A journal of healing

Posts tagged ‘nature’

June Island images

Summer is half over and so I thought I would post some images from an early trip to the 1000 Islands. But first, my doves. For the last couple of years, we have had doves nest in our porch eve. I love them. This year, they started in March and right up to June they had chicks after chicks. This is the second to last batch.

  They had two chicks, this time around and they got quite big.  I do not know how they all fit. But there was one more chick born after these two left the nest. Unfortunately, the new baby fell out of the nest and died at my feet. It was one of the many sad things that happened this summer.

Tradition has been for me to spend my birthday week in the Islands. We took Joe’s daughter with us this year. The water height was drastic. We have had the wettest summer and so I am not sure if the water has gone down much. Here are several examples of the water.

The first picture is last year and the second one this year.

    They put barrels on docks to keep them from floating away or breaking up from waves.   People build docks over their existing docks.

  

This is a picture of the spot where I normally go every afternoon to meditate. There is an old piece of a wood dock which normally is about a foot out of the water. I can walk to it on the rocks, which are also under the water.

My favorite activity up there is to take pictures of the wildlife, especially the herons. We saw a few in our travels like this dude who was sitting in a canal on the golf course we were on.

Or this nesting site. When we come back in August, this will be empty. The rocks are white because of all the bird poop.     

  We always find something new up there. This was an addition to someone’s cottage. Quite interesting.

In 2014, a landmark in TI Park burned to the ground. It was a tragic loss as it was such a step back into the olden days. It was an ice cream parlor, store and small restaurant. The building originally housed the fire department and in irony, it burned too. The fire was so intense and quick they could not get the trucks out. They have rebuilt and much to many who do not like it, we found it wonderful. The young couple who own it are charming and the food is great. They still have ice cream and they have added much to make the place a community center. The fire department is now located somewhere else and better.

  Now back to my birds.

   When we get there, it always seems like there are no animals. They seem to hide. By the third day, I have all sorts of animals around. There are tons of geese, which I love especially when they are babies.    

And I love my herons, who are more active at sunset.   Hard to see this one but in the middle there is one.   I like the fire of the sunset though the trees.

On the last day we were there, the geese came to say good bye. It is hard to see, but there is one goose on the rocks who died overnight. I do not know why and I did not go down to investigate. It was like loosing a friend. To me, it was an omen as I have never seen this  and why on this rock? All the years we have come up, and I have never seen a dead goose like this. And true to my omen, this summer has been very difficult for me. Last Thursday, and friend of mine died. He was in his early forties, married and his son is six. We all are in shock over his death. I dedicate this post to him.

The rain continued this summer, but I have heard the water is lower a bit. Three more weeks and we are back in the Islands. I cannot wait.

More Springtime views

  We took a trip out to the Lake last weekend. It was so foggy and gray. The streets are still flooded  in this little lake village of Sodus Point.        There is a street of shops and bars and houses that was  totally closed because of the flooding. We went to the beach and pier.

  The erosion on the beach was terrible.

   The beach was covered with drift wood and garbage. It is a mess and it will required a lot of clean up before they can open for the season.

  But there was some wonderful days during  the long weekend and my hubby and I took advantage and planted flowers and some new shrubs.

   I was not sure how I would fair doing with the planting but I completed planting all the pots and planters. I was in a lot of pain the next couple of days but it was so worth it. I realized I am better than I was the previous year because I got them all potted in a day. Last year it took me several days and I can remember crying being so frustrated with my fatigue and inability to garden.

  Every year is different and  every year I am amazed at how much my garden brings me joy. I am a different person. I long for the time when I do not have to work and can spend hours and days working in the soil and relaxing out there.  I will have plenty of company.

  The doves have been working on their next brood. They are so used to us now they fly in and out right over our heads. Sometime I will hear them cooing to each other in their secret language. On the other side of the deck is another bird house that had a sparrow family. We call them the Cheep-cheeps. The babies would squawk for food all the time and they looked like three little Muppets hanging out of their hole in the bird house. They have grown and moved on and now Mom and Dad are rebuilding the nest.

 Every fall I bring in some plants and then this year I had a bonus of several new amaryllis. I potted some lettuce also because what I had put in the garden was chewed.

  I do a few herbs and I will probably do basil and a few tomato plants this year.

  I had previously put in lettuce in the garden that is in front of the deck.  It really got chewed up. One night I was sitting out and the bunny, who totally saw me, came right up on to the deck and proceeded to chop away. He knew where and how to get around the sticks. We also have a chipmunk who dug  a tunnel with an entrance right in the patch. I closed it and he has now taken up residence under the deck…..

 ….Much to the delight of the dogs. One night this week, Browny actually caught the little bugger but released it. Both dogs thought it was a hoot and I think Browny surprised himself with the capture. The chippy was not hurt.  Now he thinks he is this big hunting dog and patiently waits for the next squeal.

  This little piece of the world brings much peace and serenity to all who visit. I am very blessed.

 

 

Water, water, water…..

 I used to think it would be so grand to have a house down on the big lake. I would actually love to have a place on the River. But after this spring, I am not so sure. The rain has been non-stop. The creeks are overflowing, parks are under water and roads are closed. We took a journey out to one of our favorite parks this afternoon. It was shocking.

   This is one beach area at the park. In the distance, you can see a break wall under water. That is how far the beach use to go out. Now it is right up to picnic area.

  This part of the beach was three times as big as it is now.

  Where those trees are used to be dry. You could walk out there and sit. There was a small beach area around the trees. Last week,  we also went down to another favorite spot. There is a long pier going out from the bay to the lake that you can walk on. It was too windy for us. We took some pictures of the houses that face the lake.

  Where the logs are out far was where the beach once was.       The  erosion and water is very bad. This was last week. This location is now closed because the bay and the lake have breached on either side.

  It has been so cold and damp that I have not been able to sit out. I also am very sick with the flu. It has wiped me out. I have never slept as much as I have this past weekend. Although I think I am on the mend, I would not wish this on anyone. Well, maybe Trump.

  Our garden is waiting for me to spruce it up. Fortunately, the flowering trees have been spectacular. My annuals are coming up including the roses I thought I lost. The lilacs are blooming, but they need more sun. Mrs. Dove grew her baby and it took off last Thursday. She is already sitting on a new egg or two. We also have a sparrow family in one house and a chick-a-dee in another. I want to sit out. Slowly I hope the weather and I will improve and it will be garden time

 

 

Mother Nature’s Wrath

   This has been a strange week. Living near the Big Lakes, our weather is always changing. This week brought warm enough to sit outside temperatures and blue skies to the storm of the decade. And it looks like we are going to get creamed again this upcoming week with snow. Twenty-six years ago to the month, we went through an ice storm of epic proportions. It decimated the area. This week, we had a wind storm. It too decimated the area.

Our property is fine. Even our resident doves were fine. We have a ton of sticks in the garden. I hate picking up sticks but it beats what happened to our neighbor.

She has many old pine trees on her property. Many face our backyard. I thought for sure one that is still leaning was coming across and would have taken down a transformer and power lines and gone across our back yard.

Instead, a large tree very close to her house cracked in half and landed on her roof. It left a huge six foot gash in her roof which is now tarped. She has had power, but the people behind her do not. It was 9 degrees this morning with wind. It has snowed all weekend and has been bitterly cold.

When something like this hits a community, we rally and that has been happening. Our clinicians saw more patients just to make sure they were ok. On Friday, I volunteer for Meals on Wheels. Our delivery route was littered with down trees and large branches. We checked on our folks and made sure if they were in their homes, they were ok. And if they did not answer, we called in to verify their family knew they were not answering the door. The amount of damage was terrible. Huge old pines toppled like they were pushed over by a giant. One area would have nothing, and then there would be mass destruction to another.

I am so sadden by all the trees that are damaged or toppled. It takes a tree so long to get big and powerful and in a flash, they are gone. It reminds me how tenuous life really is. Strong and powerful pines, rooted into the earth and stable…ripped from their existence by the breath of Mother Nature.

Pantheism is a form a spiritual practice where you see God in everything, and everything has spirit. I subscribe to that belief. It really bothers me when I see the ruin of nature even when it is not man-made destruction. Houses can be fixed and cars can be replaced, but it the trees are not so easily replaced. The tree that came down on my neighbor was at least forty feet tall. It is part of what is left of a forest that lined the farm that was the center of our neighborhood before all the houses were built. The maples in my yard are over 75 years old; according to the arborist I had come in and trim. I am grateful they are ok.

  Amaryllis blooming in my inside garden

Slowly the community is coming back on line. It will take many months to clean up the area. No one was killed or even injured, which is amazing. People do not know how to handle intersections when the traffic lights are out. The Equinox is next week, it is full moon today and we are back to that silly daylight savings time. Everyone will be off kilter for this week. We will brace for the next storm this week, and hopefully, that will be then end of winter.

 

 

 

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

4- 2016 garden   It’s the most wonderful time of the year for me. I love the Yule/Christmas season for its beauty. I love the crisp air and color of early fall. But my heart longs for early spring right into June. It is definitely my favorite time.

street in park    Right now the garden is still shrouded in snow and mud. There are sticks and debris and a plethora of doggie deposits. But last night, after work when I got home, I sat outside and could smell the harbingers of spring in the air. It is very hard to describe the smell. It is part sweet, mixed with earth and in my yard a bit of dog. It is the sweet that is the noticeable change.

spring ice

Even though we get notoriously serious storms in March, the weather slowly improves. I actually love a good snow storm if I don’t have to drive. I decided this year I would not put myself in a dangerous situation and call off. We have not had a storm yet that I have had to do that. Matter of fact it has been very mild.

Louie 1  There was a cardinal sitting in my honeysuckle. I have them all year but they hang out when the weather changes. But in the distance, I could hear another bird singing. I think it may have been a robin. This morning there is a cacophony of birdsong. It is no longer so quiet that you can actually hear snow fall.

dove nest  My already elevated spirit was treated this morning to the best surprise of all. The doves are back. We had sat out last night and just talked about how beat up the nest was and that we were wondering if they would be back. This morning, when I let the dogs out, she flew right by me from the old nest.

Dot and Dudley   It had been “spruced up”.. I was elated. We had several baby chicks born in that nest last year. I felt very protective.

CHUCK     I think it is time to put away the outside Christmas decorations and put up what my hubby refers to as the birthing centers. We have a bunch of bird houses that we put out and every year. We have a chick-a dee family that comes and has a family. We call them Chuck and Rita.

vhuck1 Last summer I bought a new big house to put out to see what I could entice. The rent is cheap and there are diners everywhere in the yard. (I have several bird/SQUIRREL feeders)

squirrel 2

I will spend as much of the day outside as I can. It amazes me how I connect with the change. I feel like there are possibilities and fortuitous changes on the horizon. The bleakness of winter will return for a while, but soon, the days will be warm and my garden will be alive again.

 praying bunny

 

Leaf Peeping

tree2016 The trees are slow to change this year. Fall has taken its time and  has been very rainy. We usually spend Saturdays going for rides and stopping at markets to purchase apples and squash.

mums-2016 With everything going on with his family and his mother, we had limited opportunity to get out and shop.

leaves-down-10-30-16  The garden is slowly being covered by leaves. smoke-on-fence When the sun hit our fence the morning after our first frost it looked like it was on fire. I knew the impatiens would soon be melted and the rest of the plants would suffer. Fall marks the demise of the garden and all the nurturing ends.        impatiens-oct-16 fall-garden-10-2016bear-garden  The resident doves were gone but visit with the other small animals who frequent the garden.

group-1   One of the things I dislike about fall is deer hunting. There really is no need for it. I do not get the concept of killing for pleasure, even if you eat the meat. You have to be extra careful driving around here.

close-call-deersafe-deer

Last Sunday we went for a ride to Letchworth State Park. It was packed with people looking at the leaves and the aftermath of a lot of rain.

scarredgloomy-clouds

At the beginning of the Park is a dam that stops the Genesee River from flooding all the way to Rochester. There are always big buzzards and eagles that fly around. The gorge behind it is the park. You cannot hike down  in the gorge but there are many beautiful spots to stop and enjoy from the top.

damdam-birdslet  There are series of falls in the park. This is my favorite, the middle falls. letchworth-middle-falls-2016

We had our harvest moon. harvest-moon-2016

My last roses bloomed. roses-from-garden  Now we will slowly put the garden ornaments away and I will bring in a few plants to winter. I still sit out, even in the snow.         garden-lampafter-snow-2016proch-chairs-fall-2016

The kids love the cooler weather and playing in the leaves.

smells-10-16be-boy-10-16

Fall is very beautiful. It is not my favorite time of the year as I hate what comes next.   brilliant-leaves-2016backyard snow 2-16-16

 

 

Views from The River

morning2 We are back from my favorite place in the world. No matter how long we go, it is never enough. I took over 600 photos. I am going to share just a few. This particular view is from the porch on our room. It looks down the St. Lawrence towards the 1000 Island Bridge. We are in Alexandria Bay, but on a private spot across from the actual town.  A family owns the Resort and we have been going there for at least ten years. Same room, same time.

morning 1 These are morning shots. There is an abundance of wild life but you have to be in the right frame of mind to see it. When we first got there, I was not in the right frame of mind, and saw no animals, not even geese. By the next morning, my herons, geese, MINK, ospreys and other small animals allowed me to see them. You can see the heron in this shot.

ski 1 The view changes constantly. We do not turn on the TV or play music at all. The silence at first is deafening, which may seem weird. We tune out so much noise everyday, we think. We actually don’t tune it out, we filter it. It still assaults us. When it goes away, you are very aware of the quiet. You also become sensitive when subjected to loud noises again once you are back in the human world. There are sounds here: bird calls and wind and waves of water. Even a chipmunk wrestling with a nut sounds loud.

sky 3 These shots we taken on the same night in succession. The view is never the same.

sky2 My favorite thing to photograph are herons. Every year, there is one that comes to the rock across the cove and sits and fishes. I have hundreds of photos of her. This year, there was a huge heron that invaded her spot across the cove. I took many photos of him too, but it was not the same as the bird I have named Charlene. When we were up in June, I never saw Charlene. When we arrived this visit, I went out on the porch and called for her. Sure enough, she came to her rock that night. However, the big heron I call Babs (Big Ass Bird) fought  with her and she took off.

fight  I saw her a couple of times for a moment and then Babs would claim his territory and off she would go. I was very sad as I have gotten pretty close to this little heron. Babs is very large, over six feet and is sort of craggy looking. My telephoto lens did not do him justice. When viewing him in the binoculars, he looks like a cranky old man.

heron 1 On the last night, I hear the distinct cry of a heron. The squawk was very loud. Sure enough, there was Charlene right below my porch. It was getting very dark but I grabbed my camera and started shooting. She knew I was there. heron2 I followed for a while, and then she took off. I was honored that she had visited. On my way back to the room, she flew back by me, squawking as she passed. She flew and landed right down on the rocks in front of our room. For about an hour, she posed and I took several photos, including with my flash.

night heron 2 She was so close to where I was and she has no fear of me. She went down to where I sit every afternoon and walked around my spot.

Heron 3 She then came back up to me and walked right in front of me. Unfortunately, I am still learning about my camera and struggled to get many great shots.

night heron 3  I was talking to her like I talk to my pets. In all the years we have been coming, there is only one other time I got this close. I do not feed her so there is no particular reason she comes. It was so dark I could not see the settings on my camera well. We visited for over an hour and then she left, squawking her good bye.

flight  Early the next morning, the morning we were leaving, she flew again over me, and squawked a loud good bye. We left four hours later and she did not return.