Savor it

Life will sometimes hand you a magical moment. Savor it.

I have no idea where this image is from or who took it, but it appeared like magic in my inbox today… thanks friend! (And please… click to enlarge!)

A few recent magical moments to share… Titmice singing their spring song during last week’s January thaw… A gorgeous sunset or two at Sandy Hook… The car windshield covered with those pretty frost flowers the other day…

What gifts from nature have you stopped to savor in the last couple days?

Blank map

This is a blank map that lets you go as far as you want in any direction, with no questions asked, but it’s no help at all if you want to know if you’re going the right way.” –Brian Andreas

Where would you go… if you could? If you didn’t have to worry that it was the right way?

iPod meme (revisited)

I thought it might be fun to do this again. Santa brought me an iPod Touch this year after Luka ruined the other with spilt coffee.

Put your iPod on shuffle and blog the first twenty songs in the shuffle.

1. Eider, Common
2. Sparrow, Lark
3. Save the Last Dance for Me – Michael Buble
4. Boondocks – Little Big Town
5. Sitting, Waiting, Wishing – Jack Johnson
6. Skimmer, Black
7. Trumpets – The Waterboys
8. Oh Very Young – Cat Stevens
9. Bring it on Home – Little Big Town
10. Owl, Barn
11. Your Man – Josh Turner
12. Want To – Sugarland
13. Forever My Friend – Ray LaMontagne
14. Ovenbird
15. Everything – Michael Buble
16. Church Not Made With Hands – The Waterboys
17. Plover, Piping
18. Song for You – Michael Buble
19. Water Ballerina – Luka Bloom
20. Tangled Up – Billy Currington

So.. what’s on your iPod? Something besides bird songs and sappy country music?


A stinker for Mary

The season is all wrong and this is, after all, a decoy and nothing to compare with Mary’s GB Heron pics, but I love the imagery in this poem from Mary Oliver’s Owls and Other Fantasies. Hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

Some Herons by Mary Oliver

“A blue preacher
flew toward the swamp,
in slow motion.

On the leafy banks,
an old Chinese poet,
hunched in the white gown of his wings.

was waiting.
The water
was the kind of dark silk

that has silver lines
shot through it
when it is touched by the wind

or is splashed upward,
in a small, quick flower,
by the life beneath it.

The preacher
made his difficult landing,
his skirts up around his knees.

The poet’s eyes
flared, just as a poet’s eyes
are said to do

when the poet is awakened
from the forest of meditation.
It was summer.

It was only a few moments past the sun’s rising,
which meant that the whole long sweet day
lay before them.

They greeted each other,
rumpling their gowns for an instant,
and then smoothing them.

They entered the water,
and instantly two more herons–
equally as beautiful–

joined them and stood just beneath them
in the black, polished water
where they fished, all day.”

There’s a GB Heron who hunkers down at the edge of the farm pond where I often walk Luka when I get in from work. He is so still there, just before dusk, that he can’t possibly be fishing and I feel badly for invading the end to his day with my noisy parade.

Decoys again

Quick – name that duck! I went to a new (to me) decoy show this afternoon hoping to find a nice oldsquaw to add to the growing collection here, but was disappointed. Oldsqauw don’t seem to be popular decoy subjects and I wonder why. I’d thought maybe sea ducks in general aren’t often made, but bufflehead and mergansers are very popular. Anybody know?

As shows go, this one didn’t compare with the Tuckerton show. Very few vendors and very few nicely done decoys. So I came home with the wallet intact, at least.


First thing this morning I was reading an article in the local paper about duck hunting in the area. It seems like every year around this time certain locals get up in arms about something that’s been done here forever. As a birder, duck hunting bothers me, of course, but the folks who live along the local rivers claim that it disturbs their peaceful enjoyment of their homes. I won’t say anymore than that I think the issue is their peaceful enjoyment of the water and the hell with anyone else who doesn’t own waterfront property. Enough said!

Sweet lil’ guy

Isn’t he just the sweetest thing! Today was christening day for the newest member of the family – my nephew’s baby – and the little man slept straight through the whole ordeal.

I also finally got to see my other nephew home from college in Montana for Xmas. I think he’s grown a foot since I last saw him and has his hair cut in a mohawk (again) – kids! Nice to see him and hear that he’s doing well in school; when he was little I tutored him in reading for a while. He struggled a bit during his first year at college closer to home, so this move to Montana was a chance for him to find a better fit. He says he loves it there and didn’t even complain about the cold any. Plus, his grades are good!

One way to do it

Is it just me, or is this a very *guy* way to do things?


It’s okay. I can make fun… he’s my friend and well, let’s just say this is typical behavior! Jimmy puts up the tree and all the lights in downtown Red Bank, so I guess he can take it back down any way he pleases.

Cracks me up too, to see another guy (Officer Pete) standing around supervising. Also typical!

So.. fess up guys! Looks like a fun approach to a depressing task, I think.

Image from Red Bank Green, a neat local news blog.

What I didn’t do

A while back, Beth at EasyEcoLiving tagged me to post about one thing I did at the holidays to lessen my footprint. I’ve avoided responding to her tag thus far because I couldn’t think of anything. Then it sort of dawned on me that, maybe, my laziness with all things Xmas this year might somehow be viewed as a good thing. How’s that for revisionist thinking?


I didn’t waste gas running around too much to buy gifts; I didn’t waste trees because I didn’t send any Xmas cards nor did I do very much wrapping.

Oh wait! I thought of one thing I did – I bought lots and lots of organic produce to feed to the multitudes that showed up here for dinner on Christmas Day. So there. I did something.


Feel free to play along if you like, here in comments or on your own blog. Share some tips for how to make next year’s holiday greener!

In case you haven’t already seen it, have a look at The Story of Stuff and maybe you’ll feel a little less inclined to ever do holiday shopping again.

Please use back door

I added pit bulls to my list of occupational hazards today, as if the possibility of random shootings, gang violence, or being kidnapped by crackheads weren’t entertaining enough.


(Please note that I write this not for your sympathy, but so that my coworker Deb from my old cozy unit will stop insisting that my promotion to this field position is some kind of *racket* as she likes to call it.)

I still have all of my limbs, but barely. A sign on the front of the house directed me to the back door where I found, a little too late and a little too close for comfort, a friendly (not!) brindle pit bull. With a very strong-looking neck and a tie out which was considerably weaker-looking than anything I would think to use with my Lab puppy. And about a foot of space between the end of that lead and my pathway to the back door. Ahem.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why my client who has a beautiful house and who is a truly nice person, would have a pit tied out in her yard. Other than, maybe, to protect herself and her home from the neighbors.

At any rate, I’m a dog lover and reserve most of my fear for little yappy dogs or the occasional golden retriever. Illogical, I know, but a golden snapped at me once and now I’m afraid of most of them. My sister-in-law rescued an abused pit in a cruelty case from a neighborhood such as the one I visited today. Sweet dog and good-natured as pits go, but I don’t trust it. Once it had me afraid to move when it cornered me alone in my SIL’s living room and wouldn’t give way for me to walk past him. Silly, really, because I know the dog to be sweet, but always there’s that reputation to contend with.

Oftentimes, I guess the reputation is warranted, but I wonder if others have had a positive experience with pits or other *dangerous* dog breeds. I know lots of lovable Rotties and German Shepherds and wouldn’t think of fearing them as a breed the way I might pit bulls (or golden retrievers!)

Image from the HSUS.