just noticing


Many thanks to CalmKate at Aroused  for providing me with the inspiration for a wonderful exploration. Her Friday photo prompt, “Leaves,” could have been satisfied with some of the autumn leaves I captured earlier in the season, but I decided it would be more fun to go see what I could find right now – a bit of a challenge with winter having already moved in and taken over around here.

I love the way a prompt happily forces me to be on the lookout or to think with a different perspective.

I started out in town, just because I had stuff to do. I skirted along up and down the streets, looking at everything with fresh eyes. I found myself popping into the new cat cafe for a quick visit, as well as a brief stop at the food co-op where some red kale could not be resisted, it was so beautiful!

I noticed that all the trees along the main drag were bereft of leaves, except for the occasional tree covered in dead, brown leaves that refused to let go. I did spot some surprising bright green bushes in front of one large house, but nothing else really spoke “leaves” to me.

I continued on my quest, now headed for the trails. There, I discovered just the merest bits of green peaking out here and there, in a sea of browns, greys, blacks, and white. Most of the leaves are on the ground, wet or frozen, and clearly getting into the whole composting thing. The trees were bare, save for a few now-exposed nests.

The awesome part was the birds. As I carefully observed my surroundings, I could hear them twittering all around me. I paused and just watched for awhile. The longer I watched the more I saw.

Black-capped chickadees hopped from twig to twig. There was a pair of yellow birds – finches, I suppose? I spotted my first winter cardinal – that wonderful bright red in the middle of everything. There was also a woodpecker having at it, a rather small one – gonna have to look him up. There was also plump black squirrel with a nut in his mouth who made a study of me before capering off.

I would have missed all that, along with the rushing river, and the amazing black dog I met, named Bernie, along with his human friend – if it had not been for CalmKate’s invitation. I may not have a particularly amazing photo to show for it, but I am grateful for the inspiration that got me out the door right then, alert and curious to life.