The opposite of Attention Deficit Disorder

7 April, 2019           The opposite of Attention Deficit Disorder

There is no deficit in Turner’s attention. See the deer in front of him? Possibly a surplus of attention.

You could have knocked Turner over with a feather when a deer had the audacity to walk across the path in plain view Thursday morning at Pony Pasture. He was focused so intently on that deer I thought a little curl of smoke might start rising. Like when you use a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s light on a dry oak leaf in the autumn. Turner was beyond riveted. 

The woods were full of them:

These deer hardly have a care in the world. I suspect I’ve been walking dogs past that spot since their grandparents lived there, so they’re used to us.

Spring is continuing to burst out at every corner along the riverbank. Before I started hiking at Pony Pasture I never knew what an “ephemeral” was – only the meaning of the word. But wikipedia says an ephemeral plant is “one marked by short life cycles.” Possibly that’s why I never even knew trout lilies existed until I spent time at Pony Pasture. Here’s one I saw Thursday, not long after the deer riveted Turner’s gaze:  

Trout lily at Pony Pasture – a delicate and beautiful ephemeral


Male osprey near Stony Point. Look at that sunlight gleam in his eye

It’s in my nature (no pun intended) to focus more on fauna than on flora. Even I am ephemeral, though on a much (I hope) longer scale than a flower. Ospreys arrive on the upper James at around the same time Trout Lilies bloom at Pony Pasture. But the trout lilies will be long gone by the end of this month. Ospreys will stay through August or September. Then they’ll be gone – until trout lilies return in the Spring of 2020. 

Everything is ephemeral on some scale. Spring included, come to think of it. But redbuds come at the beginning of Spring, when the woods are still bright and damp and fresh. Ev planted a beauty in our backyard. This one was from Pony Pasture:

Pony Pasture Redbud – classic Spring image of a classic Spring plant

Since we have mourning doves 365 days a year in Virginia, they could make a case for not being ephemeral. I suspect these two will be raising baby doves very soon. This was on the south side of Patterson Avenue in front of the Tuckahoe YMCA Wednesday morning:

Mourning doves in the morning – they don’t appear to be in mourning

I rushed this shot a little today and I wish I hadn’t. This is a fiddlehead fern and they’re quite graceful; I didn’t capture it. And “fiddlehead” is a stage of fern growth, not a type of fern, and thus is very ephemeral – they’ll be regular old ferns real soon. But it’s a neat image:

Poorly executed image of a lovely fiddlehead fern

This adult male bluebird posed obligingly at Pony Pasture this morning when the dogs and I sauntered past. I was fortunate to see him in good light perched on this maple tree over the water:

Male bluebird on a maple branch this morning at Pony Pasture

This is not an elegant image (even less than the rest of my images) but I enjoy it. Our friend Tim has been bringing us plenty of firewood. I like to stack it up now in the back corner of our back yard. This stuff would do fine in the woodstove right now if we were having fires (we’re not) but it’s going to be perfect around Halloween when wood-burning season begins in earnest:

In our backyard now. Thank you Tim! This will be perfect for burning around Halloween, when wood burning season begins again

My favorite (and only) editor is out of town, so there may be more mistakes than usual! Sorry! And have a great week! And come back next week!

All best,


About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, Dogs, firewood, Flowers, Fun, James River, love, ospreys, Pony Pasture, raptors, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!), whitetail deer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s