Thursday, May 29, 2014

"The Beginning Of Wisdom is to Call Things By Their Right Names."

  Much like the Native Americans, I feel the giving of names is an ongoing process.
  Take my dog Jake, for example. After living with him for three years he's now known as The Chicka Dog. His  name slowly morphed due to his propensity for chasing any bird, bug, or small, furry mammal when I say the words chick-chick. I didn't teach him this handy skill, it's all him. And although he's still called Jake on formal occasions, in his heart, he is The Chicka Dog.
 In the same vein, my chickens have had the working titles of Rosie and Babbette for the last two years. I picked the names when I was driving home from the farm with my adorable little pullets perched in a cage next to me.
 Well, a lot has happened in those two years, and after much reflection on the spirit of the beneficiaries, their true spirits have spoken to me and whispered their new names in a dream -
 "Nutsie The Chicken"  &  "Little Bitie".
  There will be no ceremony.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Wake Up And Smell The Flowers

     Between the Dogwood, Magnolia, and Cherry trees blooming; the Rhododendron, Forsythia and Azalea bushes a blaze of color in every yard; not to mention the Tulips, Daffodils, Phlox, Bleeding Hearts, Hyacinths, Crocus and Dandelions adding their colors to the pallet after their long winter's nap, I find myself going about town with an interminable, delighted smile on my face.

  I also find myself, more often than not, stopped in my tracks, staring.
  Like the other day, when a trip out of town and then confinement to a sick-bed had me and my little dog Jake, who had stayed by my side to help nurse me back to health, itching get out of the house and stretch our legs on a sunset walk by the lake.

  We walked through the woods, enjoying the warm spring sun shining through newly budded branches on our favorite summertime-shade path. The ducks on the lake were in full voice and the Cardinals and Robins flew above our heads calling out to loved ones. We turned up the hill to follow the wooded path that opens to a  meadow then continues on to a grove of pine trees (the grove where I search in vain for the Barred Owl that usually scolds us as we walk).
  As soon as I entered the meadow I stopped.
 And stared.
  I was in no way prepared for the changes my week away had brought.
 The immense Apple tree, which dominates the clearing, and her little sister were in full magnificence, every inch covered in soft, pinkish-white blossoms. In her branches I spied two pair of Baltimore Orioles having a grand ol' time jumping from limb to limb. Above their heads, swallows darted and dipped, working hard to catch their dinner.  Numerous Goldfinches and Warblers captivated me with their intertwining songs while hustling from Apple to newly-blossomed Dogwood tree then setting off to visit my elusive friend in the pines. Meanwhile, the Robins hopped through the newly sprouted grass and the Cardinals whistled a happy tune from the thicket. The Red-Winged Blackbirds were certainly not going to be outdone and sent their songs floating up the hill from the lake on the breeze. Our constant friend the Sparrow rounded out the chorus.
 Occasionally a fellow walker would pass by and our dogs would play for a minute and we'd comment on the beauty of the day, then owner and dog would go on their way.
Not me. I stayed.
And stared.

 Bird songs, flowers in bloom, and a bit of sun warming my skin and my soul; all the ingredients needed to wake me up from long winter's nap.

Apple Trees & Bird Songs

Jake doing what he does best