Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Join the 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count!
















So here's a cool thing I just stumbled upon.  According to http://gbbc.birdcount.org/about/

"Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.

Now, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds."

And anyone can participate! Here's the scoop...

The Great Backyard Bird Count
February 17-20, 2017

For at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 17-20, 2017, simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as you wish! Then submit your info to eBird.

Click here for more info on how to get started.

I'll post here what I count from Feb 17-20.  All winter we've been seeing lots of titmouse, black-capped chickadee, various woodpeckers and all sorts of other cool birds!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sierra Mist

So, check this out.  I took this photo of a wild turkey bunch this past summer after a rainy afternoon.  They had come fluffing through the back yard. Super fun to watch.  And yes that's a very white hen in the middle of em all.



Look who's come to visit!

I laughed the other day...because each morning...when I walk out into the kitchen...one of the first things I do is look out the kitchen window.  Why? Because you never know what you might see around the bird feeder.

This day...it was a visit from some of the same wild turkey flock!  Imagine how fun it was to see these HUGE birds pecking and scratching about the base of the bird feeder.  It didn't appear that the local winter songbird population was too thrilled by the invasion (I imagine in the land of itty bitty songbirds...wild turkeys are HUGE...and intimidating...so they kept their safe distance watching from the nearby tree branches).

But I mention all this mainly because there's something of note here.  Sierra Mist!!!

Notice in the below photo the grayish hen just to the left of the far right birdhouse post with white wings.  Enter Sierra Mist. Yes, I've deemed her with this name as a sort of spin off from Snow White...combined with the military phonetic alphabet version of Sierra Wiskey...which then has morphed into Sierra Mist.  Seems like a fitting name somehow.

I watched her for a while and noticed that she appeared to be the matriarch of this bunch.  Maybe the "mother" of some of these hens?

Regardless, these guys are super fun to watch. No idea how their feet aren't freezing from marching about in the snow, but doesn't seem to bother them at all.

I went outside shortly after this photo was taken and dumped a bunch more bird seed on the ground around the feeder.  Who knew the feeder could become it's own nature watching "cable channel"?

Until next time....keep your eyes peeled...ya never know what might come visit.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Attachment



I found this article I wrote in November 2011 and I'm amazed at how pertinent it is today...still!

Black-Capped Chickadee
Moving often weaves a certain knowledge.  There’s a certain excitement that comes from learning a new place, meeting new people, learning new skills, leaving behind the security blanket of “the known”.  An attachment to these things then grows and many times we learn to identify with them as who we are.  Creating this feeling of without them…we lack, we lose.

I’ve found that most people seem to think that relocating is a very brave thing to do.  Maybe this is true. Maybe this stems from fear of losing oneself in reaching out for what is new…the re-identifying factor.

Speaking from a place of gypsy-ness, from that of adventure-seeker: When you stay in one place (typically referred to as settling down) your world evolves from dynamic to static.  One in which everything is defined and mapped out (by you).  This mapping takes time.  It takes time to get to know people, to have experiences with them at work and at play.  Birthday gatherings, cookouts, conflict and resolution, etc.  Then of course there’s that of learning your favorite new places.

Part of the adventure in moving is exploring those things all over again.  Defining a new map if you will.  But where it gets difficult for me is letting go of those previous favorites.  Letting go of my attachment to places, people, experiences, work environment, swimming holes, eateries, all of it.  

Do we leave people, places or experiences behind? Or do we take a part of them with us and leave a part of ourselves behind?

Some days I have to institute some serious mental discipline to not linger in the memories of those people and places from the past.  For in doing so, I sense that I’m blocking from entering my door even greater experiences, people and places.

Let it flow.  Just like the wild bird carries nothing with them on their flight from tree to tree, I too must let it be, leave it be and not attempt to fill my backpack with things that are better left where they are.  Because to drag them along with me inhibits us both.  So embrace the mere memory of these things.  Embrace all that it is where you found it. If you pick it up be sure to put it back where you found it.  Someone else may come along behind you and receive the same blessing from it.  And it will be much lighter if I don’t carrying this along with me and when the next great thing comes along I have the space to allow it to float through. 

This is my story.  Let it be.




 

It's the Holiday Season...with the whoop-de-do...

and all those other fun Christmas lyrics.

Two of my personal favs...

...don we now our GAY apparel, fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, make the Yule-tide GAY.

Gotta love that Christmas cheer ya know...makes me smile EVERY time I hear these songs play on the radio.  The season where gays are actually included in the celebrating!  Yay gay!

In the meantime...Merry Christmas to you and yours!!





can still help....


















Still much to do with clean up efforts and assistance for those who lost everything in the wildfires that ripped through Gatlinburg on Monday, November 28th, 2016.

Want to help...easy peezy. 

For only $15.00 you can help AND receive one of these super cool tshirts.

Click here to purchase your Smokies Strong tshirt and help!

This is a collaborative effort on behalf of WBIR TV in Knoxville.  Having already raised $200,000 for the Red Cross they are now splitting the proceeds from the sale of this shirt between the Dollywood Foundation's My People Fund and Friends of the Smokies.

Click here to purchase your Smokies Strong tshirt and help!

Stay strong Smoky Mountain Friends!! 

Don't know anything about it...and want to learn more about what happened?

visit http://www.knoxnews.com

or click here to read the latest

 

Saturday, December 3, 2016












Said to be the worst wildfire to blanket the Smoky Mountains in over hundred years much has unfolded since Monday night primarily in the Gatlinburg area.

For those who don't know Gatlinburg, Wears Valley and Pigeon Forge was picked apart by wildfires that ravaged down from the Chimney Tops (in the Smoky Mtn National Park) in a matter of hours Monday night.  This due primarily to the unprecedented 80 mile an hour winds that churned up hot embers like a blow torch.

To read accounts, see photos and watch videos of the before, during and current coverage visit the following:

http://www.wate.com  (ABC channel 6)
http://www.knoxnews.com (Knoxville News Sentinel)
http://www.wbir.com (NBC channel 10)


Ironically, if you haven't heard of the aweful events unfolding throughout East Tennessee among other areas of the south ravaged by draught and subsequent wildfires take a look at this interesting read:

The South Is On Fire And National Media Couldn’t Care Less

(http://thefederalist.com/2016/11/29/south-fire-national-media-couldnt-care-less/)

Now I'm starting to read of criticism of how the local leadership handled the evacuation of the city of Gatlinburg (of which I'm sure will likely unfold in many other ways too) http://www.knoxnews.com.

What city (besides those who have previously experienced wildfires ripping through their city limits) has the experience and plans and policies in place for such a life-changing event?

Hind sight is always 20/20.  But let's be realistic about this...these fires came crashing into the city of Gatlinburg in a matter of hours.  There wasn't time to send out patrols to find the safest evacuation routes and then direct folks in an orderly fashion out of the city.  And let's just say that the cell phone alert system did work...who knows if this would have helped or hindered evacuations?

Ironically, the people did it!!  Those who were there...upon receiving word in some form or fashion got out...and helped others to get out too.  Horrifically, some lost their lives in the process.  (currently the death toll is at 13). Pets scattered and were separated from the ones who loved them the most.  (some of which perished also).  And yet...in spite of the losses there was also much...escape....survival...and rescue.

This is community as I know it.  When circumstances suddenly become a fight-for-our-lives...the people join together and help each other survive.  It's what people do.  Contrary to what the media seems to think (that we can't do anything on our own accord...through our own efforts...without local authorities taking us by the hand).  Don't get me wrong...fire fighters and police worked tirelessly through the whole ordeal and still are putting forth unbelievable effort.  But let's also commend the community itself for its own survival!

The events that unfolded since Monday night in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (and the immediate surrounding areas) are a testament to human fortitude. Let us never forget...the people are what makes this nation great!

Want to help...buy a t-shirt!  Proceeds benefit the Red Cross to help those in East Tennessee.
This is a collaboration between local NBC channel 10 in Knoxville and the Red Cross.
click here
http://www.wbir.com/store





Monday, November 28, 2016

my heart is wrenching....

for all my dear friends in the Smoky Mountains.

http://scribble.knoxnews.com/Event/Smoky_Mountain_Wildfires

just learned of the tragic news of forest fires surrounding Gatlinburg.

I am praying for rain.  Much rain.

Peace and love to you  my friends.

Sad sad news this night.