Whispers of a Coming Season


flashes of silver

fish plash beneath clacking palms:

season of the fins


sweet budding branches:

brush back the flying darkness

comb through tangled stars


lavender shadows

ease across the evening sky:

waiting for the moon



cicadas thrumming

summer’s white noise droning on:

silence of the trees


Comments are welcome. To leave a comment or respond, just click below. And please – no Reblogging. Thanks!

67 thoughts on “Whispers of a Coming Season

  1. Did you find a prickly poppy?
    I remember the mullet jumping in our canal in Florida.
    That lavender sky is gorgeous.
    The cicadas will be drumming their percussion in the summer night soon from the creek.

    1. Georgette,

      Alas, no poppies. No time to get away. Maybe next year – or maybe a little roadie next weekend, just to see what’s out there.

      There are mullet jumping now, but my favorites are the glass minnows. When they’re really active, they can sound like rain coming across the water. I’ve heard cicadas a couple of times already – that’s when I started thinking we might have an early summer.

      I’m glad you like the sky. Absent our pollution, sunrises and sunsets down the coast can be gorgeous. Did you see the eclipse tonight? The conditions were perfect- enough haze to make viewing comfortable, and not a cloud in the sky.

      Linda

        1. I know – I just thought of that. I do enjoy experiencing in real time the differences our elders only read about Summer here, winter there, and so on. A blog friend in Michigan just is getting her geraniums. Here, I know people who are thinking of tossing theirs because it’s already so hot. Amazing.

    1. nikkipolani,

      They are white wisteria. I’d never seen them when I took this photo – I only knew the lavender. But there they were, out in the middle of a relative nowhere, just dripping from the roadside trees, a beautiful complement to the daffodils and such that filled the meadow beneath.

      Linda

        1. I really can’t say, about that. Most of the wisteria was too high to bury my nose into it. But there was a sweet scent that day, and I wouldn’t be surprised to know ti was the wisteria.

  2. We don’t have four seasons in Panama. It’s either dry or wet. But each one of these seasonal stages are equally loved and cherished. Nature is so kind with us, and yet we take it for granted.

    Your pictures are gorgeous. You are as good in photography as in writing. Congrats!

    Omar.-

    1. Omar,

      Our seasonal changes here in coastal Texas certainly aren’t as striking as in other parts of the country, but most people – especially transplants from the Midwest or New England, for example – cherish what changes there are.

      And I do remember the experience of waiting for the rains after a long dry season in a tropical country. No northerner even awaited that first crocus or tulip with more anticipation!

      Thanks for your kind words about the photos. I love them, but of course that’s partly because of the memories attached. It’s good to know they have some appeal for other folks.

      Linda

  3. Your last line made me think of something that Pascal wrote: “Le silence éternel de ces espaces infinis m’effraie.” “The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.” As I recall, he was looking not at trees but at the night sky.

    1. Steve,

      Amazing, isn’t it – the different qualities of silence? I suspect Pascal would have enjoyed Loren Eiseley, another writer whose contemplation of distant space and the distant past seem to have unnerved him from time to time.

      In this world, of course, silence rarely is empty. That’s what unnerved me most when I moved to Liberia. If I said, “What IS that?” once, I said it a thousand times, until I started to recognize the sounds of “that”.

      Linda

        1. Oh, my – yes. Actually, I was liberated from a good bit during those years, including any fear of the dark and the need to have everything in sight covered in plastic.

          Other experiences became liberating decades later. Constantly being in touch through Twitter, texting, and so on? In my LIberian years, mail arrived when someone made the trek to Monrovia, and as for phone calls – those depended on the pilot’s ham radio, good atmospheric conditions and a nice man in North Carolina who did phone patches for us. We survived.

    1. Wendy,

      That trip into the swamp was memorable – and I’m still sitting on a post or two about it. So many drafts, so little time – as you well know. It occurs to me that another trip might be necessary – you know, just to round out my experience a bit. ;)

      I’m glad you enjoyed the haiku, and the little taste of home!

      Linda

  4. Although thoroughly enjoying spring, I began my day with your magnificent promises of summer. I love your “season of the fins”.

    I’m glad you went with what would have been Al Michael’s choice, and I learned a new word today. John Madden would have used “splash”.

    1. Claudia,

      “Plash” was this post’s “skry”. There it was, saying “Choose me! Choose me!” I had to look up the danged word to confirm it was, in fact, a word, and not just what my dear Aunt Rilla would have called a “fig newton of my imagination”.

      Some people might think a finny season is funny, but I love the fishy sounds that drift through my window at night. Well, I love them until the heat and humidity bring those other signs of summer – closed windows and air conditioning.

      Linda

    2. The dictionaries I’ve looked in say that plash appeared in the early 1500s, most likely as a word imitating the sound it represents. A couple of centuries later, splash arose as a variant of plash.

      1. Isn’t that addition of a letter interesting? It seems words change more often by subtraction rather than addition – or perhaps I’m only thinking of the normal contraction of words. “Gonna” instead of “going to”, and so on.

        I did discover another use for “plash” and “plashings” in an article detailing fortifications on the Isle of Wight, dating back to Henry VIII. It’s really interesting, having to do with the use of hedges for protection . By the time I finished reading about the plashings, I was wondering about “flashings”. The Online Etymology Dictionary said this about flashings: “The meaning “strip of metal used in roofing, etc.” is from 1782, earlier simply flash (1570s), but it is of unknown origin and might be an unrelated word.”

        Who knows? Maybe “plash” and “flash” are related. Even if they’re not, certainly our roof flashings do help keep out the plashing of the rain!

  5. So, to add to all the other delights in your creative storehouse, here you give us four gemlike haiku, each with a lovely photograph as well. I can’t think of a better way to whisper in the coming season. Thank you!

    1. Susan,

      The way I figure it, there’s a time to talk about language, and a time just to use language. We need to do both! I’m so glad you enjoyed them. I enjoyed working on them, for sure.

      I know you have a new post up – probably two, now. I’ll be by soon. It’s always a frenzy at work before a big holiday – every boat owner in town suddenly wakes up and realizes the season is here and their vessels wants spiffing up. I’m looking forward to the long weekend, believe me, but even more I’m looking forward to samples of the music you heard on your trip!

      Linda

      1. I love the way you’ve put this (about language). Not to worry about when you get Over There–I do know that frenzy, even though I’ve only ever been a bystander. Good luck with it all. (FYI, I will have three music posts, then turn to the sights and sounds of the bit of Wales I saw. It was a trip splendid beyond my imagings.)

    1. Emily,

      You’re sounding like the lake-dweller/lake lover you are – of course “Season of the Fins” sounds like a book title to you!

      I must say, when I think back to family vacations at Leech Lake & northward, there are a few chapters that suggest themselves. The best probably would involve the night we stayed in Rainy River, Ontario. The only room in town was over a bar, and when the fights broke out about 2 a.m., I remember Dad shoving a chair underneath the doorknob. Mom asked him if he thought that really would do any good. He said it would stop a drunk stumbling around looking for his room, and he figured that was our biggest threat.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for stopping by. You have to have a million things on your mind with the trip coming up.

      Linda

  6. Linda, wonderfully beautiful title, poem, and pictures. It is like tasting a juicy Texas peach. :) I really like the first picture with the painted texture look. And I especially like this play of words: “fish plash beneath clacking palms”. I’ll make sure to add plash to my word collection list.

    1. Anna,

      Oh, and we’re ready for peaches. The first ones are in the farmers’ markets, but they’re still a little tart, and small. That’s all right – the strawberries are just finishing, and we have blueberries to take up the slack until the peaches come in.

      I’m not surprised you like that first photo – it’s the closest to some of the things you’ve been doing. I used a free program called Photofiltre. It’s no PS or Corel, but for someone like me it does well enough. I actually did that photo a couple of years ago, using the watercolor filter.

      Isn’t “plash” wonderful? Just think – Bobby Darin’s hit song could have been Plish Plash! .

      Linda

    1. Good Greatsby,

      Do you suppose we’re too late for the “fins de siècle”? Probably.

      No matter – a season of fins will do quite well. Thanks for stopping by, and for the kind words. You’re welcome any time!

      Linda

    1. Matt,

      Oh, I’m glad you stopped by. After all, it was your blog that started me down this path.

      I did some reading about the differences between Japanese and English haiku – very interesting. I began to understand the “kireji” or “cutting word”, and that led to some restructuring and different punctuation. I’m happy with them.

      And I’m so glad you like the photos!

      Linda

      1. Oh! I’m so happy to hear that… :-) Really like it when people appreciate haiku. I remember that I started reading and writing haiku almost 12 years ago. It was an offshoot of my interest in Zen. Since it has its roots in Zen (if I’m not mistaken it was the Zen monk Basho who invented this kind of poetry), I love the underlying spirituality of the haiku. It’s usually an expression of a deeper reality (similar to a flash of enlightenment that the Zen people value so much) behind nature.

        I also love being able to express myself using only 17 syllables! For me, there’s nothing like the simplicity and beauty of a well-crafted haiku…

        ~ Matt

        1. Just out of curiosity, I counted the characters in the haiku up above. Every one of them would fit on Twitter – for some reason, that just tickles me to death. It’s a suggestion that form doesn’t have to dictate content!

  7. What you write here, and the photographs, all are beautiful and so well written. My favorite is the last.

    cicadas thrumming
    summer’s white noise droning on:
    silence of the trees

    Yes, yes, yes!

    1. Wild_Bill,

      I didn’t realize until a couple of days after I posted that I’d included one photo from home, and one each from three of my favorite places. I’m glad you enjoyed them!

      Aren’t cicadas wonderful? Sometimes I can track them down in the marinas. In the smaller trees they can be at eye level, and they’re fun to watch. A few years ago they drove everyone crazy, though – once they started, it was about two weeks before you could hear yourself think again!

      Linda

  8. We have five seasons here in the Tx Panhandle, cold and windy (Dec through Feb); cool, very windy and dusty (March), windy and hot (April); windy and hotter than blazes (May-August); and temperate with blowing gin trash (Sept-Nov).

    That last triplet is my favorite. — evokes so many childhood memories of lazy summer afternoons, with the cicadas droning on and on, sitting on the swing-set swings sucking on dill pickles halved lengthwise, Koolaid poured over an aluminum tumbler full of ice cubes that you had to drink sitting on the porch because the metal would get too cold to hold and you had to set it down between sips, The metal tumblers would leave wet rings on the concrete from the condensation off the grass, and we’d watch them to see whose would evaporate first, like it was a contest.

    1. WOL,

      You just evoked quite a memory for me – those aluminum tumblers. I just did a quick search and discovered there are gazillions for sale on Etsy and other such sites that cater to vintage goods. I had to smack my self and get back here. I may have to go back and purchase a set, just because.

      Aluminum was a big deal back then. I still have the little copper-colored shaker my mom used to mix water and flour when she was making gravy. And always, there were the ice cube trays. If we weren’t using them for ice, they were perfect for those “frozen salads” that usually involved fruit cocktail and whipped cream. Not Cool-Whip, though – I don’t think it had been invented yet. ;)

      Afternoon porch-sitting is the best. Morning and evening’s ok, too, but in the afternoon, you’ve got those cicadas, and butterflies wandering through the cutting garden. The chores are done, and the swing’s the perfect place for reading. Good times.

      I love your seasons. I’ll only add that it’s cotton-gin trash – just for those who might not know. I still remember the first time I saw those big, box-car sized rectangles of cotton, covered with their blue tarps. They looked like huge, beached whales. It’s quite a sight.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your memories!

      Linda

      1. Besides the fact that the aluminum tumblers kept drinks cold, in a time before the widespread use of plastics, they were also unbreakable — an important consideration when your thirsty kids are also rambunctious and barefooted!

  9. These perfectly describe the season. Love these phrases: “clacking palms”, “season of the fins”, “tangled stars”, “summer’s white noise” – that last one is such an observation!
    (Of course, you did leave off the “slapping of bugs”…but you are going for seasonal beauty)
    Lovely read.

    1. phil,

      The slapping of bugs – let’s see… The percussion in summer’s symphony? I’ll have to think on that one.

      You’ll notice I left out the tropical storm force winds, too. I’ve been so buried I just discovered that new invest. Thank goodness it’s north of our sea-going shuttle. ;)

      Thanks for stopping by – I’m really glad you liked the images.

      Linda

    1. Ginnie,

      Now you see why I’m so sorry I always cut things down for the web. I’d give anything to have that purple sunset for framing. Sigh. Live and learn! On of these days I need to make myself sit down and look through a couple of flash drives, to see what might actually be there.

      Glad you enjoyed them!

      Linda

  10. A lovely poem and absolutely stunning images, Linda. Lavender shadows — they really are the best, aren’t they?

    1. jeanie,

      They are the best. Remember this? One of the best “purple shadows” songs ever – I think I like it even better than “Deep Purple”.

      I hope you’ll have plenty of time for singing this weekend, and nothing but beautiful shadows!

      Linda

    1. sherri,

      There’s only one line I’d change. I’d like the second better as “plashing fish and clacking palms”. Eventually I may edit that, once the entry’s disappeared into the depths of the archives.

      I hope your weekend’s flowing nicely, too.

      Linda

  11. The last picture is wonderful, it’s my favourite out of these. Is that Atchafalaya? Pictures and words to meditate over.

    So you also write poetry? I try sometimes, but am never really satisfied with what I produce.

    1. friko,

      I like that last photo, too. It’s not the Atchafalaya but it is a bit of living swamp very near Lake De Cade. Here’s a map I made for you that shows the relative location of the photo spot to the Atchafalaya Basin. The “Bayou Woman” who posted a comment above is the gal who took me into the swamp – I’m dying to get back over there and do some more traveling.

      I don’t ever set out to write poetry, but when something seems to show a predisposition to turn itself into a poem, I try to encourage it. And every now and then a haiku or limerick will pop up. When that happens, I just stick them in the files. For this post, I realized I had four that seemed related to the turning of the season – so here they are!

      Glad you enjoyed them!

      Linda

    1. Bug,

      Aren’t photographs really wonderful? I wonder if really skilled photographers ever get tired of seeing the magic? I’ll bet not.

      I’m glad you enjoyed them!

      Linda

  12. Hi Linda,
    I know I am late for the party but I finally made it! I just loved your point illustrated by your photos.
    Lovely!!!
    Patti

    1. Patti,

      You know I know how busy you’ve been! I’m so glad you enjoyed these bits of a coming summer. You’re almost ready to enjoy it yourself – I’m glad you enjoyed this post!

      Linda

  13. Linda; You’ve managed to capture the essence of the season with an elegant collection of words and made it look so effortless, too! Both the photos and poetry are amazingly lovely! Thanks for the treat!

    ~ Beth

    1. Beth,

      I’ve decided haiku are a lot like butterflies. If I set out to catch one, it’s sure to be a day of frustration. If one happens by, and I happen to see it, that’s a different matter. Annie Dillard describes the difference between stalking and sitting – both are useful, but you have to know your prey!

      Glad you enjoyed them – and I’m really glad you’re finally getting some greening up your way. It’s felt like a long winter!

      Linda

  14. Sorry for the lateness in responding. Mind you, I’ve come by several times already. But those were the days when I had no sentiment except envy. Why… it’s mid summer for you but it’s only the beginning of spring for me. Well, at least we’re getting it now. Your photos are crisp and sharp, and I can see the tropical vegetations and environs. In different worlds we do live, Linda! And I love all the words.

    1. Arti,

      Oh, my. I’m smiling, for sure. Weather-envy is a hard thing. I remember how I felt last year in the midst of our drought. Everytime someone reported a couple of nice inches of rain, I just gritted my teeth and tried not to think uncharitable thoughts!

      We are moving into summer – the cicadas are getting loud, and the temperatures are rising. I see you’ve posted some photos of your spring. I’ll be over to gaze longingly at them – I wish spring had lingered a bit more.

      Different worlds, indeed. But at least we can share our worlds, in both words and images!

      Linda

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