"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." ~Hans Christian Anderson
It was a fun morning spotting this little guy. Unlike city squirrels, these mountain squirrels are very private. They don't like my pressence and are hard to photograph because they're usually running away.
Here he is before he sees me.....
Now he sees me....!
drops his pinecone
Because of his own nervousness, he dropped his pinecone and is chattering madly away at me!
He's really upset!
You can see him yelling here....
I realize I've seen this squirrel before and photographed him! See his right ear? It has a split in it. Very distinctive. But that's off topic. This guy is peeved at me. I'm able to get more photos than you'll ever want to see. He was up one tree and then another and would look at me like he wanted to jump on me. He came toward me and then would move back. I just clicked away!
He finally chattered himself silly and then left! So.. yeah! I get the whole "acting squirrely" thing!
“If one is estranged from oneself, then one is estranged from
others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh
This is a little bird -- a Gray Headed Junco
I love the way birds and animals are curious about me. It'd be fun to know what this little puff ball was thinking! If you read the blog where the deer just stopped to look at me, you'll notice how often it actually happens. In the herd of antelope I saw yesterday there was one in particular that just stared. Most of them wanted to run but this one just stood boldly examining me. It's all so interesting....
Sometimes (most times) to my own ears I sound like an elephant tromping through the forest. I wear mountain boots ... am wondering if I could wear something that would be quieter or if it's just me?
I'm getting more and more familiar with certain birds and even their songs and whistles and chirps.
Sept 4 - Gray Headed Junco
September 4 - A flower amidst the dying leaves
The other day I was feeling overwhelmed with some stuff going on in my life that redefines injustice and then a wave of relief washed over me when I brought some perspective to the situation. I thought about what a tiny spec I am in relation to the whole universe. I thought about how most people have such a tendency to get wrapped up in so many “man made” problems and issues and worries.
In the grand scheme of things, whatever that is, I don’t need to focus so intently on the things that tend to unravel me. It’s unhealthy to get entirely stressed out on all this stuff no matter how painful it feels. I can choose to let go of what I cannot control. Right now there’s a lot I cannot control in my life. I am not someone who needs vengeance to settle an unfair score. (I believe in karma for a lack of better wording.) When I view myself as just a tiny part of such vastness -- and I don't mean tiny as in insignificant - it brings calm feelings and feeds the inner peace I work at keeping. And it helps to be surrounded by nature and such purity...
I love this quote by Lincoln ... it's perfect to remember
when stress is abundant and worry has you buried...
It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away."
I've shared this before, but it's worth repeating. When a fly is in my home, or buzzing around me and landing on me, I want to shoo it away. When it's in its own habitat, doing its own thing, it's something interesting to observe. It's all about perspective...
"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you...
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."
Sept 4th - This is Kid
Chippy, Punky, Jacob and the gang -- all the ground squirrels -- are all hibernating. Only the new kid on the block (I just call him Kid now) is still around. I'm afraid Kid is not going to be ready for the winter. (I think he's one of Punky's babies from this summer.) He doesn't grasp the concept of "stashing" his food yet. He only takes one nut at a time even if he's offered several. He doesn't know how to pack his cheeks and carry a supply of food to his den. I worry about him. I read about how difficult it is for young ones to survive their first harsh winter. I know... it's survival of the fittest and all that, but when you personally get to know the animals ... it's hard.. to just let what will be .. be.
This guy thought he was incognito watching me feed the birds and chipmunks and Kid. When he finally spotted me spotting him, he took off to a nearby tree just chattering up a storm. These squirrels always seem to have one of those mischievous "done something" grins.
I went down to my pond and creek this morning to see what might be stirring around. How cute is this?! Don't know what type of bird yet. If anyone knows, please email me!
This one was at my pond around noon today. I love those long, spindly legs!
Same bird (as above) before he flew to the log. I'm checking my bird book but not coming up with an exact match.
I don't know what kind.. anyone?
Birds move so fast and blend in with so well with the natural environment. It's tricky getting photos!
If you've followed this BLOG you might remember when I saw a yellow bird and got a blurry blob of yellow. This is a little better than that picture, but not by much! This little yellow guy is different than the other one I tried to photograph. This guy has a darker back and darker wings. The other one was solid yellow. Someday I'm GOING to get a clear shot of one of these yellow guys! This is a very small bird and flits around quickly from willow to willow. I've not seen them in the forest.
Clark was knocking frantically today. I called him to me and he came but then he flew right back to window and knocked in a tantrum sort of way. I'm totally puzzled!
This was my first time to see a chipmunk climbing sage brush and eating it.
This is Kid again. There's something so special about him. If I were to pin a word to my feelings, I'd say he's innocent. He's also very gentle and ... this may sound odd, but he isn't completely self absorbed. (Maybe he just isn't too bright...but it's actually kind of nice.) I've never had a ground squirrel or chipmunk not figure out a way to stuff themselves with whatever nuts or food is given to them. Even Chippy's babies in the first few days would naturally hoard whatever they could. Kid is different. Hmm..
“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.
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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...