Green Healing ~ In Town with Birds

Green Healing in the Rain

Two Red-breasted stand near rocks and planter during rain storm
We Love Rain!

“You ready for the wind storm?”  my neighbor asked. 

He was carrying a bag of groceries.  I was fiddling around with my containers, thinking about what I might plant in them this year. 

I wondered if I wanted anything, not so much to be prepared, but to go along with a wind storm.

I decided to go out and grab a Coca-cola.  I also decided to take Ruthie with me.

By the time we returned, which was less than ten minutes, the wind and rain were powerful.  Ruthie was afraid to get out of the car.  I felt badly that I had taken her out. 

Ruthie  is terribly sweet and the most sensitive dog in the world.  That’s part of what makes her who she is and incredibly lovable.

We sat inside the car for a few minutes, listening to the howling wind and sound of heavy rain fall on the car.  Things slowed for a moment, but as soon as I opened the door, a gust of rain came down and Ruthie jumped back in the car.  Pretty soon the wind stopped and all was quiet. 

The storm had gone as quickly as it had arrived.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My yard was a series of shallow ponds, that obviously, the Robins love!

They surprised me with a vigor and ability to stand still, while rain fell in buckets on their red-breasted bodies. 

Most of the Robins took cover when the rain fell harder, but one stood its ground through the length of the storm. 

Standing in the rain, the red-breasted Robin

The persistent and patient Robin kept looking at me and once, when I was taking a photo of a very wet Cardinal, the wet Robin hopped in front of the camera just in time to get in the photograph.

The Robin likes to get attention!

Do You See Me? I AM ROBIN!

I loved the storm.  I also loved that Ruthie and I were home to see the birds that came afterwards! 

All the birds were here!

Most unusual, was a visit from a Bluebird.  Normally, the Mockingbird aka “King of the Yard,” simply will not allow bluebirds to cross the little rain-made creek where the lawn meets the trees.

I couldn’t get a photo because the Bluebird came to the suet hanging by my front door near where I was standing.  I did however have a wonderful macro view!

Thank you for visiting Green Healing Notes!

Advertisements

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.


 Related articles

The Winter Resident

Robin on a cold day in North Carolina

Winter Sighting, American Robin

A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.  ~Chinese Proverb

I watched, as our recent winged visitor, a fat and sassy Robin, walked along the porch railing by the Holly tree.  Big white fluffy snowflakes were falling.   Everything was quiet, except for the beautiful bird songs, both of which I love.

The Robin didn’t seem to mind the snow.  I wasn’t surprised.  He (or she) has guarded the Holly tree and it’s cherished bright red berries since arriving a few weeks earlier.

Holly Berries

Note: I’m not experienced in identifying birds.  I made my best guess that the Robin pictured above is a male that has come to breed.

“Male robins arrive about the time that the average daily temperature is 37 degrees. (This fits the pattern of when the Robin arrived.  The bird also perches in a coniferous tree, with a clear view of the Holly berries).  “During cold or very wet weather, the males grow more silent and concentrate on feeding and taking shelter in thick conifer branches.”

Source: Journey North, American Robin (learner.org)

The above listed site is full of interesting facts and information about the American Robin.  You can take part in, “Winter Sightings,” and learn their five vocalizations.  (Listen to the Robin’s song: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/sounds/RobinSong_LangElliott.mp3).

Worms, please...

A Warmer Day

The Robin has certainly made his presence known to all.  I am quite sure he has claimed, at least temporarily, complete rights to the Holly tree and its bountiful fruit. 

Several species of birds have made it to my porch rail by the Holly tree, but not for long.  The few that ventured into the branches, trying to get a mere berry or two, well…

Without delay, the Robin lashed forth, thrusting his body at theirs.  The birds took flight in haste!

One day, the Red-bellied Woodpecker that’s usually seen in the backyard, visited the Holly tree.  Something was up that day, because all of a sudden, several birds came at once to the tree.

The Robin watched this spectacle, waited for about a minute and swoosh!  He went first for the Woodpecker.   Amazingly to me, that big Woodpecker flew away after one jolt from the healthy Robin. 

The other birds followed the Woodpecker, returning to their backyard haven, safe from the large-breasted Winter resident.

The recent soft snow brought with it a few birds I haven’t seen this year.

Wintery Day

a cold snowy winter day

One of the new birds (below) came to the Holly tree and it did meet the resident Robin on the porch rail.  I don’t think it flew into the tree, but I was able to get a few photos before it left.

snow falls on new visitor

snow falls on new visitor

Winter Birds Visit in SnowI haven’t yet identified the pretty little bird (above).  Do you know the name of this winged visitor?

Thanks for your visit to Green Healing Notes!  Please feel free to comment.  

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.

Between Summer and Fall

HORTICULTURAL HEALING

2012, 25 August

August is almost over.  The days of 100 degree temperatures in North Carolina are most likely gone for the year.  A few leaves are falling.  Pale yellows and a few red ones have blown with the light winds landing on my small front porch, where my little Green Healing garden grows.  Amazing how time goes by when you reach a certain age.

Fall planting has begun in Horticulture Therapy.  We planted Kale and Radish seeds.  The soil is still warm, so these will be good plants to start with.  Both are of a variety that will make for a pretty garden.  The Radish are ‘White Ice Cicle’ and the Kale will have wide leaves that are rather pale in color compared to the more common green varieties.  We’ll enjoy a lovely white (and nutritious) garden if it grows well and I sure hope it does.  The garden always offers hope.

Hand and Seeds for Fall planting

Planting seeds is one of my favorite things to do in a garden.  I think it is also one of the most hopeful tasks, because there are many events that could cause the seeds not to germinate.  The first evidence of germination makes a horticulture heart a happy one!  (Click on an image to view Gallery)

Oarlocks and Tranquility

“I get to row the boat this time,” my son said.

“You better believe you’ll get to,” I answered, nearly gasping at the thought of rowing a boat myself.

We both laughed.  We recalled our ‘wafting’ trip on his eighth birthday.  Almost twenty years ago.  He’d wanted to lead the boat and wasn’t happy when I had to say no. 

He started singing to himself while we got ready to go.  I haven’t heard him sing in a long time. 

I wish we had gone in a Canoe, which is what we had expected, but our boat had flat sides and square ends.  An old friend was renting the boats and had offered us a free entrance to the lake.  He and I were once Cub-Scout Den leaders together.  I didn’t want to ask for a different boat since he’d been so generous.  Plus, upon reflection, there’s a large chance my son and I would have been IN the water if we’d been in a canoe.  Maybe our friend knew that. 

(I love the images of the water, sky and trees.  As always, they look better enlarged.  Right click/View Image for a closer look).

The Oar

Next time, and I’m hoping there will be one, we’ll definitely get a different boat.  I’ll leave my camera behind and wear a vest.  I felt like I was on a wagon-train built a long, long time ago.  In fact, several times I had visions of being on one.  I was in emotional survival mode.  I felt that if I could make that trip work, then we could get to where we truly need to be.

I hadn’t expected the trip to be frustrating.  I don’t think I would have gone if I had, but as usual, there are always lessons to take from difficulties.

I’d like to return with a few tools in my bag, including an unwavering ability to hold patience and empathy.

Most challenging to my physical senses were the loose and inefficiently positioned oarlock sockets.  The sound of metal against metal interrupted my plan for a tranquil outing on the quiet still water lake. 

Our inexperience meant us working together, which became our next and biggest challenge.  My son and I need to meet at a place in life where we both feel good.  A Mother and Son relationship can be challenging.

Beautiful Still Water

Resting in the Shade

The cloud’s reflection in the water and the love that lives in the heart of my small family, I guess, like most things beautiful and worthy, at times take effort or strong intentions for us to see and feel them.

I thought the day had been a complete failure, other than the short time we sat listening to the sound of the still water.  A Tiger Swallowtail came fluttering by and we drank cold orange sodas.  We did laugh and have some fun moments.

We talked after we got home.  My son explained his reluctance to be more cooperative with me when we had such trouble with the heavy oars.  I hadn’t understood that his way of coping was out of utter frustration.  I’m grateful that he talked to me and I really do look forward to another chance. 

I learned a few things, one of which is that I need to calm down.  Also, when two people are rowing the same boat, you absolutely must be headed in the same direction.

Air and Water

BEAUTIFUL!

Next time, I’ll be more ready, however I may not get any photos 😉

Thanks for visiting Green Healing Notes!