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SoCS: In the Elements, Mary Poppins, Wildlife Photos, and Getting Cozy

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “element.” We can use it any way we want. Who knows what will happen?

It’s not so bad being out in the elements if you are dressed for it, and it’s like for 20 minutes. Last evening, I walked Marley in a chilly rain, well it was more like a drizzle. We just went to the park and back. Having run errands earlier, I was tired, but made myself go to an art show since I had entered some of my and my daughter’s photos with encouragement from my friend, Linda who is a photographer. Now, Friday evening, I’m drinking some hot tea called “Calming.” It contains elements of chamomile and licorice root and others I don’t remember.

The element of surprise is not something I care to be subjected to. Elements of peace and joy, those are nice. There is an element of joy in every day. What’s that song? “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and SNAP the job’s a game.” How did I end up memorizing those Mary Poppins songs? We must’ve had the album when I was a kid.

Pausing to pet the cat on my lap, I don’t know where to go from here. Feeling thankful to be home and cozy, except I need a blanket on my feet. Next time the cat gets up, I will get the blanket. But my tummy is very warm, with warm tea on the inside and a warm cat on the outside. It’s not even that cold out, just in the upper 50s and rainy. Just enough to make the inside cozy.

Well, must be time for a gallery or something before I start repeating myself more. Maybe I’ll sleep in tomorrow, but I have a dog and a cat to feed by the crack of 9am, or the cat will chastise me for being late with long, loud meows.

“Yes, I will.”

Oh, what a life where sleeping in means 8:30am. I’m glad our host, Linda slept in on prompt day. My older sister’s name was Linda, too. It’s a lovely name.

The gallery shows the photos we put in the show which was about wildlife. The first two are mine, and the second two (Dancing Osprey and Turtle Undercover) were taken by my daughter, Ayla.

Isn’t it amazing how wild animals adapt to the elements? Especially birds. I certainly hope they don’t get as cold as I would.

Speaking of cozy, here’s my go to dinner music of cozy jazz:


For more streams of consciousness, along with rules,

visit our host, Linda Hill, by clicking HERE.


Thursday Tree Love: A Bowl and a Bend

I can only begin to imagine what might have given this tree such an unusual shape with a bowl at the bottom and a slender trunk bent back into an arch, yet still growing leaves. We discovered this unique individual on my daughter’s May birthday hike through a nature preserve in southeatern North Carolina. I do not know what kind of tree it is, perhaps some kind of laurel, but I do know that it is a survivor. Here are some close ups:

The Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve contains a variety of habitats and diverse terrain:


Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the secon and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit:


SoCS: Crocs, Gators, and a Birthday Hike

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “roc.” We are to find a word with “roc” in it or use it as a word all by itself, and enjoy!

Crocodiles are different from alligators. We have alligators here in North Carolina. I’ve seen them at the lake and less often in the creek not far from my house. Alligators are not as aggressive as crocodiles. I have to admit that I researched the differences before starting this stream. I was curious! But I’m still writing in SoCS style and did a minimum of planning. I think that’s the rule.

I used to think there were no crocodiles in the US, but read that southern Florida is the only place where gators and crocs coexist. Crocs have pointier snouts. I guess I thought gator snouts were pointy because that’s how they look in the water. Crocs live in South America and Africa. I’m glad gators aren’t that aggressive, at least to people, but you have to be careful not to let small dogs or cats run around gator territory. Don’t want to think too much about that.

How about this sign?

WARNING: Beware of Alligators

Is that sign just weathered, or did the alligators come up and rub those letters so you couldn’t read them? Why would they do that? Why would I even imagine that? Too much imagination. Let’s move on.

Crocs are a brand of functional shoes. I love my crocs sandals with lots of cushioning. The first pair I had lasted at least two years. Then each pair afterward seemed to last less time. It helps if I don’t wear them to do yoga outside. Seems I need more and more cushioning under my old feet. No more going barefoot. Maybe that’s a good thing. My feet will be a little safer from crocs, gators, and snakes when I go on hikes to the creek or my urban forest.

On Tuesday we went on a birthday hike for my daughter’s 28th birthday to a nature preserve across the bridge in the next county. There were places where alligators might have been hiding. No crocs though. We did see a turtle. (It looked like a turtle, but there was no water nearby so maybe it was a tortoise?) We hiked lots of varied terrain – woods, fields, and swamp. Not many rocks though like up north in the mountains. Glad it was too early for the mosquitoes to be out in force. I’ve only seen a few, but it’s been very dry here lately. It won’t be long…. Anyway, here a few photos from my daughter’s birthday hike.


Today’s prompt is brought to you by our SoCS post, Linda Hill. You can find rules and more streams of consciousness by clicking the link below:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 22, 2021 | (


Thursday Tree Love: Cypress Trees

Walking along the creek, my husband and I saw several cypress trees.  Their feathery leaves remind me of wild bushy hair, and their trunks flare at the bottom like skirts.

cypress w feathery leaves


I suspect these are “bald cypress” who like to live near water and sometimes even in swamps. Their knobby knees, which are actually roots, grow up out of the water.

cypress with knobs


As I lingered to take pictures, David walked a little ahead of me.

creek with cypress

More cypress trees on the right


He spied something dark near the creek bank and beckoned me to come see:


turtle w mud and algae


The turtle dressed in algae wanted privacy, so we didn’t stay long.

#ThursdayTreeLove is a photo feature hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit:


The Turtle at the Chinese Restaurant

turtle at chinese buffet

Since my father died in January, I drive the hour to his house (which is technically my house now) once or twice a month to sort through the possessions he and Mom collected over the 47 years they lived there. It’s quite a process (physically and emotionally) which will likely take me a couple of years.

A mile from their house (I can’t seem to call it my house since I haven’t lived there in 40 years) is a Chinese restaurant with a buffet.  After mom died, we started going there for Christmas dinner.  Dad didn’t want to have a “family dinner” at the house without her. Since Dad died, my husband and I have gone to the buffet occasionally since it’s so convenient. In addition to it being strange without Dad, there was something else that bothered me about the place. They have one of those 6 foot long aquariums with large fish swimming back and forth in what seems like very little space for the number and size of the fish. To make matters worse, they have a turtle swimming around there too. The turtle, about the size of my open hand, would pull itself up on a corner and stick it’s head out, maybe  waiting for a treat. I always worried that the turtle didn’t have anywhere to rest other than perching on the corner of the tank. Didn’t he get tired from having to swim all the time? I worried that he (I’m using he because, from my human perspective, it looks like a he) might climb out and get hurt. So, I decided I didn’t want to go to this buffet anymore, because it upset me to see the turtle living in these conditions. That was until recently, when we were tired from all the sorting, and the buffet was just too convenient, so we went.

On this last visit, I noticed they  had put a piece of wood in the aquarium for the turtle to perch on.

turtle perch

I thanked the manager for this addition on the way out. He said he wanted to tell me a story about the turtle. He said that five years ago, a customer had found the turtle on the floor, just inside the outer door of the foyer.  He held up his fingers to show that the turtle had been about the size of a silver dollar when they found him. They put the tiny turtle in the aquarium where he has lived, and apparently thrived, ever since. The manager smiled as he told the story, like he was fond of the turtle.

If it had been me who found the baby turtle, I probably would taken the him to a pond or creek to swim free and hang out with other turtles. But then, he could have been eaten by an alligator.  And who knows if he was even born wild. He kind of looks like one of those store bought baby turtles, which is another problem altogether.

After hearing the story, I considered this turtle, and the restaurant, from a different perspective. In a way, the restaurant management had rescued the turtle from being stepped on. They gave him a home and took care of him. And who knows? Maybe he’s happy there, especially now that he has a perch to rest on.