Friday, March 12, 2010

The Eyes Don't Always Have It . . .

Sometimes all I want to do is say "Look at that!"

Looking out the window Wednesday morning, I saw something way up in a big poplar tree overlooking the birdfeeder. I couldn't quite tell what it was but decided it must be Spotsford O. Possum and took a picture. I went back to my laptop, glancing up every few seconds to see if he was starting the climb down. 


And then he was gone. Possums don't move that fast, do they? I peered out the window, hoping he hadn't lost his grip and plummeted to the ground. No sign of a possum anywhere.


The mystery was solved when I downloaded the picture and cropped it.


A very big hawk -- probably keeping an eye on the buffet bird feeder.
 
And speaking of being fooled by what you see . . . 

There's this sign in a nearby town that always makes me do a double take. 

The first time I saw it, my mind went crazy -- "What? How can they possibly ..." 

And I had to turn around and go back and read the sign again.

Because what my eyes see is "Adultery Retreat." 
 
I am reminded of James Thurber's wonderful piece, "The Admiral on the Bicycle." Thurber, at this time, was almost blind without his glasses and he writes of a day when his glasses were being mended. He was being driven somewhere by a friend and, with his impaired vision,  he kept seeing strange things - a small striped cat rolling like a barrel across the street, an old lady with a parasol walking through a bus, an admiral in full dress uniform riding on a bicycle.

Thurber concludes: " With perfect vision, one is inextricably trapped in the workaday world, a prisoner of reality. . . For the hawk-eyed person life has none of those soft edges which for me blur into fantasy. The kingdom of the blind is a little like Oz, a little like Wonderland, a little like Poictesme. Anything you can think of, and a lot you would never think of, can happen there."

Like a roadside Adultery Retreat.



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16 comments:

Victoria said...

Vicki, at first glance, that's how I saw it, too. And I agree so much with Thurber! I am terribly near-sighted, but I do see the most interesting things when I take off my glasses. And it's a real plus when doing a painting; I take off my glasses and the dark masses and light masses instantly resolve.

That first photo is so beautiful! I love the way the light is tinting the bottom of the clouds.

I hope that hawk finds somewhere else to hunt!

Martin H. said...

I can see how that made you do a double-take Vicki. Sometimes, it seems, we are processing far too quickly.

Interesting to read about Thurber's experience. That must have been an extraordinary experience.

Great word verification today - workago

Callie said...

I think life must have been much more interesting when we lived with candle light before gas and oil and electricity brought everything front and center. The soft edges on things must have offered some comfort at times.

Love the sign!

Pat in east TN said...

Beautiful pictures out your window, and the hawk is something else. We have a family (?) that lives way back in our woods somewhere and they will fly around "talking" to each other. It's really kind of awesome.

Love your sign, but I also had to look twice to see what it actually said! HA!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Vicki, I'm so glad I'm not the only one whose eyes play tricks on them. We always have a good laugh over it.

Hawks are fast animals. Meakin always points them out for some reason.
Sam

Vicki Lane said...

Victoria -- I've used that same trick by blurring my eyes when painting or composing a quilt --not that I've done either in quite some time...

Workago --love it, Martin! Useful for a retired person in speaking of times past!

I like that soft edges notion myself, Callie.

I'm thinking this was a red-tailed hawk, Pat. We too have a family and they nest up the mountain. We love listening to them trying to coax the fledglings out of the nest.

They are such magnificent birds -- I'm with Meakin, Sam, they always catch my attention.

Jean Baardsen said...

Really enjoyed your post today - the photos and the stories! I always have all the lights on - as bright as a room can be. Wonder why that is....

Unfortunately, this post reminded me of my favorite joke. It's a really lousy joke, but I feel compelled to share.

Why did the Chicken cross the road?

To prove to the Possum that it could be done.

willow said...

Thurber's house is downtown Columbus, and I've been meaning to get down and take a peek for years. Thanks for reminding me.

I'm blind as a bat without my contacts or readers (gotta have both these days)

I read adultery retreat, too, hee!

NCmountainwoman said...

Well, look at that! Great photographs.

jennyfreckles said...

Posh name for a dirty weekend, you were thinking...but what, anyway, is what it really says "Heritage Adult Day Retreat"? I know what each of those words mean on their own but not all put together.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, Jean, I love that joke! Possums are, indeed, wont to fling themselves under cars all too often.

If you do visit Thurber's house, Willow, I'll hope for a post at Willow Manor.

Thanks, Mountainwoman!

Jennyfreckles -- I think it's probably an adult day care center -- a place to take Gran when she can't be left alone all day. As to Heritage -- I have no idea.

Reader Wil said...

Vicki! That's interesting that you should see Adultery retreat. Sometimes our eyes deceive us in a funny way.

R. Burnett Baker said...

Ummm....

Maybe it's not so much our eyes deceiving us as it is our minds revealing what we really desire. (?) LOL...

I see funny things like that too, but I also sometimes HEAR the craziest things when someone talks to me. Gotta start writing those down. I make myself laugh sometimes!

Vicki Lane said...

Wil and R.Burnett -- Are you all suggesting that I...? ;-)

Tipper said...

That is a big hawk! I see the sign the way you do too-funny how our eyes work.

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, Tipper -- So I'm not alone...