Sunday, August 26, 2012

Desert Tortoise - Being quiet helped me see him

It's doubtful that many people would have heard it, but an almost imperceptible stirring of something made me scan the surrounding area where I stood. I had stopped to take a picture of some wildflowers that were growing in the yard, and I thought I might have heard the rustle of a lizard or a snake.

Never one to want to startle a snake, I carefully looked around. That's when I noticed this desert tortoise making his (or her?) way across the yard. If I had been "plugged in," I surely would have missed it.

Whitefish Lodge - Montana - July 2012
Desert tortoise taking a stroll in the front yard.

Whitefish Lodge - Montana - July 2012
When it noticed me, it paused in some shade.
Note all of the little purple wildflowers.

Whitefish Lodge - Montana - July 2012
As I got closer it half tucked in its head.

Whitefish Lodge - Montana - July 2012
It's well camouflaged for the desert.
From a distance, it looks like just another rock!

Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Great Blue Heron retuns to the pond

I spotted the Great Blue Herons flying over the neighborhood a couple of weeks ago. One was kind enough to pose for me in the mesquite tree down at the pond.

Heron - August 2012
Great Blue Heron in Mesquite, August 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

There is no such thing as stress...

The key to balancing your desire to be at peace with your need to achieve, perform, and earn a living is in recognizing that there’s no such thing as stress; there are only people thinking stressful thoughts. It’s really as simple as that. When you change the way you process the world, the world you’re processing changes.

- Wayne Dyer, Being in Balance

...the moment one definitely commits oneself, Providence moves too

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

William Hutchison Murray (18 March 1913 – 19 March 1996) Scottish Mountaineer

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Barrel cactus - fruit for the lean months ahead

Although I've never conducted a personal taste test, the animal kingdom has voted that barrel cactus fruit isn't very tasty--at least not when compared to their more yummy prickly pear relatives. For this reason, the universe puts them on the bounty table when food is more scarce thus ensuring that the fruit gets eaten and the seeds properly planted--er, that is after a quick trip through the digestive system of a deer, ground squirrel, javelina, etc.

The barrels are blooming now, and their fruit will be available long into the winter months.

Barrel Cactus - August 2012
Barrel Cactus in bloom, August 2012

Barrel Cactus - August 2012
Barrel Cactus in bloom, August 2012

Barrel Cactus - August 2012
Barrel Cactus in bloom, August 2012

Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lazuli Bunting - first sighting

Migration season has begun! The Hooded Orioles have already departed for the season, but I saw my first Lazuli Bunting today.

Lazuli Bunting - Tucson - August 2012
A Lazuli Bunting passed through the backyard today.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking

I finished reading Susan Cain's book, Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, the day my family departed from a four-day visit. At the beginning of her book, she describes a typical evening from her childhood in which her mom, dad, brother, and sister would cozily sit together in the living room reading their respective books by the fire. To her, this family social behavior was normal, and it wasn't until she got shuttled off to summer camp as a pre-teen that she realized that her version of "normal" was anything but.

This scene could have described my family. Introversion is embedded in much of my family's DNA every bit as much as blue-eyes and left-handedness, and this truth is always more apparent after a family visit. As is often the case, the introverts have married extraverts allowing their spouse to do most of the heavy-lifting when it comes to socializing.

Ms. Cain's book is another voice bringing attention to the gregarious lifestyle so prevelent in American culture today. From the cooperative learning pods in the classroom, wallless offices in the workplace, and open floorplans in homes, there is little effort made to accommodate anyone who might not crave so much togetherness. Her research reminds us that although introverts make up the minority (in Western culture), we all can benefit from their quiet contemplation and introspection. We should celebrate their difference.

Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.