pictures of all these wonders and show them to you.  Until then, daydream a little….