Although more people in the USA voted for the Democratic ticket than the Republican one, the electoral college system will likely lead to the installation of a Republican presidency unless election re-counts affect those designated votes. This distresses me greatly given the persons who have been announced as top administration advisers and cabinet members. My work on social issues and on behalf of vulnerable people will continue and is increasing. But in the meantime, to keep from going into a 100% depressed mode, I have sought solace in nature walks and spiritual strengthening in the flora and fauna I see.
Today, I will share some of words of wisdom from a conscientious spiritual leader with you, along with some photos of nature’s beauties seen during my walks at the Cane Creek Reservoir, Sandy Creek Park and Mason Farm Biological Reserve just before and since the November election. It’s a bit of a long blog but offers some visual sustenance to ponder, like the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta, above) at Mason Farm and the yellow-bellied slider (Trachemys scripta scripta) at Sandy Creek sunning in the morning sun despite chilly temperatures. (From a distance, the slider looked a bit as if there was something with open jaws in the pond!)
Early in the morning, you can find frost- and dew-covered plants and a few remaining flowers glistening in the sun.
Blanket flower (Gaillardia) Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Later in the morning, the autumn-colored leaves make nice patterns as you search for birds high and low. And occasionally you get to see the fabled “leaf bird”.
When looking high, you may find the birds looking down on you; face-level stares as you gaze straight ahead may also occur!
White-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) Eastern towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
At Cane Creek, the killdeer (Charadrius vociferous) make their presence known by their distinctive calls and you can enjoy their gorgeous appearance as they fly over the lake.
Taking care of our planet is like taking care of our houses. Since we human beings come from Nature, there is no point in our going against Nature, which is why I say the environment is not a matter of religion or ethics or morality. These are luxuries, since we can survive without them. But we will not survive if we continue to go against Nature. – Dalai Lama
Many birds, like this red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus), are busy finding seeds and nuts for their meals.
Tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) White-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
Song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis)
Sometimes, it involves hanging upside down to snag a tasty morsel and their wings help in balancing.
Carolina chickadee Ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula)
If we unbalance Nature, humankind will suffer. Furthermore, as people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility towards others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than when we found it. – Dalai Lama
At Sandy Creek, a group of American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) flew down to investigate what had dropped to the ground from an overflowing garbage can but they soon flew off to seek more normal food elsewhere.
A great blue heron (Ardea herodias) was stalking the pond for fish; after I saw him (or her) snag a medium-sized fish, he turned his back so I saw the fishing technique from the rear.
The flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida) at Cane Creek still had a few blossoms; at Sandy Creek and Mason Farm, they offered bright berries. On one tree, they made me think of a movie-inspired alien peeking out of the branches with eyes on stalks.
Destruction of nature and nature resources results from ignorance, greed and lack of respect for the earth’s living things. – Dalai Lama
Up until the first morning frost this autumn, butterflies were still around, like this sleepy orange (Eurema nicippe); now that we have had several mornings of below-freezing temperatures, the butterflies are mostly gone as are the majority of bees. A scorpion fly (Panorpa) was in evidence at Cane Creek to my surprise.
In between bird spottings, Eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) chittered at me at all three parks. And I was pleased to see some ruby-crowned kinglets since the one that has enjoyed the suet at my house the past three years hasn’t appeared yet.
…until now, Mother Earth has been able to tolerate our sloppy house habits. However, the stage has now been reached where she can no longer accept our behaviour in silence. The problems caused by environmental disasters can be seen as her response to our irresponsible behaviour. She is warning us that there are limits even to her tolerance. – Dalai Lama
Some of the birds common in my yard are welcome sights at the nature reserves, too.
Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis)
Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) Yellow-rumped warbler (Setophaga coronata)
Northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis)
Chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina)
Many of the earth’s habitats, animals, plants, insects, and even microorganisms that we know of as rare or endangered, may not be known at all by future generations. We have the capacity, and the responsibility. We must act before it is too late. Dalai Lama
And the occasional or rare visitors to my yard are appreciated in the woods and fields, too!
Field sparrow (Spizella pusilla)
Rusty blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)
Swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) Golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa)
I feel that it is extremely important that each individual realize their responsibility for preserving the environment, to make it a part of daily life, create the same attitude in their families, and spread it to the community. – Dalai Lama
Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) Cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
What a great quote and slogan material:
Preserve the environment, make it part of your daily life and spread it to the community!