Welcome Summer Solstice!
Summer Solstice honors the longest day of the year. All around we see the fullness of fertility and the work of the Mother. And so, we honor the mother as the creator of life. This includes any woman that nurtures, sustains and protects life regardless of whether they physically gave birth.
As I am writing this, the sky is dark and a steady rain is falling. The air smells clean and the frogs are singing. I always smile when I hear them. They are so small but make such loud sounds. Right now, two of them are singing loudly. I do not know if they are calling to each other or if they are competing to see which one can make more noise. The rainy season for Florida began June 1 but that did not stop over five inches of rain from falling in one day last month. There were areas of flooding in some of the neighboring counties but no flooding here. I was lucky to capture the end of a double rainbow in this photo.
The singing mockingbird arrived two days ago. It sits in the top of the tall live oak in the backyard and goes through a repertoire of songs. My husband whistles back to see if the bird will repeat him. Last year, the mockingbird learned many new sounds. Some of the sounds were crickets, frogs, car alarm and this year “pretty bird, pretty bird.” I am amazed at how they listen, learn and adapt their songs. The female mocking bird that stayed over the winter has been actively catching bugs and guarding her bush. I am not sure where her nest is but I know it is close. This afternoon, I also saw a pair of Sandhill cranes with their juvenile doing a test-flying run. They were about five or six feet off the road. They flew down to the end of the road before landing. I am not sure if this was the first flight but it was successful!
Last month, we found a baby turtle on the patio. There is a nearby lake but not close enough for this baby to make it here. I believe she was going to be someone’s snack. She was a little shy but did not stay that way for long. I found a small box for her and we drove to the lake. I walked down the bank to the water’s edge while she was scrambling in the box. She must have been able to tell we were close to the water. I gently placed her on the sand and she took a few tentative steps before racing off into the water. I was concerned when I saw a couple of fish come up to her but she was not bothered at all. A large catfish swam by but did not have any interest in her. I watched as she swam towards the center of the lake. Every time we drive by, I look at the floating island (made from a wooden pallet) to see if I can see her. I hope she has a long life with her turtle family.
Lately, the male turkeys have been walking around the neighborhood but the females have been in hiding. Today I had a glimpse of a mother turkey with her brood. Usually the females travel together with their babies but this female was by herself. I am surprised with the number of babies she has. When I counted them, I counted nine babies. Normally, they have four or five babies with them. I thought it was appropriate to see her with her children on a day I was writing about mothers.
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Blessings to you during this Solstice season,