Celebrating the wonders of all things natural!

Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

Living Choices

Choices. We make them everyday:

  • Go to school or sleep in
  • Brush your teeth or don’t
  • Work on your project or play on the computer
  • Be on time for the carpool or dilly dally
  • Do yoga or have a beer

And while the consequences of our choices range in intensity, from missing a day of school to getting a cavity or failing math, our decisions impact our lives and the lives of others in more ways than we know.

 “In every moment you make high vibrational choices,

you are supporting our collective consciousness.”

I came across this truth in something I read in passing a few months ago, and it struck me as being so profound, I needed to write it down and display the message to keep reminding me.

I strive to make the right choices when faced with several options, but sometimes (more times than I’d like to acknowledge), I realize in retrospect that I wish I’d made different choices, and I regret it. Despite wanting to live my life with “No Regrets,” the consequences of my decisions often cause me pain or sadness.

Sparking this pondering about choices is a recent decision I made that turned out so wrong. I’ve felt so mad at myself and wished I had followed my heart instead of listened to advice of an outside party.

So a couple days ago while walking my dog I noticed something moving on the ground in the dirt by a bush. It caught my eye and on a closer look, I saw it was a tiny baby bird! Oh my God! I couldn’t believe it. What do I do? Then, as I was kneeling next to it, I saw a second baby bird, moving around on the ground next to it! Another one! I thought about what to do. There was no nest around, and it seemed these birds had fallen from the tree.

I decided I’d take the babies home and take care of them. They were stretching out their wings and opening their beaks, so they seemed strong, but not quite ready to fly. I carefully placed them on the “mutt mitt” I had in my purse, and carried them gingerly home, tugging on Ginger the whole way not to do her business as her bag was otherwise employed for now! photo 2

I got them home and my daughter and I found a shoebox, filled it with some grass and natural materials, and I cut down a small branch from our ficus tree that a hummingbird had made a nest in last Spring, but which was now empty. They were a little tight, but they fit comfortably in the nest! These precious little creatures were so tiny and vulnerable. I gave them a few drops of water using a q-tip, which they took, and I even felt their claws holding onto my hand when I had put them into the nest.

They seemed happy, and were resting nicely in the nest as I figured out what to do and how to take care of them. photo 1 I thought they might be hummingbirds, b/c of the green color on their back, but I couldn’t be sure. I called a vet, who referred me to another vet, the Conejo Valley Vet Hospital. The receptionist who answered was very helpful and advised me the best thing to do would be to put them back where I found them b/c the mother would care for them, even on the ground. “Don’t worry about your smell on them; the mother won’t care at all.”

Wanting to do the best thing for the birds, and thinking of their worried mama, I did what she told me and placed them back near where I’d discovered them, but closer to a tree where they wouldn’t be so out in the open. I prayed they’d be okay, and my daughter and I waited around to see if the mother would find them. She didn’t seem to fly right down to them, but there were lots of birds around, so we figured she’d locate them and they’d be taken care of.

You know how this ends, right? And I hate this part. When I went back to check on them the next morning, they were out of the nest and at first I didn’t see them, but then I noticed 2 small lumps swarming with black ants. How tragic. Pointless. Sad.

And to think I could have probably given them a chance, had I kept them and dropper fed them. Why oh why didn’t I follow my motherly instinct to care for these baby birds in need instead of following the advice of a third party over the phone?

I meant well. But I’m sorry little birdies. The next time I’m faced with a choice like this, I’ll know better what to do. Then, my learning may help another to live.

Forces of Nature ~ Reeling in the Real

I love Joseph Campbell, influencer of Star Wars’ George Lucas and a student of Carl Jung, he just has this incredible way of putting into words life’s many esoteric mysteries… and I love how the Universe once in a while “shows us the light in the strangest of places when we look at them right”…

As this angstful eclipse energy – and Mercury retrograde too – ramps up emotions so that they’re spinning intensely, keeping our balance while riding these waves of seismic activity is an art.

Campbell (and yoga) help me find that sweet spot, hidden in the barrels of the rolling waves, without being crushed when they crash, by shedding light on and making sense of our emotions to make it easier to understand and reflect on why they are what they are. In his “Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion,” Campbell writes about a certain male fish that has a dark upper body and a light lower body, so that he is camouflaged and safe from danger when looking up or down at it. But… and here’s the good part:

 “When this particular fish is in love, his color shifts so that he’ll be visible. This puts him in danger, you see, and it seems to be symbolic of this love thing. You give up self-protection when this other comes along and you are seized with erotic compulsion.”

Despite the risks, fish do not control their natural instincts so that they can stay invisible and safe. No, without even thinking about it (probably), they change colors and take their chances.

While we humans can often learn some lessons from nature, we still get to decide if we’re going to go with the flow of our instincts or play it safe and resist these forces of nature.

While we never know where love will go, if we don’t try, we’ll never know (someone said; I’m saying it today, and others have said it before, like Smokey Robinson and The Miracles and, of course, the Jerry Garcia Band):

What are you fishing for? And, even more, when you catch it, can you reel it in and keep it real, without killing it?

Circles of Love

How can you not smile when you see the joy of these creatures!? Houdini, Hannah’s Holland Lop bunny, loves running circles around her. Hannah read that bunnies do this when they love you and are happy to see you.

Our dog Ginger runs circles around the house when we get home… love how our pets are so happy to be with us. Love & Joy abound… around and around…

Who or what do you run circles around?  If you don’t run circles around anything or anyone, maybe it’s time to find your circle of Joy. In Joy, you will find it, if you look.

The Eternal Hum

As I’ve been turning my backyard into a natural sanctuary, adding plants and cleaning up the clutter, making it a nice place to sit and relax, I noticed a hummingbird fly in and check out the area. I decided I wanted to put up a hummingbird feeder so they would come and I could feed them and enjoy their company.

I put a request for a hummingbird feeder on FreeCycle, an awesome service where people can offer and request items, all for free. The next day, I had an offer to my request and I went by and got the feeder. I was thrilled and put it up that day!

Immediately, the hummingbirds found it and have been regularly visiting us, enjoying their newfound food. I love watching them. They are so beautiful and light. So many of them have unique coloring and markings. I marvel at them and just feel a sense of joy and a quickening of my heart whenever they come visit our yard. They somehow make me feel more connected to nature when they come around. Kiwi

I was sitting outside in my comfy chair given to me by one of my best friends, reveling in the little piece of paradise I was creating, watching the hummingbirds, our Holland Lop rabbit, named Houdini, and our sweetheart puppy dog, Ginger, and just thinking how happy I was with these 3 Hs: hummingbirds, Houdini, and hound!

Then, yesterday in yoga class, I was surprised and thrilled when a sweet little hummingbird showed up, peering in at us through the wall-length windows in our second story yoga studio. The lithe little bird hovered at the windows, getting all of our attention, and lightening our hearts, making us smile and comment on the sweetness. It felt very magical, like he was communicating with us.

And, today, listening to a radio show on Hay House radio, as I sometimes do while working, the host, Michael Bernard Beckwith, commented out of the blue during a caller’s question, that he had just seen a hummingbird fly by and that whenever he sees them, it reminds him of his mother. It touched my heart, and with my attention on repeated events, I decided to research if there is any symbolism to the hummingbirds.

Of course, there is! One of the most striking facts I learned is that the hummingbird’s wings move in an infinity motion… signifying eternity. And several people commented that hummingbirds have appeared during their parents’ passing, reminding them that their parents’ spirits were free, happy, and ever-present.

In his blog, A Light in the Darkness, Matthew James wrote about hummingbird symbolism, noting, Because of its speed, the hummingbird is known as a messenger and stopper of time. It is also a symbol of love, joy, and beauty. The hummingbird is also able to fly backwards, teaching us that we can look back on our past. But, this bird also teaches that we must not dwell on our past; we need to move forward. When the hummingbird hovers over flowers while drinking nectar, we learn that we should savor each moment, and appreciate the things we love.”

 

He goes on to say that “The hummingbird has powerful spiritual significance. In the Andes of South America the hummingbird is a symbol of resurrection. It seems to die on cold nights, but comes back to life again at sunrise.

 The hummingbird is the creature that opens the heart. When the hurt that caused us to close our hearts gets a chance to heal, our hearts are free to open again.

With hummingbird consciousness, we learn the truth of beauty. Our life becomes a wonderland of delights in flowers, aromas and tastes. We laugh and enjoy creation, we appreciate the magic of the present moment, and the magic of being alive.

The hummingbird teaches us the medicinal properties of plants and how to work with the energy of flowers to heal ourselves and others. Hummingbirds teach us fierce independence. They teach us to fight in a way where no one gets hurt. They teach us courage. Having the courage to refrain from creating new trauma by communicating non-violently toward ourselves and others is an important part of healing. Recovering lost parts of ourselves enables us to become healthily independent.

It is not commonly known that the fluttering wings of the hummingbird move in the pattern of an infinity symbol – further solidifying their symbolism of eternity, continuity, and infinity.

By observing the hummingbird, we see they are seemingly tireless. Always actively seeking the sweetest nectar, they remind us to forever seek out the good in life and the beauty in each day. Amazing migrators, some hummingbirds are known to wing their way as far as 2,000 miles to reach their destination. This quality reminds us to be persistent in the pursuit of our dreams, and adopt the tenacity of the hummingbird in our lives.”

I also just realized that a hum sounds a lot like the Om sound, which is an ancient, vibratory sound that induces healing.

I’m so grateful for these amazing creatures showing up in my life and delighting, teaching and reminding us to playfully enjoy our lives and pursue our dreams without end. Just what I needed, at the perfect time. Awesome nature.

Tuning in to the Animal Multi-Verse

There’s something about animals that has always intrigued me. Kids and animals seem to have a natural affinity for one another, maybe b/c their spirits are so pure, they relate.

Pets often take on the role of child sitter or protector, when we’re young. Image It’s a natural instinct. My dog, and I’m sure others too, has an instinct to go and fetch my daughter’s polar bear that she sleeps with. Every morning, after my daughter gets out of bed, Ginger heads to her room to get Polar and brings him out to the living room to cuddle on the couch. Image Is that the sweetest natural awe or what?

More and more lately, I’m seeing examples of interspecies love and communication. I’m wondering if this is a sign of expanding consciousness throughout the planet? As our paradigm shifts, the old story about the cat eating the bird, and the dog chasing the cat is changing. Image

“Wild” and domestic animals are taking care of one another. catanddeer

chimpanddogs When this little chimp’s mom died, a zoo employee decided to take it home to give it some extra lovin. What a surprise to see where the loving came from!

huskyandtuxedokit This sweet kitty was also rescued and cared for by a sweet Siberian Husky, who even nursed the kitty! There’s a video of them too.

dogandhorse In Friendship,

Caring henandpuppy

and Cuddling, pupandkit

these animals remind us that no matter what we look like, or what we’re called, loving and caring for each other is a universal song we can all sing! Tune in!!!

Throwing Stones, or The Bird

Consider the middle finger. It’s essential and useful, typing the “i” and the “e” on the keyboard, for just 2 important uses, but we know it has even more power than that!

When the middle finger is held up, and the other fingers are down, adrenaline often surges.

I’m no exception; despite my “Live Aloha” bumper sticker (and attitude, I like to think), when I noticed a middle finger being held up at me by a smug, hiding his face arrogant young guy in the backseat of a passing Beamer with 2 other guys in the front seat, accompanied by a loud incoherent yell at me, I was immediately enraged.

“Gotta f–king problem?!” I shouted at the arrogant bastard as I sped past them holding up my own middle finger. WTF?! There I was just driving along, and boom, a middle finger flashed at me completely flared my emotions. I didn’t recognize the guys; nor do I know of many people who would be pissed at me and give me “the bird.”

It launched me into a contemplation of our reactions and emotions to other people; we can be so affected, or not. Maybe overcoming my natural instinct here to become angry and strike back and letting their stupid action have no affect on me was my lesson there.

Deep sigh. I ruminated over it the entire 16 mile drive to the beach. Sunset.

After the sun set, I attempted to throw the ball to my dog as we walked down the beach (seems my throwing arm could use some improvement)… when I saw this boy, who thankfully, also needed some improvement in his throwing skills.

“That’s mean!” I said to him, twice b/c he (acted like?) he didn’t hear me the first time. The boy, about 16 or so, was throwing stones at seagulls. He almost hit one as I was walking toward him. “Don’t throw rocks at the birds!” I admonished him and his friend, who looked astonished that some random girl with a dog on the beach would correct him. He looked at me and didn’t answer.

His parents, I’m assuming, were a few steps beyond him, and as I took a few more steps, the dad raised his eyebrows and lifted his head toward me. “Do you think it’s okay for him to be throwing rocks at the birds?” I asked him.

“He didn’t hit the birds,” he answered.

“Well he almost did, and he tried,” I insisted. “It’s not cool. I don’t understand why you guys would come to enjoy the beach and throw stones at the birds. It’s just not cool,” I said, tugging on my dog’s leash and grabbing her ball that she had dropped in front of the dad, oblivious to the exchange I guess.

I walked on, shaking my head. Well, at least nobody got hurt. The bird flew away, and I too will learn to rise above throwing stones…  Image

the lessons of a bird.

Good Things Come

I get so busy. I finally took my pup for a walk on the trails we love after more than a couple weeks… it felt so wonderful to be out in nature, unwinding and walking. When we got to the water dish (left out so generously by the state park personnel), which is our hike’s halfway point, I decided to sit down and rest in the shade for a few minutes.

It’s in these times of rest and still relaxation that things often come to us. Hence the saying, “the fruits of idleness are more important than the fruits of labor.”

Idylness… as in Idyllic.

I have never had this happen to me before! At first I wondered if the butterfly was sick b/c it was acting so out of the ordinary… crawling up my leg and all! But as soon as I reached out to “help” it, it withdrew, then sat for a while, flapping its wings while on the ground. Then, it took off, flying into the beautiful garden next to us.

Good things come to those who wait, or in my case, rest.   And then we can fly!

Tuning In

On a recent visit to the California Academy of Science, I was amazed by the animals, not only because they are exotic, rare and beautiful, but because they seemed to be watching us as much as we were gazing at them.

They seemed to be interested in us too, which is surprising to me as I’d never noticed how the animals interacted with the people staring at them through the glass before. Looking at us, they seemed to communicate and pay attention, maybe even feeling awe at the beautiful humans looking at them.

 

 

I first had the thought when this ancient-looking eel noticed me staring intently at it and started coming out of his hole in the rock to get a better look, or allow me to see him (her?) better. He (feels like a him) came all the way out of his hole, then went back in and stuck his head out again.

 

 

Then the  frogs made direct eye contact.                   

 

 

As did the fish:

 

The rattlesnake was more active than any I’ve ever encountered (thank God glass separated us!). As we approached its enclosure, he came toward the glass and waved his head around in front of us! Wow! Very exciting to see the way snakes move quickly and how they are able to sling their triangle-shaped heads around.

 

Just when I thought I might be imagining all of these animals communicating with me, I stepped between a man and a gila monster to dodge the crowd. “Excuse me,” I said to the man, wearing a hat and holding a cane. “I didn’t mean to step in front of you.”

He smiled at me. “He’s looking at you,” he told me, pointing toward the gila monster who had walked across his habitat and was moving his head back and forth in my direction.  Confirmation by the man with the white hair and sweet smile.

“I know! I’m like, ‘wow, scary!'” Smiling too, I walked on, eager to communicate with each one of the creatures, wanting to see them all (much to my teenage son’s chagrin!).

Tuning in reveals even more of nature’s awes!

Puppy Love

Image

Animal companions add so much to our lives. My dog Ginger is such a blessing in so many ways. She is always happy to see me, hugging me when I get home, and same with the kids. Whenever she sees anyone she knows, she gets so excited and welcomes them with such pure joy.

You can’t not smile around her. Dogs are constant companions, forever loyal, loving and protective too.

Ginger is our first alert; deterring any kind of evil from entering our home.

She also gets me out to exercise ~ we love our hikes! Dogs are truly (wo)man’s best friend. Loyal, loving, protective, playful and perfect. Psychic too.

The connection and understanding is amazing. I told Ginger today to “fix her leash” and she lifted first one leg, then the other to untangle her leash; she truly understands.

The link between humans and animals is a natural wonder I am so grateful to experience. Dog is God spelled backwards, after all.

Image

Did I mention she’s part human too? Connection…