Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillars
I placed a drop of liquid brown sugar on the counter. Word spread quickly, pheromone trails were forged. In no time the sisters had circled around like wildebeest at a watering hole. Each ant has two stomachs: an individual stomach for her own survival, and a social stomach for collective survival. Life is sweet.
Dragonfly has been here for 300 million years, which is 280 million years longer than humans. I don't mind saying that I look up to Dragonfly the way a child looks up to a great grandparent. Our ancestors are flitting about in the reeds! Grampa looks beautiful today.
The beauty of the world stubbornly persists. Some flowers only bloom in the dead of night.
A grandmother who passed before I was born raised roses competitively. She coaxed perfumes out of manure and alchemized dirt into forms that I imagine would make Georgia O’Keefe blush, for which she was rewarded with ribbons and prizes and the admiration of a granddaughter she would never meet who inherited her love for roses. Although I never set eyes on my grandmother, I see her glow in every rose I meet. Although I own nothing her hands touched, I walk the world wearing her hand-me-down pair of rose-colored glasses.
The underbrush is giving a leafy lecture on the evolutionary advantages of radial symmetry and other mathematically efficient beauty. Classes are ongoing.
"Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?" - Mary Oliver
“There is no knowing for a fact. The only dependable things are humility and looking.”
― Richard Powers, The Overstory
Inside the unfolding: more unfolding.
I took this photograph for my patron saint, Imogen Cunningham. I think she would find this undulating form highly caressable.
“walking with the river
the water does my thinking”
I woke up this morning intending to do Responsible Purposeful Things, but I got sidetracked and accidentally fell in love with a pine cone playing with a beam of light.
Meet me under the pine tree at fishrise.
The humility of the buckwheat gives me pause as I stride importantly along. There are lessons blooming in the underbrush.
Can anyone use a bit of beauty today? Here are some aquatic plants that are submerged but not drowning, bending but not breaking in the flux and flow.
Ours is a scrappy planet. We must be rugged creatures for such terrain.
This is what California’s golden hills look like when you float by them in a kayak, drifting in the wind.
There is the heaven we enter
through institutional grace
and there are the yellow finches bathing and singing
in the lowly puddle.
- from Yellow by Mary Oliver
(This is a yellow warbler, not a finch, but the sentiment stands.)
“The humming is always there, even at rest.” - The Mincing Mockingbird
I felt these birds before I saw them, a rustle of wind and a presence over my shoulder. When I looked up, I didn't have a name for them, so I broke out into a full-body sweat, as if my every pore were calling out to them. I dubbed them the Goosebumps Birds, but later I learned that their real name is the Magnificent Frigatebirds, a worthy title for a beast whose very Is-ness can make an otherwise solid human go liquid.
Several of nature's people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
- Emily Dickinson
A fun thing to do is to watch how spider webs turn raindrops into fireworks.
Do trees have consciousness? I don’t know, but I suspect their root system is the original internet. Here’s a profile pic I took for Cedar to post on Forest Facebook.
The source of all energy on our planet, our Sun deserves a standing ovation. The stellar members of Women’s Wellness 2018 rise to the occasion.
"I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much, and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure." - Oliver Sacks