Sunday, June 12, 2011

Poem for Sunday and Huntley Meadows Park

By Carol Ann Duffy

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade I piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer --
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.


It was quite a warm Saturday, though it stayed under 95, so I am not in any way complaining. My parents are getting Daniel a desktop computer for college as a graduation present, so after lunch they took him to Costco to look at the Dell models on sale while Paul and I took Adam to Huntley Meadows Park, where the good and bad news is that a thunderstorm arrived late in the afternoon. This means that there was increasing cloud cover while we were walking through the wetlands, which would have been much warmer otherwise -- as it was, there was a lovely breeze -- and lots of animals were stirring before the storm hit, including a beaver, which all of us heard but only Paul saw before it scurried under the boardwalk.

A green heron sits on the beaver dam, which has been built up considerably since the last time we visited Huntley Meadows Park.

There were many frogs croaking around the beaver dam...

...and frogs-to-be in the water.

Plus there were many swimming turtles, including red-eared and yellow-bellied sliders and some big snappers.

In the wetlands there were also many dragonflies...

...while the spiders mostly kept to the woods.

We would have stayed longer to admire all the animals, which also included egrets, great blue herons, and a wide variety of songbirds...

...but a big storm was rolling in, with thunder in the distance, and it started to rain before we got back through the woods to the car.

We were going to retrieve Daniel from my parents but my mother suggested that we all have dinner there instead, so we went over for barbecue and leftover graduation cake. Then we came home to watch the Doctor Who mid-season finale, which I found alternately totally predictable and completely inexplicable...not great, but worse not even really holding my interest except when River Song was on the screen, and then some things happened that I figured were coming but squicked me anyway. Afterward we watched Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival on PBS, and even though I am not a huge fan of John Mayer, Vince Gill, or many of the other musicians, I enjoyed it about as much as I enjoyed the Doctor.

Plus I think it says something about our wish for different TV options that we forgot about Camelot's season finale until tonight when it was too late to watch. Ah well, the wonderful S.Faith has given me Lost Empires, the 1986 WWI-era miniseries starring Colin Firth, who has been named a CBE on the Queen's birthday honors list, as everyone who cares probably knows by now. Hopefully he will not say anything stupid on Twitter and make me regret making him my new imaginary boyfriend.

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