Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tundra Swans

One recent morning as I went out to the car to leave for work I heard a familiar muted whistling sound coming to me. I looked up momentarily confused because my mind said "Geese, but not geese".
Living on the wetlands gives us the joy of being surrounded by migrating and local creatures, winged and otherwise and those creatures who in turn prey on them. The sound of geese is very familiar here, especially this time of year. This was softer, not a new sound but one not heard for a long time. Whistling Swans are what we used to call them. Now they are called Tundra Swans.
Tundra swans mate for life and spend a full year together before leaving for the breeding grounds across the tundra atop North America.
They are so graceful and were striking to gaze at against the blue morning sky.
I was happy to see them and it felt like seeing an old, dear friend after a long absence.
They seemed to be giving me a gentle send off for my day. Reminding me to be so with my fellow beings. We all have a long journey before us in a rough world.
I have enjoyed their brief visit but now they must be off.

May they keep us on their flight path.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Okay.....last evening I was relaxing in my living room after a long day at work. As is my custom, I enjoy gazing out the east window toward Quartzite Mountain to see what evening light show would appear on it's face in the gloaming. What caught my eye was the white tail flash of an excited deer as it bounced through the tall grass first north and then west toward me. It acted as though being chased so I got up and went to the window to get a better view. Peter was in the kitchen and I called for him to "Come look quick! There are two Huskies chasing a deer toward the house!" They ran into the yard and past the back porch through a passageway of only 6 feet or so and into the driveway.
Well, it all happened too fast for him to see and they were gone.
It's funny how your mind goes to the familiar during an unfamiliar experience. I remember telling Peter they were huge, big as a large German Shepherd and neither one had a color on. That I'd never seen them before...Hhhmmm...There have been wolves sighted in the mountains here and someone reported seeing one hunting in the wetlands just a few yards south of our house near the sod farm about one or two months ago. But this was brazen, in my yard, don't let the cat out anymore close!
I did explore the area outside. No dead deer or wandering canines, only hoof prints dug deep in the dirt and far spaced dog like prints along the way they went over a low fence and into the next field. No sounds out of the ordinary.
Now, we may yet hear about two huskies roaming town and terrorizing wildlife and pets but until then it was awesome!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Gleaners

Back in the 70's we lived on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Northern Idaho. Sounds kind of upscale but this wasn't. Looking for work, two small children. Caretaking was all we had. We drove through fields of peas and lentils up on top of the hill above the lake on our way to town.
My parents payed us a visit and my father told me as we drove through these fields about gleaning with his mother when he was little. After the farmer harvests his crop there are grains and legumes left on the ground and the gleaners come in and pick them up. He said they would have enough beans to last through winter until Gran could grow her garden.
This sounded like a romantic notion, me being a child of the 60's and all. So Shawna, Jason and I gathered peas and lentils that fall. The peas weren't split but they cooked up OK and I learned more ways to cook lentils than I ever imagined (lentil chili, lentil bread?) It felt good to glean from the land, to take care of ourselves and know that food wasn't wasted.
On my way to work this morning I saw a flock of Canadian Geese in a barley field gleaning and preparing for the long flight south.
I thought about my own little flock.

Thank you Daddy

Saturday, November 7, 2009

With love and light, God does the rest

When I was young my father used to tell me what a wonderful gardener his mother was. They grew a large and beautiful garden at their home in Point Loma. He and his siblings tended to it regularly but he credited his mother for it's existence. She planted it with vegetables and flowers. Times were hard and folks were frugal and self sufficient but she longed for and created the beauty she had known of her home in Sweden.
He told me that even in winter she would bring home plants that looked dead and past reviving only to nurture them in the kitchen window to beautiful, thriving, welcome color. He especially remarked about the coleus.
He always remembered the coleus.
She would say "Med karlek och latta Gud gor resten".

"With love and light God does the rest"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

For my sons: Please don’t try this!

OK, I think this is really cool, but I don’t advocate it or want any of my loved ones to try it, either. It brings to mind a 14 year old patient that came in about a week ago who had broken both bones in his left forearm, three fractures to his pelvis and had various cuts and bruises, all while trying to do back flips with his dirt bike. Please take note of the title of the song accompanying it!