The past few days have brought beautiful creatures into my view. Not just the usual suspects, either. (Deer, check. Hawks, check. Numerous waterfowl, check and check. Muskrats, check…)
Day One I found the snakes alongside the bridle path where I love to walk. First one, dozing in the sun, then another, larger one that slithered off noisily as we came tromping alongside it. It had a very sunny patch, and the day had warmed considerably by then, so it was almost feisty in its retreat. Both were beautifully striped along their sides, indicating common gardner or garter snakes. Later that same walk came the intense red-orange body of an oriole in flight! I listened for the mellifluous song, but was disappointed by the chirping of sparrows and the hum of the highway instead.
The next day brought a real surprise: a red fox on the hillside below my apartment and above the river. The dog sniffed it out, pulling on her leash with raised hackles. All I saw was the scrubby hillside, vine-shrouded and dim. Then a rustle and whoop!–there leapt a shape, with a plume of a tail arcing behind with such grace. Sunlight slanted on it, amber flashing through the gloom like neon–and then it was gone. Like a vision of magic, the fox was there and then gone, so that I wondered what I’d really seen.
Amazingly, the wonder of the day didn’t cease there. Afterwards, we watched a two-foot long northern water snake slither around the boats at the marina. I just wished it was big enough to eat one of the nasty Canada geese that honk and poop all over the place there! No luck there, either. (But it does explain why I’ve been seeing fewer rabbits about.)
And finally, the third day brought me back to the bridle path. At the end of our walk, a loud–and I do mean LOUD–drumming made me look up. Not just any old woodpecker, mind you, but a pileated woodpecker. The first time I’d seen one in real life! It was clearing out an old nesting hole. Was it looking for bugs, or prepping for nesting? I’m not sure, but I was happy to see it there, while other walkers ignored it and walked right by.
It was as if Mother Nature was fortifying me against the whims of mankind. You see, these same three days brought three separate rejections, one each day. Each was a personal response, very kind and encouraging. One even encouraged me to submit to their publication again (of course I will!).
Sigh. But three rejections in three days. Ouch!
Remember when I said I hate waiting? Well, I still do, but now I’m wondering if waiting isn’t better than rejection, ’cause you still have hope. And remember in the last post what I said about Trust raising its pretty little head, only to get squashed? Yup, that’s here, too. And finally, how about the bit about Pure Cussedness and Determination getting me through it all, keeping me writing and submitting? Well, that’s where I’m at now. Still writing, re-subbing those pieces and hanging tough.
I just hope I don’t see any more amazing animals for awhile…