Birdwatching with Ruthie Mae

I watch birds and Ruthie Mae watches squirrels. 

Summer Tanager for Green Healing Notes, a blog

I AM A SUMMER TANAGER! I BATHE in a PIE PLATE!

I like the morning time, before the world and my obligations begin.  I like the quiet, so that I may hear Mother Nature’s winged symphony!

My very sweet and smart dog, Ruthie Mae, was my suet-guard this morning.  (Suet is for the birds).  The squirrels act like I put it out there for them, until Ruthie shows up and amazingly, I can watch my backyard birds for hours without one squirrel coming close.

Ruthie is largely a Black Mouth Cur, with the Spirit of a great hunter, but she’s also an Egyptian Beetlehound Princess, the latter title of which she earned shortly after she rescued me. 

Ruthie has two black beauty marks on each side of her little face and natural eyeliner that makes her look like Cleopatra.  She hunts insects like she was born for that purpose, but Ruthie is also a truly amazing medical companion animal.  I am proud and grateful to be friends with such an awesome being as Ruthie Mae!

Lately, the Summer Tanager is a regular visitor.  The male is red and the female a beautiful golden color.

Golden Bird, Female Summer Tanager

I AM FEMALE SUMMER TANAGER!

I like the way Summer Tanager fly.  They swoop in great long colorful strides across the yard.   They’re also challenging to capture in photos.  I’m always reminded when the Tanager stops by, that some things are meant to be experienced in the moment.

Ruthie Mae knows I like the birds.  She barked at one once, but she immediately looked at me to see if I approved.  I only had to say no one time.  She’s a smart dog.

I AM RUTHIE

I AM RUTHIE

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The Resident Robin Leaves Home

Robin spends Winter in North Carolina

My fat little Friend

Dear Robin,

I’m writing to say thank you for being my Winter guest.  I must say, your sudden departure was a surprise, but what a glorious day it was when out of the blue, Robins surrounded my home! 

I didn’t know much about Robins before you spent the Winter here.  I thought you were going to use my yard for mating in Spring, but I realize now, you were here for the berries.  I felt sad when I first realized that you had left.

I so enjoyed your company, especially during a long and rather lonely Winter.  I even reported my sightings of you here!  Your photo is available to the entire world.  You are as good as famous, my fat little friend!

I’m very happy you found respite from Winter in the green covered branches of the tall Pine and a great aerial view of the Holly from the big Sweet Gum tree.  I noticed your friends liked the view from up there as well.

One Robin Waiting

One Robin Waiting

I was outside today looking at those trees, remembering you perched on the branches in the snow.  They have blooms now.  Things changed in such a short time dear Robin.

You were strong to endure those cold days.  I was proud to have you as a guest and honored as well.  Watching you was a true Winter blessing!

Even as I miss seeing you on the porch rail, guarding the red berries with an intensely continuous keen watch, I am glad you have since joined a flock.  They were certainly a beautiful and energetic group! 

I tried to get a photo of several together, but that didn’t happen.  I couldn’t believe how powerful they each flew when I slowly peeked around the corner of the house. 

The sound of Robin’s wings in flight is a sweetness to the ear!

Robin on Holly berry!

Yummy Holly Berries for Robins!

The enthusiasm you and your feathered friends exuded over the little red berry-filled treasure made me wonder how in the world the other Robins heard about that relatively small tree. 

Did you sing them a message through the wind? 

In less than two days of light, they ate every single berry! 

I bet you are leading them to a special place where your babies will be born. 

Robin, I hope to move before next Winter, so I doubt if we will meet again, but I sure wish you and your feathered brothers and sisters a bountiful Spring! 

Thank you for being my guest.  You brought beauty to my life and graced me with a lesson in acceptance. 

Each time I saw you, which was every day for more than two full moons, there was a Green Healing in my Spirit.

With love, gratitude and admiration, 

Your amateur bird-watching friend,

Michelle.

Green Healing Note:

My friend, the Robin, and the flock it left with, invited me to accept the way of Mother Nature.  Much like my personal life, I cannot expect one thing to happen when something different is in the making.


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Lessons from Lizards

Lessons from Lizards by Rosa Blue
Lessons from Lizards, a photo by Rosa Blue on Flickr.

“Wait, Look!” I said to the group.  “There’s a whole family of little lizards over here!”

Alas.  

My horticultural companions continued on with their short journey to the Green House.  The little seeds we had just planted in pots needed a place to sit and ponder on their life for a while.  

While volunteering in the small Horticultural Healing group, I often, perhaps too often, get distracted by the creatures living around the gardens.  

I had never seen lizards up close before I started going to the gardens and taking photographs.  

My first love in the gardens was a little lizard who lived in an abandoned Cabbage patch in one of the raised beds.  I’ve met several more since then, but I must admit, none have been as special as the one in the Cabbage patch, who I met in Spring 2012.  He (or she) and I communicated for a few days, before he moved on after realizing that us gardeners, who had invaded his Winter home, had come to stay a while.

I have since also fallen in-love with a Baby Turtle (BT) and a Frog.

I stopped to see the little lizards.  I would have liked the Green House.  I love it so, especially in Winter, when warmth is inviting and the green life is healing.

The lizards had my attention.  I’m not sure they really liked me photographing them. 

Nature has a way of asking me to be more aware so as not to get too close when I meet her wild children. 

The little lizards peeked out at me from beneath the picnic table, crawling from the crevices onto the wooden wall.  Clearly, they didn’t want me in their space.  I tried not to disturb them.

Lizard crawling on Wood Wall

I’m not sure why I’m attracted to lizards, frogs and turtles.  I knew I loved Butterflies, and all Mother Nature’s critters, but there’s something about these reptilian creatures that draw me into their world.

Lately, I keep getting the message to slow down, be more aware of my environment, and taking a little time to think before I take action.  I bet lizards do that.

Horticulture Therapy, even as a volunteer within the group, gently offers me lessons in life.

I didn’t feel like being around people this week, but I went to the group anyway.  I had hopes that my poor mood would be accepted, and I believe it was. 

After planting a few seeds and taking them to the Green House, the Horticulture Therapy Intern suggested a hike, and for unknown reasons to me, I didn’t want to go, which I communicated with her. 

I wanted to stay back, alone, but she didn’t offer me time to consider this option.  Within a few minutes of being in the woods, we came to the creek.  It was beautiful.  I remembered the many days my late dog friend, Free, enjoyed swimming and rolling in mud there. 

Clear creek in Winter woods

Leaving the water, I spotted a bird perched high in the branches of a tree.  “Look everyone!” 

I was excited and didn’t mean to tell folks what to do next when I said, “Be still.” 

I wanted them to see the awesome bird and when they did, I felt a connection.  Being alone wasn’t as appealing to me.  I was glad we were there together.

walking together

I got a few shots of the bird, although not very clear ones, and then it flew away into the misty woods.

Birds of Prey

“It’s an omen,” the Intern remarked.  “I believe in those things.” 

I felt like she was talking to me, but I wasn’t sure.  After seeing the beautiful bird, I noticed how much lighter were the burdens I carried.

Thank you for visiting Green Healing Notes.

Gardener Will Return

ImageToday was filled with Mother Nature’s gifts. I’m super tired as I write or I’d tell you more about this Green Healing Day.  Sometimes, these awesome days wear me out, but my spirit is always very much alive after going to the gardens.

Not so good is that I was bitten by more ticks.  Some people might question my intelligence.  I live with chronic pain and fatigue, as a result of tick-borne infections.  Maybe I should find another interest besides Nature.  I’m getting a little tired of the ticks, but I love being outdoors and gardening.

In one way I look at it, there are lessons for me to learn.  I could be more diligent about the type of clothes I wear, as well as changing them as soon as I can after being outdoors.  I could pay closer attention to some things. 

For example,  I spilled water on the counter top while filling the container. to water some small plants today.  I did it several times in a row.  I had let my mind and the many thoughts swirling around in my head have all my attention. 

The Horticulture Therapist just happened to be there today.  She helped me water the gardens, and noticed when I spilled the water.  She’s very nice, and so I tole her that I knew I needed to pay better attention. 

“That’s how accidents happen,” she remarked in her gentle and kind way.  I recalled falling on my bicycle in 2009.  I could have prevented that ‘accident’ I thought to myself.  It’s true.

Sometimes if I have so many thoughts in my head at once, I focus on my breathing.  I don’t try to control it, but I watch it.  I also count backwards, while watching my breath.  I watch it as I breathe in, and then as I breathe out.  It’s a simple and easy technique.  This is a way to bring attention back to the moment.  It helps to quiet a racing mind.

Signing off today, as I head towards the Great Blue Mountains in our state. I hope you too will have your own Green Healing moments. 

Please feel free to share your thoughts here and thanks for visiting Green Healing Notes.