Sunday, February 6, 2022

The Instrument of Mass Distraction

Having a garden has broadened my outlook of so many things. Not only does it involve the joy of seeing things grow and bloom, but it creates an environment for all aspects of nature to visit and enjoy, and my evolving to embrace them all...except for roaches....I'm still working on them. 

I picked up a potted plant to move inside before the freeze, and thousands, no...hundreds of thousands, of roaches came pouring out from the bottom. I screamed (and I am not a screamer) and dropped the pot, and called John (my husband who is not intimidated by a few measly roaches, not even hundreds of thousands). He took care of the befouled pot and occupants, and kindly moved it into the garage, minus the occupants. 

And I guess the same goes for fire ants, mosquitos and certain flies that just won't leave me alone while eating.

With those creatures that are not on my loving and embracing list but are on the why don't you go somewhere else....far away list, I am still trying to make concessions to allow for their survival. I wear lemon eucalyptus bug spray to deter the biting of mosquitos, and I put out a fan while eating on the deck, to blow away potential fly invasions. I will be more careful with the way I place pots to not encourage mass migration and multiplication of the said roach population. I haven't come up with a good one for the fire ants yet. Not only is their bite brutal, but they are the reason for the loss of our beloved Horny Toads. 

But....sorry....I digress. That was a total rabbit trail I just took.

Follow me guys, I have no idea where I'm going.

So back to evolving to embrace things other than my garden. So, if you don't mind taking a little walk with me away from this Texas garden, come with me on my meandering around in some local parks and forest preserves. I will have my trusty "instrument of mass distraction" ie; my camera, with me so I may share this adventure with you. Just a side note, I started going to more places to get some exercise and increase my endurance, in preparation for a trip John and I will be taking soon to Palo Duro Canyon and Caprock Canyon. Needless to say, if I really wanted the exercise I would have had to leave the camera behind. Just standing and staring up into the tops of trees and into clumps of vegetation for hours on end like a crazy person, does nothing for my cardiovascular improvement or for my physical stamina, but does amazing things for my mental well being.

Rowlett Creek Nature Preserve in Garland

Red Breasted Nuthatch

Golden-Crowned Kinglet

Spring Creek Forest Preserve in Garland 

Red shouldered Hawk

Red shouldered Hawk

Sleepy Orange

Carolina Chickadee

Field Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow 

One Eleven Ranch in Garland

This has been my favorite go to place in the last few months. Very few people are around, but it is open and safe feeling. The birds have been awesome here!

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Eastern Phoebe

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker

Dark-eyed Junco

Pine Warbler

Southern Dogface

Carolina Wren

Various bugs on dandelion flower

Fly or Bee on dandelion

Pine Warbler

Eastern Bluebird

American Kestral

Downy Woodpecker


Yellow-rumped warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler showing its stuff

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

White-breasted Nuthatch

Blue-headed Vireo


Northern Flicker

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Blue-headed Vireo

Red-headed Woodpecker

So if you happen to get out and swing by one of my home away from home places, and see me out standing in a meadow looking lost, come on over and stand quietly with me. No telling what we'll see.....but it will be fantastic!
And if I'm not there.....there's a place just waiting for you to stand still, slow down, listen, smell and look, You'll be amazed at how it will fill you with peace and joy!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

A Portal into the Magical Realm

There is a door at the back of our house, an ordinary looking door that doesn't appear any different than other doors in other houses. It's an old door and does nothing to draw attention to itself. It's function is very doorish, to allow access to another space....But this door is unique. If you choose to go through it, it takes you into a magical realm. A realm different from all that surrounds it. 


Our house is on a small suburban lot, with varying sizes of lots and houses neighboring around us, all of which are similar to each other in that they have lawns of grass, shrubs against the houses and an occasional tree or two. On the other hand, our minuscule portion of the earth that we have temporary custody of, has the smallest little area of grass and the rest is plants, and beds and pathways....pathways on the edges of the magic.   

As much as I love fairy tales, that's not what I'm talking about when I say Magic. I'm speaking of having your senses enhanced, empowered, invigorated, opened up to reveal things that have previously been unseen, unheard, untouched, unsmelled and untasted. To experience the unaccountably enchanting nature in our world. 

When I go through that Portal, I never know what I will experience. It could be irritating to me, like the biting of a mosquito, or having to swat away the flies.....but there is a deeper encounter involved when I am walking in the magic of it.

Magic..... the learning to look beyond the itch and swat to the unaccountable enchantment....because it's's always been there.

Going through my portal has helped to redefine some of my itchy, swatty, being wintertime. Winter to me has always been a time that seemed barren, cold, confined, lifeless and dormant. I just hunkered down and waited for it to be over.  But there is indeed an unaccountable enchantment bursting out of the cold, barren, dormant surroundings. The fact that they are barren and dormant allows me to see what has been hidden. 

So if you find your world is black and white, gray or itchy-swatty, find your portal and run with abandon through it. it's there just waiting to reveal the unaccountably enchanting magic to you.