Monthly Archives: April 2017

1 Minute Meditation: Water Art

Okay, so maybe not everyone loves rainy days and maybe you’ve never looked in the water for art–in which case, this video’s for you!

Stop what you’re doing. Set the To-do list aside. Clear your mind of clutter. Then take time for this one minute video–a bit of peace in your day.

Imagine you’re sitting beside this body of water, watching as the patterns on the water dance back and forth. Then later, a gentle rains falls on the surface of a creek, the drops making circles on the water’s surface beneath a flowering dogwood, bursting with white flowers. Watching them is mesmerizing!

Let me know what you think of this one minute meditation.

Weekly Puzzler Answer #144

Did you know last week’s bubbling bird song? If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you’ve probably read posts about this bird. It’s one of my favorites–the Carolina Wren.

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One of my favorite posts of all time was about the wren–called 4 Things we can learn from Carolina Wrens. 

This baby wren keeps falling asleep!

This baby wren keeps falling asleep!

Another post I like is about surprise gift that I found one day when I was tidying up for visitors–called a gift from wrens and still another, this one a weekly quote about resilience and telling the story of wrens that nested in our yard. And then ONE more! about a wren making me smile.  (Because he kept falling asleep even though he was supposed to be fledging)

You can attract wrens to your hanging a bird feeder, especially one like this* that has room for suet. (Here’s a recipe for making your own suet, though putting it out in the hot months of the year is not recommended)

I hope they make you smile, and that you enjoy your Sunday. See you again soon.

 

Weekly Puzzler #145: Name that Bird!

So last week’s puzzler was a bird song–one of our most lovely, the Carolina Wren. I thought I would do another bird, this one common throughout much of North America, especially the southeast, and west to California. If this bird hasn’t found a mate, it might get desperate–much to the dismay of homeowners everywhere– and sing in the middle of the night–not bothering to wait until sunrise.

Listen here. Then give your guess using the comment box below.

Happy Earth Day!

Hey all, Happy Earth Day to you! And happy Saturday and weekend too. It’s not every year that Earth Day falls on a weekend, but when it does, it is nice. Here is a post I wrote another year, about the history of Earth Day and also some things YOU can do to make a difference.

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Saturday is usually the day I do my puzzler, but I am going to hold off on that until tomorrow. Did you know that as Earth Day is being celebrated, there will be more than 500 locations around the world where people will be marching in support of Science?

Why are all these people getting together for Science?  And why on Earth Day?

Because a really lot is at stake, not just for the United States, but for the world.

What we do here impacts the world and other countries expect us to set a high bar and then uphold it.

Scientists agree that the climate of the earth is changing. Our clean water and clean air are something we take for granted. But what if 5 decades of environmental progress is taken away with one executive order? What if our precious National Parks are opened up to mining or drilling for oil? What if pesticides that have been deemed dangerous by dedicated scientists are allowed again? What if the chemicals from fracking are allowed to pollute our waters? What if the very institutions that we depend on to keep the water and air clean are eliminated? What if the research scientists have worked on for decades, is no longer being funded, or worse, erased?

Despite what some think, this is not a political issue. It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent or other, these decisions have the potential to affect you and generations to come.

From the Science March website: “Scientists work to build a better understanding of the world around us.

Science is a process, not a product — a tool of discovery that allows us to constantly expand and revise our knowledge of the universe. In doing so, science serves the interests of all humans, not just those in power.

We recognize that inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in science are critical to ensure that science reaches its potential to serve all communities. We must protect the rights of every person to engage with, learn from, and help shape science, free from manipulation by special interests.”

Science is part of our daily lives. For instance, did you know without SCIENCE we would have none of these things?

  • Medicines that keep us healthy
    • antibiotics
    • insulin
    • vaccines
  • cell phone
  • alarm clock
  • tv
  • computers
  • the internet
  • radio
  • photography
  • weather reports
  • clean water
  • clean air to breathe
  • food
  • electricity
  • cars
  • dental floss
  • plastic
  • organ transplants
  • transportation, from buses,cars,trains, airplanes,boats, etc
  • newspapers
  • fans and air-conditioning
  • heat

Of course this is only a small list, but you get the idea! I am going to be spending my Earth Day marching in support of Science…. how you will spend yours? What does Earth Day mean to you?

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As always, I’d love to hear from you! Use the comment box below to tell me your thoughts.

See you tomorrow for the puzzler!

Weekly Photo Challenge #3

So last week’s theme was SERENITY, which I admit thinking was about the easiest theme ever as so many photos of nature could be interpreted that way. Special thanks to Arden for sending in a few photos. I know I was supposed to publish this yesterday, but I held off, hoping I might get a few more images from someone out there.

I have about a million photos that depict SERENITY, but when I got going with this, I really didn’t want it to be about me, I wanted it to be about YOU, my readers. Even so, I have put together a short slide show.

Siesta Key, Floria by ArdenSiesta Key, Floria by ArdenSiesta Key, Floria by ArdenSavannah National Wildlife Refuge, by ArdenWest Asheville, by ArdenSelf portrait at Lewey Lake in the AdirondacksThe A.TAlong the ParkwayAlong the John Muir Trail in CAWard Pound Ridge Reservation, in NYAlgonquin, CanadaWhat a sunrise!A glorious morning!Canoeing in the Great Swamp of Eastern NYQuiet musicIndian Lake in the AdirondacksSunset

I will try one more theme–but maybe will give it a few weeks for people to get outside and capture it, rather than publishing it next Wednesday, though I suspect it will then be “out of sight out of mind.” But I will try anyway.

The next photo challenge theme is: Spring. Have fun with it! There is so much you can do with that! I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Just email your images to me at sharenaturemore@gmail.com. Hope to hear from you soon!

One Minute Meditation: Spring Rains Fill Stream

Have you been too busy to get outside and see what’s going on? Do you need a minute just to relax and do nothing? I thought I would do some one minute meditations, starting today, with this video I made recently in my backyard here in western North Carolina. Come join me for a short walk!

As you watch, imagine yourself walking along a small stream in the forest. It is early spring, with just a few ephemerals poking out of the ground. The sky is cloud-filled, the temperature cool. All you can hear as you move along is the sound of falling water. It relaxes you, makes you feel calm and unhurried.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Puzzler Answer #143

The leaves are edible

The leaves are edible

So last week’s puzzler was a video, showing a lot of one plant on a bank beside a stream. Were you able to recognize it?

Here’s a clue… perhaps you’ve eaten it! Those plants are RAMPS, an edible plant that has a mild, garlicky flavor that is highly prized among those who collect wild edibles.  Both the green leaves and bulbs are edible. Ramps, also called wild leeks, are native to the forests of eastern North America. As you can see from the video, they are one of the first plants to burst out of the soil in spring, filling the otherwise drab woods with glorious green. They will not last long, turning yellow long before the trees get their first leaves.

They do not last long!

They do not last long!

Have you tried them? Here are a few recipes if you find some in a forest near you.

Rampy Ramp Risotto

Grilled Ramps

Asparagus and Ramp soup with yogurt

and finally, Loaded Vegetable Spring Quiche

If you Google ramps you will find LOTS more recipes. And one more thing–if you do find a patch of ramps, please don’t harvest them all! It’s best to practice sustainable harvesting so the ramps will continue to grow for many years to come. Here are a few pointers on harvesting ramps:

  1. Never take all the plants in a bunch. At most, take half of the leaves, leaving some of the older ones to grow.
  2. If you’re going to harvest the bulbs, do not use a shovel as this unnecessarily disrupts the soil. Instead, use a small soil fork or trowel with a knife. And just like the leaves, do not take them all. Taking all the bulbs is a sure way to end the profusion of ramps in the future in that spot.
  3. Be careful where you step so as to not stomp down everything in your path on the way to get the ramps.
  4. Make sure you have permission if the land is private. Most homeowners do not appreciate someone coming onto their land and digging something up. And if it is in a national park or state land, know the rules before you pick. Different parks have different rules about edible plants and it’s definitely not always legal.

The New York Times wrote an article about over harvesting ramps a few years ago–in some places it has become a problem and is banned.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about ramps! Do you have a favorite recipe? Do you pick them? Do you like them? Use the comment box below!

Here’s the next puzzler.