Never in a million years! It’s just that, as years go, 2016 wasn’t all that great. Sure, sure, I wrote and published a second book, which is now available on Amazon. (Shameless plug.)
However, publishing my two books were pretty much the highlights of the year. But, since I’m not one to sit and wallow in self-despair (okay, I am, on occasion), I thought I’d recap the first half of the year and then pick up where I left off, in August. Here goes:
A snowstorm, followed by rain, glazed the river in a frosting of ice. When the sun shone through the branches of the trees, it was as if Mother Nature had coated the branches with diamonds.
A group of Eastern bluebirds flew through the area and stopped in my yard for some suet.
The gardens started showing some color. Just enough to remind me Spring was around the corner.
Franny was attacked by a hawk. By the way, she never laid eggs and eventually became lunch for the hawk (or perhaps a different hawk).
A family of Canadian geese came by with their newly hatched goslings (they ended up with only one after Mom Nature spun the wheel of life).
Isis treated me to a view of her fishing techniques and I published my first novel: The Summer of Annah: A Midsummer’s Wish, still available on Amazon. (Hey, this is my blog so I’ll insert all the shameless plugs I want.)
By July, the drought was in full swing and the gardens were suffering, as was I due to some depression issues. However, thanks to my bucket and rope, I managed to save a few plants in the garden at the end of the driveway. The hummingbird garden–not so much.
It was a dry, hot, muggy month here on the Concord River. Even the ducks felt the sluggishness of the weather and decided to start molting early.
The drought continued to worsen, the gardens were wilting, and green shoots were MIA, forcing the wild rabbits to share the cracked corn with the ducks.
We shared a rock as the river’s water level descended.
The river dressed herself in a colorful necklace of foliage, reminding me that despite the sadness of the summer, there is wisdom in shutting down and regrouping for Spring.
One of my oak trees took it’s last breath, dropped it’s last leaves, and whispered goodbye. I’ll leave him standing because I truly believe that his spirit remains as long as the birds grace him with their energy.
November’s full moon appeared as the largest and brightest since 1948.
I made a wish on the moon for blessings but somehow the message got distorted. Stevie, my blind dog attacked my other dog and had to be quarantined for 10 days. After that, he was taken back to Tennessee to find a new home; one where he would be the only dog in the family. He was with me for two years. Damn, I miss him. And damn moon, what happened?
At the end of the month I adopted four rabbits. You might remember Stew (Hazel), the rabbit I found in the marsh. Well, I thought he might be lonely and the Billerica Animal Control officer, Christine, offered me four Himalayan rabbits. Who am I to refuse cute pink noses?
Things aren’t shaping up too well, though. Seems Stew, who I swore was a male, is an extremely territorial female. Think killer rabbit from Monty Python. Needless to say, the four rabbits are going to find new homes.
On top of illnesses, surgeries, writing, and work, the river continues its rhythm. Thank goddess too. If it didn’t, I don’t know where I would draw my strength.
A recent snowstorm took the few ducks that have remained by surprise. They probably thought the mild weather would continue through to Spring. Boy were they wrong!
I had one hen who’s tongue was sticking out to the side.
The other ducks avoided her. Either they thought she was making fun of them or that she was foolish for not waddling away from a triple dog dare.
No December blog post would be complete without a gallery of birds. Along the tail of the snowstorm a few bluebirds happened by. Always a bright spot on a cold winter’s day.
Since last April, a red squirrel has been tormenting the gray squirrels. So far none of the gray squirrels have taken him, or her, up on the offer to mate. I’m looking forward to the offspring when he, she, does find a partner. Will they be small and gray, or large and red? Perhaps striped?
My final addition to this post will be, of course, my ducks. Since the beginning of the month, I’ve gotten a ton of beaks to feed. They fly in a few more each day, so I know they’re not my originals and it’s not my fault they’re still in Massachusetts instead of down South. I always feel I have to add that last part (my mother did a great job instilling guilt in me).
I recently learned of a young man feeding a large flock south of Boston. Seems I’m not the only person driving to the Essex County Co-op for duck chow.
In closing, I’m looking forward to 2017, the Chinese year of the Fire Rooster, which is sort of like a duck, of which I have plenty. They both have beaks and they both eat cracked corn. If need be, I’ll even glue some crown feathers on my drakes. Bottom line–I’ll do whatever it takes to have a better year.
I wish you a blessed, bountiful, and joyful new year. Peace from the Concord River. Blessed be.
(I’m way too tired to proofread this blog. Message me with any errors. Thanks.)