is most nearly himself
when he achieves
of a child at play.
Just a reminder from circa 500 BC. Have a great weekend all! ♥ Tiny
is most nearly himself
when he achieves
of a child at play.
Just a reminder from circa 500 BC. Have a great weekend all! ♥ Tiny
I am puzzled. I’ve visited the osprey family four times in the last one week. I had expected to see the young lady do frequent flying practice, but that hasn’t been the case. Regardless of the timing and length of my visit, I’ve found mama osprey and the nestling sitting tight in the nest. Deeply involved in discussions.
I’ve witnessed a wide array of vocalizations, from pleasant discussion tones to loud shouting matches between mom and daughter. To the point that I’ve rummaged the internet for a rosetta stone version in osprey language. No luck so far.
The other day both mama osprey and the teen did some wing exercises in the nest. The nestling was flexing, but did not fly, and mama osprey did some Pilates. Lots of stretching going on, and lots of communication.
On the top of that, papa osprey has not shown up during any of my visits since more than two weeks back. Last time I saw him, he came empty-handed and mama osprey flew away immediately. Is there a rift between the parents? Papa sleeping on a couch somewhere? Or did something happen to him? I have no way of knowing.
This morning I went to see them much earlier than I usually do. First I saw only mama osprey. I was hoping the nestling had finally gone out for flying practice, but then I saw the breeze lift up a few feathers and discovered a brown back in the nest. The youngster was still sleeping! At 10:30 in the morning.
Soon the teen woke up and slowly stood up.
The dialogue they have been having every day since last Sunday started almost immediately. I waited and waited. No flying practice this morning either. But I noticed many new decorations hanging down from the nest. And the balcony flowers were still alive and well.
I started to get worried and wondered if something was not right. I decided to check on them more often from my terrace (using our strongest binoculars) to see if the youngster would fly at all during the day. To my delight I saw her flying two short rounds fairly close to the nest late this afternoon! She didn’t soar high like her mama as yet, but at least these practice rounds were a bit longer than what I’d seen her do earlier, a few minutes each. So I’m hoping everything is alright. And that fishing lessons will follow. Family life can be complicated indeed.
I have to tell you something else. The other day I saw yet another bird I haven’t seen in the nature reserve before: a tri-colored heron!
And today I witnessed a “crowd” of four different birds on a little island in the marsh. The vacation season has started. Lots of demand for prime real estate with water views.
Will keep you updated on developments. Hope your week is going great.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
(from Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou)
You were so right. You were phenomenal. And so are we. Thank you Maya Angelou.
Shining like the sun
Wild flower turns to heavens
Blessings of summer.
Memorial Day weekend always marks the start of summer, kind of. Many visitors come to our beach to enjoy the warm waters and the sunny weather. I thought I’d invite you too…for a virtual vacation day right here on the beach.
We’ll walk to the beach through the nature reserve. On our way we can observe many different birds, some of them rare, and enjoy the beauty of the marsh and the park.
Once on the beach we’ll make ourselves at home. If you prefer, we can just relax, walk on the beach, collect shells, build sand castles, watch the birds and enjoy the sun and the water. The little “beach café” will stop right outside our “home” in case we forgot to prepare supplies for the day. If we prefer a bigger meal, the tent café is right next to the park.
Or if you want to be active, we can “do” stuff. How about kayaking, parasailing or a nice dolphin tour? Or just speeding on a wave runner? Dolphins might come to greet us! It’s happened to me once or twice. Or we could go for deep sea fishing or be brave and meet the pirates? If we don’t want to be on the water, we can always fly kites on the beach! As you see, there’s lots to do…
And when the evening comes, we can kick back and enjoy the golden sunset over the ocean…before we head back home.
I hope you enjoyed the day on the beach. Have a wonderful long weekend!
Reposting one of my early poems in honor of our newest family member, my granddaughter, who is one week old today 🙂
Your precious foot prints in the sand of time
visible for a short while on the shores of life
small first, innocently running toward the future
then bigger, walking the trail of everyday routine
finally heavier with keen observation, purpose
they remain to be seen, followed by others
admired, learned from and treasured
until the waves of infinity gently erase them
sparkling and clear, the shores of life remain.
After returning from my trip this morning, I headed out to see the osprey family. Before even unpacking my suitcase. About a week ago, I’d seen the youngster take off for a short flight above the nest, and I was excited to see if she would fly out of the nest today.
You noticed I said “she”? I’m now almost sure it’s a girl. She is much like her mama. Just look at them side by side, the decorations on her breast are quite marked, like an elaborate “necklace” typical for female osprey.
When I arrived in the nature reserve, mama osprey was keeping an eye on the youngster, as usual. Papa osprey was nowhere to be seen. I assumed he was on fishing duty. I took my position under the trees and observed the two quietly for about 15 minutes. As there were no signs of anything much happening, I relaxed, put down my camera and just sat there lapping the morning sun.
Suddenly the youngster turned, looked down…and just “fell” from the nest spreading her wings. She took me by total surprise! I had expected to see some wing flexing, but she just went over the edge and eased into flight! Of course I didn’t catch that very moment with my camera, but caught up a few seconds into her flight.
She was flying really low, close to the water. I’m sure she had seen some fish close to the surface and wanted to check it out. Since I was way back from the marsh, I could only see her a few times above the brush and the trees.
It was fantastic to see her fly. Her wings flapped a lot and were not yet perfectly synchronized, but she was in the air on her own flying about 2-3 minutes above the marsh! Then she soared upwards and made a successful, if not perfect, landing back into the nest. I’m sure you noticed how mama osprey was leaning outward to make room for her flapping wings.
I stayed with them for a while but there didn’t seem to be more practice sessions planned for this morning. I assume that the young one needs a little more flying practice before the diving and fishing lessons will start. I will try to keep a close eye on developments.
Before I left them, I noticed that mama osprey’s balcony plants are still green with some white flowers – after three weeks! I have to admire her gardening skills, among other impressive stuff I’ve seen over the last couple of months.
Hope your week is going great!
Since my last “report” from the nature reserve I’ve had two opportunities to visit with the osprey family. First on Sunday afternoon, after a sumptuous Mother’s Day lunch, and then again two days ago.
Mother’s Day was fairly cloudy, but Tuesday was sunny and breezy. The two visits were quite different, although it was clear already on Sunday that the nestling’s flying practice had started!
When I arrived in the vicinity of the nest on Sunday, mama osprey was looking after the youngster. She appeared a bit irritated. I soon discovered that some gulls were flying back and forth fairly close to the nest. Too close. There might have been a “doggy bag” left from the family’s Mother’s Day luncheon, but mama didn’t welcome uninvited guests. After a few loud warnings, she decided to make it very clear that she preferred some privacy. It was her day, after all.
She flew a few fast and furious rounds above the marsh, and that seemed to do it. No more disturbance from the gulls.
It was funny to see how the nestling was laying low while alone in the nest. I couldn’t even see his/her (still not sure about the gender, but leaning towards a girl) head. It appeared above my horizon again only when mama was returning!
As soon as the peace was restored, the youngster started flexing his wings. Mama was still checking out something on the south side of the nest.
I overheard mama osprey giving some advice to the youngster, but unfortunately I didn’t understand all of it . I’m still a beginner in osprey language.
The youngster jumped into the air and hopped from one side of the nest to the other. Accompanied by flying motions. I saw his/her feet in the air, not touching the nest for a second or so! I have a picture to prove it, but it’s completely blurred…silly me did something stupid in the excitement of it all.
After a little while papa osprey returned from his afternoon tour of the neighborhood. As soon as he touched down, mama osprey told him to take over the child minding duties, and flew away. I guess she needed some exercise too!
Two days ago, my short visit was even more exciting! The youngster did real practice sessions above the nest under mama osprey’s strict supervision. I have prepared a small gallery below so that the youngster can show off his/her newly acquired skill!
When the young one was 3-4 feet up in the air, I was almost sure s/he would fly out! But it was not that time as yet.
It looks like I might miss the fishing lessons. Unless the youngster decides to wait for me to come back home from my upcoming trip.
I need to “fly” now. See you all later, Tiny
The little girl waiting for school bus in the 25 below, snowy dawn of Finnish countryside in 1960s wouldn’t have believed that almost 50 years later she’d be blogging about her writing process from a sunny beach in distant “America”. In a language she had not yet heard of.
Had she been told how she’d land in that situation, she would’ve smiled in disbelief at the woman holding the crystal ball. But had the woman told her that writing would be an integral part of her life, she would probably have accepted that as a possibility. The bag she was clutching held a treasure, her very first essay. It was in Finnish, of course, and detailed her first adventure in Helsinki, the capital of the world.
It’s funny how life can turn out. Lots of twists and turns. So here I am a million miles later, on the beach, blogging away. I felt honored when Michelle, a gifted writer at The Green Study, invited me to participate in this blog tour. True to my Myers ENFP, I accepted without hesitation. I value interactions with other writers and have already met a few new ones through this tour.
I’ve been writing all my life. It all started with that first school essay, followed by college papers, newsletter writing/editing and articles in journals and newspapers. And numerous white papers about intricacies in management and organizations. A few poems here and there. This was all in Finnish and/or Swedish, before my life in English began in my early 30s. That’s when I was thrown out into the big wild world. And I’ve been roaming ever since. Writing many more white papers, board papers, research publications and a couple of professional books too. We can call those “non-fiction”, although that might be a bit generous.
Anyway, three years ago I became my own boss. Now I can write papers of whatever color I like or none at all. Consultants have that flexibility. To make money or not to make money.
So having that freedom, I allocated some time for bird watching, photography, walking on the beach… and started blogging in the summer of 2012.
After a year of interacting with many writers and reading their books, I caught the bug. Writing is contagious. I signed up for NaNoWriMo and wrote my first novel at the end of last year. In close collaboration with my little poodle, I might add, and cheered on by many blogging friends. Thanks friends for your support, you know who you are!
Each writer participating in this blog tour is invited to answer four specific questions. Here are my answers:
1) What am I working on right now? After my first novel came out earlier this year, I started working on two writing projects simultaneously: a poetry collection and an Africa-themed novel. I have a suspicion that my decision will turn out to be a mistake. None of the books might get finished any time soon. There is always something that needs to get done first to ensure bread on the table. Or something else that feels much more fun to write, such as reporting from the nature reserve. Writing books is hard work, and I know I’ll need to put much greater effort into my second novel than what I did previously. The bar is somehow much higher now.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a difficult question to which I don’t have an answer. My first novel is a light-hearted tale of a rescue dog, told by a dog to dog lovers. And a little bit of advocacy and fund-raising for animal rescue too. It doesn’t fall neatly in any one genre. The second one will be very different. Literary fiction strongly influenced by personal experiences of the writer. But not a memoir. Unless I rewrite it from scratch. That might still happen, of course, I never know with myself. Settling into writing in one specific genre is an unlikely proposition for me.
As to my poetry, it’s only different in the sense that I try to keep it short, simple, inspirational and positive. I just can’t write dark or tragic verse. And I’m not gifted enough to write complex forms of poetry.
3) Why do I write what I do? I had four potential ideas when I thought about NaNoWriMo last year. To be honest, “Confessions of a Rescue Dog” was by far the easiest story to write. I thought I might actually manage to complete that project. Getting this first book out and interacting with readers has been a great learning experience. It has also given me a little more confidence. So now I’m working on a much more demanding story, but it’s the one I have the most passion for. Wish me luck.
My poetry and my general blog writing are products of my mood and the thoughts occupying my mind any given day. I think it’s obvious. Total lack of focus. I have accepted that I don’t fit neatly in any one pigeon-hole. I post when I have something to say and spend more time reading other blogs than writing on my own.
4) How does my writing process work?
I am a “marathon writer”. I get my best results when I write in long focused stretches under a tight deadline, even a self-imposed one. I’m able to write almost 24/7 if need be. That goes for any type of writing I’m working on, I’ve always been like that.
I don’t produce much when I have “all the time in the world” to get it done. You see, I can always do it later, mañana. My writing shoes tend to get lost in that kind of environment. My challenge is to get motivated enough to put on my writing shoes, get running and believe there’s a deadline to be met. When all that works, the writing marathon is on.
Editing is something I need to force myself to do. I do some light editing when I write, but always have to do several rounds after the main body of writing is done. I recall one particularly challenging “white paper” that had 26 versions. That’s probably my record. I did five rounds of editing on my book before it went to the editor, and a couple more after it came back to me.
Next Tour Stop. It is my pleasure to pass on the “hashtag” to two writers, one firmly established and published in several countries, and another one whose books we’ll soon be able to enjoy. They have kindly agreed to post for this tour in the week of May 19.
Tish Farrell writes fiction and non-fiction for young adults. In her first life she studied Prehistory, did a Masters degree in Social Anthropology and then worked in museum education, most notably at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Shropshire, UK, the place where the world’s industrial revolution began. In her second life, during the 1990s, she lived in Africa, mostly in Kenya but also briefly in Zambia. It was during this time that she began to write story books for the African children’s literature market, spurred on by a small, persistent fury that were too few books that reflected young Africans’ lives in their increasingly urbanised world. In Kenya at that time there was no free schooling. Parents had to pay all primary school expenses including books. Textbooks were deemed essential. Story books were not. Most African publishing houses, then and now, survive by producing textbooks not fiction. In Nairobi during the ‘90s the book shops stocked mainly dated European children’s fiction (Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew stories, Enid Blyton) together with school texts of oral traditions. There were no contemporary young African heroes to be seen here. Tish’s first children’s book, Jessicah the Mountain Slayer, and a picture book Flame Tree Market were first published by Zimbabwe Publishing House in 1995, and later also by Phoenix Publishing in Kenya. Both books won prizes at the 1996 International Zimbabwe Book Fair, and have remained in print ever since.
Next came Sea Running and Joe Sabuni P I for Macmillan Pacesetters and Heinemann Junior African Writers respectively. Joe Sabuni, a spoof detective story, has also been translated into 6 Zambian languages as part of a (belatedly realised) project that allows Zambians to learn to read in their mother tongue rather than in their second language English. Now in her third life, Tish lives in the ancient market of Much Wenlock in the English Midlands. Recent works, Mantrap and Stone Robbers for Ransom Publishing, are novelised short stories aimed at encouraging reluctant teens to read. The stories are of adult interest, but are fast-paced and brief. She has also recently self-published a Kindle book Losing Kui. This is a new edition of a novella originally published in Cicada Magazine in the U.S.
You can find Tish at http://tishfarrell.wordpress.com/ and at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Tish+Farrell Here are a few links to blog posts I believe will be useful reading for writers: http://wp.me/pKVAM-u0 Yum Kaax to the rescue? Or how to hook reluctant readers; http://wp.me/pKVAM-gm Elephants, E-Books and reluctant readers; http://wp.me/PKVAM-aW Writing Tips – Knowing your place. Tish has many more on her blog, make sure to visit!
Jackie Phillips lives in Alberta, Canada. She’s originally from the states, Wisconsin to be exact, although she has not lived there for many years. She lived in Texas for more than 20 years – and then moved to Canada’s land of cowboys and cattle! Jackie doesn’t have cattle, but she has a dog named Sam, her buddy, and two crazy cats. Jackie loves animals of all kinds and has been known to rescue some if they need it!
Jackie is a well known coffee addict, she loves it and needs it to function, especially in the mornings. She’s on a health kick right now, walking on her treadmill that she named Trudy, every day, eating healthier and exercising!
Jackie has been writing almost her whole life, first in journals, then short stories, poems, and now novels. Some of her short stories have been published at Etherbooks.com under the name JLPhillips. She has plans for the future (which she hasn’t revealed yet, but I’m sure they are awesome) and is getting ready for that at the moment.
Jackie started blogging 2 years ago and hasn’t looked back. She says she’s met some wonderful people on WordPress. Next week she’ll tell you what she’s working on right now!
Here are a few links to her blog and to some of her favorite posts. http://tobreatheistowrite.com/2014/04/09/weekly-writing-challenge-fifty/ and http://tobreatheistowrite.com/2012/09/25/the-taxi-dancer/ and http://tobreatheistowrite.com/2014/05/12/new-story-cc-and-the-fed/ . This last one is her new serial story! Don’t miss it!
I look forward to the tour stops next week in England and Canada! I hope you do too.
I’m enjoying Mother’s Day weekend 2005 on mid-Atlantic coast with my hubby and our guests from Europe. We are having lunch in an outdoor restaurant. Sipping drinks. Live music. Sun is shining. Relaxed. Happy.
My cellphone rings. I don’t pick up. Our food arrives. Hubby’s cellphone rings. He doesn’t pick up. My cellphone rings again. I take out phone from my bag. Adt…ADT! I open the flip.
This is ADT. Who am I talking to? What is your code?
I ramble my name and the code. Get it all correct.
We have an alarm event at you residence in Washigton D.C. Burglar alarm. Someone has entered the front door at 1:21:52 p.m.
Oh no! Nobody is at home. We are at the beach since yesterday afternoon!
We are sending the police right away. They should be there in a few minutes.
Thank you! Please keep me in the loop on what’s happening.
We will call you back once the police is there.
And I hang up. Shaking. Angry. Not hungry. I see our house being burglarized.
Then I see the red voice mail dot. I press to listen.
Alarm sound…Hi mom...more alarm sound…I drove up to surprise you for Mother’s Day….more alarm noise…I’ve forgotten the new code to disarm.…horrible alarm noise…Where are you guys? Call me!
I start to laugh. Hysterical. Relieved.
ADT calls again. Police on the way now. I tell them intruder is beloved son. In college in Florida. Finishing finals. Not supposed to come home until the following week. Forgot the new code.
I call son. Horrible noise. I shout the code. I shout again. Much louder. The guests around us stare. I shout even louder. They all learn the code. 1226. Son presses buttons. Finally silence. And the police. I down all my wine.
Son doesn’t go to jail. The next day I have a wonderful Mother’s Day. Son lifts me up in the air. Bear hugs. I love bear hugs. The whole family together. Very happy.
Later I change the code. I pay the bill. False alarm. 15 dollars. It was worth it!
Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there! May your day be wonderful!
Love always, Tiny