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Monday, August 13, 2018

Crow Medicine.

During these past few weeks I have been taking in the magic of the crows. They are so clever and such mysterious birds. In the past, I did not pay them much attention but as I sit waiting for the hummingbirds to appear, they have drawn me into their world. 
I love they way they travel together and use incredible language to communicate with one another. 

The medicine of the crow is a mirror to change that is yet to come. They express mystery, magic, the past, present and future while also the art of shapeshifting. 
While I caught these two preening one another I was taken by their silent gentleness and sleek dark beauty. 
They are often referred to as omens of change, spiritual strength and personal integrity. 
They were especially expressive as I stood beneath an oak tree and watched them fly from tree top to tree top sharing beautiful, rhythmic and intricate language with one another.
When I see them flying overhead, I hold them in the highest regard and acknowledge their great intelligence and keen presence. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Guapo and the Lady Slipper.


As the days are growing warmer, it seems that Guapo the hummingbird will stay a bit longer in the evening hours on his favorite perch. 
Here is he resting on a vitex branch, one of his preferred spots in the garden.
He continues to teach me something new each and every time I see him. I observe how he tracks the sun, the insects, other birds and the flowers. Last night I watched his red and magenta shimmering feathers sparkle as I sat quietly in the garden. 
He chases away Flora on a regular basis and the two of them engage in ornate flight patterns while vying for access to fresh nectar. Guapo is showing me how hummingbirds fly in the formation of a figure eight. How fast they can be, and how on a moments notice, they can defend their territory.


The orchid next to Guapo was a gift. This Lady Slipper is gracing my space with a supreme elegance. She sits with such grounded beauty on my desk and offers herself to each person that she meets. One can not help but be mesmerized by her presence. 
While sitting with both Guapo and the Lady Slipper, I have been observing how the spaces inside my own physiology that are moved by their beauty. I notice a sense of well being and a strengthening of my spine and an ease in my breath. 
Hours may pass before one of these images come to fruit from my time with the hummingbirds. In the end, the time spent in the stillness always offers a gift. 
Thank you Guapo and thank you Miss Lady Slipper for your softness and presence. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Kapoho Tidepools, Guapo the Hummingbird and the Solstice

With so many changes upon us today, I want to write about transformation and all of these big natural changes that we are observing in these fiery days.
Pele's glory has taken the coastline of the Big Island and made it new again with a raw and new beauty. I am in awe of her passion. I am transfixed by the intense and explosive lava and the magnificent colors, all shades of deep red and orange. She is burning through everything and demanding transformation.


I revisited these pictures from my last visit to Pele's lands. I am grateful to have these images of the tide pools before she reclaimed her magnificent garden.
And so we let go.
And allow.
Stay present.
And gentle.


In this collage is a picture of Guapo my returning ruby throated hummingbird.
Taken today during the last hours of solstice daylight.
Each and every time I see him my heart is filled with so much joy. He reminds me that change is a constant force of nature, we are always pendulating between different energy states. Just watching him is a reminder to stay fluid.


Guapo arrived during the cool Spring days and nights. He waited patiently for the flowers to bloom. Now that the garden is in full glory, he and Flora have returned with another male.
Every morning that I hear their wings beating outside the door I am filled with such gratitude and love for them. They make me feel hopeful and full of goodness. It is the kind of sweetness that I want to share with the good people in my world. And I want to say to everyone... that goodness, gentleness and beauty do prevail, in the end.


 Thank you Pele and the hummingbirds for sharing your magnificent gifts with all of us on the longest day of the year.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Way of Heaven

During times of change and transition in the seasons, I always return to the study of rhythms in nature, the Classical teachings of Chinese medicine and Daoism. The past few days, I have been reading excerpts of great richness. I have been sitting with concepts surrounding the Way of Heaven and the Dao.

It is the Way of Heaven to keep moving and and to allow no piling up-hence the 10,000 things come to completion. It is in the Way of the emperor to keep moving and to allow no piling up-hence the whole world repairs to his court. It is the Way of the sage to keep moving and to allow no piling up-hence all within the seas bow to him. Comprehending Heaven, conversant with the sage, walker on the 6 avenues and 4 frontiers of the virtue of emperors and kings-the actions of such a man come naturally; dreamily, he never lacks stillness. 
The sage is still not because he takes stillness to be good and therefore he is still. The 10,000 things are insufficient to distract his mind-that is the reason he is still. 
Zhuang zi, Chapter 13

 I am applying these words to the concept of Wu-Wei or the middle path. Non-action, or the art of 'allowing'. When I am with my camera, I try to pull my energy inside and be an observer and participate in this flow. There is a wisdom, that does arise if we allow it through our stillness. As I lean deeper into my own studies, and process, I am so curious about how one can cultivate more capacity to allow the physiology to reorganize with greater ease.


Above is a picture of an osprey, taken at Three Mile Harbor, in Springs, East Hampton. 
I have delighted in their prehistoric piercing eyes that focus on far away prey that swim underwater. 
Watching osprey often feels like a meditation in Wu-Wei. 
Observing how they fly through the air with such beauty and grace is magical, they have a steady and determined presence despite the strength of the wild ocean winds. 



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Pilot whales, Humpbacks and Dolphins.

Last week, I had the amazing fortune of photographing pilot whales in the Pacific deep blue. The pod was generous and I was able to take this picture on my second drop in, and it was extraordinary. I had been in the water with them in the Kingdom of Tonga, several years ago. During my first experience with them, they were hunting and pelagic sharks were in tow. At that time, I was struck by their incredible grace and linear swimming. They passed by in rows, their dark skin was a sharp contrast against the Tongan clear blue waters.
The picture below is from my most recent Hawaiian encounter just a few days ago. I love this picture because it shows how much their skin shins and reflects light. 


This time they were traveling, but curious. They bobbed their heads to the surface and spy hopped for several minutes before I was in the water with them.  
These gentle beauties are residents of the local waters. Their scientific name is Globicephala. They survive primarily on squid and are thought to dive deeper during the night. They tend to travel in pods and like orcas have a matrilineal family structure. 
What I love about documenting cetaceans in the wild, is observing how their tales move through the waters as they swim on the surface, how they travel in pods and observing their incredible navigation from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sea. 
Below is humpback tail taken at the surface, spinner dolphins swimming in pods along the bottom and a beautiful bamboo trunk, the ridges that remind me of the formation of a dolphin pod.


Each time that I enter the ocean with my camera, my curiosity and desire to learn more widens. I fall in love again, each and every time. Below is a magical tide pool filled will colorful coral and delicate yellow and black fish called Hawaiian sergeant fish, these beauties reminded me of the coherence in nature, repeated patterns and the delicate and elegant natural language that we speak with one another through our physiology. 


In the next year, I am refining and editing my photographs to create a book that has been asking to be printed. It has been over ten years that I have been documenting the seas and observing mother nature's grace while trailing behind countless cetaceans. 
I am grateful to everyone who takes the time to read my posts and support my underwater work. As the days grow longer and the local waters begin to warm, I am eagerly expecting the return of cetaceans to the East End. 


Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Pele Report.

Yellow Fronted Canaries and Saffron Finches grace the coastline, as they sing in tandem flying quickly among the tree tree tops. Darting from one branch to the next they search out sweet treats and sing their magical song. 
They are accompanied by bright green geckos drinking sweet fruit nectars and crimson orchids
sharing their delicate blooms.


Pods of dolphins surf the waves and spin freely over coral reefs, while misty clouds cover the towering tropical trees. Sea urchins gently dance in small volcanic pools filled with broken shells, coral and miniature purple snails while shy quick crabs snag morsels from the black rocks in between gentle waves. 


Curious spinner dolphins. 


A strong and tumultuous rain cleared Pele's clouds and smoke. The power of nature has revisited me from the inside out and I am always in awe when I feel this kind of natural reorganization. 
It feels as though these deep realignments are needed at this time. Sometimes deep sighs of knowing and salty tears accompany these moments of recognition. 


Each and every element has its place in the wholeness of nature. In keeping with the changing rhythms of nature, I have taken every opportunity to take pictures of anyone willing to sit with me and my camera. I am so deeply grateful to all of the beauties I was able to connect with, while Pele's presence embraced us, she watched all of us meet under her fiery and tender gaze. 




Thank you dolphins, and whales for your gentle presence and generosity. 
~Mahalo~



Wednesday, January 31, 2018

New Year and a Super Moon.

It has been a vibrant day, the moon filled the night sky with much beauty and goodness. Last night this elegant luna illuminated the sky filled with stars and kissed our dreams goodnight. 
I waited until the sky was clear and the fog had lifted to capture the sparkle of the surface of the moon. 
The photograph of the sweet bird was aboard a research trip for whales this past Summer. This little beauty pecked for crumbs on the deck of the fishing boat that took us to the whales in the Great South Channel. I came across the picture of this little gem and the shimmer of light on the water in the open ocean, just yesterday. 
All three images tell a story to me, about fullness, innocence, simplicity, dreams and hope. 
In these very unsteady times of change, coming back into the elegance of the natural word has been incredibley important, and meaningful for me. Every day, I watch how the natural world is negotiating the cold, how the light changes from darkness to light again and observing what is possible if we settle into deep winter sleeps, long rests and more contemplation and study. 


I have been studying more about how the cold can enter the body and influence our physiology. I am   giving moxa, adding blankets, extra warmth and nourishing Kidney Yin in my treatments. 
As cold injures the blood, it is especially important to add blood building foods during these cold spells. It is equally important to eat warm cooked foods and wear layers of fibers that can hold the warmth of the body close to the surface. Silk is especially helpful for keeping in warmth. 


As I was making tea this morning in the first light of the day, the full moon was upon us and this image of the turtle and the snake came into my awareness. This is an image from a text of mine that describes the animals from the cold waters of the North. 
The water droplets gathered from the steam on the windowpane and the wilting rhododendron leaves cast a beautiful shadow on the glass. All of these images came together for this post, with the addition of a beautiful succulent in flower that was gifted to me over the holidays. 
Wishing everyone much warmth and a beautiful super red and blue moon!