Showing posts with label birds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birds. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Birds and the Bees


As I sit at the window in the cabin in the forest—a rented cabin, not mine, on this Tuesday, April 12, I am watching great gobs of snow that were heavy on the fir branches a moment ago plummet to the ground. The resultant "Plop" awakens my little dog, trying to sleep on the couch.


 A view from my window.


Oh, here come the flakes again—little white fairies slowly drifting to the ground. I am mesmerized. How do they fall while maintaining a distance from the other? Each flake is synchronized like birds in flight. Although the flakes are on a trajectory, the birds can do right turns or left with split-second timing. I figure there is a commander bird with a radio headset giving instructions to the flock via their headsets.


(My physicist husband will tell me that the flake's distance from each other has something to do with the moisture in the air.) I guess each has its own little packet of moist air around it, as some trees emit a deterrent to keep other trees from crowding in too close, allowing each to his own space. 


My own space is one reason I came here. 


There goes the newly plowed road the tractor made about 5 minutes ago. The snow is stacking up.


And I thought it was spring.



But this is fun, and I came to be among the big trees, so here I am. The weather can do whatever. This is my Artist's Date to follow Julia Cameron's suggestion as something people should take every so often to recharge their batteries. She suggested a weekly date—doing something fun, but I took it to the extreme and took two days. She goes to the pet store and pets the enormous bunny they keep on the premises. First, she asks, "Can I pet Howard?" 


"You have to ask Howard," they say.


"He always says yes.


About a week ago, I watched a friend's video where she mentioned the pollination of the forest. Wait a minute, I don't know how the pines and firs pollinate, and I took Botany in college.  I knew about flowering plants, but conifers are gymnosperms, non-flowering plants, how do they grow pollen?

 (My classes were in California, maybe they skipped the conifer lecture.)

 Gymnosperms include conifers, pines, firs, ferns, mosses, and lessor forms like lichens. Angiosperms are the flowering plants.)


Ferns and mosses have spores on their leaves and thus send babies into the world. But Pines? Where does the pollen come from if they have no flowers?


This morning I found that conifers have male cones and female cones. The male cones don't look like the woody cones we commonly call pine cones but are more furry cones that come in the spring on the tree's lower branches. Why lower? 

So they generally do not pollinate their own tree, thus allowing genetic diversity. Instead, the pollen is carried by the wind to other trees. (Perhaps you have parked in the forest to find your car covered with yellow powder—that is pollen.  


It takes two years from the time pollen finds a female cone to it making pine nuts. You have probably seen a pine cone where the scales look glued together. They

 have not yet opened for that pollen can enter. 


After a time, the scales open and an ovule is fertilized, and two seeds mature between the scales. After that, the pine cone falls to the ground. Some ingenious designer created the pine cone so it would bounce and thus disperse its seeds. Since the pine nuts are delicious, critters collect them and bury them for a future meal. Sometimes the animal will forget where they buried some of their seeds, or maybe they had more than they could eat and left some. In that manner, animals plant trees.


Forgive me for the science reminder, but I am in awe that seemingly dead branches bud and develop flowers and leaves every spring. Ground plants make their way through the soil, the grasses turn green, and the world awakens. The plants feed us, give us wood for fuel and shelter, and oxygen for our bodies. We, in turn, provide them with carbon dioxide. What a system.


And this system can remind us, as Eckhart Tolle so eloquently explained, that a "Flowering of Consciousness" can appear in people too. 


See, I flipped from being a biologist to being a preacher.  


Imagine a time when there were no flowers, and then one day, a lonely little blossom appeared. Soon others came, and the forest exploded into color. Insects were attracted to the fragrance emitted by the flowers. Birds came because of plentiful food, as did bees and hummingbirds. (They star apart, though, for hummingbird's little body can't take a bee sting.) came where the bees weren't to drink their nectar and thus disperse the pollen. The flowers accommodate each, specializing in hummingbird flowers and bee flowers. The bees leave behind honey. The hummingbirds leave behind beauty. The flowers make fruits. 


 What a system.


Now I will spend some time contemplating why I really came to the woods.


See ya next week.

Love ya,



Good Morning



Saturday, May 15, 2021

Find Something Fun

I used to tease my friend Betty for saying that chickens were her favorite animal. 

I've heard of chicken on the Barbie, but this is ridiculous.

Now I understand where she was coming from.

I’m not saying chickens are my favorites. I’m not choosing. You know I have been crazy over a horse, a dog, I have loved our cats, and goats are more fun than a barrel of monkeys—most people wouldn’t know this without experiencing one or two.

Who wouldn't love that face?

I don’t know why I am talking about this. A blog is meant to inform. 

I inform you here in this lock-down depressing times, when people are plain worn-out with worry, receiving conflicting data, knowing there is an information war, and that our minds and bodies are being dinked with...

Find something you enjoy. 

I’ve recently taken a couple of trail walks, recording both the trail and my voice, and I enjoyed both. Can you believe it? I talk about the Law of Attraction and whatever else pops into my head. 

Why would I be so arrogant as to do such a thing? 

I’m not a big talker. Neither am I a big walker these days. Sorry. Justin Perry suggested I do a YouTube. If you get 1,000 “likes,” you can monetarize it, meaning have ads, but still be free for the watcher/listener. ( My internal knowingness said, “Jump in. See what happens. Be brave.”

People are interested in The Law of Attraction. I can say a few things about it, not to teach or to give any processes you ought to do, goals you ought to set, or meditations you ought to do. No ought's. Just plain talk. At least you can get a green forested trail walk out of it. And I was yearning for the trees. 

This videoing and putting the recording into the computer has been a learning curve for me. And I used to download pictures with ease. But not on my new computer., It kept locking me out until daughter dear turned off the S mode. Apparently, Microsoft wanted me to use only their software. I think I can get it now. This YouTube will be the unabridged version of walking and talking and hearing my breathing. Jewells Happy Trails #1. (No link yet.)

The first walk had no audio, so I redid it. No wonder I was puffing. I got lost on the mountain after the second walk as I was returning home. The road was clear going away from town, but coming back, there were logging roads, Y’s in the road, I didn’t see on the way down. I took the wrong Y and scraped the sides of my truck on blackberry bushes. 

Oh, back to chickens. They have given me a reprieve from the depression we had over losing my daughter’s lady. 

I bought three baby chicks on March 19, then three days old. They lived in a box under a heat lamp in the laundry room until recently when I moved the box outside. Next came a little movable yard on our green lawn. A freed animal is such fun; they run (It’s only a 4 x 4 sq. foot enclosure) and could fly over the three-foot-high fence if I didn’t cover it. Now part of their diet is mowing the lawn. 

Husband Dear and I had spent a week off and on flipping a tiny chicken house that I bought when we lived at an earlier home. Amazing that it survived the weather, and only the roof was rotted. My son-in-law and grandson carried it from where it had been stored including lifting it over the fence as it couldn't get through the gate, I freshly stained the sides, and repainted the trim. Home Depot cut the roof plywood for me, and I found asphalt shingles at Habitat for Humanity. Husband dear screwed the plywood in place and we shingled the roof.  It’s cute enough to live in the backyard. 

This property already had a chicken house and a coop attached to the backside of the Wayback (Our auxiliary building.) We had a secure (we thought) dog kennel attached to the coop for the two chickens who survived an earlier massacre. Sadly, about four nights ago, something got Red, one of the two hens. She must have been lying next to the fence, and something (a raccoon ??) killed her right through the fence.

Well, Blackie became free-range. The neat thing is, this somewhat standoffish street-smart chicken (she adopted us) has come into our back yard, visits the young chickens through their fence, lets me pet her, and has become the elegant lady she was meant to be. 

The picture above is of Blackie.

Although we had the house in our workspace for replacing the roof, Blackie climbed inside and laid two eggs. She is a resourceful chicken. Now I see why Betty was so attached to chickens. 

Here’s a quick change of subject:

Want a FREE blank book?

It won’t be completely blank. It has lined pages and quotes scattered throughout like seeds.

The quotes are not meant to stop your creative flow, but to give you a moment to pause and reflect or argue with, I don’t care.  

I like little booklets for my computer data, for I change passwords more often than Katy Perry changes clothes. The booklets with pretty covers are more fun than the simple spiral notebooks where I put junk stuff. 

Of course, you can write the great American novel there on those pages if you want.

I ordered two booklets about a week ago, for I wanted to know how they looked and make sure every page was lined. They have a matt finish cover. Glossy might be better. 

Here is a bird with an attitude.

Quote on the back cover:

"Once upon a time,

when women were birds,

there was the simple understanding

that to sing at dawn, and to sing at dusk

was to heal the world through joy.

The birds still remember what we have forgotten,

that the world is meant to be celebrated."

--Terry Tempest William

One person can have my extra booklet if they are willing to give me their email address and/or name and physical address so I can UPSP the book. If you win, I will need it for mailing.  

The young chicks will choose the winner. The first address pecked will be it.

The Judges

This is Saturday. I will do the drawing next Saturday, May 22, 2021