Flip Flop Exposure

It had been forever since planning a trek in Nature. The nature of self sufficiency had taken over my life, well one does need to eat would loudly think, yet deep inside knew I was drowning out much deeper thoughts. Suddenly a butterfly flitted in front of me, had to pull the car over to film her flight. She was breathtaking, gliding effortlessly as I followed her path. It was magical.

Thinking about metamorphosis and human natures evolution, nothing in a caterpillar even remotely looks like a butterfly and what it has to do to inherit wings?! Goodness, it needs to be sheltered in one place and hopefully not be destroyed in the process.  Like the butterfly, we need to distance ourselves from the the webs of sedentary ways.

Yes, it was good to be out when all of a sudden what do we see?? A wild hog and her piglet! She was very thirsty and it was an honor to film her. Ah to quench a thirst.

So much fun filming these two. Thirst must have been stronger than any felt fear of our presence. This one pic captured her eyeful of kindness. Such a sweet creature.

Recently cleaned up my eating habits; no sugar, alcohol or caffeine and a balanced diet of protein starch and vegi’s. Talk about ZEN! Not only did we shed the pounds, energy off the map and crystal clear thinking! Any fog has lifted permanently! Humble gratitude to my dear Sponsor and friend Susan and our mentor and founder Kay Shepphard.  Encourage anyone reading this to absorb her profound teachings, she is indeed a very live Saint here on Earth.

As we continued down the path, sweat streamed from our bodies, sun was scorching yet the bits of shade from the massive oaks shielded us. I heard my friend stumble on roots in the path, she had on massive hiking boots which was smart. No piercing branch, stone or hidden creature would penetrate her flesh.  I was sidestepping pools of water from the recent rains.  Spider webs dangling in mid air and these places could suck the shoe right off your foot.  It made me smile so. Today wanted nothing but comfort and this meant flip flop exposure to the elements. Kinda knew where we were hiking so took a chance on comfort and was rewarded with no bites of any kind. Just a gentle reminder, at the very end of our hike, heading back to the parking lot when an air fern fell in front of us and instantly wrapped around my foot!

Beauty is a harmonious relation between something in our nature and the quality of the object which delights us.Blaise Pascal

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Spending time in Nature has a way of exposing our attachments, our passions and our sense of balance. Ask any wild life photographer, look at their work and you will see their soul. Today would be another day of exposure. Another day of reflection and expounding gratitude.

There was no beauty found without risk. No life without it. Yes this is why I love spending time in Nature. Yes this is why I love living life curiously, gently approaching, touching,  the boundaries of Heaven.

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Living Life Free

Interesting month with intersections of the here and now vs then and why. Yes why does one live in the past with regrets? Maybe because it hurts to change. Paradigm shifts have a way of converging the old with the new and everyone knows ONE HAS TO GO, or do they? Maybe all it takes is to look at the situation differently.

Had a great month filming my clients; nature and humans. Interaction is similar; get to know the species and respect and honor their presence. Well isn’t that loving thy neighbor as thyself?

Find it incredibly fascinating how the nature of the moment, the lesson, presents itself. The answer is always there, right there where you are and most importantly how are you asking the question?

Went to my favorite beach for a photo shoot. Asking myself why it was special to me and immediately knew, all the Naturists I met were sincere. Stripping themselves of social stigmas, they presented authentically. It reminded me of times in my youth, taking my suite off to swim because “it felt better”, not understanding lex terrae;, the law of the land, at the age of three.

Well this particular day the sunrise was spectacular. My friend turned 30 and plans were to greet the new day with the early morning rays. We were not disappointed, maybe a bit displaced as we danced around the sand due to the presence of no-see-ums.  They certainly accelerated the shoot and made for some interesting shots despite the pestilence.

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Yup, never let any circumstance steal your joy!

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Puppy Love

“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.”  – Kinky Friedman

Life is certainly an adventure!! Today smiling thinking air fryers are amazing, ninja cookers and mixers incredible and as we totally enjoy consuming healthy foods, however nothing can compare to the joy given by our fuzzy feathered family!

Each one a rescue, (except Kiwi, my canary, he was a birthday surprise) each one a unique disposition, each one a very special place in our hearts. Our Kiwi warbles all day long and it reminds me of those childhood mornings, when nature would sing praise to the dawn.

Now Yoshi, Congo African Grey, oh my, linguistic genius and what a character! Birds are different, birds innately flock and most mate for life and usually take to one human in the household, this would be me. Never forget the time coming home from work and hear; “Your bird wouldn’t let me take a shit” And there he was; sitting atop of the toilet roll dispenser, all fluffed up and happy as a bird with a french fry.

Yup, Yoshi is quite the character and does not tolerate any barking from the dogs, well you can hear him in the background in the small clip below, yup that’s our bird!

They bring so much to our lives; like every facet of our family, reflection and thanksgiving enriches. I suppose what we remember and cherish in our journey reveals the state of our hearts. I am thankful for this time in my life, for the restoration and the reality. Love surrounds us.

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Today as we spend time inside, hearing about a year round battle of climate change, epic drought, wild fires, red tides and dangerous blue green algae, which is literally growing in our back yard, I tear up. Is it enough we cherish what we have? True, we may pass contentment while looking for victory.

Thankful for the moments, ready for change and love for the environment to grow in every household.   Amen.

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Untie the Wild Soul

Know anyone who lived their lives so completely transparent meeting them changes you forever?  Maybe this is what the Saints of old were like. Profoundly honest with living their truth, in their presence you become energized, yes you can’t fake authenticity; power to ride out polluted waves of change.

Think everyone deep down desires this in their lives, however there is a price. I see the price some people have paid as they are lying on a hospital bed. It’s so sad. Choices have left many in palsy, years of wrong choices will become evident eventually. However everyone has a gift buried deep within them. It’s called CHOICE. We can choose to forgive, we can choose to face our ugly selves, bathe or be bathed.

Sometimes I sit down to write and say WTF CRAP!! Carrying lots in my heart, wondering where I fit in with the climate change and pollution around me and wonder how I can truly make a difference. Of course we know the answer is to work on our own disease, our own weakness, leave the harsh judgment “out there” don’t pollute our inner sanctuaries. — sigh — yet I wonder, what is it going to take for the pollution to stop?

THEY say; NOT ENOUGH POLITICAL WILL for this to stop. Ahh and they say it will cost TAX PAYERS BILLIONS; again tax the people to fix their wrong doing. SOMETHING has got to give. So decided I will not consume sugar. Crazy?? You may think so, yet I’ve done my research. Refined sugar is poison. It is found in most engineered food; even SALT!! Laced with sugar; fructose, sucrose, these refined additives promote not only cravings but inflammation within your body and plaques on one’s brain.

As I observe nature and it’s beauty I wonder if many of these species will still be around when my grandchildren are my age? Tears stream and wonder if my thoughts and prayers are empty. Certainly they fill my heart with boldness. Thinking about the time trekking through the mountains of Montana, and a whisper comes from my heart; O Father please let my children and their children see this too!

Thinking on these thoughts when I am called to greet a visitor!! Well didn’t a little Red Bellied Woodpecker and then a speckled black and white Downy decide to Rap tap tap upon our tree. They came in quite close, didn’t appear to even be aware of our presence. Just adore it when Nature shows up unexpectedly, always teaching, always refreshing.

Grand-daughter watching a bird build a nest amongst my daughter’s tulips~

Did you know Woodpeckers tongue’s are quite long. This is how they reach the carpenter ants, termites and bark beetles! Their tongues wrap around their brain and cushions it as they pound their face into the tree, withstanding a force of 1,000 G’s without so much as a concussion or brain damage! Have a diagram of the anatomy of woodpecker brain in a previous post.

It’s time to breathe new life into an old project. Use your creative vision effectively and hammer out new ways to break through.   -Woodpecker

Living comes down to waking up, giving thanks and embracing the new day with freshness and vigour. Planted a little rose bush a few months back and she is BLOOMING! Picked some flowers and put it in my friends moms vase. She’s been gone a few years now, nothing but memories and old pieces strewn around his house in boxes. I found this one vase cleaned it off and put the fresh cuttings in it. When he saw it,  shared how his mom use to grow roses. He talks so fondly of her, wish I could have known her, but then I suppose I do, it’s his tender side.

As I was snapping a quick shot noticed purple in the backyard old oak tree. What was discovered was PURE ORCHID ABUNDANCE!! And all WILD!!! I also took a quick film of it; just incredible! And to think I never noticed them before!! Climate change suites them!!

Every fall, every let down, every pang of separation, humbles you. And the adventure begins again. “Layers of an onion” my mom would say. You know I think I cook with onions almost every night. And again I smile remember what my Aunt shared with me, how she too was abandoned and yet she persevered, used her art and created the most amazing shelter. She re-entered my life to teach me a valuable lesson.  NEVER GIVE UP! She taught me the essence of “a fear faced is a fear erased”.

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“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”  -Albert Camus

 

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Pollen Transporters

Lately my favorite pastime is sitting on the back porch and note nature’s presence. We’ve been visited by many squirrels, rabbits, red bellied wood peckers, Ibis, lizards, bumble bee’s and even saw a channel rat scamper by.

Did you know bumblebees usually have fewer individuals in their colonies and store less honey compared with the honeybee?!  They are one of few insects that have the ability to control their body temperature. The queen bee and her workers can shiver their flight muscles to warm themselves in cold weather. This allows them to fly and work at lower temperatures than most other insects. Makes sense why I usually see them around during cold fronts and not during summer months here.

We’ve had a bit of rain lately in Florida so the grass grows might fast and with it some weeds with pretty little purple flowers. This is when the bee’s catch my eyes. Every flower in our yard is attracting these pollinators!

My friend has this huge cactus in his front yard, one day we were totally mesmerized by all these winged visitors. Bee’s were plentiful and definitely attracted to this prickly source! Got a kick how neighbors and my friend were totally enthralled, such unique flowers and thankfully bees everywhere! It made me ponder about my friends uniqueness and how I loved him so.

Thinking about the transportation of knowledge and the importance of fertilizing our minds body and spirit, many dimensions of symbiotic communication. Even in nature you see the balance and maybe not so much with human alliances.

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Mutualism is where both partners benefit, commensalism, only one species benefits while the other is neither helped nor harmed and parasitism, the parasite gains, while the host suffers.  Learned this while observing a butterfly cocoon. This one chrysalis, died! Was shocked and research shared about the OE disease called Ophryocystis Elektroscirrha!  This protozoan parasite infects our beautiful Monarchs and the caterpillars contract it while eating!

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Happy to report did witness a healthy butterfly birth and have yearly visitations now. Whimsical nature, capturing the mutual and commesaltory process of stigma, yes this is how I pray my relationships with others will yield.

With this rain comes a torrential washing, washing away of unhealthy habits. Habits can be almost unconscious don’t you think? Like what you eat, routines of remembrance. Personal memory reacquaints my present with the past. Understanding my love   addictions;  like coffee.

Many years ago my dad offered me a cup when I was eleven, with 3 tsp of sugar and cream. It was the beginning of my sugar and cream addiction, or maybe that was Easter.  See, my dad, a traveling salesman, wasn’t home much. How I missed him and when he was home, he genuinely was happy to see me. We fished together, he bought me my first bee bee gun, he spent time with me, he made me feel cherished, he was FUN!

Yes coffee time was a special  time with dad.  It was a time of bonding. And I got really good at playing cards, certain he let me beat him which totally made me feel genius. We would have poker tournaments and card rally’s all throughout our adulthood. His grandchildren loved him. I miss my dad, drinking coffee kept him close. Sometimes when afraid to move forward, one adopt’s detrimental habits. A diet of caffeine is not a healthy staple. Neither is one living in the past. Nature lives in the present, it has to or they may die prematurely. Ahh Mr Lizard throats in, showing off to a little female on the other side of the tree, aggressive in springtime indeed! This is when I notice his throat attraction matching a glorious wild sunflower on the trail.

Never know what thoughts will come from certain exposures. Today smile again, thinking how much my choices have changed. It’s a narrow path, and as my friend stated most recently; “I never get what I want but somehow get just what I need”. – GBP 

Everything is growing wildly around me, this omnipotent rain it’s touching roots. What is sprouting up is completely amazing to me. May this reflected flight always spur one higher.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams

Father God, thank you omnipotent Creator for all that is, all that is yet to come, for the growth of your Nation on Earth, as it is in Heaven. Father as Eve entertained the Apple, and Adam bit in, Father may we be purified from inordinate tastes and sanctions. Father may we be delivered from the curse of greed and idolizing our past because of fearing to live in the now. Truly you give us our daily bread, delivering us from all intoxications which lead us away from divine light, making us parasites in this realm, a perverted DNA strand not meant to be. Let us seek to consume the natural so supernatural healing will thwart the political agendas; GMO’s, additives which are designed never to fulfill, only to yield a deeper, hunger, a deeper craving. Father without you, all peace is gone, all hope defiled. O Father, deliver us from every evil as we seek to draw from You, from Your tree of LIFE.  So kindness, caring and meekness of heart will rally up the warriors. As we run the good race, strengthen our bonds, our sinews, our organs. So Your will shall be completed in all our lives, and we can see You smile. O gracious Savior thank you, in YHWH י ה ו ה ‬precious name Jesus, we pray. Amen 

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Vibrant and Blue

Florida skys never disappoint, blues of all shades reflect depth and stability. “Symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven” Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body.

Upheavals in life sometimes find one looking up. Yes, time to pay it forward, knowing these investments “charge” the atmosphere, the momentum interlocks and predisposes growth in all forms. Life can be curiously strange.

Did you ever see Great Blue Heron Chicks in a nest? Yes, playfully learning. Love watching them, all of them, especially against a great blue sky.

 

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Well this month we would be assisting a man move from Florida to a home in Tennessee. His goal was to be close to family as he recently lost his best friend and dear wife of many years. How did he purchase his home?  Online of course! Soil unseen, hooked up by cyberspace, and it kinda made me think of internet dating.  You see the exterior ego reflection, yet have no comprehension of their soul atmosphere. Mind to mind and you think heart to heart until you meet them.

As I observed this gentleman detach, giving away furniture and holding onto noteworthy pieces, wondered how he would settle into his new domain.

We arrived and saw a yard unkempt, broken fences all around, pit bulls snarling, wow, such a contrast from the golf course manicured Florida lawn.  Greeted him with; “What beautiful trees and plants…it just needs some tender love and care”. Immediately he retorts; “A LITTLE??!!” Handkerchief to eyes he swept away rushing tears, you see, he just laid to rest that part of him; tender love and care.

 Love is not blind; it simply enables one to see things others fail to see. – Johnny Depp

Didn’t know this man really, he was Gary’s client, yet I felt his pain.

“Father in Heaven, Creator of the all, comfort this man today. Let us all see we are not alone, interconnected for oneness of purpose and reflected truth; authenticity in You. And Creator of the All, please let the suddenlies in life, like Saul’s light damascus, realign with a force on earth, as it is indeed in Heaven. We trevail but a season, our life demonstrating Your precepts, or not.  Oh Father of all, let us refresh as you have refreshed us…lead us onto the correct path. Amen”

We silently emptied the trailer of his belongings and bid him farewell. Most likely will never see this soul again and I pondered.

As we traveled down the mountains towards where we resided thought of the people we just met, the contrast was blatant. Dense greens and cold droplets awakened a memory from long ago. I too was wiping tears away. Sometimes we awake in a fog and barely recognize what was once so cherished. The mist moistens your face and you know you are still alive. Rejection will freeze you, move you must or apathy will consume you.

So home was our goal, love that word; home. Maybe this is why hot tears streamed.

“Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation.”Ronald Reagan

We saw pleasant valley’s laden with cows, cute little calves and then I saw the tags and became sad. Marked for slaughter they were and didn’t like where my thoughts were taking me. It was drizzling cold and through the rain they greeted us and I wondered why I wasn’t vegan yet.

 

My daughter and son n law raise poultry. We facetime weekly and their stories delight me. Actually they don’t raise poultry for money, they are their PETS!  Sure they eat the eggs, nothing like the taste of fresh eggs, yolk is so rich tasting.  Guess if I raised animals on a farm would have a very difficult time with the slaughter part, I digress. Here is a smidgen of what they get to see. Yes thankful so thankful for my precious family.

 

As we approached home Gary suggested we refresh ourselves by visiting the shoreline. Afterall, saltwater fixes everything! There was this one beach I loved because of the shelf of rocks where one could stand and observer the surfers. So thankful for his suggestion, just the medicine needed and actually visited the shore not once, not twice but three times this month. Amazing the swells, temperature and light captured.

 

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Set after set came and the waves and rush of wind was invigorating. Again tears were emerging, cleansing was here. I came across this quote and found it sobering.

“There is nothing, nothing, more sad than a surfer who used to surf” – Unknown author

Broken hearts, broken dreams make for a sluggish life. You’re gonna insulate yourself, depression, alcohol, food…..so many forms of addiction all to cloak a hurt.

Someone shared this and found it noteworthy; P R O G R A M = People Relying On God Relaying A Message. Truly only in giving does one receive a measure. Thinking about that while meandering down a gorgeous path in central Florida. SO so rich with life and refreshment!

 

Unless one chooses to walk the path, benefits will elude you. Of course you can always hold on to resentment and blame others, Carrie Fisher summed it up perfectly with her quote.

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die

Yes my friends, time to live in the present, after all that is exactly what it is!

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Synergy

Thinking about water, how it fills the container it’s in, sustenance, synergy, and riding in the waves of change. Water is of major importance to all living things; according to H.H. Mitchell, biochemist and author, (sigh, another amazing dead man), the brain and heart are composed of .73 water and the lungs are about .83 percent.

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My friend is a lover of the ocean. More time spent with him lets me see he is unafraid of sharks, fearless in many aspects. A strong swimmer all his life has made him a great navigator, he reads the tides well.

Some souls have a difficult time living well. Negative assaults have stunt one’s spirit, they become stuck. Hence their water consumption might be found mixed with vodka, and other agents of mayhem.  

Our kids and grands love playing mayhem, that playstation game;  In the wake of a global assault, the world has fallen under the rule of LEGION, a supervillainous criminal masterminds, or was it Tom Clancy’s Ps4 Rainbow X Siege  ?!  Ah it’s hard to keep up with their gaming choices.

Yes I digress, all I know is they excel and look forward to demolishing terrorist cells, extract hostages and cyberly conquering. Point being, my choice of fun is an adventure with mother nature. Love filming, then editing all whilst sipping in a good cup of hot java sprinkled with cinnamon. During these sessions it’s like absorbing truth. It quiets my soul.

When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future. – Bernard Meltzer

So yes, smiling here amidst nature and this writing. Again she reiterates there is no idleness within her. She is not interested in morals, in right or wrong, justice or injustice. Everything express action according to it’s nature! When one is hungry they seek food, when one is tired they rest, attraction is innate and nesting DNA expressed.

Watching them build is such an honor. Which sticks they use, mud application to reinforce the nest, the proper location for a nest is and how the female chooses their mate! Nope,  nature is never idle.

Been visiting a fave wilderness treks over several years and have observed something quite profound. Unlike Ithaca NY in Sapsucker woods, where nesting Great BLue Herons have their own tree, here in Florida these species actually share a habitat. Nests are recycled not only by the original builders but by other birds. This year was struck with speckles of white, however not a mix of Egrets and Herons, no today revealed an almost extinct breed; Wood Stork. All those nesting birds were indeed the Wood Stork.


Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Boynton Beach Florida.  And another great joy? Sharing the adventure with good friends!!

Love visiting these places as they fear not the human and wildlife thrives. Intimate shots can be captured with a point and shoot, though preference is a 500mm where one can peer straight into a nest without disturbing the occupants. You know, they still look right through me.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition– Steve Jobs

Wood Stork were once on the endangered list, sought after for their white plumes these prehistoric birds almost indeed became extinct. Love their incredible personality. Mating for life they come to the same breeding grounds and I think I remember one certain pair, well, would like to think I recognize them. Unlike humans they are not addicted to pornography, alcohol or prescription drugs, they do not forgo mates from their youth. Although do notice they will switch loyalties if they feel it would increase the chances of producing surviving offspring.

It was so rewarding, always is quite profound, treks in Nature always fulfill, always gives far more than expected. Like when coming home from the Ocean spied a wind surfer. We pulled on the side of the road to film and this man actually invited us up on his dock. The happenstance was again reiterating a truth. People who partake with nature, attempt to harness the energy ARE energized. This new acquaintance, Regis stated; “This keeps me young” and I concur! His overwhelming zeal and kindness signatured the whole day in one great breath. He was riding the water, playing with the wind! He was ALIVE!

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Maybe this is why I am attracted to photography. “The coupling affect and perception in this way has an immediate and automatic reflection effect”.  This energy, this reflection, attracts situations, like this day, led down a street (which I couldn’t even tell you what town we were in or where this road is today), and meeting a kite surfer, who profoundly signatured a thought into reality!

“To a young heart, everything is fun.” – Charles Dickens

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Indeed we attract what we need to place us on destiny’s path. Situations happen which may leave one initially paralyzed, yet remember; ALL things work together for good to them that love God…Indeed. In this truth I rest. Life certainly is interesting, and to be an active participant in the journey?!  PRICELESS.

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