During the last few years I have spent hours listening to the haunting cries of Sandhill cranes, awaiting them at the river, stunned each time as I glimpsed a flock float to the ground, great gray wings extended to break their fall as talons touched earth, attended to enthusiastic family greetings and muted conversations, felt a sense of devastating loss when these birds circled overhead to say goodbye each year before heading north to breed (while I lived in New Mexico), and then discovering to my joy that they live and breed here in Maine. I still experience the same hunger to glimpse families in Fryeburg each October and lose time watching their loving family dynamics. I continue to feel intense grief and loss at crane leave-taking remaining baffled by the intensity of my own responses. In the last week I think I have finally uncovered the roots of the story behind the cranes and me…
These birds are prehistoric in origin and have the strongest family ties. The families never break up and when separated greet each other joyously even after a few hours as small groups fly to different feeding areas. Incredibly poignant. There is always one that stands watch at night, a protector, so the others can sleep in peace, one leg extended, usually in water. I am in love with these birds but until a few days ago did not understand the powerful pull their presence exerts over me.
Continue reading “The Ancestor Story by Sara Wright”
Mad wolf boys bay
a waxing solstice moon
is the Gateway
Nowhere to hide
Warblers sing on
Nerves strung too tight
Continue reading “The Bang Bang Boys by Sara Wright”
With May coming to a close in a few days, I am feeling nostalgia. This month is both elusive and dramatic – from bare trees to lime green, and now lilacs so heavily laden with blooms that some are bowed as if in prayer. Wood frogs and peepers bring in the night and the first toads are hopping around my overgrown flower garden; in the forests I surprise them when peering closely at small flowers. Gray tree frogs trill at dusk. Violets of every hue grace the earth outside my door along with robust dandelions, forget – nots, rafts of deep blue ajuga, delicate bells of solomons seal, mayapple umbrellas, false solomon’s seal, wild columbine and golden celandine all nestled in long grasses and moss. No mowing happens here!
On my woodland paths starflowers and Canada mayflowers are now so thick I fear treading on even one, as if one foot could destroy the whole. Down by the brook white trillium bloom on, both painted and purple are setting seed, while bloodroot, arbutus trumpets and delicate anemones have transformed into leafy memory. Ostrich and hay ferns are unfurling, creeping blue phlox and dames rocket are budded or blooming; pink and white lady slippers are beckoning both here and in the woods. June is in the air.
Continue reading “May: A Reflection on Time and Trillium by Sara Wright”
Nature is a Living Being. Animals and plants have souls, and a spirit. Each species is unique, and yet we are all interconnected, human and non – human species alike. This is more than a both and perspective; its multi-dimensional.
Many books are written about using nature to heal humanity of its ills. ‘Recreate’. Climbing a mountain, or taking a walk are common examples of using nature to help ourselves, but how many of us are asking the question of how we can give back?
This is a question I was obsessed with for about thirty years and may be the reason I gained entrance into this seemingly secret world that we call Nature.* When I experienced unconditional love from both animals and plants I needed to reciprocate in kind. This idea of reciprocity between humans and the rest of Nature is probably similar to what Indigenous peoples experienced because they loved (or feared) and learned directly from animals, plants and trees. They respected animals, for example, for their unique qualities. Indigenous people never psychologized Nature the way westerners routinely do.
I rarely read books about Nature anymore because I am so troubled by this psychologizing. From my point of view psycho-babble is just another way of dismissing the reality of Nature as a living feeling, sensing, sentient Being.
Continue reading “A Blinding Light? by Sara Wright”
I see you perched on the tree
checking the perimeter for cats lurking.
The feeder below, inviting you down
but you, ever cautious,
make sure that none are about.
Suddenly the sparrows swarm in,
eagerly eating the seed offered.
They flit and flap, and fly about,
scattering seed as they cover the feeder.
Throwing caution to the wind,
down you fly,
eager for your share of the offerings.
You find treats on the ground,
seeds from the tallow above,
a seed so large,
from my window, I see it in your mouth.
I watch you prance, a friend joining you,
Your perky crest and colorful plumage,
your morning dance brings pleasure
as I ponder my coming day.
over my first cup of coffee.
Continue reading “Birds, Their Song Stills My Heart by Deanne Quarrie”
Though I am not a Christian any more, I don’t want to sit home alone on Easter Day. Besides being a Christian ritual, Greek Easter is a time to eat lamb with family and friends, and to celebrate the coming of spring by feasting out-of-doors in flowering fields or in a garden filled with flowers, bees, butterflies, and birds. Such rituals have been celebrated from time immemorial.
Greek Easter came late this year, only yesterday, May 5. I prepared for an Easter party in my garden for weeks. My garden is planted with herbs and aromatics—lavender, thyme, oregano, rosemary, curry plant, rue, sage, cistus, rose-scented geranium, sweet william, cat mint and several other kinds of mint, bee balm, and roses and fruit trees, including lemon, bitter orange, pomegranate, olive, quince, and cherry. Everything blossoms in spring, attracting bees and butterflies.
I began weeding and pruning about 6 weeks ago. This year I had to remove many overgrown lavender plants. For the last 3 weeks in addition to ongoing weeding and pruning, I have been replanting lavender which I have promised myself to prune “way back” in the fall, along with purple sage, blue daisies, and thyme. Though there is bare ground in some parts of the garden, in other parts mature plants and trees are in full flower. Continue reading “Rituals Of Spring and Greek Easter by Carol P. Christ”
I believe that we should we care about birds because it is right to do so. If we do not, we will contribute to extinction of species, and we will leave a diminished world to those who come after us. We must not give up hope that we can save the world for birds, for other wildlife, and for our children’s children.
On February 2, 2012, the International Day for Wetlands, the Greek government signed into law a Presidental Directive mandating protection of the small wetlands of the Greek islands. There is no assurance that this law will be enforced. There are still no measures in effect to protect most of the larger wetlands in Greece, even though this is required by the European law Natura 2000, which requires all of the countries in the European Union to protect bird and wildlife habitats.
When I became a birdwatcher, I could not have told you what a wetland is. Now I know that wetlands are fragile bodies of water shallow enough for wading birds from flamingoes to sandpipers to stand in “without getting their bottoms wet” while feeding on shrimp, small fish, frogs, and other watery treats. Wetlands often take the form of pools near the sea, but they also include the deltas at river mouths and seasonally flooded fields. In the twentieth century and today many wetlands were designated “swamps” and drained. Continue reading “Why Should We Care About Birds? By Carol P. Christ”