Tag Archives: Love

Love and Circumstances.

Love’s in the air. Big time. After just renewing their marriage vows on New Year’s Eve, Sandy and Stanley are madly in love. It’s a fairly balanced relationship, as we know from the past. Both of them contribute to everything, including the annual nest remodeling project. Lots is already getting done this year, as you can see.

papa-osprey-and-mama-osprey-at-the-nest-jan-10-ud102But if you ask me, Mama Sandy is the one calling the shots. Yesterday afternoon she gave Stanley detailed instructions on what to bring next. And away he flew. I decided to wait for his return. I wanted to see what he would bring and whether or not Sandy would approve of it. The latter is not always a ‘given’, I’ve learned. After a few minutes, Sandy got a bit frustrated and asked, quite loudly, what was taking him so long.

mama-osprey-calls-out-ud102Unmoved by Sandy’s call, the Mayor sat quietly hunched in a tree just below the nest. This was going to be interesting.

great-blue-heron-ud102I thought Stanley may have been caught in long lines at ‘Home Depot’, and when I spotted the Reddish Egret, I walked away from the nest.

reddish-egret-ud102That’s when Stanley returned, of course. Shooting against the sun from a distance, I captured him bringing in a sturdy piece of wood. The straight ‘rod’ and its perfectly rounded top made it look manmade. I wonder if he had ‘borrowed’ it from the garden of the nearby resort or from one of their beach game sites. Risking a lot to please Sandy, for sure. Good for him.

papa-osprey-returns-2-ud102And Sandy approved. This new addition seemed to fit in her overall design for the new nest. They worked together for a while, rearranging the furniture.

papa-osprey-and-mama-osprey-at-the-nest-2-ud102Then Stanley checked me out. I’m sure he found me a harmless observer, because after a short discussion with Sandy he flew a few feet up in the air – and I witnessed a romantic moment between the two.

osprey-mating-ud102The other birds in the vicinity of the nest reacted to this expression of affection each in their own way. The Major started scratching his head. Perhaps wondering if his nesting calendar was up-to-date.

great-blue-heron-scratches-himself-ud102The female Yellow-crowned Night Heron, who also was perched close to the nest, turned away shyly.

yellow-crowned-night-heron-ud102Perhaps it was a hint to her hubby who was sitting close-by, as always in the past few weeks. But he too looked away.

male-yellow-crowned-night-heron-ud102An Anhinga, visiting from the bay side, was curious and stretched his neck to see what was going on.

anhinga-ud102But the Little Blue Heron pretended not to see or hear anything at all. She continued her search for that perfect bite.

little-blue-heron-2-ud102The same applied to the blue eyed White Ibis and the Great Egret, both of whom kept me company on dry land.

blue-eyed-ibis-ud102

great-egret-ud102As you can see, the egrets are also growing their beautiful breeding plumage at this time. That’s when I discovered something large moving quietly in the sky. It was an airship, Wingfoot One, carrying a few passengers. They certainly had a good view of the happenings at the salt marsh.

airship-ud102

airship-passenger-cabin-ud102Once the ‘big bird’ had moved on, I decided to walk home too. But I have one more picture to show you.

In the early evening Dylan, as usual, told me it was time for our walk. I looked out to check the weather. And  saw a huge full moon climbing up on the sky. I ran to fetch my camera and we both rushed onto the terrace. You see, Dylan always cheers me on when I discover something worth ‘shooting’ out there. So there it was – a huge, red full moon.

full-moon-rising-over-the-bay-ud102And if you look carefully at the very bottom of the picture, you can see a faint point of light in the otherwise dark salt marsh. The light was still on at the home of the Osprey couple.

Peace and love from all of us at the salt marsh. Have a great weekend.

Connection – A Poem

It’s in the evening I see them. The sand crabs. Hurrying home from the day’s work. When the voice of the wind has become a barely audible whisper. And the ocean is almost still. I watch Mother Nature go to rest.

black skimmer in flight Ud24

As the birds arrive home from their last flights, I sigh. Exhale all my worries. Dip my toes in the water, and feel the peace. Soul-deep gratitude to be alive. At this moment of connection to pure love.

Monday Musings: On Love

This weeks musings include six of my favorite quotes on love, with images from nature I feel represent the message. With somewhat creative interpretation.

Perhaps something to ponder. Have a wonderful week. Tiny

moorhen chick LWe are born of love. Love is our mother. – Rumi

*****

hibiscus flower L

A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love. – Max Muller

*****

Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could. – Barbara de Angelis

*****

The first duty of love is to listen. – Paul Tillich

*****

rose L

Love is like a beautiful flower,  which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same. – Helen Keller

*****

butterfly macro L

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. – Mother Teresa

Sail. Today.

The pessimist complains about the wind;

the optimist expects it to change;

the realist adjusts the sails.

– William Arthur Ward

*

Opportunity is like sunset,

if you wait too long,

it’s gone.

Adapted from William Arthur Ward

*

Today is the most unusual day,

because we have never lived it before;

we will never live it again;

it is the only day we have.

– William Arthur Ward

I wish you smooth sailing this weekend. May your sails, love, hope and faith, be full and your sunset beautiful. Love always, Tiny

Alarm! Collaboration. And Love.

I have an alarm event to report. I witnessed it all yesterday on my walk in the nature reserve. My regular readers remember the resident osprey family, right?

park spring green ed

So after making my rounds in the park marveling at the clear signs of spring, like the tiny light green leaves on some of the trees, I wanted to end my walk by greeting the osprey family. I was curious to see if the nest would be ready and if the female bird would already sit on the eggs. From the distance the nest looked empty. I hoped that was good news. I also noticed that it was well-built. Nothing moved around and nothing fell down despite the strong winds that had already thrown a few palm branches on my path.

osprey alarm 1

After I walked around the marsh and stood up on a bench nicely camouflaged under a tree, I could see her sitting in the middle of the nest. Her head would pop up to check the surroundings every so often. She was there, happily sitting on her eggs! Her hubby had probably gone to fetch some fish for lunch. All was good. I was just about to leave my observation post when I heard her high-pitched alarm.

osprey alarm 2

You can see her here sounding the alarm while looking away from me towards the left side of the marsh where nobody usually walks. I looked down too and saw two people with two huge dogs approaching on the grassy strip. Her alarm sound intensified for a few seconds.

osprey alarm 3

Suddenly she flew off – towards the “intruders”. In that moment I saw her hubby approaching like a fighter jet from the bay-side of the reserve. He had heard her cries and was coming to support her!

osprey alarm 4

He flew straight into the nest. To check on the eggs, I assumed.

osprey alarm 5

He then checked around quickly to scan the situation. No danger from anywhere in the air.

osprey alarm 6

He waited there for a few seconds, until the mother-to-be returned to the nest.

osprey alarm 7b

He then flew off and patrolled around the nest platform in an aggressive manner. He came down towards the people and the dogs a few times. Like here when the dogs were just passing the spot where I stood under the tree.

osprey alarm 8

The “intruders” hurried away! The father-to-be circled the nest a few more times. He looked straight down at me and apparently decided I did not pose a danger.

osprey alarm 9

He then returned to her in the nest. I thought he was looking at her to ensure everything was alright, while she was looking down in the direction behind me where the dogs had gone.

osprey alarm 10

I remained silently under my tree observing the harmony return to the nest.

osprey alarm 12

The female was soon feeling safe and returned to sit on the eggs, but the male kept an eye on me from the edge of their home. He had decided to interrupt his fishing trip until everything was absolutely safe. So I said my goodbyes. I thought their collaboration in protecting the offspring was exemplary. And the speed with which the hubby came to her side was admirable. An alarm call responded to in less than a minute! True love.

I hope you enjoyed the reporting despite the fact that during this tense, less than ten minute intermezzo, I didn’t have the time to think of camera adjustments. I just kept shooting. These are the few pictures where you can actually see a bird 🙂

Have a wonderful week filled with collaboration and love.

Feel It in Your Heart?

I’m always interested in new research findings and recently came across an intriguing research study that I thought I would share with you. This research into emotions, and where we experience them in the body, was conducted by Aalto University in five separate experiments with over 700 participants from two very different cultures. The results were recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (US).

Credit: Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
Credit: Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland

This picture presents the bodily topography of basic and more complex emotions associated with words. The body maps show regions whose activation increased (warm colors) or decreased (cool colors) when feeling each emotion.

The study concluded that emotional feelings are associated with discrete, but partially overlapping (maps of) bodily sensations, which could be at the core of the emotional experience. Unraveling of the subjective bodily sensations associated with human emotions may help us to better understand emotional processing, including emotional disorders.

Definitely interesting findings. You can read the entire report of the study here (the pdf takes a while to load).

Confessions of a Rescue Dog

“I’ve learned to trust again. I’ve learned to play again. I’ve conquered my fears. But most importantly, I’ve learned never to lose hope.” That’s Bumble’s message to his readers on the back of his new book “Confessions of a Rescue Dog“.  He generously shares what he has learned and let’s the reader peek into his world through touching and humorous observations.

Bumble plans his escape.
Bumble plans his escape.

Bumble hopes this book will be a heart-warming treat for pet lovers of ages 10-100, but more importantly, he hopes it will raise awareness and much needed funds to help more shelter animals find loving forever homes. He wanted to post an excerpt for you to read here. It’s about one of his favorite activities, visiting a small uninhabited island for a swim and a nice picnic:

“I love to go to this one particular island. It’s uninhabited and few people ever go there. It has shallow white beaches, and the sand is soft. My family likes the crystal clear water, and we spend hours snorkeling. This is where I also go into the water to swim and snorkel. It’s such a wonderful beach….Last time we were there we got a surprising visitor, completely unannounced. We were all swimming and suddenly mom was screaming. I thought she’d been bitten by a big fish, like a shark or something. I was ready to swim to her rescue!

Bumble goes swimming.
Bumble goes swimming.

Then I looked more carefully and saw a large dolphin. They are nice, intelligent animals and not fish. Mom had told me that earlier when we saw two of them swimming ahead of our boat. This one was swimming around mom, who was now standing waist deep in the water. She had been a bit scared when the dolphin first came to nudge her, but now she was delighted. The dolphin stayed with us for a while and then swam out to the ocean. The whole experience was very special.

Another thing that I love about these small outings is that we usually go out in the morning and return just before sundown. That means lunch on the beach somewhere, and I mean an excellent lunch on the beach. Mom never brings my bowl or my food, so I get what they get. Usually chargrilled chicken breasts or yummy sausages! I love the lunch time on these trips. I get pieces from everyone, and no one keeps a count. That’s what I call a picnic! I’m suggesting we make a small boating trip a regular feature in the weekend calendar, every week. No one would ever be bored.”

You can read another excerpt here. It is about the time when Bumble had just come from the shelter to his new home and was rediscovering how to play.

His book is finally available on Amazon US as a paperback and also on Kindle! In addition, it will be available on other on-line book sellers in the US and on Amazon’s sites world-wide in the next few days.

We both hope you’ll enjoy it!

A New Year

A new year is a simple unit of time

a short fragment of eternity

a precious gift from the universe.

A new year is a repeat offering

to try new things, to make mistakes

to learn from them and to grow.

A new year is a renewed invitation

to live each minute of it mindfully

harboring love and hope but no fear.

A new year is a thousand opportunities

to bring a smile on a stranger’s face

a sparkle of joy on an angel’s wing.