“I am always doing that which I cannot do,
in order that I may learn how to do it.”
My 4-yr old granddaughter took this of me
I don’t know if where I’m at in my life is some sort of phase or if it’s more permanent. I’ve been downsizing my life for the past decade. I’m not much of a consumer these days at all. I don’t have the want to buy ‘things’. I own a few pairs of shoes. They’re all comfortable. I’ve gotten very simple. My wardrobe is simple. I cut my own hair. (And color it myself.) I don’t have my nails done or get pedicures. (It’s very obvious too.) But that’s okay.
I drive a 13-year old car that just turned over 209,000 miles complete with dents, faded paint and seat covers that could use refurbishing, but it gets 40 – 43 miles per gallon on the highway. Imagine that! I LOVE that it gets such spectacular mileage for an old beater!! I don’t ever want to own a vehicle that gets less mpg than that.
Here’s something rather ironic. Mazda doesn't even make a car that gets the mileage this old 1996 gets! How can that be? How can they make cars after 1996 that would get LESS mileage?? It’s 14 years later. Come on! How can that be?!
On to some fun ....
I woke up to frost again this morning. I was up by 6:30. It was below freezing even at 8 a.m. I went camera hunting a couple of hours later and was focused on this Gray Headed Junco grooming (photo on left). Out of the corner of my eye something caught my attention....
I looked up the road to my right and it was this Mule deer grazing. It wasn't far from my cabin. He didn't notice me at first, but then my sound (perhaps the camera clicking away) startled him...
I've said it before... the animals are often curious about me. He not only looked at me he actually started walking toward me. I counted three steps.. ! The 3rd step startled me a little. I was wondering how far he'd go...
But he stopped and when his curiosity was satisfied he turned and hopped off...
Scaredy Cat went "walking" with me again this morning. She follows me the way a dog does. Sometimes she's hopping behind me, then other times she flies off and returns a bit later. She's getting to where she'll hop on my finger without the prompt of food. Yesterday I began to pet her a little. I find the whole experience fascinating. I don't take any of it for granted.
A before picture
In addition to cutting my own standing dead trees, I've had to buy some wood for the winter. I still have to split it, but not chainsaw it. I simply don't have the time or energy to cut it all by myself. Here's a pile of wood delivered last night. Should be two cords. I've split about 1/4 of it with my new wood splitter today. It's still a lot of work, but it beats chopping all of it by hand! How's this for a small world? The guy who delivered it (I found an ad in the newspaper) went to school with my son...
Here's Scaredy Cat after I split wood.... she's always watching what I'm up to....
Here's what Scaredy Cat had been watching me do. She was perched on top the log sitting on the splitter...
You can't see him, but Clark is on the railing and is heading for my window again! He knocks like he's a little whacko...
Clark was watching me with Scaredy Cat and for weeks now he just knocks on my windows. He often knocks on the second story windows. I coaxed him down with a nut but then he went right back up to knock some more.
I saw a Steller's Jay today in my yard. It was the most gorgeous blue. I used to have one that would also knock on windows for nuts, but then he would be fine once he got fed. He never did what Clark is doing. This summer, I've only seen a Stellar Jay 3 times. I went to grab my camera but he was gone before I returned. Darn! He was so beautiful. I hope I can capture him on film before too long.
Here's a photo I took in the fall when the Stellar Jays started coming around daily.
“Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning, and under every deep a lower deep opens.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
We hear a lot about the importance of "living in the moment" and "being present" and we tend to nod and readily agree to the merits of the concepts, yet I'm guessing most of us don't really know what it means or quite how to experience either one. I've been giving it a huge try this summer. My motivation has partly been as a remedy for stress. I've been thinking I was having some success. And maybe I was. But on my long drive from the city to the mountains today, a trip that I make semi frequently due to work, I realized that I'm usually focused on getting from A to B and not on experiencing the pure journey of it all. (Excuse how cliche sounding it is to say 'journey'.) My point is that I'm not very present at all. Today's trip was much different.
Mule Deer - Click image for cool facts
I drove the same route and yet it was new in many ways. I was driving more slowly, feeling less stressed and was lapping up the scenery much more. I noticed the clouds, the lighting, the changing colors, and the dips and curves of the road. I took in the beauty the way someone would who had never seen it before. I noticed gorgeous black birds with huge wing spans having fun with flight. It reminded me of one of my favorite books from when I was a teenager -- Jonathan Livingston Seagull. (The "cool facts" page isn't working at the moment...sorry.)
Between meetings today, ('m back at my cabin tonight) I dropped into a book store and bought my first ever birding book. It's opening a brand new world to me. But I'm not talking about just the birds, it was everything today. I was noticing everything... more. It was quite incredible.
I thought about how much life we actually let pass us by when we're going to and from all the places we go because we're so intent on arriving or leaving or anything but being. Hmmm... interesting, don't you think?
I'm an artist, writer, photographer, private investigator and an activist in small ways.
"Turning indifference into making a difference."
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I visited the Tiger Temple in Thailand & later found out it is under investigation for tiger trafficking and animal abuse. Read full story. In 2015 it was raided. More than 100 tigers and protected bird species in Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province were impounded by authorities following complaints that the temple was alleged to engage in illegal wildlife trading.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious,
awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller
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Read about life in the woods with Chippy & the crew...