Porch Sitting

You don’t have to take a walk through the woods to enjoy the wonders of nature. One of my greatest joys is to sit on my front porch and wait silently for the parade of creatures that otherwise mill around unobserved. Some fly by on gossamer wings,  others scurry across the porch or through the yard and some amble by totally oblivious to the creature on the porch.  Sitting perfectly still is not an absolute requirement.  The gentle back-and-forth of a porch swing doesn’t seem to attract much attention.

Baby raccoons

Visitors to the front porch

I’m lucky to have a porch that looks out into the woods where all sorts of creatures make their homes but nature is ubiquitous. My Grandmother’s porch in a rural neighborhood had its visitors including a momma skunk and her babies that frequently peeked over the front of the porch to spy on us ! When I was an apartment dweller, a few potted plants attracted hummingbirds, butterflies, chipmunks and all sorts of insects to my little porch.

I come from a long line of “porch sitters”.  My paternal Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Great Great Grandmother spent hours sitting on the big porch across the front of the family home in Mt. Airy, North Carolina.  My maternal ancestors grew up in the New River Valley of Virginia and Southern hospitality always includes an invitation “to sit on the porch a while”.

There are those who might think that porch-sitting is just a waste of time but I vehemently disagree.  A porch is an observation platform where cares evaporate and nature entertains.

A porch doesn’t need a fire pit, grill and hot tub.  There isn’t lively music or hotly debated topics in the air.   Its not referred to as a “deck”.

Raccoon watercolor painting by Karen Hines

“Racquet the Raccoon”, watercolor by Karen Hines inspired by a front porch visitor.

It  is OK to take certain things with you onto the porch:  a good book, a cool drink, a sketchbook or a camera are acceptable.

Whispering is preferable.

It is OK to hang a bird feeder in view but otherwise one should never “lure” wildlife into the tranquil scene with food.  (I take my bird feeder down at night so that the occasional bear doesn’t get used to dropping by for a snack.)


Tom Turkey, hen turkeys

More visitors!

Treasure the occasional pleasure of the uninvited visitor but respect the nature of the beast. Not all creatures are as docile as Bambi!

Deer, whitetail deer,8-point buck

Raccoons, skunks and even deer can carry disease and become aggressive when they feel threatened.


Well, off to the porch!  Hope you have a great week with at least a little porch-sitting time!



About Karen Hines Art

I am an artist living in the mountains of Virginia and expressing my love of nature through painting.
This entry was posted in flora and fauna, General, Nature, New River Valley, Uncategorized, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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