June 11, 2021

Experience the show...

Taste, sounds, textures, color, smells, and layers. Each trip outside adds to our lives. Layer upon layer our experiences grow. More and more is found when we walk take the time to really look. More and more is heard when we are still and listen. There are layers in a field of tickseed or even in a red pine plantation. Differences and color are fun to see and add depth to an experience. Our eyes enjoy flowers with color and patterns, butterflies and birds add movement and song. A banquet for our senses, different each day,

What colors are seen in the morning light of a forest clearing. Take in a deep breathe. What do you hear when you sit quietly and wait. Do you hear the wind, a squirrel, the rustle of leaves, or sometimes yourself as it is so hard to stay quiet. Stillness seems an illusion. Silence is rarely heard. So much is going on outside each moment. Find the beauty and joy in each piece and then enjoy putting together the puzzle. Try to be empty and bring nothing except your senses to the show, then let your cup be filled and enjoy the show.

Posted on June 11, 2021 09:23 by friendofnature2 friendofnature2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 05, 2021

Beautiful discoveries.

Each member of our team sees beauty in different places and it has been amazing to see the world through each different lens. One member finds beauty in feathers...how they are layered, the different shapes of different types of feathers, and the colors. Another member finds beauty in fish...spots, shape, colors, and how they reflect light.

Our youngest member has recently been seeking out beach glass or "sea glass" when we are out exploring our world. I never thought much about beach glass before she showed it to me. I am usually looking for Petoskey stones, crayfish and frogs, birds, and other things...but she helped me see a different kind of beauty. The glass is just ordinary glass...someone's broken glass bottle that has made its way into our lakes, yet it is transformed by weather, waves, rocks and sand. It is smooth with polished edges. She shows me how it is different than "parking lot glass" which has sharp edges and has not been transformed by nature into her treasures. She has a wooden treasure chest that contains beach glass of different sizes in different jars, an assortment of beautiful colors and shapes that were created by time and change. They are beautiful.

It is good that we all find beauty in different things. I have recently finished reading a wonderful book Beauty and the Soul, by Pierro Ferrucci. He writes, "The more we can perceive beauty in our surroundings, and also inside us, the more we feel at home and glad to exist. Some perceive beauty in the sound of rain and shape of clouds, in people's faces and voices, in birdsong and the rustling of leaves. Some see it in modern design or ancient embroidered silk..." I am inspired by each of our team and by so many others who daily help me find beauty in our world. May each of us find beauty everyday in someone or something that we encounter.

Posted on April 05, 2021 11:15 by friendofnature2 friendofnature2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 17, 2021

Time, money, and energy.

Time, money, and our focused energy: just three resources that we all have available. What we spend our resources on says a bit about who we are and what we value.

Nature does not care much about us as observers. Birds do not need to be seen to carry out their existence, and a photograph does not provide for their needs of food, warmth, a mate, or protection from predators. Fish would rather not be caught by the fisherman, even to be released again to live another day. Flowers bloom and go to seed dependent upon other forces in nature, seldom anything to do with us as observers.

We go out and learn about nature because it is good for us. It meets our needs. It provides emotional wellness and it is fun to do. We share our pictures because we are part of a human community. We want to feel connected. We enjoy seeing what other people see and communicating with people of similar interest.

I hope that my children learn to see the world for what it is. I hope that they use their money and time to take care of nature and spend their energy enjoying the natural world around them. I want happiness for them.

The world is complicated; I am thankful that it is. May my time, money, and focused energy be helpful in the preservation and enjoyment of our natural world.

Posted on March 17, 2021 18:02 by friendofnature2 friendofnature2 | 1 comment | Leave a comment

March 11, 2021

Red-winged Blackbirds and Sandhill Cranes!

Temperatures in the 50's and familar sounds of red-winged blackbirds coming from the wetland. We could hardly believe it. The scope confirmed what we knew to be our first signs of their return! Red-winged blackbirds at the Black hole nature preserve. Spring was on its way back to our county.

Just down the road we took a photograph of two sandhill cranes. They were at a piece of land that has been set aside for wetland restoration. What a great site to see!

Deer were everywhere in small gatherings. Everything is still shades of brown. Very little has budded out yet, but we all know that it is a matter of days now, not months.

Up in Mackinac City the eagles are crossing the straits. Numbers of Bald eagles and Golden eagles have been growing. Next will be the hawks. Migration is coming to the north.

And our winter visitors are moving on. The snowy owl has not been seen in some time.

Another year! Another season! The parade of life continues...

Posted on March 11, 2021 14:13 by friendofnature2 friendofnature2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 11, 2020

Quiet Places

What do we seek? What do we go out from our homes to find? Often when I go to the woods it is for a walk. Sometimes there is direction in where I am going, sometimes a trail is followed. Rarely though am I going to a spot to sit, to stop, to rest. Quiet places are often what I find when I stop and sit a while.

This time of year the birds are relatively quiet. The deer and squirrels will walk right up to you without sound if the crunch of leaves do not give them away. Very few people seem to be in these quiet places, even in the evenings when school and work is done. I can close my eyes and rest.

It is hard for me to stop moving. It is difficult sometimes to quiet myself and rest. Quiet places outside provide the peace that my soul is seeking. They are places of contentment. Quiet places are treasures that I continue to enjoy this season.

Posted on November 11, 2020 10:57 by friendofnature2 friendofnature2 | 1 comment | Leave a comment

October 03, 2020

Seeds of Hope.

Hope is what I see when I go for walks. Seeds of hope for next year. Winter will come and go, and then these seeds of hope will germinate, grow, and bloom again! Life continues. Phenology and I-naturalist record the cycles of life. Seeds are everywhere right now. Hope is in the wind and on the ground.

Posted on October 03, 2020 01:11 by friendofnature2 friendofnature2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 02, 2020

View from above

One of my favorite authors is Marcus Aurelius. He writes, "Take a view from above- look at the thousands of flocks and herds, the thousands of human ceremonies, every sort of voyage in storm or calm, the range of creation, combination, and extinction. Consider too the lives once lived by others long before you, the lives that will be lived after you, the lives lived now among foreign tribes; and how many have never even heard your name, how many will very soon forget it..." Meditations Book 9:30.

Too often the daily requirements and urgency of our tasks pull us down. It is good to "take a view from above" and realize that life goes on. The things that trouble us now will come and go. The birds will continue to migrate, the flowers will bloom and go to seed, and all living things come and go as time goes on. When I have looked down from really high places, everything seemed to slow down. Slowing down...and gaining perspective of the whole, that is a task worth pursuing.

Posted on September 02, 2020 17:18 by friendofnature2 friendofnature2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment