Friday, April 30, 2010

Gulf Coast Blues

Another tragedy has struck the Gulf Coast and this time there is no going back. The black poison that is flooding across the beautiful waters of the Mississippi delta will not be cleaned up and it will never go away. Not in our lifetimes. The fishing industry there is over and the way of life that has been handed down from generations will never be what it was.

As the first of the oil makes landfall, the enormity of this horror will become apparent. The devastation that this will create is as yet unimaginable, but for the fish and birds, clams and seaweed, the results are already being felt.

Obama has put a halt to all new drilling, so there is a bit of good news. The government had recently approved the Gulf of Maine to be a new drilling area and I believe that a halt on new drilling is a wise and appropriate move. Perhaps we shall now be spared the ecological devastation that will now be visited upon our southern neighbors. Though the spill is so large and so unwieldy that it could even round the peninsula of Florida and touch as far north as the North Carolina shoreline.

I am thankful for the pristine waters of Maine, yet this drama reminds me of how fragile and connected we all are and how what we do and don't do IS important. Today I'll spend the day in my garden, giving thanks for my Blessings and appreciating the gifts of the Earth. I'll carefully pull the stray Dandelions from the garden soil and save the roots for tea, add the leaves to the beans I'm cooking for dinner and boil the flowers for my special Dandelion Wine. I'll not drive and perhaps light a beeswax candle tonight and turn off the lights. I'll cry too and mix my tears with the sweat of my brow and water the newly planted peas. I'll do what I can today to be mindful of the Earth and be thankful for my life here on it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Full Moon in Scorpio

The sun pushes past the wispy Southwest clouds and sprinkles light on the new green, gold and bronze leaves in the woods. A Pileated Woodpecker claims his breeding ground as he zigzags here and there and drills his awesome beak against the loudest tree.

The Shadbush, Forsythia, Lungwort, Grape Hyacinth and Daffodils all rule the garden while the early purple Azalea begins to show a little color. The Dandelion flowers are like droplets of sunshine and the Hobble Bush is glorious at the edge of the woods.

Our family of Turkeys wander and strut and I think I saw a young one... already? The nesting habits of the great birds is a mystery to me, but I think it would be early for fledglings.

My own nesting pair is diligent in their brooding, though it has been suggested that Joey may be sterile...! I shudder at the possibility, but I have left this up to Mother Nature, so what shall be shall be. The question lingers non the less. I had saved the old eggs from the first clutch, for use as a Tomato fertilizer - one in each hole. Now I intend to go and open them to see if any Life was growing within. Hang on - I'll be back to let you know the results.....

Well - they all looked like unfertilized eggs. Simple yellow yolks with nothing resembling an embryo. Could they all have failed to grow at all? It seems unlikely - and this could be why she keeps spitting out eggs... I need to do some more reading. Well at least I see now why I saw no veins when I candled the eggs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Dozen or So

Here's a picture of the future nestlings. It's a full 11 by my count. Olivia has been laying all month with this Thursday, (today is Monday) being the first possible hatch day. The Full Moon is Wednesday.

Now we wait. And hope for no more eggs. Olivia is definately determined to be a mother. She has my blessings.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our Sacred Vessels

How precious and fragile these Earthly vessels we call 'bodies' are and how extraordinary it is that they can heal and be healed in so many miraculous ways. When one is young, the vigor of youth creates a (false) sense of vitality, an impossible feeling of imortality. We know that the foods we eat and the liquids we drink may heal or harm, nourish or poison. Yet we rarely consider or concern our rational minds with such banter. We over eat foods that do not nourish, we crave snacks that harm us, we drink manufactured sugars and alcohols that our bodies have no idea how to process.

As we age, our fabulous immunities begin to break down. As water wears away stone after a time, so does poison break down intricate pathways and allow the growth and proliferation of diseases and maladies. Only when we experience the pain, suffer the worry and realize the long practiced error of our ways do we try to recompense. Yet many times it is too long gone, too much damage has occurred or the acceptance of ingrained bad habits seems to be the easier path.

Most of us struggle with this dilemna - the proper care and feeding of our Earthly vessels requires thought and preparation, time and money. Should I grab a $1 burger at the 'Donald's or try to create a healthy meal for $2? Carrot or cookie? Wine or water? Cigarette or 3 deep breaths? We all ask and we all decide for ourselves what is right for our bodies and what we want to create, in ourselves and in the world.

I struggle daily for my health. I'm a kidney cancer survivor, a diabetic with a back damaged by years of heavy work, high blood pressure, liver disease, nerve damage and poor vision. My eyes have been a life long concern as I am really legally blind without glasses.

Extra floaters with flashes of light and a spidery blackness on the periphery of my vision prompted me to (what else) check it out on the internet. A possible tear in my retina(!) was the outcome and a quick call to my eye doctor (Dr. Sielbel in Damariscotta) confirmed the diagnosis. I was quickly ushered into the laser room where I was basically welded back together. Not a pleasant experieince (or pain free), yet I felt such a sense of relief at the ability of this branch of the medical profession to be able to save the vision in this eye that I am in a little bit of awe.

Today, on Earth Day, I thank my physical connection to the Earth, for she is my Mother and I am her daughter and together we grow and heal. My Daffodils appear a bit brighter today as the sun shines hot and the Black Flies rule the yard. I am grateful for the sight of them and may you find your own healthy path and connection to the Earth. Blessed Be.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Moon and Black Flies

The first Black Flies of the year have hatched, the Daffodils are madly blooming and the grass needs mowing. The early Spring is a blessing with an underlying curse I fear. The weather tends to even out and it makes me question what's ahead for us this summer...

Joey and Olivia now have 6 eggs and are tending them with a unending source or love and devotion. I hope some of these hatch. I feel they should be rewarded for their diligence, but I am not in charge of this process. My role is spectator and cheering squad.

Doctor visits and trips to Portland have been the norm this month, though all has been for the best and gone as well as one can hope. Now I'm having trouble with flashes and black floaters in one of my eyes. I'll rest until tomorrow, but I'm worried about a detaching retina....Of course today was a garden planting day, and I've been told to be very still and to not lift anything or turn my head quickly, while I wait for my appointment tomorrow.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rebirth of Spring

The Cockatiels inspire me with their tenacity and capacity for love. Olivia and Joey were diligient in the setting of the eggs. Not more than a mere moment would pass without one parent tending to them. They guarded and fussed, turned and watched. In spite of it all, the precious eggs still failed to hatch. I felt a twinge of guilt as I struggled to find the reason.

The nesting material was shredded, crinkled paper and it separated during the sitting process, allowing the eggs to end up perched upon the cold wooden floor. Thick paper towels were added underneath, when the problem was noticed, but the room is cold and it's impossible to know how long the eggs had been chilled.

I grieved for the lost little souls that were never hatched, as well as for my lost Lucy. Yet Life goes on in spite of my wishes, wants and desires. The bonded pair of birds never hesitated. The world would go on and they knew what needed to be done. After the time for hatching had come and gone, Olivia emerged from the nesting box and loudly encouraged Joey to come out and preform his husbandly duties.

And with that, a new cycle of laying has begun. The older eggs were removed, although one appeared to be still viable, so it was left as a companion to the brand new egg. A heating pad was slipped behind the box and the wall to add some warmth on cooler nights. Now we await another birth, another song and another box of joy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Goodbye Sweet Lucy

May we meet again some day -
Where blue birds fly
and rainbows stay.
Thank you for your light and love,
You were like Heaven's little dove,
I'll miss your sweet and gentle ways
and how you used to flap and play.
Blessings for your journey home,
with soft winds sighing where you roam.

Easter Eggs

Easter on Windsong Way, here in midcoast Maine, was a glorious Spring day. The sun shone bright and clear, with purple, yellow and white Crocus sparkling like newly laid eggs in the freshly raked garden beds. The first Daffodils opened in time for the lighting of the Easter candles at dinner, where we toasted Life and Spring and were thankful for our sliced spiral ham.

Olivia and Joey still sit in silence, and I fear that the eggs got too cold in the box I set up for them. The nesting material of shredded paper was so loose that the eggs were laying on the wooden floor of the box. We put pa per towels on the bottom, but it may have been too late. I'll wait another week and remove the eggs, so she can lay a second clutch. There will be steady supply of eggs from this healthy pair and Mother Nature knows best.

There is a sadness to report - we've lost our quiet, gentle Lucy bird. She became egg bound apparently and was not able to survive an impacted egg. Though her time with us was short, I will cherish the memory of training her to sit on my finger and her determination as she
made her way in the world with her crippled foot.

On a cherrier note, our friend Frank is visiting with his Cockatiels thru the holiday weekend, and his Mama bird laid an egg on Easter morning - a real, true Easter Egg! He gave them a little cardboard box, which has been chewed to shreds with a lovely new entrance thru the roof. Frank is now building them a wooden box while we wait for the shingle delivery, to fix our damaged roof.

We escaped the flood damage that other parts of the state recieved, but the wind damaged our roof and shredded the greenhouse plastic. We retacked and taped the greenhouse cover and I planted Pansy and Pepper seeds with P. (my 5 year old neighbor) yesterday.

My seed sowing will wait 'til after the New Moon on the 14th. For today, with the Moon in Capricorn, I'll concentrate on cleaning out the garden beds. It's an Earth sign and good time for creating structure. The 4th Quarter, which occurred this AM at 5:37, is a time for cleaning and banishing unwanted energies - perfect for weeding!