Capturing Emptiness



Ichabod Fog and Cotton Puffs

Driving the back roads to our campground in North Carolina, I was distressed to see white tissue along the side of the road.  Further along, there was more.  How odd that the trash didn’t include cans, or bottles, or newspaper.  It was all white tissue, clumped up as if it had been recently used.  Ick!  Then I opened my eyes wider than their normal, narrow focus (that only sees what it thinks is there before it can even hope to see beyond), and I saw small fields of cotton plants, usually just a patch behind or beside someone’s house.  What cheerful little things they are in early December.  Twisting brown sticks bearing fluffy, white puffs, row upon row, marching to nowhere in particular, until they lose their grip and blow away from home.

FullSizeRender-74Intent upon reaching Florida before the weather got feisty again, we continued on to Santee State Park in South Carolina.  I love it when you pull into a new park and the view knocks your socks off.  The campground is full of trees draped in Spanish moss and overlooks a huge lake.  A line of cyprus trees marches down the middle of the lake, their feet covered by shallow water.


FullSizeRender-78The next morning, thick fog blanketed the lake and the campground, creating an eerie silence:  Ichabod fog.  I kept expecting to hear the muffled clomp, clomp, clomp of horse hooves behind us as we wandered down the path.  Finally the fog lifted.  It was late afternoon by then, leaving us just a little more time to explore.

While snapping pictures of a small stand of cyprus–their knobby knees poking up out of the moist soil nearby–it struck me that it sure would be a great spot for an alligator hang-out… maybe over there near that dead turtle….  Hmmm….  I didn’t think alligators lived this far north, though.  On the way back to the campsite, I asked the camp host about that.  Not only are they this far north, they get up to 12 feet long!FullSizeRender-76

The next day, we moseyed on down to Georgia, to Crooked River State Park near the Atlantic coast.  Now this was certainly alligator country!  And snakes… and loads of spiders… and sharks!  What a horrific combination!  I asked about the local wildlife at the ranger station and it turns out that aside from an occasional snake, our biggest worry is armadillo.  And lo and behold, we saw our first armored little critter since setting out last July (not counting all the smushed ones along Texas highways and byways).  Dawny was so excited, and I so relieved.

As we join the growing flock of snowbirds heading to Florida, I vow to try to keep my eyes and my mind open.  To only see, hear, and feel what is truly there.  To try to control my fears a little better than I have been.  To work with facts, and to let that overactive imagination relax, just a tad.  Wish me luck!

(All photos for this post were taken at Santee State Park in South Carolina.)

Autumnal Ball

Greens on blue

so fresh so bright

nature’s artful palliate

of false forever promises

while Celestial Queen

reigns on high

warming Mother Earth

with radiant




But She tires with time

(as do we all!)


sighing deeply

draping back of graceful hand

photo 2gently on cool forehead

she reclines

ever so slowly

towards the distant promise

of the southern horizon


photo 3And the trees


to the task at hand:

weave a plush blanket

for beloved Mother

from their most precious attire


photo 4But first!

A celebration!

A bole dance!





FullSizeRender-8Perennial pines

work their magic

with ever-busy needles

knitting mossy slippers

for the dancers’

knobby toes



come early

standing bright sentinel

photo 4as chill sets in

(Damn you, Celeste!)

and still green sisters


over wardrobe and jewels




too tired

to put on the fancy

photo 3go straight to brown

barely mindful of their fall

dreaming private dreams

in breathless silence

too aleuf to care



All soon joined

by skinny old ladies

scantily clad

in elegant vinery

waltzing in the breeze

photo 1til long gnarled fingers

grasp unadorned

for rings upon rings

they insist

are mislaid






signal the party’s height

photo 4wild yellows



fairly scream silent farewell




Barely batting a twig

they stretch lithe limbs

lace long fingers

and shed bright gleaves

photo 1spinning slowly

to the soft





Many bold displays

of slightly wilted

self-made corsages


by tenuous fingerholds

photo 4with a gentle rustling

dampened to plush silence

as Mother

pulls up

her blanket



Though bark naked they now stand



weary, too

their hearts remain warm

FullSizeRender-15memories aglow

as embers within


their Queen’s