4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

birds

Birds, Birding, and Mindfulness

The Varied Thrush. Now I know. For the past couple of weeks however, I didn’t know, I couldn’t identify the bird responsible for making the “whistle” sound I was hearing while walking through the forest. I searched online for “birds that make whistling sounds” and “what bird sounds like a referee’s whistle”., to no avail. I stood still in the forest, waiting, listening, looking; I would hear the whistle and could not, no matter how much I peered into the foliage, find that bird.

Then we were walloped with winter storms. Two major snow dumps with lots of rain in between. Power outage. Trees down. Big trees down. Using saved bath water to flush. Heat from the wood stove. Roughing it — 21st century style.

My twice-daily dog walks took on a different tone; dressed in gortex armor (me, not her), out we’d go into the deluge of rain or the dumping of snow. The only sounds I heard for days was that of big winds in the treetops, giant clumps of snow hitting the ground, and my labored breath as I tromped through 12+ inches of heavy, wet snow.

Until today. We woke to a brightness in the sky — not sunshine, but the promise of it. No precipitation. As soon as I stepped outside, I heard the birds — all of them, singing their celebration of the non-precipitation-ary state — Chickadee, Robin, Stellar Jay, Towhee, Mourning Dove, White and Red Breasted Nuthatch, and from deep in the forest, the coveted song of the Piliated Woodpecker. Then: the whistle. And again. I took a few tentative steps on the path and there, perched on a broken oak branch, was a magnificent bird making a referee whistle sound. I saw it clearly, remembered the dominant characteristics, and looked it up as soon as I got back from the walk. When I clicked on the “listen to the call” button on the WhatBird.com website, I was so pleased to have matched the sound with the bird!

In my round-about way of telling a story, the point here is to share with you that birding is a truly mindful practice. Standing still, watching, observing small movements, following sounds, watching, waiting some more…it is an invitation to be in the moment. To be mindful.

What will you be listening to today?

Have a listen to the Varied Thrush: whatbird.com

On Running In Fort Lauderdale: Pros and Cons

Where to begin? OK, 0945 and still time for a quick run before brunch with mom and dad. I am staying at my sister’s house and she lives in a lovely neighborhood right off of a golf course/club area. (they don’t golf, thank goodness). As my cup is perpetually half-full, I focused on the Pros, but alas, I must admit, there were some Cons…

Pro

Con

88 degrees, 90% humidity; incredible sweat

88 degrees, 90% humidity; incredible sweat!

Thick hybrid grass, lots of cushion provided for running

Chemicals being sprayed on thick hybrid grass; golf course watering in the morning, even though it rained overnight

Amazing blooming bushes and exotic flowers

Homeowners spraying more chemicals on amazing  blooming bushes and exotic flowers

Lizards, box turtles, and one long brown snake

Flattened snake in the road

Ibis, Egrets, Hawks, Blue Heron, unknown but lovely sounding songbirds

How do the birds and reptiles survive the chemicals?


Plastic water bottles along the grass and floating in the mad-made lakes


Being reprimanded by a dapper fellow in a golf cart to stay off the course, so they would not be “liable if you get hit by a golf ball”


A hot dog and soda concession, on a modified golf cart, cruising around the course


No pick-up-after-your-dog rule (guess how I found out??!)

A great workout!



"There aren't many people with your combination of medical expertise and caring for the whole person. Your incremental approach to helping me develop better health habits really works. I never feel judged and always feel encouraged and cared about. Thank you!"
---S.R., Nevada County

recipe link
nowhearthis
mindful more
more...balancedlife
more...quietingbusybrain
more...real food
justmove
Blog Categories