I wanted to express my magpie love today and went in search of a fun fact about this member of the corvid family. Guess what you call a group of magpies? A parliament.
However, my research didn’t reveal what the parliamentary procedure is for one magpie reuniting with the rest of the gang.
As I crouched next to my writing room window to photograph a Red-tailed Hawk on the wire, I was so intent on focusing the shot on the bird rather than the branches and power lines that I didn’t see what else was going on: another hawk had arrived.
It wasn’t until I’d downloaded the photos that I saw those legs in the upper right-hand corner of the image. Maybe there’s such a thing as being too intent on one’s goal.
When you rise in the morning,
give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Anything can make me stop and look and wonder, and sometimes learn.
~ Kurt Vonnegut
I’m grateful this Hairy Woodpecker’s tap-tap-tap alerted me to his presence. I took this photo last week when it was sunny and warm, but today is rainy and cold. A hard freeze is in the forecast. I hope all my feathered friends stay warm and dry.
Red is the ultimate cure for sadness.
~ Bill Blass
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you,
if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.
I’m programmed to believe it’s best to take the shortest route between Point A and Point B. Why waste time, right? Get where I want to be as quickly as possible. To do otherwise is proof I’m lost and confused. I’m hyper-sensitive to that judgment because I have a horrible sense of direction and spend a fair amount of time feeling disoriented. I’ve literally pulled over and cried in frustration when my brain couldn’t sort out where I was headed. Even when I get somewhere without mishap, I frequently berate myself for taking a longer route than necessary.
Why? The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. And anyone who takes a longer route is someone who’s doing it wrong.
That’s an unhelpful way of thinking and is particularly dangerous in terms of my writing journey. And yet, those thoughts pop in my head. Right now I’m wondering how I could’ve written three drafts of my manuscript without recognizing a key problem. How did I not know?! What is wrong with me?!
Well, nothing’s wrong with me. It’s called the writing process. I’ve been here before and I’ll be here again. Guaranteed.
Today I celebrate side roads, scenic detours, and fourth drafts.
I’m in Florida with Zebu, visiting my mother (his grandmother). Today we went to the beach in Honeymoon Island State Park and I brought my camera in hopes of seeing lots of shorebirds and maybe a pelican or two. The only birds I saw were Laughing Gulls and I snapped a total of three photos.
When I saw this, I thought it was a freakish and somewhat unsettling image because it looks as if the head was pasted on another bird’s body. But when I showed it to Zebu (who doesn’t have a great appreciation for birds in general and even less appreciation for gulls because of “their beady eyes and shifty behavior”) he thought it was a great shot.
So, what’s on your mind today?
I’m very, very lazy. I love to sit in a chair and look out the window and do nothing.
~ Ingmar Bergman
Stretching out the neck
before stabbing the next meal
Hey, know what that is?
Butt-end of a Red-tailed Hawk.
Yeah, I know. Bad pic.
A feathered swimmer
at home in sky or water
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.
~ Loren Eiseley
When you find peace within yourself,
you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.
~ Peace Pilgrim
And, I would add, with those no longer here.
There are days I’d like
the option of staying here
or flying away.
In a pine tree,
A few yards from my window sill,
A brilliant blue jay is springing up and down, up and down,
On a branch.
I laugh, as I see him abandon himself
To entire delight, for he knows as well as I do
That the branch will not break.
~ James Wright
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
~ John Muir
I miss seeing bunnies on my lawn and haven’t snapped a photo of one in a while, so went to Pixabay in search of an image. There were many wonderful photos, but this one jumped out as a fitting representation of our political predator-prey dynamic: