Porch Work and Companions

Today I had a few meetings and mostly email responses for work so I took advantage of the fact that I didn’t need two computer monitors and worked from the porch.

A few weeks ago, a robin was busily making a nest in a bush right outside my porch window. Today, to my delight, I realized that a family was in it.

Robin sitting on a nest.
See the cute little bird? Would you guess it was sharing a nest with littles?

As I worked, I saw the parent flying back and forth feeding the little ones. My camera is not fantastic, but if you try really hard, you can see my treat.

Robin feeding its young

What’s really neat is that our weather is not fantastic today. It’s raining and thundering and the wind is tossing that bush about a bit, but they are all snuggled in. Happy as not larks. Just happy as a robin singin’ its song 🙂

Makes me happy, too.

Mountains in the Mist

Spring warmth was teasing the leaves out into the open, and after days of rain we were ready for some fresh air. It was the first Saturday in a very long time I didn’t have to work, and we had a friend nearby ready to hang out.

We decided to hike in our backyard rather than on Mount Greylock as initially planned. Snowboarding down a slope uses very different muscles from hiking up a slope, and the first incline immediately reminded me of how out of shape I was. But the views were so great we just couldn’t stop. I don’t mean just views of the valleys. I mean the simple, nearby views. Animals getting spring busy and snow melting and amazing layers of rock. Those sorts of views.

Hiking at Jiminy Peak,
View from the hill
Cool rock layers

As we went higher up, we crossed into the fog zone. That was fun. Usually I get off the lift and board through that then break out of it as I go lower. It was wild doing that in reverse.

Since it was so foggy, I didn’t get a shot of the Zephyr – my favorite windmill. But Chris did find a little salamander (we actually saw two, but I just photographed one).

Little orange salamander

We reached the top and headed down. This was the tough part for me. A bunch of years ago I hurt my knees and have had trouble going down hills since. Not gonna lie, it was pretty excruciating. I walked backwards down the final quarter-ish of the hill, which helped a lot.

After I got back to my home later I was researching options. Next time, I think I will try walking sticks. I also learned that contrary to instinct I should lean forward when feeling the pain and try to walk faster (but not so fast my nose kisses the ground 🙂 ). I slowed down and leaned back. Wrong move. Ah well.

Of course, I had to get an image of a mini waterfall for Aunt Anne.

small waterfall

And for me — I got a picture of my favorite flower.

dandelions

All in all, we walked a bit over 3 miles, and it took 2. 5 hrs. We wrapped up the day with one of my favorite games by the pool.

card games by the pool

See what I mean? A perfect. day!

Back to the Bergs

April 11, 2019

I thought I missed them – my winter icebergs that I love. You can see them in full size on my post from a couple of years ago. And I was really sad. Then realized I had no right to feel sad. My reason for not getting to the beach to see the icebergs was because I was too busy playing on the slopes in the east. But nature had a gift for me. The last day on the slopes was April 7, and on the 11th I headed to the beach and got this visual treat:

Winter melt-off at Southwick
Winter melt-off at Southwick
Icebergs at Southwick
Icebergs at Southwick

And it wasn’t a moment too soon — the party was breaking up.

April 12

Icebergs at Southwick Breaking Up
Icebergs at Southwick Breaking Up
Breaking Bergs in Black and White
Breaking Bergs in Black and White

April 16

And then they were gone.

No more winter icebergs at Southwick Beach
No More Icebergs

Finale

I had two super treats to wrap the day on the trip where we encountered the end of the bergs for the year.

  1. Look how nature took the love I feel for my man and celebrated it with a heart over his head at one of my favorite spots:
Heart over Chris' head
Heart in the sky

You can see it a bit better in this pic, but Chris looks a bit goofy. Can’t have it all, I guess 😉

Heart in the Sky
Heart in the Sky

and my other treat –

2. One of my favorite things in life is taking a walk when the birds are tucking in for the night. I love the sounds of nature at dusk. Just take a listen and relax with me.

Highlighted Blog #16 – The Humane Gardener

Nature is something I appreciate, but I have to admit that I don’t particularly study it. I just love it. One of the reasons I love the Humane Gardener is that it opens my eyes to the contributors to the natural art I appreciate. And shows how general human thoughtlessness might out the simple joys in jeopardy.

Human physiological responses to what Blomberg calls the “audible trash” of planes, trains, automobiles and machinery include hearing loss, elevated heart rates and blood pressure, sleeplessness and decreased mental focus. Not surprisingly, evidence of similar effects on wildlife is mounting, too. A recent study in New Mexico linked manmade noise to reduced egg hatching in western bluebirds.

 – http://www.humanegardener.com/lets-go-make-quiet/

For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Quote

Highlighted Blog #8 – aussiebirder.com

I don’t know a whole lot about birds. I think they are beautiful, and I love listening to them early on a summer morning. But if one flies by me, I’m more likely to describe it as yellow or blue than to actually know something about it. In fact, I have no idea what bird I just added in my Featured Image, and I’m thinking it might not be one from Australia. Apologies for that misrepresentation if so. I’m starting to learn more, however. Blogs such as aussiebirder.com are changing that.

It’s true, I don’t live in Australia, but maybe someday I will visit. Actually, I should look for a similar site here n North America. Any suggestions?

I love how this man writes in an engaging manner, but also throws in scientific details and fun facts. I had no idea birds could get drunk on sugar content from a tree or even group up to protect the source of their Bacchus-inspired activities. Very interesting. And the images on the site are an art of its own, in addition to the writing. Hope you enjoy the site as much as I do.

Last weekend my wife and I drove to Wollongong Botanic Gardens on the tip off that a single Regent Honeyeater had been visiting a bright red flowering bush known as the ‘Drunk Parrot Tree’ (Schotia brachypetala). To our great delight we were blessed with many sightings of the bird as it came briefly to feed […]

via The Return of the Rare Regent – Wollongong Botanic Gardens — aussiebirder

* For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing  writing from some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Preparing for Winter

Posts at the beach placed in preparation for winter.
Posts at the beach placed in preparation for winter.

This post is for my friends who live in warmer environments. The image featured is of something we see a lot here in the north. It’s usually metal rods along highways, but this particular picture is a bunch of wood posts at our local beach. Know what it is?

It’s a row of markers along a road so the snowplows know where to drive. I’m kind of super excited to see that the markers are now lining a path to the main parking lot at our beach instead of just to the ticket booth. That’s quite a bit further when one is hiking in deep snow and will make walking to the water a whole lot easier this winter.

To put things in perspective, I’m 5 foot 2 inches tall. Think they are getting ready for a lot of snow? 😉

One can only hope…

Of Wind and Water

Wind at Southwick State Park Beach

Disclaimer: You might want to mute the video before you start it — or perhaps, like me, you love the sound of wind (even if it’s slightly magnified by an iPhone microphone).

The wind was so loud that day, Chris and I couldn’t hear each other talk as we walked into the wind. That was some tough walking, haha.

Walking back to the car, I think I could have flown. So fun.

Wind at Southwick

A wonderful poem by Amy Lowell.

The Wind

He shouts in the sails of the ships at sea,
He steals the down from the honeybee,
He makes the forest trees rustle and sing,
He twirls my kite till it breaks its string.
Laughing, dancing, sunny wind,
Whistling, howling, rainy wind,
North, South, East and West,
Each is the wind I like the best.
He calls up the fog and hides the hills,
He whirls the wings of the great windmills,
The weathercocks love him and turn to discover
His whereabouts — but he’s gone, the rover!
Laughing, dancing, sunny wind,
Whistling, howling, rainy wind,
North, South, East and West,
Each is the wind I like the best.

The pine trees toss him their cones with glee,
The flowers bend low in courtesy,
Each wave flings up a shower of pearls,
The flag in front of the school unfurls.
Laughing, dancing, sunny wind,
Whistling, howling, rainy wind,
North, South, East and West,
Each is the wind I like the best.

More of Amy Lowell’s poetry can be found in Google Books.

A Tale of a Turtle

This post is for those who want to take a step back from the chaos of life to view a slow-moving beautiful story. Of course, calling it a story at all is a bit grandiose of me. It’s how my mind perceived it. But here is the simple tale I saw.

Once upon a time there was a turtle. This turtle was on a quest. All its life it wanted to be a rock, and on this particular day, it was determined to find the best place to become a rock. Legend told that it would have to navigate under the bridge of the great unknown before it could become the perfect rock. So it set off toward the bridge.

After making it past the bridge the turtle had a few choices. It could follow its dream to become a rock, make friends with little fish around it, eat said fish, or meet other turtle buddies. For a few minutes, it hesitated. Then it continued on its quest.

When it found the perfect spot, the turtle ducked its head under and let its shell rise in a true rock formation — the epitome of its dream of rock stardom. But all was not simple. In the same arena there was another turtle determined to find a friend with whom to play.

There was Another Turtle Looking for a Friend

But our turtle was a determined sort of soul. It could camouflage and camouflage well, and by golly, it was meant to be a rock. So a rock it was.


Camo turtle
Camo turtle


Meanwhile the social turtle finds our rock star and tries to engage in some play.


It’s not meant to be, however. Sometimes a turtle just needs a bit of its own space. After a minute of “hey, just so you know…I’m here for ya, buddy…” the other turtle goes on its way. Surrounded by fish friends.

Social Turtle Leaves to Find New Adventures

I see two endings for this. Take your pick depending on your mood:

  1. And they all lived happily ever after.
  2. A Simon and Garfunkel connection:

I am a rock, I am an island. I am shielded in my armor, Hiding in my room, safe within my womb. I touch no one and no one touches me. I am a rock, I am an island. And a rock feels no pain; And an island never cries.

https://www.lyricsfreak.com/p/paul+simon/i+am+a+rock_20262017.html