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Spirits Rise


“Spirits Rise”


This past fall I was swinging along on one of my favorite trails in a savanna restoration and I saw this flock of crows lift off, taking my spirits up with them.  Some years ago we lost most of our crows to a disease.  Let’s see…West Nile Virus, was it?  We’ve had a few diseases sweep through and I confess I can’t always remember which is which.  But I do remember finding windrows of dead birds lying along roadsides and trails.  It was awful.  A lot of people don’t like crows but I have always had a soft spot for them, so on this day to see a flock of them really made me happy.

It’s a cold, shiny day today.  This is a winter like the ones I remember, with snow falling most days, and very cold.  Last week I went with a friend to Florida.  She was house-hunting and I got to go along :).  All around us we heard people gasp, “it’s cold!!” while we were enjoying the 70-degree weather.  I saw a sign that read: “The Lower the Latitude, the Better the Attitude.”  And it was true!  Every single person we encountered was kind, the pace was leisurely…. why can’t the rest of us live like that?  I loved it, and Florida is beautiful.  However, while my friend  found her house, I found that I’m not tropically inclined and couldn’t wait to get back to Illinois, minus zero wind chills and all.  Can you believe it?!  I can’t, but there it is.  Now if I could just inject some of that Florida attitude into life up here in the frozen tundra….



13 thoughts on “Spirits Rise

  1. That friendly, laid back attitude is one of the reasons I enjoy living in the south. But, having lived in a place that actually has four seasons (Switzerland), I do wish we had more of a winter here, especially with snow. Our summers tend to dominate. Love your crow painting. I’m kind of partial to them myself.

    1. Yeah, it’s true. Most of my experience with the world has been from the north; even when I lived in California it was in the northern reaches, and people are more reserved.

  2. It’s 80 degrees here in California and I’ve already run into a few irritable people today. But yes, generally, sunshine makes people happy. 🙂 Nice photo!

    1. Glad you stopped by, and led me to that gorgeous water. Oh, my that is something!

  3. I like your crows. They are very smart. When I was about 6 or 7, my older brothers raised a young crow they caught. It had an injured upper beak. It would ride on the top of the bus for a ways, on dad’s tractor to the field. The cats didn’t like it nosing in on their food pan. It was a lot of fun.

    As for the midwest, I especially like it here in eastern IA and western IL where I grew up. There are 4 definite seasons. Bad weather doesn’t usually last. The averages are good. There are many days when things are absolutely perfect. Plus, we get to witness some of the power of nature in a variety of weather ways. Some are not so good. I would be bored by one kind of weather all the time.

    1. You’re right, Jim, it is never boring here in the Midwest! I do enjoy seeing the awesome power of weather systems and cold weather is just an excuse to stay inside and work on my drawings.

      It sounds like your crow offered a good lesson in making the most of things. If I had an injured beak, I’m not sure I would be out having the adventures you describe! ”Never give up” has been my mantra lately, reinforced by your story. Thanks!


  4. Melissa – I’m a crow lover, sunshine makes me warm and happy and temps over 70 degrees make my heart very happy. I can not believe you were ready to go home to the cold. It must have been an off day for you! LOL Hope you enjoyed your time away. Love that painting. xok

    1. Haha, I know, I couldn’t believe it either! What is wrong with me?! I did have a fab time though. Have you been to Matalace (sp???) near Cape Coral? Our kind of place, totally. I saw fused glass and thought of you.


      1. My dear, Matlacha on Pine Island, is my home away from home. My house is actually just a few minutes away in Cape Coral. Is that where your friend purchased? Are we going to be neighbors? How cool would that be? Is she an artsy fartsy kind of person too? Too many questions?

  5. What an incredible painting! And a perfect name. Thank you for sharing your beautiful art, and delightful posts.
    SO glad to ‘meet’ you and am very happy our paths crossed. I look forward to many shared visits between us!
    Blessings, Gina

    1. Thank you Gina,
      I am delighted to “meet” you, as well! I’m not sure how I failed to respond to you sooner. I am sorry for the delay~ I guess email got ahead of me.
      Peace and Blessings, Melissa

  6. That’s an excellent avian panorama. Good for you, Melissa, for catching the bird spirit.

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