Tag Archives: wildlife

The “Lights” in Ru Woods

Ru Woods is a 40-acre wood owned by my little sis, Ruthann, in south central Illinois and where family has gathered for holidays and ‘tent city’ celebrations.

It is a peaceful place to see wildlife, pretty flowers, breathe fresh air, take nature hikes, hunt and fish.

Ru’s husband created the man-made pond and constructed the bridge.  It is a nice place to relax and listen to the sounds of nature….In a video, I named it, Ru Woods.

"Ru Woods"

The “Lights” in Ru Woods


Sitting by the fire up above the bridge on the grassy knoll,
humming a tune and prodding the fire with a long pole,
in the corner of my eye, in the dusky twilight night
I watched three ‘lights’, no bigger than a ball,
go back and forth from tree to bridge until they disappeared… all.


Up behind the bridge in Ru Woods

I thought that if fireflies, there would have been more
dancing close by the bridge, instead of what looked to be….four
hovering up high and darting down low
seemingly all in a hurry to get to the trees
maybe warned by the leaves, now nudged by the breeze.

south point of pond


The breeze whisked the fire sending sparks into the air
as the hoot of an owl echoed in the trees, up where
the blackness of night hid their tops to the eye
and I jumped, startled by a rabbit scurrying around behind
and I knew, then, I was tired and those ‘lights’ were on my mind


East slope of pond

In the morning, I crossed the bridge to the slope
and checked the trees and looked with hope
of finding something to give me a clue
that I wasn’t imagining things the night before
so I kept on searching …..but what for?


My Gibson resting on the east slope of Ru Pond

I walked around the pond…. to think of something new
and try to clear my mind and come up with a clue
or maybe a little plan to prepare me for the night
in case the ‘lights’ appeared again when twilight came around
and everyone else were in their tents or headed back to town.


West side of bridge and Ru Pond

I laid down on the grass and stared from dark to light
and fell asleep and woke up when the day had turned to night
and the trees across the pond were filled with fireflies
while dampness filled the dark, by the bridge, where I laid
to frogs singing happily… as the fireflies….played.


Looking west

Then, as I started to stand…. to go make a fire,
I saw  a ‘light’ appear ‘neath the bridge, near the wire
that hung down from the post near the water’s edge
on the other side where it was hard to see
and I froze in place to see, if what would be….would be.


Then from the trees came ‘lights’, two and three
and stayed close together and seemed not to see
me in the darkness, standing not that far away
and I wanted to go there and check it all out
I wanted to, selfishly…..dispel all of my doubt .

I thought for a moment of the beauty before me
and the risking and losing of all what might be
just to prove something false or maybe even real
and spoil something precious, if only in my mind,
something so precious….. it’s best we don’t find.


So…I walked up the slope to the tents, to the fire,
and built it all up and warmed my entire
body that was cold from the dampness
from down by the bridge, where I laid all that time,
with the four little ‘lights’ …that danced in my mind.

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano



Filed under Ru Woods

December’s Rain

A few years ago, December was very warm and it rained so much that the rivers in creeks were constantly going out of their banks, jeopardizing many of the wildlife inhabitants and forcing them to find higher ground accommodations.  This December has been warmer but so far, not wetter.

December’s Rain

The new moon hangs full for the twelfth time this year.
The birds twit frantically as when spring draws near.
The children in rain coats and big black galoshes
thread through the puddles that dot the long lane,
not fickle at all by December’s rain.

The yellow bus sputters and coughs and begins
loaded with kids wearing rain coats and grins.
The radio blares out its news through the static,
reporting the detail and facts of the game,
not interested at the moment in December’s rain.

But the fields of corn that parallel the road
that should be covered with snow are wet, not cold.
And the fox and their families and the deer in the woods
seek out refuge in a place not the same
lost and bewildered by December’s rain.

The creek that divides the corn and beans, that
is usually a trickle, is gone, it seems.
The landscape that’s usually so rich and so green
is now very blue, looking lonely and plain
scourged by the waters of December’s rain.

The summer, it seems, has some wintry-like days
that brings out the wintry type coats.
And the fall’s not as long as it was years ago
according to many old folks.
And also, they say, spring’s been acting insane
coming and going without reason.
And still others figure that SOMEONE above has
changed the rules of the seasons.

copyright © 2011 T.J. Gargano

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Filed under December