Monday, March 09, 2009

Writing Adventure #2

Adventure Guide from http://www.nixyvalentine.com/index.php/writers-group/: Go outside, and sit for a minute. (This can be in your yard or garden, on a city street, in a park, in a shopping centre, where ever you choose!) Soak in everything you see, hear, smell, etc, for a moment, and then describe something that you did not notice at first. This can be anything! Just make it something that you overlooked when you first arrived. Keep your descriptions as concrete as possible!

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I open the sliding glass door to my back yard and feel the crisp coolness of morning. A refreshing breeze touches my skin. I wait a couple of seconds, expecting a humid undertone to the breeze, but it doesn’t come. Ahhhhh! We don’t get many mornings like this in Texas.

The sky is overcast with varying colors of blue, gray, and white, but the wind is chasing the darkest clouds north at a fast clip.

The distinct “weeeeeEEEP!” of a grackle in a neighbor’s tree. I look up to see if the whole flock is near, but there’s only a mockingbird in my budding oak tree. Squeak! It’s a blue squeaky football-shaped toy in the mouth of my prancing, teasing, half-boxer, half-tasmanian devil dog. She bows and wags her short tail, saying “let’s play” to her boxer brother, who is busy investigating the fallen tree limb in the middle of the yard.

Swoosh. Squeak. The bus stop behind my fenced yard. Vrom. A passing truck. I bend to pet my sweet lynx-point kitty as I hear the mockingbird taunting him. Click click click click cheeeee! The breeze is still refreshing. Birds of all types are chirping and singing their varied songs.

While most of my small yard is mulch (because no St. Augustine or Bermuda grows where big dogs play), the area I call the “poop garden” is sprouting clumps of green buffalo grass. It’s time to start mowing again.

As I head back toward the back door, I glance up to my oak tree again. The lone mockingbird has been replaced by a flock of grackles. Over a dozen black birds perch in my tree. On the telephone pole outside my fence sits the ring-leader on his throne, stretching his body and raising his head to send another “weeeeeeeeEEEEEP!” There will be hundreds of them soon. Time to go in.

12 comments:

Criss said...

I love all the sounds!

That's one thing I wanted to describe but forgot to -- the birds chirping. Oh well.

I love the way you described your animals, too! I bet your yard is a fun place to watch. :)

Marsha said...

I agree, Criss! I love the sounds! Sounds like a great place to live.

I hear you about Texas mornings. I lived in Longview one summer and I nearly died from the humidity!

Nixy Valentine said...

This is great... I loved the sounds. It really brought the scene to life.

dmwcarol said...

That was great to read, really vivd and lively. It made me want to go back outside and sit in my own yard to listen to the birds some more.

J. M. Strother said...

Great descriptive piece. Being a dog owner I could really relate to the "poop garden." Now that's imagery!

Also learned something. I went out and looked up images of grackles as well as a .wav file on their call. About what I expected. Don't seem to be quite as annoying as starlings, though I can certainly appreciate the desire to go inside. ;)
~jon

Jackie said...

Actually, JM, I find grackles much more menacing than starlings. Starlings cover the ground, but grackles mostly hang out in the trees... It's like a scene out of Hitchcock's The Birds sometimes. The first time I saw/heard grackles was in Houston. I was walking to a job interview and heard their call in the trees. I thought it was beautiful. But I soon came to realize that they were downright eerie.

Lulu said...

Even with all the sounds, your backyard sounds like a comfortable haven. And I liked the imagery of the overcast sky. Very enjoyable. Thanks!

Jackie said...

Lulu, my backyard is a haven when it's not 102 degrees outside. :)

Mickey said...

I felt like I was there with you. A grackle is a relative to a crow? The name grackle makes me think "crow". I don't know why.

A side note: I had to subscribe to google to respond to this and the page came up in Chinese. Luckily, I can read Chinese, but that was unexpected. Some sort of wierd cyberspace activity is afoot!!

Jackie said...

Mickey, you should be able to comment with an OpenID, Name/URL, or Anonymous. At least those are the options under the comment box. Was that in Chinese too??

side note: I don't know why I reply to commenters here. I know they never come back. However, I can't seem to follow them to their blogs to comment, and I'm accustomed to shouting into a barrell anyway. :)

Criss said...

Jackie, I subscribe to the comments whenever I leave a comment on a blog, so I can follow the conversation; I bet a lot of other people do, too. So, even if we don't come back to the page, we do read your responses! :)

AuntSally said...

Good imagery Jackie. And I can certainly relate to the sounds. But please, keep those grackles in your trees and out of mine. I HATE having to hose down my driveway after they pay my garden a visit.