What are the Odds?

A winter storm dropped nearly an inch of sleet on us overnight. I crunched through the ice in the dark this morning to feed the animals. After emptying sleet out of the chickens’ feed tray and filling it with pellets, I turned and saw, in one of my footprints, a bright green/blue glowing spot.

Bioluminescence. There was no mistaking the colour. I carefully scooped up the bit of glowing sleet and held it in my hand. I could think of no terrestrial source of the glow. There are no glowworms in my vegetable garden, and no bioluminescent fungi. Besides, this was in the ice, not on the ground.

The spot glowed for a moment between my fingers. Then the ice melted, the light went out, and whatever had made the glow dripped to the ground.

I spent an hour online looking for any reference to bioluminescence in snow, and found none. The only explanation I could come up with for my glowing sleet was that a phosphorescent marine creature was picked up in sea spray four kilometres away, frozen, and then deposited in my garden. My stomping foot disturbed it, and it glowed briefly before, most likely, succumbing to a deadly infusion of fresh water.

What are the odds that organism would be picked up from the sea and whisked four kilometres inland? What are the odds it would land in my garden? What are the odds it would have still been alive when I trekked out to feed the animals? What are the odds I would step on that tiny organism and induce it to glow?

Very, very tiny.

I was given a tremendous gift this morning. One of those gifts that reminds me to always keep my eyes open. You really never know what you might see.

Jedi Cat

Me: Well, hello little kitty. You’ve got a nice perch there. Can I pet you?

Jedi cat: The fence is empty.

Me: The fence is empty.

Jedi cat: You do not see me here in the sun.

Me: I do not see you here in the sun.

Jedi cat: You do not wish to pet me.

Me: I do not wish to pet you.

Jedi cat: You want to walk on past and bother a dog instead.

Me: I think I’ll walk on past and bother a dog instead.

Winter Solstice

The shortest day of the year dawned as it should,
Night wrapped its cold wet embrace
over Earth,
reluctant to let go.


Cloud and Fog conspired
with Night,
spread out
between Sun and Earth,
a blindfold to Sun’s brilliance.

What will you give us, Sun?
What will you give us to go away?

Sun lit Fog to blinding yellow.

I will give you Fire

Fog swirled and churned.
Wisps curled into eddies,
turned pink and gold.

I am beautiful!

Enraptured, Fog did not see
He was being consumed.
Sun turned her eyes to cloud.

The same for you?

Cloud bowed and parted.
Day began at last.

Darkness Rises

Photo: Egres73, Wikimedia Commons

Darkness does not fall.
Instead, rises
from shadows grown long
in the evening sun.
Landscape darkens
before sky.
Dark fills up the hollows,
the valleys,
the chook house,
(where birds rustle their feathers
to let the dark settle in close).
Finally, deep night
Not too deep–
I can still see the stars.

Spectacular Storm

Just a few minutes before the rain, with the sun still shining.

When I checked the weather forecast last night, it looked promising for hanging out the washing today. Perhaps a bit overly windy, but a dry nor’westerly wind.

Unfortunately, I had to leave the house this morning before it was light, so I wasn’t able to get the laundry on the laundry line. Instead, I hung it on the indoor drying rack, set on the porch.

It was a good thing.

The storm that was forecast to blow in late in the afternoon arrived several hours early.

I had a fabulous view of it from the library where I was working today. The clouds spread out like a spill of hot jam, oozing across the the sky. The leading edge, when it first appeared, was white and smooth, but behind it, the clouds roiled black.

For an hour, I watched the storm ooze toward me. All the while the sun shone bright and warm.

Fifteen minutes before I knew I had to leave to pick up the kids, I decided it was time to make a run for the car. The storm nipped at my heels, and I just had time to get into the car before every autumn leaf on the street was whipped into the air by the first gust of wind.

I drove to the kids’ pick-up spot through a whirlwind of flying leaves and rubbish. By the time their bus pulled up a few minutes later, the car was being lashed by rain and hail.

And the laundry? It wasn’t exactly dry, and some of it had blown off the rack. But I was thankful that darkness had kept me from putting it on the line in the morning.

Playing with Spiders

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I love jumping spiders. I’m not alone. In fact, I know people who, in general, can’t stand spiders, but who are nevertheless fond of jumping spiders.

I think part of the reason people like jumping spiders is that they are such visual animals. Like us, they navigate their world using visual cues. They turn to watch something pass by. They walk around objects placed in their path. They react to stimuli in a way we can understand.

The other day, a jumping spider on the computer screen began stalking the cursor as though it were a tasty fly. My husband began to play with the spider in much the same way we dangle a string for the cat. It was terribly cute. I know the cat understands it’s a game, but I doubt the spider did. I’m sure it ended up frustrated it couldn’t catch that little dancing arrow.

Moonlit Night

I should have stayed in this evening and written my blog post.

But the moon was full, the sky clear, and the sea calm.

They called the family out to the beach, where moonlight sparkled on cresting waves. Where the black shadows of driftwood stumps clawed across the rocks. Where waves hissed and foamed up the sand. Where mist clung along the arch of the shore. Where the salt smell clung in our hair and nostrils. Where one single light, far out on the Banks Peninsula, was the only sign we weren’t completely alone on Earth.

So you’ll have to excuse me, for I’ve written no post for today. I have no photo–only my words to urge you out on this moonlit night.