I walked down toward the river in the morning: All around me, leaves were turning a deeper green from the advance of the season. Toward the water, white hobblebush hydrangeas in bloom brightened the undergrowth. Cobwebs of micrathena spiders lay across my way. I found a cluster of webworms on a buckeye tree.. Two luminescent tiger beetles raced in front of me.
I saw that some honeysuckles had orange berries. Privets had green berries. Solomon’s plume had brown berries. Blackberries were green. Raspberry branches with sweet black fruit hid behind the touch-me-nots. Catchweed seeds were yellowing and they stuck to my shoes.
I picked and sampled one May apple: bitter. Near the wetlands, moss on a fallen tree glowed in the canopy twilight. Spent watercress lay upended in a shallow backwater. A few shining blue damselflies hovered near the aging skunk cabbage. I listened to cardinals, a thrush and a pileated woodpecker. All around me, robins clucked and peeped to guide their young.
These things and more came into me and for the duration of that walk seemed to change my life in a cascade of alterations that left nothing the way it was at the beginning, each act of awareness transforming the way I saw the world, and then those transformations compounding and coloring the awareness of observations to come, making the whole world new.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I'll be back again next week with notes for the second week of middle summer. In the meantime, walk the woods, changing yourself.