This time we live in is quite magical. Technology is exploding exponentially, it seems sometimes like it is every day. Smaller and smaller gadgets can do more and bigger things that are useful in so many ways. Communicating with others anywhere on the planet has never been easier or faster. People can be entertained at the click of a small button, on the land, sea or in the air. I sometimes lament the tradeoff.
If I am on my I-pad playing a game or reading a book, then it is pretty unlikely that I am in the woods taking a walk. If my grandson is on the couch plugged in to his latest X-box game, there is no way that he can experience the connection with the woodchuck standing in the hayfield, taking in the world around him. If my neighbor has her eyes cast down to her smart phone, reading the latest text about a special sale on handbags at the local big box store, it is quite likely she di...
Seems cold weather makes my knees and elbows creak a bit more than it did a few short years back. I take the extra moment or two to add an extra layer of warmth before stepping out into the sub-freezing temperatures of this old fashioned winter. And though the sound of squeaking snow conjures up memories of many winter days when I felt proud that I was strong and tough enough to not be deterred by cold winter weather, I also find today that those squeaks while walking on really cold snow now signal an internal shiver in my psyche. I am growing into eldership in interesting ways, discovering new gifts that have lain dormant and being amazed at new revelations. I am not so amazed at my physical nature rebelling at cold temps.
One aspect of cold, clear winter nights that will remain a steady source of delight and fascination for me is the presence of hoarfrost on the trees and bushes and weed...
I parked a chair next to the screen door of the porch, where I could have a birds eye vantage of the heavy rain. When I spending time at the river, I love to spend time each morning meditating, and sometimes that takes the form of simply sitting, looking out over the creek and river, and letting my eyes settle on some part of the natural world. The morning was heavily overcast, and I could feel the rain in the air, even though it had not fallen for several hours. Now it began in earnest.
Watching the drops hit the surface of the creek, and bouncing off of the deck railing had a mesmerizing effect. Each drop was the same, and yet somehow different, with a seeming life of its own. Connection, uniqueness, mirror image, individuality.
I allowed my eyes to roam where they would, sometimes drawn to the slight slant of the falling raindrops moving past the maple trees, at other times looking skyw...
My shoulder hurt so much during target practice that I was reluctant to go out with the bow after the season opened. The weather was inviting, the colors striking, autumns smell was wafting all about, and I finally relented and decided to spend a bit of time in my tree stand near the gravel pit. After all, even if I could not pull the bowstring back, I could enjoy my time out and about.
I chose that particular spot because of the conflux of deer runs, or paths that cross there from a dozen different directions. I am also afforded a great open view on three out of four sides, and I love to watch and see what will present itself every time I am in the woods and field.
This particular morning was quiet with no wind blowing as the sun began to inch over the drumlin to the east. I could just begin to make out shadows all around me, some from the spicebushes, some from the spruces to the south,...
I have been around for 62 years, and I have worked with the land and been out “in nature” for a good share of that time, camping, fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, hunting, snowmobiling, farming, gardening, skiing, photographing, boating, skating and generally anything that would get me outside. Now, 62 years is not a big slice of time in the larger picture. I can say that my view of the climate picture has changed significantly for me over these past decades. I don’t need to be a scholar or data collector or scientist of any sort to open my eyes, feel with my skin, and witness the changes that are happening all around us.
Honey bees are disappearing. Droughts, even in normally blessed climes, are becoming more and more numerous and severe. Glaciers are disappearing. Clean water is becoming more and more precious.
Far wiser men and women than I have been raising the alarm for some years now:...
As a kid growing up in the 50’s with older siblings, I was exposed to the great music of Rogers and Hamerstein at a young age. I had a brief flirt with musicals and loved to play the LP’s for hours. Carousel came out when I was 5 years old, and I’m pretty sure I played that album until the grooves in the vinyl were a quarter inch deep!
Getting out on the tree farms these last few weeks have brought that title to the forefront of my mind. This has been a lush spring for the emergence of life on many fronts, it’s bustin’ out with joy, vibrancy and abundance.
I can’t recall a year when the young of so many species have been prevalent in my wanderings. It’s common for me to see day old fawns and week old bunnies, scurrying out of the way as I mow with the tractor, up and down the rows of Christmas trees. I drove by the pond at Sanctuary a few days back, and there were seven turtles lined up o...
I was blessed and honored to be a part of the staff for the 20th anniversary of the New Warrior Training Adventure in Upstate New York this past weekend. Under the umbrella of the Mankind Project (MKP), we have initiated over 500 men into this amazing organization and circle of men making the world a better place.
This was my 11th time staffing, and my 10th time staffing in the position of elder on the weekend. I love doing this piece for so many reasons, not the least of which is that a part of my “job description” is to bless the men on staff as well as the new men coming to the weekend. I can do this!
One of the cool things I’ve discovered about giving blessings is that it is a little like inspiration. I learned some time ago that my life purpose is inspiration. And, later I figured out that inspiration works in two directions. I can be the one to do or say something that inspires anot...
The large dark object caught my
eye as I was driving down Rt. 88. One glance revealed a large tom turkey in
full display, a couple of hens pecking breakfast from the ground nearby,
oblivious to his preening. Springtime was arriving in upstate New York, and the
tom’s display of bronze, green and blue feathers was a reflection of the winged
ones intentions all over the land.
It is ironic that I have a wood
duck house in my garage that I had wanted to put up on the edge of the pond
back by the lean-to this winter. Because
of the unusual warm weather, the pond never froze over in a manner that allowed
me to put up the house. I was walking back in the woods, a mere shout from the
pond a few days ago. I wanted to see what wild flowers were emerging for the
upcoming wildflower walk. Seems the deer have taken a liking to the trilliums,
and there are a million stubs where they have nipped off the...
My friend Jen told me about a new program a month or two back, Super Soul Sunday. It is produced by Oprah. Now, over the years, I’d heard many folks rave about Oprah, but I’d never really paid attention, nor watched her show. Something made me take a look at Super Soul Sunday, however, and I’ve been a fan since I watched my first episode several weeks back.
Today, I watched an episode that told the story of a couple that had lost their 21 year old son in the Twin Towers tragedy. Eventually, they were awarded 1.2 million dollars as loss compensation. The dad said they should take the money, but the mom said that they could not do that without making it stand for something that their son, Peter, would have been proud of. So they took the money and they began a series of clinics in Uganda, home to some serious trauma.
I was shocked to learn today that the vast majority of the citizens of Uga...
Mary and I raised our kids in a wonderful setting. We lived on 6 acres, with three ponds in the back that were created when miners used horses in the 1800’s to strip mine for iron ore. Some of the pits filled in with water, and it was a great source of joy in all seasons. Spring would bring forth the serviceberries growing all around the hills, summer was always open season on the bass that populated the ponds. Fall brought out the glory of the smattering of sugar maples surrounding the ponds, and the water always reflected the majestic colors back twofold. And winter meant hours of ice skating for the whole neighborhood.
I thought we were blessed with a multitude of wildlife for the whole family to enjoy there, as we saw deer, an occasional turkey, ducks on the water. And it always seemed as though there were plenty of flocks of geese to see in spring and fall. Little did I know what rea...