Sep 20
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I recently returned from a cruise sailing seven nights up the coast of British Columbia and Alaska. What an amazing, breath-taking journey of scenery, wildlife and, of course, birds.

There were plenty of creatures to spy from the ship and shore. However, one of the coolest things I experienced was during the overnight hours.

I stayed up one night from 10 pm to 2 am while we cruised the Inside Passage. I sat at the bow of the ship on the top deck 150 feet above the water. The area was black but for the ship’s lights. For hours I listened to birds pass in the night calling out their single-noted flight calls. I heard thrushes, sparrows and shore birds.

There were some birds flying into view from the ship’s lights like warblers and sparrows. They would slow down and look at the ship and then continue on their journey. Some birds stopped on the ship for a brief time like the Song Sparrows I found browsing the deck for food.

But, the coolest bird that night was about 1:00 am. A hummingbird flew out of the darkness, circled over my head and continued cruising on its southerly journey.

How cool is that!

Feb 14
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If you believe in folklore, then Valentine’s Day has been about the birds since the very beginning!

In a practice dating back to the ancient Romans and Greeks, the flight patterns, songs and behavior of birds were used as a basis for divining the future and their meanings were often interpreted as prophecies about love and relationships.

But it doesn’t stop here.

Medieval folklore says that birds choose their mates on February 14, so it was a natural conclusion to choose the same date for our own celebration of love and fidelity.

As this folklore evolved, it came to dictate that the first bird an unmarried woman sees on Valentine’s Day would provide an omen as to her future husband’s character.

So, if you wake up on Valentine’s Day and want to stack the deck in your favor, just make sure you find the correct bird from the listed below in order to “guarantee” the partner of your dreams:

• If you want a wealthy partner then see a goldfinch first.
• Seeing a swan first foretells finding a loyal and lifelong partner.
• A bird of prey means living with a politician or leader.
• Your partner will always return home if you see a pigeon.
• A blackbird signals a clergy member in your future.
• See a sparrow and a life on the farm is headed your way.
• Want to travel with your partner? See a gull first!
• A bluebird means a fun and happy partner will come your way.
• Not in to commitment? Then a woodpecker or crow means a relationship or marriage will have to wait another year.

Whatever bird you see first, it is sure to foretell that you are a person that loves nature and that birds will be a part of your future for years to come and that is always a good omen!

Have a Happy Valentines Day!

Mar 25
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Spring-time calls to me like a siren’s song. Enticing all my senses, it compels me to stop and experience what is going on around me.

Each morning I arrive at work, get out of my truck and take 30 seconds to quietly listen. I want to experience who is singing over their territory. It is a great way to begin each day.

I recently attended a professional conference where we were tasked to find a solitary spot in the courtyard garden and write for 10 minutes. My spot was on a marble pergola by a flowing mineral spring. Here is a snippet of what I experienced.

I hear White-breasted Nuthatches, American Crows, Northern Cardinals and a Carolina Chickadee. Song Sparrows battle back and forth in song.

Smell of sulfur from the spring.

Cold from the marble pillar seeps into my back.

An American Robin buzzes the ground, sounding off wing-beat-squeaks as it passes.

The smack of a nut dropped by a squirrel. It chatters and runs through tree branches.

The entrance of a male Cooper’s Hawk. He perches, surveys, and takes flight, catches a small thermal and circles away.

Heed the siren’s song of Spring. Take a nature break and you’ll be amazed at what you experience.

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