Birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom. We feed them and tame them and think we know them. And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious. ~ David Attenborough
Footprints zig and zag
each traveler makes a mark
the snow their canvas
We love the sight of the brown and ruddy earth;
it is the color of life, while a snow-covered plain is the face of death.
Yet snow is but the mask of the life-giving rain; it, too, is the friend of man,
the tender, sculpturesque, immaculate, warming, fertilizing snow.
~ John Burroughs
Today I’m grateful for the foot of snow we received during the night. Colorado is experiencing extreme drought and wildfires are definitely in our near future, but right now I’m embracing this gift from the skies. And because this is a climate emergency, I don’t care if this sounds greedy: “More, please.”
There are so many thoughts and feelings jumbled inside me right now regarding the climate crisis, green new deal, capitalism, greed, cruelty, political failure, collective trauma, heartache and rage, but rather than unpack all that, I opted for self-care. I just spent the last thirty minutes looking through photos from camping trips and hikes, birding excursions, quick getaways in the nearby open space, etc. It was nice to gaze upon and remember those moments.
Because I need to get outside to shovel the much-needed snow we finally got last night, I had to quit my trip down memory lane and make a photographic decision. I opted to celebrate (again) the juvenile Limpkin that allowed me to take many photos of it when I visited Kapok Park.
One bird can’t change the trajectory of the world, but this limpkin can and did soothe my soul. Maybe it will do the same for you.
Today’s the last day of the Great Backyard Bird Count and I wanted to share a photo of the largest bird we tallied: this beautiful Red-tailed Hawk.
The smallest species? Bushtits! We counted fourteen of them at one point. All fourteen of those wee Bushtits could easily ride on this hawk’s back. I’d pay big money for that photo!
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few. ~ Emily Dickinson
While this photo is of a bee and lavender (not clover) in my yard (rather than the prairie), the image still induces a reverie.
House Finch etiquette
grab seed and sit at table
dining al fresco
You loved life, sunsets
flying your plane way up high
made the sky your own
May this bold, beautiful bloom brighten your day, as well.
As I hoop-danced this morning, I watched various nuthatches and a squirrel visit the peanut feeder hanging in the tree outside the window. And then I noticed another bird moving up and down the tree trunk. The elusive Brown Creeper!
Definitely not high-quality captures, but these photos are documentation of the morning I paused my happy hoop-dancing session to stalk a Brown Creeper.
The day got away from me and I didn’t want to shut off my laptop without posting something here. A quick search through my photos brought me to this image. It feels appropriate as I’m feeling a bit worn out, my wings frayed like this butterfly.
I shall rest up and fly again tomorrow.
junco not into sharing
feathered dine and dash
I decided to bless this Monday with a wee Pygmy Nuthatch and went in search of a quote to accompany my photo. Alas, brainyquote.com interpreted my “nuthatch” request as a search for Margaret Thatcher quotes. NOOOOOOOOO!
I remember gagging when the valedictorian in Zebu’s high school class (a young man I like very much), referenced Thatcher in a positive light in his graduation day speech. And more recently, I could barely watch season four of THE CROWN because it included the Iron Lady, a politician whose every mention makes me feel stabby. Gillian Anderson did an amazing job portraying that horrible woman and the heartless policies she championed, but my entire body felt like a mass of raw nerves whenever she was on screen. (Okay, I can’t resist giving a sample of Thatcher’s philosophy: “A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.”) Spoken like a true colonizer, Maggie.
Anyway, getting back to the original intent. Here’s a sweet little bird that recently visited our yard:
Happy Monday to all. Stay well and I wish everyone a good week.
The other day, I glanced out the kitchen window and saw a hawk on the power line. It turned out to be a Cooper’s Hawk and I remained still to admire it, knowing from experience how quickly predator birds will leave the wire. But after a couple minutes, I decided to take a chance and went for my camera.
I went to a closer window and took a bunch of photos that looked to be pretty good. The entire time, the hawk stayed right where it was on the wire, head turning as it scanned the ground in all directions.
Satisfied with my still shots, I changed the camera settings in preparation for the hawk taking flight. I’d had enough of my many blurred, out-of-focus shots of birds in flight. This time, I’d be ready.
I stood at the window and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Eventually, I went back to the kitchen to make my smoothie, glancing out the window every now and again. The hawk remained. I took my smoothie and stood by the sliding glass door, the camera around my neck. Set to capture motion.
The hawk started turning to his/her right to look directly at me. I raised the camera to my eye and waited. Nothing. I decided to take a quick photo of it glaring at me and so changed the settings. Yep. That’s when the hawk decided to take flight.
I yelled and then laughed. Played by a hawk.
Here’s Marcel watching a scrub jay through the window screen, flowers blooming in the background. A photographic reminder for me on this January day that no season is forever. Soft spring air is in my future.
I cling to the sunshine each day and when the sun drops behind the foothills, my heart immediately feels dark and heavy. That abrupt loss of warmth and light is incredibly demoralizing.
January isn’t my friend.
Not sure why it is, but if I miss posting for a couple days it becomes increasingly difficult to get back in the habit. So here I am at ten o’clock on a Monday night, feeling the need to post something. Anything.
Ah, yes. Now I remember. When in doubt, go with grackle!
This moment in time
splish-splashing shades of wet blue
now dancing downstream
My Writing Roosters critique group had our zoom meeting last night to discuss my work-in-progress. As mentioned here and here and here, I was paralyzed with indecision for several weeks because I’d become convinced my story was an irredeemable hot mess. Guess what? It’s not! As one member said on our call, “I think maybe you were getting inside your own head.”
Me? Inside my own head? How could that possibly be?! 🤣 🤣 🤣
I’ve got some plotting issues to sort out, but the two main characters got a thumbs-up from the group. Whew. Color me noodly with relief.
I chose the poppy image for this post because (1) it’s a very cheery and vibrant color and (2) last night one of my critique partners caught a reference to a previous manuscript about a girl named Poppy Valentine.