Sunday Confessional: my disappearing act

Not sure what it is, but whenever I take days off from posting here, it’s hard to get going again. The blog-less days stack up and it seems I’m powerless in the face of all that inertia.

Or maybe the truth is that I’m at peace with my state of rest.

Until I’m not. And I guess today was my limit. However, I don’t have a whole lot of energy, news, or imagination right now so I’m going to post a photo from December. This sun-bathing Marcel represents the entire family this winter as we all follow the sun as it shines through different windows throughout the day.

This photo also symbolizes the many ways I’m at peace with my state of rest in terms of housekeeping. As you can see (pun intended), that window is quite dirty. I take the blame for the dust and finger smudges, but those sneeze speckles are Marcel’s fault.

So, that’s the post. Whew.

Etiquette question

You’ve probably noticed how when someone says hello or smiles at you, your automatic reaction is to say hello or smile back. ~ Shawn Achor

January 3, 2023

Yes, but then there are situations in which that other being stares and flicks its tail. How does a tail-less individual reciprocate?

The more things change

I enjoy looking at photos from the same date in earlier years, just to see what I was about to at the time. Apparently, I’m very much a creature of habit.

Here’s what I was thinking about and photographing exactly one year ago today:

And here’s my photographic muse on January 21, 2020:

Clearly, I’ve got robins on the brain. And what about January 21, 2021? Well, I didn’t take any photos that day. However, tomorrow it’ll be exactly two years since I photographed this Cooper’s Hawk which, by the way, is staring quite intently in the direction of the bird bath.

How about you . . . do you check out your photos from earlier years? And if so, do you have a more diverse repertoire than me?

The face of a dog

I’m tiptoeing into a new project. And because I haven’t added anything to the draft in two days, I’m experiencing that panicked sensation of “what if the words don’t come today?”

What if I fail? What if today’s the day I’m exposed as the imposter I am?

Well, those feelings are exactly why I must get to work in order to disrupt that fear and show it to the door. To quote (in translation) Gabriel García Márquez:

“Necessity has the face of a dog.”

I must do what needs to be done. But, don’t worry, Emma. I’m fairly confident neither of us will be harmed during the writing of those words.

Bee back soon

Our neighborhood streets are treacherous right now — icy ruts surrounded by berms of frozen snow. I’ve been wearing Yaktrax for our daily walks with Emma, but they’re uncomfortable when walking on clear pavement, so today I convinced myself there’d been enough meltage that they weren’t necessary.

Wrong. Just minutes from home and the end of our two-mile walk, I was suddenly on my butt in the street. And now I’m grumpy. My left knee is sore from being twisted and my neck and shoulders have that jammed-up feeling that comes from trying to break a fall.

So what’s the remedy? A little yoga plus a warm memory from last June:

I remember sitting next to the Lamb’s Ear that day, photographing the busy bees as they went about their pollinating business. Someday soon, I’ll be back in my happy place in the backyard. It’ll be me, the perennials, and a whole lot of bees.

But no ice.

Mourning Dove at rest

The simplicity of winter has a deep moral. The return of nature, after such a career of splendor and prodigality, to habits so simple and austere, is not lost upon either the head or the heart. It is the philosopher coming back from the banquet and the wine to a cup of water and a crust of bread. ~ John Burroughs

#Caturday cattitude

Here’s Marcel on the coldest day of the year, tucked in between the venetian blinds and drafty window. Wouldn’t be me, on multiple counts. But I can’t fault anyone for following the sunshine.

Fortunately, we’re at a balmy 44 degrees right now. No sun, though, which might explain why Marcel is currently curled up asleep on the bed.

Happy #Caturday to all who observe!

Conjuring warm memories

It’s bitterly cold today and uppermost in my mind is that I’m exceedingly grateful for my warm home. We had to take our dog to the vet this morning and it was a slow fourteen mile drive. Many were equally cautious but, of course, there were those who treated the snowy-icy streets as their personal speedway. We had to detour on the way home to pick up something and by the time I was at the red light at the top of our exit ramp, I was looking forward to being off the road.

WHAM!

Rear-ended by someone who’d missed the memo that the streets were freaking slippery. The good news is there was no damage to the car (except the impact knocked the muffler tape loose and now our old Subaru is REALLY loud again). The bad news? The collision triggered my PTSD and I was weepy and shaky for a bit, not to mention suddenly feeling so much anger toward people. The unmasked and the fast drivers, aka the people who don’t seem to give a damn about anyone else’s health and well-being. Part of the issue is that I’ve been rear-ended a bunch of times over the years and I’m really, really sick of it.

But again, uppermost in my mind today as the temperatures dipped well below zero is that I’m exceedingly grateful for my warm home. In that spirit, here’s a beautiful Mourning Dove I photographed at the Chatfield Audubon Center last May. A much more soothing image than the puffed-out birds hunkered down in the trees today.

Peace until all of us.

Happy Solstice

Today is the shortest day of the year and tomorrow we begin gaining daylight. Despite the incremental change at first, it’s still a huge boost to mental health. And we need it here in Colorado as we brace ourselves for an arctic blast. Tonight it will get down to -12 degrees F and tomorrow’s high will be a whopping -1 degree. And thanks to the climate crisis, we’re also smelling smoke from a wildfire in Boulder County (almost exactly one year after the Marshall Fire last December!) Cold enough to kill people and dry/windy enough to burn everything down. How’s that for messed up?

Anyway, this is some kind of hybrid dragonly/butterfly we found while clearing out my mother-in-law’s house. The six-inch by four-inch, bejeweled curiosity now hangs in my writing room window and I just photographed it as the foothills went dark. The bluish tinge is a result of the Arctic filter I applied, which felt appropriate.

Here’s to more hospitable days. Happy Solstice, everyone!

Two magpies

Two magpies flew in front of me as I ran on the streets this afternoon, providing a much-needed boost as my energy lagged. I called out to them, “Hello, magpies! I receive the gift of your beauty!”

Of course, I didn’t have a camera with me so here are two that visited my backyard almost exactly one year ago. The bird on the fence had just finished bathing and my photo session shows a continuous stream of magpies performing their ablutions.

December 19, 2021

I feel incredibly fortunate to see magpies on a daily basis. They’re stunning birds that never fail to bring a smile.

Rattling doors and windows

It’s yet another windy day here in the Denver metro area and we’re supposed to be out walking with our dog right now because if we wait any longer, the sun will disappear behind the foothills before we return home (and then Tracy will be sad and blue). But if we go now, we’ll have to duck our heads and push into the wind that’s gusting hard enough to rattle this house.

This heavy wind is more and more common as climate change affects weather patterns and a sensible society would make it a priority to harness the wind in place of the fossil fuels that have caused the climate change. But no, this society coddles Senator Joe Manchin, the coal baron who will not let his dirty permitting deal die. We blocked him from attaching it to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) earlier this week and now he wants to either amend the NDAA with that dirty deal or attach it to the year-end spending bill. Note: in an attempt to woo Republican senators, the deal is even worse than before, with the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) still front and center.

CALL TO ACTION:

Call your Senators (connects automatically): 888-997-5380

Call Script: “Hi, my name is ____, & I live in ____. As your constituent OR someone concerned about MVP and environmental justice, I’m urging you to vote NO on any amendment or must-pass legislation that advances Manchin’s Dirty Permitting Deal.

If you have more time, please call Senators on this Priority List:

Senator Kaine (202) 224-4024
Senator Warner (202) 224-2023
Senator Carper (202) 224-2441
Senator Schumer (202) 224-6542
Senator Schatz (202) 224-3934
Senator Murray (202) 224-2621
Senator Reed (202) 224-4642
Senator Leahy (202) 224-4242
Senator Warnock (202) 224-3643
Senator Ossoff (202) 224-3521
Senator Padilla (202) 224-3553
Senator Smith (202) 224-5641
Senator Whitehouse (202) 224-2921
Senator Van Hollen (202) 224-4654
Senator Cardin (202) 224-4524
Senator Klobuchar (202) 224-3244

And if you have any pull with the Wind Goddesses, please ask them to calm it down here in Colorado. 🙂

Kinship

This Acorn Woodpecker, photographed at Cave Creek Canyon Ranch in May of 2019, is going after the suet with a laser focus. 

I can relate. These last few days, I’ve been food-obsessed. Yes, some of that’s been mindless eating and/or eating my emotions as we careen through multiple planetary crises. I’m like a bear fattening up for the winter . . . hungry all the time. Not for suet, though. Yech.