Category Archives: Nature Writing

Ice forming…

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Each step I take brings me into deeper healing, brings me back to poetry, opens my heart to sky!

It was just a short walk today…from camp to water’s edge. I jogged back up the hill, though. This weekend I refused to rush myself. I did little of what I had planned and I slept a lot.

On the ride to camp, I read poetry by Russel Thorburn from his book, “The Whole Tree as Told to the Backyard”

I love these lines:

At my typewriter close to the window/the cold earned its right to be a metaphor,/but none could be found as we heard/the tree crouching in its dreams.

We took things from the yard and garage (at Craig Street) to camp for winter storage. We brought home wood for the garage woodstove. I picked up buckets and pots. Found three small pumpkins in the garden.

We dropped lumber at Michael and Beth’s home, too.

Dinner was re-warmed roast chicken and I smoothed yesterday’s leftover mashed potatoes into a casserole dish and baked them until slightly crusty.

Now, I have little energy for anything else.

I feel ice forming. It’s below 30-degrees. I am ready for an afghan and more poetry.

Day Two–NaNoWriMo and Art Every Day Month

Art Every Day Month--Day Two--Harvey Bayou, Chocolay River

A new look on life seemed to be the theme of my NaNoWriMo and Art Every Day Month endevours.

My writings which came in two sessions today. I was s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g myself today. And guess what! There was enough of me to go around.

Session 1 excerpts:

A pink geranium reminded me that with the season changing this momentum could spur my own growth and survival. Devil’s night I was bringing flowerpots from the front yard back to the shed and a pink geranium was about to bloom. I thought I will help you survive “little pink” and took the pot inside.

This pink geranium then spurred me to rearrange the whole healing-art studio upstairs. I now see this as a three-day arrangement complete with dust balls the size of guinea pigs. But the process will reach into winter.

Last night, as I drove home from the 3-11 shift at the group home the Wells Fargo Bank sign reported 32 degrees. The windows of my car had already started to frost. Mike reports he must finish fixing the snow blower, because snow is predicted for later this week. Heavy, wet,-first snow the kind you rather wait out in your home until the next warm day.

I woke to the golden glow casting itself through the living room and past the red orange dogwood. The cat is snoring next to me on the couch and I can hear crows outside.

Session 2 excerpts:

I think of the hostas in the garden that are decaying with each frost. I hear predictions of snow. I think of things I need to lay to rest over the coming days.

Dreams return.

They tell me how to fly. I fly. I photo. I clip and even sew. I look forward to this new endeavor.

I see new friends. I channel. I swim with the fishes.

Orange fish. Blue fish. Green fish. Two fish. Or the tiny fish swimming in the channel, today. Squirming in shallow water and travelling too quick for my camera. Away to new shelter.

Foot paths. Bridges. The suspension bridge at Song Bird. River sitting. Soup.

I must make soup and roast squash and bake goodness and share with many.

More Water Worlds

Spring Orange Before Rain, photo by Kim Nixon

This photo was taken beside Songbird Trail next to the Delta in Marquette, Michigan. If you can identify the bush please let me know by commenting below.

How Our Landscapes Define Us–Shorelines

December Ore Dock, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Landscape ‘ is never simply a natural space, a feature of the natural environment.[E]very landscape is the place where we establish our own human organization of space and time’

–John B. Jackson, Discovering the Vernacular Landscape

I grew up as a lakeshore girl on the beaches of the Leelanau Peninsula, past Northport, down a private road, miles from children my own age. Solitary, I roamed the dunes and old logging trails for hours only returning home when my tummy grumbled. Petoskey stones and beach glass filled my pockets and  grasses whispered stories, my imagination ran wild.

Fast as the wind my anger crashed like white caps on sand bars and boulders. I was a force to be reckoned with. I dove off dunes, reckless, arms flailing for balance in the air, my feet thumped solid and hard. I knew “due north” instinctively and I could feel a weather front shift.

I was everything Michigan, tanned and untamed until Fall when we would return downstate to suburbia. I never quite fit in there. Neat rows of homes with uniform lawns. Street lights and porch lights so oddly defined angular shapes. I prefered the night sky on a dark beach with it’s deep blues and blacks, sand cold beneath my barefeet. Water defined the shore but it was ever changing.

Shorelines call me like a line of poetry. I’m tugged by waves. This is a new peninsula. I have aged and finding definitions is a terrible feat best left undone. The water color is harder as is the skyline on Superior and with it I reflect with deeper contrasts. Light and Edge fight with Dark and Mist. I constantly feel on the verge of what must come next, never grasping, never knowing.


Art Every Day, 11/30, Crab Apple Lonely

Crab Apple Lonely, photo copyright Kim Nixon

This Crab Apple is about to be lonely as the leaves will soon blow away. In the spring there will still be apples clinging a favorite of Robins who get surprised by late snows.

For more writings on winter visit “A Winter Journal, Notes from the Upper Peninsula“.

This post is part of my Art Every Day commitment. Join in!

Art Every Day 3/30, Riverbank Series

Milkweed Smiles, Whitefish River 2008, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Milkweed Pod, Whitefish River 2008, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Mike Making Macro, Whitefish River 2008, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Pod Burst, Whitefish River 2008, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Art Every Day 2/30, Lift Me Up

Lift Me Up, Queen Anne's Lace, on the side of Highway 41 South, copyright Kim Nixon

I am taking part in Art Every Day.

This photo was also submitted for the Challenge: Sharp.

Art Every Day Month, 1/30, Unidentified Fruit in Blue

Unidentified Fruit in Blue, photo copyright Kim Nixon
Welcome to the month of November, which for me is always a let down as I know the snows of winter are soon to fall. I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and we have long hard winters often with little sunlight. It is during these long months that Seasonal Affective Disorder can plague my ambition, motivation, and esteem. One of the things I will be doing in the month of November is committing to Art Every Day.

The photo above was taken on the Bog Walk at the Moosewood Nature Center. I was standing on one of the boardwalk platforms and noticed high in a small tree, fruit. Dark blue against sky blue. The fruit looks like a blueberry but these are not low bushes. So, it is an unidentified fruit flying against the sky blue of fall. A celebration in abundance. Sunshine. Fruit for birds. The fact I am creating, and on a walk in beautiful weather.

It is not too late to sign-up for Art Every Day Month. What can you create in the next 30 days? Presents for Christmas. Chapters of your memoir? New works for an exhibit? Go on now, create!

Got Bees?

photo by Kim Nixon

My garden has bees and the bees are intoxicated. Some late blooming plants had bees congregating. I could put my lens right on the bees and they were oblivious. I am allergic to bees and if they were showing any aggression I would have been out of there. But here they were, late season, sucking it up. (photos taken September 15, 2008, Marquette Michigan).

photo by Kim Nixon

Amphibian Nature

photo copyright Kim Nixon


photo copyright Kim Nixon


photo copyright Kim Nixon


photo copyright Kim Nixon

I lost Mike and looked around and he had gone down the backside of the stone rise. A small tidal pool held several frogs. I was taken in by the frogs and spent time low to the ground eye to eye waiting for the sun to turn them metallic and glittery. I loved these frogs. So much stone and sand and here, green, green, green. I was alive with their color. Another gift Mike had given to me without knowing. I took almost 70 photos of these frogs. As I shot, I practiced stillness as not to frighten them from their serious job of sunning themselves.

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