Monday, March 31, 2014

Two Years Old And Still Living In The Moment!

So, guess what?  The Healthy Nut is two years old!   My first post, went live on March 30, 2012.  Since then I have written over 200 posts here.

As I reread my original post about what was important to me in 2012, I realized that the act of making that list at the outset (Welcome to the Healthy Nut) was instrumental in keeping me on track---with my life as well as with the blog. Writing helps me figure out what I am thinking.

My goal to establish a consistent writing practice has been realized. I am writing poetry everyday.  Along with a new-found interest in making art in conjunction with my poems by digitally manipulating some of my photos, this daily practice brings great joy and many gifts into my life.  It is amazing to (re)discover an interest that was long dormant and begin to 'play' with art materials again.  Is this what is meant by a second childhood?  I hope so. My poems have found a home here - Wabi Sabi---poems and images.

In the past four years, since retiring, I have completed a formation program in Spiritual Direction. I have grown and continue to grow into this ministry in ways that are not easy to articulate.

 Spending time in contemplative prayer nourishes me as I try to carry the love and compassion I receive from a merciful God with me throughout the day.  I look for God in all things, and often find evidence of this Creator in the natural world around me. Whenever I have the opportunity, I take photos of these grace-filled moments. I post these meditations on another site, which is a rather new project, still evolving.  If you want to peek at that journey or come along with me, you can find my meditations here: Take Off Your Sandals.

As for this blog, as you can see,  I have given it a bit of a cosmetic make-over for spring.  I will continue to post here willy-nilly and write about the  things that bring me joy and contribute to my healthy outlook on this second half of my life.

My family, especially my husband, children and grandchildren,  gardening, photography, hiking in the woods and at the beach, looking for birds,  growing and using herbs for health and seasoning, reading, exercising and staying healthy.....all of these activities as well as updates on the adventures of Amma and Pappa, will continue to receive attention on these pages.

This morning, it was raining at six AM, hailing at seven.  By eight it had started to snow. We had an inch of slushy snow on the ground by ten.  Now,(3 PM) the snow is gone, the sun is out and the temperature is heading for 50.  Which only proves one thing. Life can change at a moment's notice. Why not embrace whatever comes and discover the joy in it?

March 31 AM

March 31 PM

Take Away - Accept whatever comes, with open arms.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Crow Moon Haiga

Northern Native American tribes referred to the full moon of March as the Crow Moon.  The crows were heard again after the long silence of winter and this always heralded spring.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Birds of a Feather...

Last weekend, we decided to get outdoors to walk a few miles.  The air was finally warming up and, though spring was still not in the air, Saturday was a gorgeous day.  We headed for West End Beach to walk the dunes and look for the snowy owls that have been sighted along the south shore all winter.

We walked out to the jetty along the fishermen's path and then meandered along the jetty toward the western edge of Jones Beach where the ocean meets the inlet.  It was windy and the surf was quite rough.

This area is fairly remote in winter and we only passed one or two other walkers.  As we approached the point, I noticed a large flock of birds at the water's edge.  They looked like sandpipers from a distance.  The birds were in 'formation,' all facing into the wind - south west.

There must have been hundreds of them all standing on one leg with their heads tucked back out of the wind.    I crept closer and closer to grab a few photos and I could hear  their chattering noises.  The tide was coming in and after a few minutes, they took off all together and flew back and forth in front of me.

 Each time they approached where I was standing they parted momentarily into two groups, rejoining one another over the ocean and returning to the beach together to land.  They did this several times and each time I felt like I was part of the flock, being completely surrounded by them.

Another birdwatcher, who arrived as we were leaving the area to head for the dunes to see if we could glimpse a snowy owl, told us these long beaked shore birds are called dunlins, a common bird in our area, although not one that we are familiar with.

He also pointed out a group of birders on the dunes who were observing a snowy owl.  We walked toward that spot on the beach, some distance from where we were, and caught a glimpse of the snowy owl as it took off, still quite far from us.  We missed a close-up of it, but did enjoy the flock of dunlins, if that is what they were.

The sun was extremely bright and I had some difficulty focusing my camera due to the light. I can not see the settings in bright sunlight.  These photos aren't great but they are what I got and they will remind me of how it felt to be surrounded by a flock of graceful birds on Saturday afternoon in  winter!

Does anyone know if these are dunlins?

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