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Voices other than our own

4 Jan

“When we no longer hear the voices of warbler and wren, our own speaking can no longer be nourished by their cadences. As the splashing speech of the rivers is silenced by more and more dams, as we drive more and more of the land’s wild voices into the oblivion of extinction, our own languages become increasingly impoverished and weightless, progressively emptied of their earthly resonance.”
– David Abram

I hope we never lose the voices of sandhill cranes.

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Sandhill cranes under full moon, Bosque del Apache NWR, NM

 

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May this year bring Peace to all life

1 Jan

new-years

A Path with Heart

17 Jul

On mountains I lose myself and become one and nothing with everything, and I see things clearly.

To know happiness, one must know pain. To know joy, one must know sadness. To welcome the day, one must know the night. To rejoice in life, one must know death.

The yin and yang is present in all life, in all non-life. It is the Way of everything. Where there is a positive, there is a negative. We cannot always choose one or the other, sometimes it chooses us. To know both helps us to choose a path. But we should not choose to deny that which we don’t want to choose. Otherwise we may fall into that path unknowingly. It is how that path chooses us.

Denial is choosing blindness, and then blindly we may tumble onto the wrong path. We live on a dynamic journey that with each step we learn and navigate by following what we think is right. That journey may twist and turn with several obstacles in the way, some with demons. But to face the demons, and conquer them, yet still acknowledging that they exist, makes us stronger and informs our choices in the Path with Heart.

Enjoy your day and follow a path that has heart.

Steens Mountain, SE Oregon

Night Angels

12 Jun

I am surrounded by hundreds of fireflies.
They are the stars and angels.
I am in the heavens of the universe.

Another year on The Road

1 Jan

This was the reason I took early retirement and is my pledge for the rest of my life. To contribute to this goal. And shed the chains that prevented me from this mission.

Happy Third New Year on this road.

  

Wolf and Raven under the Moon

16 Sep

Wolf asked Raven, “What is it like to fly?”Raven said, “Well, it is what I do every day; how I move around, obtain my food, find my mate, and find shelter.”

Raven then asked Wolf, “What is it like to run on the ground?”Wolf said, “Well, that is what I do every day. I run to move around, obtain my food, find my mate, and find shelter.”

Raven and Wolf looked at each other in silence. 
“You look very different from me,” Wolf said. Raven nodded his head up and down. “And you from me,” Raven said.

Wolf looked up at Raven and said, “But we are very much alike. I think we are Brothers and Sisters.”
Raven looked up at the big moon and said, “Yes, Wolf, we are. Let us celebrate that and tell Big Brother Moon!”

In the distance, I heard a wolf howl and a raven caw. I smiled with a deep togetherness under a big bright moon.
  

It depends!!

19 Mar

funny-owl-i-have-no-idea-whats-going-onShould burns take place in spring
Or wait for autumn rain?
Would baiting help or hinder?
Can owl chicks live through flame?

‘I dunno,’ we had to answer.
‘Not sure, can’t really say.
Needs further replication
Might vary day-to-day.’

PhDs require devotion,
Long days with no weekends
But the ultimate conclusion seems
‘Umm, well, it depends.’

– excerpt from post, ‘My Grand Conclusion‘, on zoologist Bron’s blog, Working on the Wild Side

 

The two of us answered in unision….. “It depends.” And looked at each other with a knowing smile.

A retired couple asked for information on where to go to see this bird and that bird. Husband asked for specific details: what species, what location, what time. He was dissatisfied with my answers, including “They were seen here yesterday morning, and there yesterday afternoon, and at this location this morning, but they may be anywhere. They don’t send us memos on when or where they go.”

When asking for exact details on how to get to ‘Point A’ from ‘Point B’ (a distance of 125 miles), my explanation of various options of traveling from Point A to Point B resulted in visible upset. His wife gently reminded him that they aren’t in a hurry and he might enjoy experiencing different things along the way. Her comment was met with a hand wave, pointing at a map, and listing what he expected to see, do, encounter, etc. He wanted no surprises.

“If something changes, if we stray from the map, it will be an adventure!”, said Wife.

“No! No surprises, and I don’t like adventures. Adventures mean poor planning,” Husband responded. “How long will it take to get to ‘Point B’?”

Wife and I replied simultaneously, “It depends!”

I looked at them both and then asked Husband, “Are you a mathematician?”  Eyebrows went up and he said, “Why, yes! How did you know?”.

“A strong aversion of risk and uncertainty,” I responded. Wife  returned my smile.

“Oh my God, are you a biologist, too?!” Husband asked with raised eyebrows and looking like he was stuck in between two conspirators.  By that time, all three of us were laughing.

Third Law: It Depends!

My First Law, apologetically borrowed from The First Law of Thermodynamics (aka ‘You can’t win’), states that where there’s a positive, there is a negative. And this is related to My Second Law: ‘Everything is relative’. ‘Positive’ and ‘negative’ are relative to the perspective of that which observes or experiences the action/reaction, which depends on time, place and being. (Note that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is ‘You can’t break even’. See blog post linked above.)

I think you can see where I’m going.

My Third Law is ‘It Depends’. If anything I have learned in biology and ecology remains constant, it is ‘It depends.’ For the person who demands or insists on a life or reality of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, you will either be disappointed or live in perpetual denial. For life is not simply black and white. A vast area of gray reside in between.
Further reading:
The typical ecological answer – it depends“, blog post by oikosasa. Website: Oikos: Synthesizing Ecology.
“Which species is best for their host marsh cordgrass? Fiddler crab or mussel? The answer is – it depends”

 

 

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