Signs of progress – the system is functioning: 

26 April, 2020            Signs of progress – the system is functioning: 

I saw my first deer in a long time this week. So far, everyone always loves deer pictures on this blog. When it comes to blog views, deer are the opposite of snakes. So here’s the opposite of a snake at Pony Pasture Tuesday morning at around 9:30: 

The peace of wild things

I took this picture of Evelyn’s roses in the backyard at 8:30 Monday morning. I photographed the same bush around 7:30 this (Sunday, 4/26/2020) evening. I’ll put that picture at the bottom of the post. Spoiler alert: the roses are doing what roses have always done: 

Evelyn’s roses 8:30 Monday morning

Anyway, when I got that deer Tuesday, Mackey and Turner and I were looking for Barred Owls. We were unsuccessful, if you count seeing a deer as unsuccessful, which it obviously is not. Speaking of items in the “unsuccessful when looking for an owl” category, we also saw more lovely spiderwort Tuesday: 

Spiderwort – same day – and just a few minutes walk from the deer – Tuesday

AND – the “unsuccessful when looking for an owl” category is mighty fun – we saw late season bluebells!: 

Still bluebells left in the woods this week:

Evelyn hit the jackpot with this most recent gardenia. More likely the gardenia hit the jackpot with Evelyn; she brings out the best in them. When I say “hit the jackpot” I mean I could take great pictures of this plant any time. But I like the “missed an owl” theme from Tuesday, so here’s a gardenia picture I took that day (on our back porch). No I didn’t – I apologize. I took one Tuesday, but I took this “triple” Thursday; I couldn’t resist: 

A triple gardenia. When you eat pizza near it, the pizza tastes like gardenias. I’m not even kidding.

Tuesday (4/22/2020) was the Fiftieth Anniversary of Earth Day! My friend Jody gave me this globe for my birthday many years ago and it looks great for Earth Day. Thanks Jody!: 

Earth Day

Earth day too

Big planet

Evelyn has many friends at Project Yoga Richmond. She showed me a poem they’d posted on their Instagram page on Earth Day morning. You may be aware of it. It was written in 1968 by Wendell Berry. The poem is The Peace of Wild Things

“The Peace of Wild Things”  Wendell Berry – 1968 

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. 

Mackey and Turner and Yuki and I went to Pony Pasture this morning to be in the peace of wild things. Like the deer on Tuesday, I suspect these owls don’t “tax their lives with forethought of grief.” I was so moved to see them this morning. Trust me – you can have an enormous amount of despair for the world growing in you, and when you come into the peace of these wild things, for a time you will rest in the grace of the world, and be free: 

The amount of peace in these wild things is inestimable. There is no room for anything else.

You should try it! There’s no shortage of social distance either, especially when it’s muddy like it is now. 

I have wild things outside my window all day, although birds on a bird feeder are not quite as wild as those owls or that deer. But the first (for me) catbirds of 2020 descended on our yard this week; I’m always grateful. This is not what I’d call a “peaceful” image but they’re attractive birds. In the height of nesting/mating season: 

Pair of catbirds energized by suet

A handsome (though I’m uncertain of the gender) bluejay this week: 

Bluejays dominate the feeder. But crows run them off.

Finally – look at the roses at the top of this post, then compare them to this picture, the same roses, six days and twelve hours later. The world is doing what it always does. Coronavirus is around now, but it won’t be here forever. Enjoy these roses! And go into the peace of wild things. 

Same roses at the top of the post. plus 6.5 days of sun and rain and love:

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 Barred Owls, Birds, Dogs, Endurance, Flowers, Fun, Gardenias, James River, love, newfaze, People, Pony Pasture, Rivers, roses, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!), whitetail deer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Signs of progress – the system is functioning: 

  1. Rob Martin says:

    💚 wild!

  2. Jenny Marwitz says:

    Thanks, Jay. Your post and the poem really spoke to me this morning.

    • Thanks Jenny! Great to hear from you. It’s a good, good poem for this odd era we’re living through. Hopefully there will be peace of wild AND tame things in the post-COVID era. Have a great day!

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