“Never the Same Day Twice,” I thought to myself this morning upon waking. It seemed to me this would be a good day to draw everything in big bold blue Sharpie marker.
A bird must have perched itself outside the bedroom window and it began a series of brief chirps. What type of bird it was, I cannot say. All I can tell you is its trill was quick and the intervals between the music it produced varied. I determined I would get out of bed when the bird stuck eleven chirps. It was unnerving in a way because some of the intervals would leave a person no time to arise between the note segments and another interval would last several seconds. The goal was met and reached, as I threw off the covers after the 10th chirrup and was able to set both feet on the floor by the time the eleventh trill has rung out.
That was the excitement of the morning, that and feeding the cats and counting the pennies in the penny jar. There were thirteen. Pennies.
During the afternoon, I set my feet to walking along the Tulpehocken creek. The clear blue sky, generous sunshine and moderate autumn temperatures illumined things like: a red oak leaf with Swiss cheese inspired holes that had landed upon a three foot complex branch on the ground beside the walkway. Some paces further this divine trinity revealed a small twig that lay on a single fallen leaf.
I made a decision to walk to the 11 marker although it has been years since I walked that far on the trail, most of my walking having been done inside the Amazon ABE2 warehouse 27 miles away, picking your customer order, perhaps.
The 11 marker is at the lock bearing designated #47. The water is green on top, thanks to the efforts of zillions of tiny aqwatic leaves. It reminds me of pea soup.
Some tree leaves were scattered and strewn on top of this blanket on the water’s surface. I made a survey of these leaves, especially the eightfold black walnut sprig that had tablespoon size puddles on the serrated leaves.
Then I turned my attention ti the turtles. I counted six. They were sunning themselves, as they often do. Usually they crawl onto the logs and deadwood in the canal, which is no longer a working canal as far as boats and barges are concerned. One turtle, the largest of all, looked like it was on top of the water; this made me think it was resting on a submerged log. Four of the turtles were small – about 5 inches, the size of my hand. I sat down and said hello to them and then I said goodbye and turned back the direction from which I had come.
I saw tiny sycamore or plane tree seed balls – about 1/2″ in diameter, maximum. I saw sycamore leaves that were curled up, dry and resemble the kinds of lettuce leaf cups that you can put a serving of salad into. I saw one leaf splayed out with its three main vein termini like spokes that connected it to the ground and left a tent space underneath. I saw three squirrels, one walking in the grass, one climbing a tree and very much at one with the bark, and another carrying a green black walnut across the gritty path. A few chipmunks were also showing their stripes. .
I was missing a heron sighting.
“Just because you cannot see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there,” I reminded myself. Then finally, upstream from Wertz’z red bridge, I saw one – a big one. It seemed to me it was almost my height! Then I saw it was on a branch. The branch arched parallel to the shore of the creek. A first the heron looked like it was jammed in and up against the bank, where it rises at a steep angle from the creek. The heron was blue and gray and white. It looked straight ahead, it turned its head and looked upstream. A sighting. Hooray.
Near the Heritage Center, I went to see what one of the park workers had been powerwashing: the replica of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. They were all OK, having dedicated their Lives, their Fortunes and their sacred Honor.
At the Deppen cemetery, some stones contain engraved names, some are designated UNKNOWN and one was incised with two initials and two periods. E.G.