March SOLC–Day 19
A huge thank you to Anna, Beth, Betsy, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
The blue skies and relatively warm temperatures beckoned. After a long focused day of scoring, grading and writing report card comments, I slipped outside to take a walk. I enjoyed stretching my legs, feeling the sun on my face and breathing in the chilly air. It had been a long stretch at my desk! I snapped some photos here and there, rejoicing at early signs of spring. On the way back home, I noticed an interesting formation in a snow bank at the end of a neighbor’s driveway. I stopped to take some more photos.
“Hey! You wanna see some interesting snow?” a voice called out.
I straightened up quickly to see an elderly homeowner standing on his side porch in his socks, looking at me. “Oh,” I stammered, “Hi! I’m just taking some pictures of your snow bank.”
“Yup. You wanna see some more interesting snow…like a snow castle?” he asked.
“Um… sure,” I replied.
“Come ’round back,” he said, pointing. “I snow blowed a path. It’s just in the backyard.”
I stepped around the snow bank and into his driveway, pushing back a few random thoughts of harmless-looking psycho killers. As I made my way toward the house, the man and I exchanged comments about the weather and the interesting snow textures in his yard. I reached the side porch and again he pointed to the snow blown path that led behind the house, saying “Just ’round there.”
Crunch. Crunch. I stepped off the pavement and onto the snowy path. I took a few more steps forward. Then, with a lot of curiosity and some trepidation, I peered around the corner. Whoa! There it was…a full blown castle wall!
“Wow!” I said, “That’s great!”
“Ayuh,” he said, “We just built her this afternoon. That’s how I get my pictures of the birds. I look out the bathroom window and take pictures of ’em feeding there.”
I looked more closely and noticed bird seed topping the crenellated wall and scattered along its base.
“This is wonderful!” I said, “I love taking pictures of birds, too!”
We introduced ourselves and chatted for a few minutes about cameras, birds and photography. Thoughts of psycho killers retreated. If his castle bird feeder hadn’t already tipped me off, our conversation would have: this man was a dedicated photographer and bird enthusiast. He was looking to share these passions. After some over-my-head references to cameras and some general bird talk, we said our goodbyes and I retraced my steps down his driveway.
I wonder what else is going on in my neighbors’ backyards…