Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
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Welcome to daily nature photo and creative writing blog, #NewThisDay

Welcome to my daily nature photo blog

Writing from My Photo Stream ~ Kelly DuMar


#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream

Spotted Salamander

Spotted Salamander


Despite being fairly large and having an extremely broad range, the spotted salamander is actually pretty hard to, well, spot.” ~ National Geographic

It was not raining, but it had been, and the air was fairly warm, this morning, in the woods. Up really early, (my husband woke me getting ready for a trip), I had spent a lot of time working before sunrise, preparing for my Wednesday morning writing group. At daylight, I walked with my daughter, not very energetically, though. I was overtired, two nights of not enough sleep, wishing I felt more energy. We were talking non-stop as we walked along, but suddenly heard something slithering at our feet over the brown leaves. Here was this spotted salamander, out of hibernation, I suppose, because of the warmth, and he/she seemed content to stop and let us meet each other. His bright yellow spots stood out brilliantly on his wet black skin. Meeting him, the awe, the surprise, made us both very cheerful, and as we finished the walk I gained energy from this delightful inspiration.

The writing and sharing in the group from the prompt I prepared on perfectionism was powerful. They wrote from poems we read about mistakes, by Naomi Shihab Nye and Marie Howe. Also, from personal photos I had prompted them to bring. Every writer went deep and spontaneously crafted wonderful first drafts of prose and poetry. What a rich morning spent before noon.

Tonight, the house was unusually quiet. After dinner, I put on my boots barefoot and invited the dogs out into the warm evening. The wind had stopped, it was damp and dark, but the river reflected the stars, little points of light, reflected on the still surface. Wide open, starlit, unclouded sky of the night on the Charles. I walked slowly, savoring this time. I had been revising the proof of my chapbook and thought about the title poem, about turning sixty, “girl in tree bark.” This age of time alone, more time alone, after decades of being needed nearly every minute of the day, by people needing, wanting, depending on me. Family, always knowing where I am, or wanting to know. And tonight, aware that no one but Charlie and Suzi knew I was under the starlight on the Charles. I stood there, gazing into the quiet of the twinkling lights on the water: I know exactly where I am. Here. Now.

Kelly DuMarComment