I am sorry for not uploading any new blog posts these past two weeks but the tragic loss of my beloved sister Linda and her husband Charles in an automobile accident, has, quite honestly, shattered my world and normal routine. And even more so for the four wonderful children, Charles, Brandon, Kelly and Cassidy, they left as their legacy.
Both of them loved life to the fullest. Linda loved to travel, read, garden, listen to music and her yoga.
Charles loved golf, sports, his garden, the beach and sun and his passion for coaching basketball.
And both loved their children above all else. There is so much more to tell of this lovely couple, now together forever, and I hope to continue to tell it here in my blog in the ensuing weeks, months and years, should I be allowed to possess that precious gift of life. And precious it is, as their children, and my family try to cope with the loss of these two wonderful human beings.
I did a lot of walking alone, without my camera, after the tragedy doing much reflection on the loss. Finally, last Saturday I felt it was time to do what I love most, hike with my camera in the woodlands of Pennsylvania and share what I find. I know Linda and Charlie would want me to continue this passion. And, of course, I decided to head to the PPL Wetlands.
It was a mostly cloudy and cool morning at the wetlands. As soon as I left my car I heard the song of a bird I hadn’t heard before. It was coming from deep in the wetlands and I decided to venture in to try and identify it.I crawled through some thick brush which immediately reminded of the thick underbrush my sister Linda and I struggled through to observe mountain gorillas in Rwanda a year ago.
I reflected, tearfully, on the trip, as I listened in the brush to the song of the unidentified bird. As I thought of life and loss this frog jumped up on a wild grape leaf right in front of me.
It is a spring peeper which are usually active in the Spring and are seldom seen. The ones I have seen in the spring were much smaller than this one. Seeing this frog climb out in front of me,in the Fall, was so unusual and I immediately felt this is where I should be and what I should be doing.
I was blessed to have traveled on four of the continents with Linda and know she wants me to continue to share photographs of my travels and walks in nature. I continued my hike recalling many memories of my sister as I walked under the towering trees of the wetlands.
The paths were now covered with the falling leaves and
There were a few flowers still blooming along the trails.
Most of the song birds are gone but there were a few lingering robins
and wood ducks on the trails of the wetlands.
I walked through the wetlands and into the riverlands section of the park and again reflected on my travels with my sister when I spotted this great blue heron along Lake Took-A-While.
As I approached the bird stood still until I got close enough to capture a series of photographs of it finally deciding I was getting to close and flew on to more peaceful fishing grounds.
Here is a link to some more photographs of the blue heron in flight. Great blue heron, PPL Wetlands.
My encounter with this beautiful bird reminded me of my sister’s love of life and nature and the experience we shared enjoying both in Africa.
I slowly began my walk back to the wetlands enjoying the many colors that were now appearing in the trees along the wetlands.
I saw a few turtles catching the October sun that now peeked out of the clouds.
It was a heartbreaking week for my entire family, especially my nieces and nephews. I will admit I still am having a hard dealing with the loss of these two souls that so enjoyed the life they were given. But my walks in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania give me some comfort and I know Linda and Charlie want all of us to continue to live and love life and enjoy the passions that all of us possess. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike at the wetlands. PPL Wetlands October 7 2017.
“There is nothing more painful than the untimely death of someone young and dear to the heart. The harrowing grief surges from a bottomless well of sorrow, drowning the mourner in a torrent of agonizing pain; an exquisite pain that continues to afflict the mourner with heartache and loneliness long after the deceased is buried and gone.”
― Jocelyn Murray