Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 31: Nana's Hood

Marlboro, New Jersey, 7:15 am - 8:30am
Chilly, some clouds on horizon

The Sanity Rally Crew ended up crashing with Amanda’s grandma in New Jersey last night.

Nana is a feisty 78, and wonderfully hospitable. I feel guilty about potentially disturbing her or my exhausted buddies as I slip out of the house in the morning.

Am instantly glad, though, once I step out into the chill quiet. It’s beautiful in this wooded retirement community, which has the look and feel of an established neighborhood. There’s variety in the architecture and landscaping, and it doesn’t feel like a typical cookie-cutter gated community.

It’s extremely flat here, and while there's no sign of even a small hill, I meander towards the almost-risen sun. Statistically-speaking, there’s no reason that heading east is any more likely to bring me to a hill with a clearer view of the horizon than any other direction. However, that’s the instinct, so I go with it.

I chat with an older woman about the natural surroundings, which she knows well: “I’m a walker”. I love her self-description, cuz after a month of this project, I’m a walker too. It's a more meaningful pace at which to experience nature.

Eventually I dare to wander between houses to reach a stand of woods. It’s much quieter here than along the bird-chatty houses. Perhaps this is because “wild” birds are more skittish, and I am appallingly raucous when I walk through the woods.

I have this great moment of hearing and seeing a bird of prey (hawk?) in the distance:

Back on the road I hear the bird of the day. It’s impressive to me how well birds camouflage – I have so much trouble spotting even one as loud as today’s. Eventually I catch a glimpse, I think: He’s tiny, and flits between two gnarled, leafless tall trees:

Today’s sketch was inspired by the three-repetition call of today’s bird.


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