Tuesday, August 20, 2019

This Little Beauty, Rabbit Medicine.

This little beauty has been relishing in the garden delights of the multitude of ferns. I had wondered why the ferns were not reaching their full shady summer potential. The fronds have remained short and have not grown past a certain height. Where did the refined and elegant fiddleheads, apexes, pinnae, and blades of the green beauties go?
I adore the pre-historic perfection of the alternating leaflets. They remind of my grandmother Isabelle every year. I imagine that her compassionate heart would have delighted in the twitching nose, the shaking whiskers, the glossy eyes, the audacity, and the sweetness of the furry culprit. 

We would have made an elaborate story of 'how the bunny ate the garden'... it would have been a full blown illustrated and magnificent creation of botanical wonder. 
I caught a glimpse of these shenanigans out of the corner of my eye earlier in the season. 
Now my empty fern bed has explained the largesse of the adult rabbit that my newly adopted canine wonder has been chasing recklessly in the night. 
Rabbit medicine is quick, graceful, quiet and kind. 
This little sweet one has been prancing across the yard, the ferns and under the steps all summer. 
As menacing as his presence has been, we are grateful for his gentle energy. 

The light is now changing, and softening. The waters are warm and delicious. 
The seaweeds are pulling into themselves, the ospreys are competing for large prey, and the monarchs are making their way towards Mexico. 
The end of the hot summer days and nights are near and we are delighting in the rthymic waves of sound that the cicadas sing in the cedar trees. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Diamond Seas and Breaching Whales

Our last trip to the Great South Channel with CRESLI was abbreviated by big weather, but we had beautiful encounters with cetaceans and we were gifted spectacular and dramatic displays of common dolphin pods leaping through the water and humpback whales breaching. 
It has been two years since I was out there, and I missed the expansive skies and generous stripes of saturated color.
The day began with beautiful orange and crimson hues, we sat on the deck drinking coffee and tea while basking in the brilliant glow of the emerging light. For me, these are the most magical moments. The unfiltered light and the new energy of the sun that sends gem like colors up into the dark night sky. 

The hues are pure, rich, deep and opaque. They remind me of the incredible gift of a new beginning that we are awarded each and every day. 

The dawn gave way to clear skies and breaching humpback whales. I have taken this special trip several times and each one is very different. I try new ways of capturing the essence of the whales and dolphins in this environment through various lenses. 

This image is my favorite. It is of the underside of a pectoral fin that greeted us with waving enthusiasm. I see the markings as stories that tell us of scars, encounters, and travels to far away waters. In this image, I see the likeness of a bird. It reminds me of the barn swallow that is tattooed on the hands, chests, arms or necks of sailors that have traveled over 5,000 nautical miles. 

The tradition of the swallow tattoo also claims that if the sailor were to drown, the swallow would carry the soul to heaven, and ensure a safe return. This whale has no doubt traveled many miles and I found it both curious and beautiful that it too had a similar avian marking. 

I also love the black shiny humpback skin and the individual markings and unique forms of the dorsal fins. I am always in awe of the patterns of the scars and textures, so personal and unique to each whale. 

One of the highlights of these trips is being with the dolphins and watching them ride the bow and feeling the playful energy of the pods. The images are dreamy and a bit blurry but they capture the ephemeral moments of the joyful connections that we experienced as we plowed through the deep green waters. 

This time at sea was particularly interesting because of the amazing women that I met onboard. Scientists, writers, artists, whale lovers and a magical bee keeper sharing information, resources, alongside personal and professional desires and dreams that will make the world a better place. 
Thank you ladies for all of the inspiration and laughter. 

And thank you Dr. Kopelman for your dedication and for sharing your wit, humor and wisdom with all of us. You are a rare and special gem.
My gratitude to the captain and crew of the Viking that make this very special trip possible. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Return of the Peonies, Hummingbirds and Other Beauties.

After a late Spring, the peonies finally bloomed, the hummingbirds returned, the purple martins and black birds retuned to their watery dreamy worlds.
The days are drying out, the salvia making nectar and the waters are warming.

This beautiful purple martin, graciously allowed for me to take his picture near the harbor. I adore the color of their feathers and the luminescent quality of their dark purple and indigo feathers.

Guapo the hummingbird returned and has found his new favorite spot in the garden, perching on the end of a stick close to the flowers that offer him nectar.
He was shy at first, but now appears to be more comfortable with my camera and my presence, again.

Miss Flora returned as well, but she has had a much more quiet energy. She is photographed here below, feeding on the nectar of the purple salvia, her favorite flower.
The return of the hummingbirds was marked with cold and wet nights. I wondered how they could tolerate the cold weather, the winds and late Spring. They managed beautifully, and I am reminded time and time again that they have incredible resilience. How do they make such long journeys and how do they know where safe gardens lie for them to feed on their journeys?

As the Summer days progress, I will post more hummingbird pictures. I feel such a wave of gratitude that I am able to spend time with them and they they now trust me as I sit waiting for them at the end of the warmer days.
The sun is shining in the most spectacular way this morning and I am wishing everyone a fruitful and beautiful day. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees, 
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself, 
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
    but walk slowly and bow often. 

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple", they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."

Mary Oliver

I have recently fallen in love with the work of Mary Oliver. This particular piece touched me. Above is a collage of dragonfly wings, a purple martin and Accabonac harbor. The air is so alive with goodness, the birds and the trees are in their glory.
Thank you Mary for the beauty that you left for us.