the continuation of life

tufted titmouse by Jack Bulmer (pixabay)

The idea of the unchanging song of the birds singing in our ears as well as the ears of our ancestors conjures a potent image of the continuation of life — an inheritance so subtle that we must immerse ourselves in the sound of birdcall in order to enter into its richness. The oracular calling of birds speaks directly to our hearts, bypassing our minds; it is a mode of divination that both we and our ancestors had to learn — an unchanging language of meaning.
~ Caitlín Matthews
(The Celtic Spirit: Daily Meditations for the Turning Year)

Many years ago I saw a picture of a woman from the 1800s holding a tabby cat. It startled me that the cat looked just like a cat from our time! I sort of expected the cat to look as different as the clothing and hairstyles and furniture did back then. And when reading the above words it struck me that not only did cats and other animals look the same to my ancestors, but birds sounded the same, too. It’s a lovely connection, hearing the same tunes they did.

“Morning Glory” by Dona Gelsinger

I thoroughly enjoyed doing the above puzzle as part of my celebrating First Harvest. Something about it is so appealing I had a hard time putting it away after enjoying looking at it for a few days. I suppose the scene could be set in any time period, too.

We now have 155 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our town. Our county (New London) has 1,433 confirmed cases. Of those 6 are still in the hospital and 103 have lost their lives. That’s 31 new cases in this county and 4 more in the hospital since the last time I looked on August 3rd. It’s ticking up again…

two years old

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9.30.16 ~ Katherine painting with water

We had a wonderful vacation week visiting our granddaughter and her parents in North Carolina. Katherine just turned two years old and what a busy little girl she is! So many interests.

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9.30.16 ~ morning light

One morning Katherine and I took a walk and sat for a little while and shared an apple. A squirrel started digging a hole for his nut very close to us. Then we watched him race up a tree and come back down with another nut which he buried in another spot. Katherine asked me to pick her up so she could follow him with her eyes, up and down the tree, burying one nut after another in the ground under the leaves. After a while Grandpa Tim found us to tell us breakfast was ready and he took the picture below.

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9.30.16 ~ squirrel magic

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9.30.16 ~ Katherine got a lot of practice saying “squirrel”

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9.30.16 ~ back home for breakfast, purse and cell phone in hand

One day we went to the Museum of Life & Science in Durham…

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10.1.16 ~ contemplating mirror images

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10.1.16 ~ Katherine loves making friends with animals

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10.1.16 ~ Katherine and friend

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10.1.16 ~ not sure what kind of animal this one is

Back at home Katherine decided that PB the Penguin needed a walk in her stroller. 🙂

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10.1.16 ~ Katherine has PB strapped in well

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10.1.16 ~ Katherine and her chicken friends

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10.1.16 ~ cute as a button

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10.1.16 ~ deer magic

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10.1.16 ~ time to take PB the Penguin back home

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10.1.16 ~ consulting with Mom about readjusting PB’s safety straps

Needless to say we had a great time on our visit!!!

an animal’s eyes

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8.23.14 ~ Groton Family Farm

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.
~ Martin Buber
(I & Thou)

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8.23.14 ~ Groton Family Farm

Yesterday we went to pick up fresh eggs from our local family farm. While there I decided to pause and capture some photos of chickens. Well, this sheep presented himself and was very interested in me, as a possible source of food, no doubt. He seemed to be very good natured and patient with all the chickens clucking and cooing around him. And one decided to stand on his back!

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8.23.14 ~ Groton Family Farm

We’ve been having a quiet, peaceful weekend, with lovely low-humidity weather. It’s a rare treat to putter and meander through the days without feeling rushed about anything. Very refreshing and restorative!

noctilucent

"Partridge with Daisies" by Bruno Liljefors
“Partridge with Daisies” by Bruno Liljefors

They are not callow like the young of most birds, but more perfectly developed and precocious even than chickens. The remarkably adult yet innocent expression of their open and serene eyes is very memorable. All intelligence seems reflected in them. They suggest not merely the purity of infancy, but a wisdom clarified by experience. Such an eye was not born when the bird was, but is coeval with the sky it reflects. The woods do not yield another such a gem.
~ Henry David Thoreau
(Walden)

Welcome Summer!

wounded planet

"Landscape with Chickens" by Auguste Durst
“Landscape with Chickens” by Auguste Durst

Earth is generous with her provisions, and her sustenance is very kind; she offers, for your table, food that requires no bloodshed and no slaughter.
~ Ovid

Honestly, I could live indefinitely on soy milk and cereal, and beans and rice. But husband Tim is a lover of great variety and hearty meals. I’m starting to realize that if I am going to have a vegetarian kitchen I am going to have to add a lot more to my repertoire to keep this guy reasonably satisfied.

Borders is or was going out of business and we found ourselves there browsing around for good deals on books. Looking over the cookbook selections I thought 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles sounded promising and started thumbing through it. It has won two awards, the Julia Child Cookbook Award and the James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence. Following my intuition about this one – sorry Dr. Ornish, but Tim was not at all thrilled with the recipes in your cookbook – I bought it and am so happy I did. So far, Tim has liked every recipe I’ve made from it! 🙂 Who knew there were so many ways to prepare eggplant? Or that eggplants and plums went well together in the same concoction?

A few days ago my friend Robin, over at Life in the Bogs, mentioned that she was becoming more of a vegetarian. I told her I was heading in the same direction and she recommended a book to me, The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted & The Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss & Long-term Health by T. Colin Campbell & Thomas M. Campbell. Well, thanks again to Kindle it didn’t take me long to finish this amazing book, which delves quite deeply into why animal protein is so unhealthy for us, even if it is humanely and organically raised. Our Western diets are primarily animal protein and this is probably the cause of many of what the authors call diseases of affluence – cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cancer, dementia, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis – the list goes on and on as he cites the China Study and many other scientific studies.

As it turns out, the diet that is good for us is also good for our little blue planet.

We plow under the habitats of other animals to grow hybrid corn that fattens our genetically engineered animals for slaughter. We make free species extinct and domestic species into bio-machines. We build cruelty into our diet.
~ Peter Singer & Jim Mason
(The Way We Eat)

It seems disingenuous for the intellectual elite of the first world to dwell on the subject of too many babies being born in the second- and third-world nations while virtually ignoring the over-population of cattle and the realities of a food chain that robs the poor of sustenance to feed the rich a steady diet of grain-fed meat.
~ Jeremy Rifkin
(Beyond Beef: The Rise & Fall of the Cattle Culture)

It’s going to take a lot of effort to become a vegan household, but I feel like I’ve got enough information now to help me keep this new commitment.

meandering

10.17.10

Yesterday Beverly, Tim and I went for a Sunday drive on the spur of the moment after we finished our brunch at our favorite Somewhere in Time Cafe. Fall colors aren’t peaking here yet, in fact many trees are still completely green. Perhaps next weekend I can find some color to photograph… I wanted to revisit a tree in North Stonington that I saw one autumn day maybe fifteen years ago when I was doing some family history research in church records out there. I don’t think we actually found it, though.

At some point we pulled over because a hawk was sitting on the fence of a pasture. When Tim sopped the car he flew off, but then came back and perched on top of a telephone pole. Not the most picturesque place for a photo shoot but I tried! What amazed us was that he kept taking off to fly in a huge circle and then land back on the telephone pole. He (she?) was eyeing us and kept spreading out his feathers to impress us, I presume.

We stopped for free-range/local eggs and had much better luck photographing a curious, healthy, and happy looking hen. No doubt we’ve had at least one or two of her eggs! But not only are we voting against cruelty to animals with our purchases, scientists are finding that, compared to typical supermarket eggs, eggs from free range hens have 4-6 times as much vitamin D, 1⁄3 less cholesterol, 1⁄4 less saturated fat, 2⁄3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene! Nature knows best.

10.17.10

In the 70s there was a television commercial for Chiffon margarine with a hook in it that stuck with me for many years, but for the opposite reasons than the corporation intended. The narrator hands Mother Nature, a woman dressed in a white robe with daisies in her hair, a tub of margarine. She is “fooled” and mistakes it for her sweet creamy butter. When the narrator tells her that it is really margarine she stands and calls for thunder and proclaims, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” Being raised by a couple of nature lovers I would never dream of trying to fool Mother Nature. Because we can’t fool her. We may think we can, but the joke winds up being on us.

We chanced to pass by an open house at a very charming Victorian for sale, so we turned around and stopped to explore it inside. It was fun imagining what we would do there if we owned it. One bedroom had its own tiny little sun porch which I fell in love with. Tim thought the attic would be a good place to spread out his computer paraphernalia. And Beverly spotted a little den off the kitchen with a convenient tiny little powder room connected to it. We all wanted to know if the cat came with the house. 🙂 It’s kind of sad, though. The house has been on the market since January and they’ve lowered the price three times already.

10.17.10

We chanced to pass by an open house at a very charming Victorian for sale, so we turned around and stopped to explore it inside. It was fun imagining what we would do there if we owned it. One bedroom had its own tiny little sun porch which I fell in love with. Tim thought the attic would be a good place to spread out his computer paraphernalia. And Beverly spotted a little den off the kitchen with a convenient tiny little powder room connected to it. We all wanted to know if the cat came with the house. 🙂 It’s kind of sad, though. The house has been on the market since January and they’ve lowered the price three times already.

We rarely go out for Sunday drives any more, trying to do our share by not burning fuel unnecessarily, but it was fun to go exploring for a change of pace…