Stepping Outside

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I’ve been noticing lately that there is a stillness about this season that I haven’t noticed before.  It’s very hard to capture that feeling in a photo.

Fall Stillness

Fall Stillness

There’s been no swirling winds that knock the leaves off the branches.  It’s just been incredibly still.  I’m a little worried that we won’t get rain again this winter.

Turning Leaves in Bidwell Park

Turning Leaves in Bidwell Park

I went to Bidwell Park in Chico, California when I was visiting the other day, with the hope that the leaves would be colorful and falling from the trees.  The leaves were just starting to turn and there were so many acorns that it seemed as if they were raining from the sky.  The chatter in the trees was amazing to listen to as the acorns fell from above. 

Illusive Butterfly

Illusive Butterfly

Little did I realize that all I needed to do was step outside into my own backyard to find a sight that I don’t usually see.  We often have Swallowtail butterflies in the yard but seldom do you see a Monarch.

Resting in the Magnolia

Resting in the Magnolia

So when I saw this, I grabbed my camera and waited……and chased……..and waited……and chased……and waited.  This was a very shy butterfly.

Drinking from the Dahlia

Drinking from the Dahlia

My patience paid off and I can return to the calm that continues to surround this season.

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Big Beautiful Chico Creek

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I took the time, last week, to walk through a small section of Bidwell Park in Chico, California.  It is a beautiful place, especially in the fall.  I started at One Mile, which is a swimming hole that is quite active during the summer, as it can get quite hot in Chico.

One Mile

One Mile

The walk was mostly down a dirt path that ran beside the Big Chico Creek.  It was quiet, except for the occasional bicycle or dog passing by.  Quiet, except for the falling of the giant leaves through the trees and bushes.  That was noisy, amazingly so.  Noisy too, was the crunching of those leaves beneath my feet.  It almost seemed as if they were exceptionally dry this year.  Quiet, except for the woodpeckers, pecking in the trees and the squirrels busily collecting nuts and seeds for the upcoming winter.  It was quiet and so very busy at the same time.  

Leaf on the Creek

Leaf on the Creek

I was forced to stop and reflect while the creek went rushing by.  It reminded me of many of the creeks and streams that ran through the neighborhoods, in Santa Cruz, where I lived as a child.  I always would stop to view the cool clear water creeks, as I found the water spiders and tadpoles completely mesmerizing in my youth.  

Gathered Water

Gathered Water

I was fascinated by the water on this leaf.  The sun was shining on it and sparkling in an extrodinary way.  (I guess that I haven’t left my youth behind as much as I tend to think that I have from day to day.)

Barely Hanging On

Barely Hanging On

The sun filtering through the leaves was so wonderful to view and it made my soul lift and feel free (child like).

Dry Leaf Floating Toward One Mile

Dry Leaf Floating Toward One Mile

The creek was still running at a good pace, even though we are in a drought, and I would watch the leaves as they would go floating toward the Little Chico Creek that runs through the University Campus.  As a child, I would have been creating leaf races on the creek, but there were enough leaves falling into the creek to create leaf races of their own.

Sunlight Through the Leaves

Sunlight Through the Leaves

I think it is important to stop and fill your mind with the colors, sights, and sounds of each season.  This place and the silences reminded me of Connecticut and the silence that I found there on the Long Island Sound.  I penned the final poem in my book, Imprints, while listening to the silence of the sound.  

Turning Vines

Turning Vines

There is a peacefulness that fills you, in the silences that you can find everyday.  You only need to seek out those silences.  Its hard sometimes, with our busy schedules to find the silence, but it’s there.  Listen…..