Inside and outside my world, that world in which words have not been flowing through my brain, anxious to escape, to venture out into public view. Inside and outside my world, it has been a period of flurries of activity, followed by periods of minimal activity, those followed by periods of absolutely no activity. Today, outside my world, the seasons are at war.

Today, outside my window, old man winter is not giving up without a fight. He is spewing his anger across the green grasses, whipping the heads of the daffodils in his fury, shouting what I hope is his last hurrah for this year.

Today, outside my window, the blackbirds have arrived for their traditional spring visit, here to consume every possible morsel from the bird feeders before they head on their way to their summer destination. They believe in strength in numbers, obviously.

Yesterday, outside my window, I spied the first little chipmunk visitor of this season. I suspect he has scurried back into the safety and warmth of his underground home, letting old man winter and princess spring fight their fights, awaiting the return of calm. And sun. And warmth.

Last week, outside my window, there was a very persistent white-breasted nuthatch, who seemed entranced by the window. Perhaps he saw his reflection and thought he’d found the perfect mate, the mate that would be his perfect partner. Whatever his obsession was, he spent a few days constantly flying to the window, pecking at it, peering into it, until finally he decided she was playing far too hard to get. He has now moved on.


Last week, as I wandered outside around my yard, I came upon this leaf skeleton, a remnant from a summer long gone now. Who would know, looking at this leaf when it was dressed in its summer finery, that it was so complex. Well, sure, a botanist would know, but I was not able to see beyond it’s green coat. Until now. I have put it in a book to press, thinking I will frame it one day. If only I can remember which book I put it in. Perhaps there is a similarity between this leaf skeleton and my brain – all those little openings through which memory escapes.

And that’s how it’s been, inside and outside my window, inside and outside my world. Yard cleanup continues, and will likely continue far into the spring. Again this year, the pine trees seem to have an unending supply of pine cones and pine needles with which to offend my senses and cover my yard.

Gep has talked to me about life in Cuenca, Ecuador – a haven for ex-pats. He has talked to me about how much better I could live on my income, how consistently perfect the weather is, how lovely it is and how many new birds there would be for me to capture with my camera. It is tempting. But it is complicated. There is much to consider about the idea of moving, the uprooting and establishing new roots. First, later, I will visit. For now, I will stay put and enjoy life inside and outside.

About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 1 dog, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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17 Responses to Inside/Outside

  1. loisajay says:

    Carol, I love this! You have the best wild life–if you consider the birds and your little chipmunk friend actual ‘wildlife.’ I, too, have wondered about the expat life. Costa Rica seems to be a hot spot. But I wonder too much about medical care and close friends. Florida has the same weather as Costa Rica, right? Guess I will stay put for awhile…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol says:

      In the mountains of Ecuador, the humidity is lower and the temperatures run 65 to 75 as highs year around, my son tells me. From what I’ve read, medical care is excellent there and in Costa Rica. While I would love living oceanfront, I dislike humidity, so the mountains would probably win. But there is so much to consider. Apparently, the expat community is very welcoming and the variety of things to do is huge.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been drawn to Ecuador because I’ve heard the same thing that Gep says. I can’t wait to follow when you explore it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dawnkinster says:

    Love the leaf and the holes where memory escapes. Also love all those yellow birds, and the chipmunk…and of course the idea of adventure. I think you should go for a long visit and see what life is like. And if you decide to move more permanently…I think we should all visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. suzicate says:

    Lots of lovely nature activity, animals and birds that is, the snow not so much. If only Old Man Winter would surrender!


  5. Carol — Your photography never fails to bring a smile to my face. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your ‘what’s happening here’ posts, and the photos are always very interesting too. That is a lot of blackbirds you have there! They are quite different from our blackbirds – ours are completely black, unless they are female in which case they are brown! Very confusing. 🙂


    • Carol says:

      Elaine, we have black blackbirds too, with brown females. Those are the Brewers Blackbirds – the ones in my photo were yellow-headed blackbirds and are typically here en mass during spring and fall migrations, along with the red-winged blackbirds – which have yellow and red strips on their wings, which can only be seen if they extend the wing a bit.



  7. Dear Carol,
    How good it is to be back home and catching up with my friends. I love this post–I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Brewers Blackbird, and you are so fortunate to be on a migration route. Glad the little nuthatch moved on in search of a more responsive mate!
    Here in Seattle we have definitely clicked into springtime–tomorrow it is supposed to go up to 79 degrees. I have been trying to get the garden off to a good start, but am always a step or three behind. I still have some fall tulips bulbs to get into the ground!
    We have been following the story of the earthquake in Ecuador–I hope that Gep is safe and far away from the affected areas. The idea of living near family sounds great, and it might be nice to be in a retirement community where there are other people closer by to visit with on a daily basis, if you wanted company. But, Carol, please don’t sell your house until after you have had an extended visit in Ecuador, and a chance to see if you could be happy there. It’s a very big move, with no take-backs.
    I’m glad you have a girls’ week coming up. It will be good to toss that very big idea around with friends who know you so well.
    Keep us posted!


  8. Kathy says:

    Carol, I enjoy contemplating inside/outside, as well. Look at all the birds that are visiting! And we had our first chipmunk during the past week or so, too. I have a blogger friend who did just that–move to Cuenca, Ecuador. She likes it there, although she’s mostly quit blogging in recent years. Perhaps you’ve read her as well?

    I always wonder if I would move elsewhere if something happened to Barry. (He says he never wants to move away from here, ever.) Do you think the older we get the harder it feels to tear up roots?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol says:

      I really can’t speak to having roots mean more as we get older, especially since I’ve lived here longer than I’ve ever lived in any one place before. I’ve been here for seventeen years, so you can see I’ve never had long term roots anywhere. Interesting that you pointed me to Kathryn’s blog, since my son is going to be doing some photography work for Zero magazine I believe. I’ll have to read more of her posts.

      Liked by 1 person

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