Tag Archives: Nature

For Vera

Look closely.  What do you see?

About three years back, I was walking along the roadside and I saw Red Clover blooming in the ditch.  I bent over and snapped a picture, a close up, without even giving it much thought.

Later, back home.  I opened the pic up on the computer screen and my jaw dropped.  It was, is, absolutely stunning!  At least I think so.

What we often regard as single blooms are really composite flowers.  A cluster of miniature florets forming that glorious efflorescence.  And this is what I saw.

Red Clover+C1

A common plant.  So common that people don’t seem to notice it.  Just walk on by.

The Bumble Bees notice it , though.  It seems to be one of their favorites.

But just look at those tiny composite flowers.  The angle of the ones at the top produce the effect of looking at flames dancing in a fire.

But straight on, you can see the tiny detail of each independent bloom.  The red veins of each. Those vascular bundles of Xylem and Phloem that extend the entire length of the plant. The Pistil, holding the reproductive organs.  Each of these tiny flowers will become a seed . . . once the bees do their work.   It will transform and appear much like the head of a Dandelion, before the tiny umbrellas balloon its many children to their distant destinations.  To start the cycle anew.

And to the side and lower views, you see each of the microblooms’ petals.  What an intricate design.

Like a cluster of diminutive orchids.

So many focal points.  The camera can’t decide.  It zooms in on the tiny hairlike projections in between the hues of crimson.

Three years ago, with the snapping of a picture, I snapped back into life.  Back into the life that matters most.  Appreciating the real world and all its glory.  And this re-awaking was fueled by what some would call the commonplace.  Would scarcely give a glance to such a plant.  A wildflower.  An uncultivated beast.

After all, it’s not a Rose . . .

My friend Vera and I were talking about this in relation to my post Wildflowers yesterday.  The uniqueness, the beauty, the ability to recognize and appreciate it before it’s gone.  And I think she said it perfectly when she said:

“It’s funny how we are inclined to categorize things as common or rare, forgetting/ignoring the fact that each one is unique within their own kind. It takes wise reminders to be conscious of that. To have the capacity to appreciate beauty while it lasts, or indeed, transience, in general, demands high wisdom and appropriate temperament.”

And so I dedicate this post to her.  And if you really want to read some fine poetry, and by “fine” I mean amazing, you should check out her blog.  To Dad With Love Poetry.

Until the next wildflower . . .

LOGOz

 

Wildflowers

I captured this image when I was on one of my hikes in the Northwest.  High desert wildflowers were everywhere.

Many were flowers I had not seen before, like this one.  Many others seem to be common all over the states.

I always wonder what evolutionary adaptations these plants have made to thrive in the area where they live.  Is it the altitude, or the days’ photoperiods, or the temperature, or the elements in the soil, or the amount of precipitation?  All combining to produce something with just the right colors and the perfect perfume to attract the pollinators that will ensure their reproduction.

And they interlink in the complex fabric of life so they help ensure other species’ survival.  Even our own 🙂

High Desert Wildflower 4 + Retro

LOGOz

Busy Living

“I guess it comes down to a simple choice really, get busy living or get busy dying.”

– Andy talking with Red in The Shawshank Redemption.

I’ve always loved this quote.  It seems simple enough, but there’s a lot to it.  Some people say we are in the process of dying from the moment we are born.  That’s an organic process.  Can’t change it.  Can’t stop it.  But we can change what we’re doing when we’re alive.  While we’re still breathing.

Continue reading Busy Living

Forget Civility, How About Just Having an Adult Conversation?

I, like a lot of friends I know, have become a little quieter in cyberspace these days.  Why?  Because of the lack of civility in human discourse out there.   Of course, there is nothing surprising by that statement.  Anybody out there in cyberland has witnessed, or may have been a party to, a discussion that has turned drastically evil.

The evilest one I can remember was where one very confused gentleman, I use that word “gentleman” very loosely, responded to a very factual statement of mine by saying he had my ISP address and was on his way to my house to: “. . . rape your mother and kill your whole family.”  Nice guy.  Apparently, intelligence, in any measurable form, was lacking in this individual.

And such responses tend to scare people off from wanting to engage any further.  Which may have been this person’s objective.  No intelligent response, so they had to threaten me with violence.

Continue reading Forget Civility, How About Just Having an Adult Conversation?

Silence is Golden, but Mantras . . .

You can fill in the blank in the title.  I might say . . . “are miraculous.”

***

I can remember back in college, I had friends who used to wear their headphones constantly.  They told me they couldn’t study without listening to music.  And I always found that hard to believe because if I’m listening to music, the only other thing I can do at the same time is dance.  And I’m not so great at that either, although I have fun flailing about 🙂

I mean I can’t even go to sleep listening to music.  Music just seems to engage some part of my brain that carries me somewhere else completely.

And totally.

Continue reading Silence is Golden, but Mantras . . .

Bees

I took this pic a while back when I was traveling through Michigan.  It really doesn’t matter where you are, Bees have a direct impact on all of our lives.  Without them, pollination would be severely impaired and we’d have a lot more difficultly breathing and eating.  Basically we need them to live.

In China, they’ve killed off so many bees that people are are having to hand-pollinate fruit trees.  Check out these pics from the Huffington Post – These Photos Capture the Startling Effect Of Shrinking Bee Populations.

And for a nice, easy read on how hives function, check out this blog from Big Island Bees titled: Bee Hive Hierarchy and Activities.

Of course, I like the pic because I think the bee is just beautiful.  A perfect work of art with Nature as the master artist.  Oh, the flower is pretty too 🙂

LOGOz

 

 

One of Those Days

It’s one of those days where the words should just be flowing, but they aren’t.  The idea list looks boring too.  And a fresh blanket of snow makes outdoor activities less probable.

A day of confusion.

Computer files aren’t compatible or won’t open.  It’s as if the desktop is having the same brain fog as I am.

Continue reading One of Those Days

Nesting

“Reality” is a word I find troubling.  For one, it implies that we have a basic and comprehensive understanding of some situation or event or location or person.  But generally speaking, we don’t.

We have limited perceptions.  They are limited by our senses and by our interpretation of events based upon our past experience.

That word “reality” also seems to carry with it the concepts of being finite and permanent.  When in “reality” nothing could be finite or permanent.  Everything, and everyone, is in a state of constant flux.  Change.  Ever morphing into the next transition.

Continue reading Nesting

Horizons

Photo: A beautiful image from my wanderings in the Southwest.  It might seem odd that I chose this pic for Emerson’s quote.  After all, this horizon seems confined once your eyes meet the mountains.  But actually, the horizon goes on.  You know there is more behind the mountains, and the clouds add that depth as they gracefully stretch into the infinite.

There are many illusions and distortions in our lives.  Those mountains in the foreground look close, but they are really quite distant.  You discover this as you hike towards them as they seem to forever retreat from your advance.  And once you reach this apparent obstruction, this natural barricade, you can see that the desert plane boundlessly unfolds in every direction.  You can get lost out here.  Lost physically and mentally as the vastness unbinds you and swallows up your soul.

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Elsewhere

I dislike beginning another blog with a chant about being absent for a while, but there it is.  I’ve not been here.  I’ve been elsewhere.

But where is “elsewhere?”

I kind of like that word.  In fact, if I ever incorporated a township, that’s what I’d name it – Elsewhere.  And everyone would be invited to go there and take a mental vacation.  And better yet, while you were there you could conjure up any type of reality you desired.  The only limits would be the boundaries of your imagination.

Actually, I think we are all in Elsewhere every day.

Continue reading Elsewhere

Brain Games

Well the old brain is clicking along today. Somewhat dazed, but the ramblings in my head don’t go away – except maybe when I meditate.

It’s funny we go through life trying to find meaning, to discover an identity for ourselves, and yet try as we might, we, as beings, are kind of hard to define.  And if we can’t even define ourselves, then how can we elucidate a purpose for this existence.

As I was listening to a song this morning the lyrics kind of hit home when I heard, “I don’t even need a name anymore, when no one calls it out, it kind of vanishes away.”

Continue reading Brain Games

Worlds and Eternities

Photo: Jenny Lake at Grand Teton National Park.  The Shoshones called this mountain range “Teewinot” – the many pinnacles.”

Every angle, every nuance of light and shadow, every frame in the mind’s eye – different worlds.  From the grains of sand on the shoreline, the wooded tails, the mountain peaks – all Universes within themselves.

As you look in the distance, the scene is not only majestic, it is infinite.  There are no borders, there is no time.

In fact, these are very young mountains in terms of geological time 🙂

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Day Dreaming

I woke up to a chilly negative seven degrees this morning.  That cold, biting air dug into my consciousness and said, “Hey, snap out of it.”  But what was “it?”

“It” has been the brain fog I’ve been in now for over a week.

“It” has thoroughly slapped me around, kicked in my rib cage, pummeled my face, knocked me down, and thrown me off balance.

“It” has challenged my days and made it difficult to write.

Yeah, I know, excuses, excuses.  But fighting pollution has taken on a whole new meaning for me this past couple of years.  Those unseen flyspecks, minute assassins, bouncing around my home.  Laying in wait.  Invading my brain.  Committing molecular murder.

With malice aforethought, “it” extinguishes my memory.

Evil.

Industrial chemicals.  A toxic world.

How to fight back?  Drift into a day dream . . .

A deep, clear, midnight blue lake, stretching out on the horizon, lapping against the shores of lodge pole pines, mountains shadow down in the distance.  Mirror reflections.  A shimmering pool.  A sailboat to slide across this glass surface.  Sanguine, tranquil, serene.

A distant memory.  Unleashing endorphins.  Light dancing in my camera’s lens. Euphoric.

I crank up the music – Freddy Jones Band – In a Day Dream

Tuesday morning,
Never looked so good.
I’m already in,
In a daydream.

The sun is shining,
To wake me up.
No one around,
Just me and the sky.

I’m already in,
In a daydream.
I’m already in,
In a daydream.

The sky is calling,
Calling out my name.
Telling me just to stay,
Stay and don’t go away.

I’m already in,
In a daydream.
I’m already in,
In a daydream.

In a daydream…
In a daydream…
In a daydream…
Already in a daydream…

And so I begin anew, rising from the flames, oscillating between past travels, and future adventures.  The words come . . .

***

Photo: Day dreaming of the Grand Tetons.