Duck the Swallows

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I remember well the summers in upstate New York when I was young. The four-acre farm that my family lived on was not just a training ground of responsibility for my siblings and me. It was a natural school. We learned how to work as a team–which was often a tug of war for the best and easiest assigned chores. There were five of us–three girls and two boys. My father had a riding lawn mower, and thank goodness because he mowed about two-thirds of our four-acres.

If you stood at the side of the road facing our two-story farm house, you would see a large freshly mowed field to the left. Closest to the road was a large raspberry patch that my mother employed us to pick from for jams, jellies and sometimes pies. Much further back in the field was a fenced in chicken coop where the meanest rooster in the world lived. But that is another story. Continue reading “Duck the Swallows”

Natural Music

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What is it about the natural sounds nature offers that relaxes us? I don’t take the moments of solitude within the natural sounds of nature like I did when I was a child. I’m always too busy, too tired, or too distracted to remember the natural world outside my walls. Today, however, it is Sunday, and I have my windows open. My computer sits to the right of one of my bedroom windows. The window is open wide, and I can hear three types of buzzing. Continue reading “Natural Music”

All about Perspective and Perception

Annie Dillard’s “Seeing” from her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is a perfect contrast between physical perception and spiritual understanding. It is a careful blend of beauty, wonder, and philosophical perspectives. She challenges us to examine how we see the world we live in both literally and spiritually. Dillard meticulously describes in great detail how altering how she observed the natural world affected her differently each time; sometimes in a fearful way.

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When trying to see a frog that everyone else seemed to have found without much effort she finally asked for help and was told to look for “green,” however, she realized that the color was more like a greenish brown of “wet hickory bark.” What a wonderful way to explain to her readers that sometimes we must narrow the parameters of our sight to see what we aim to see. If we look for a frog among grass, leaves, trees, and a pond we will only see those things; if we look for the color, we see just the things of that color or color variation, and we may just see what we were in pursuit of seeing. Continue reading “All about Perspective and Perception”

A Mountain of Inspiration

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Chimney Rock

If you love nature as much as I do you’ll love Chimney Rock State Park which is a North Carolina state park in Chimney Rock, Rutherford County, North Carolina. When I was much younger, in my early twenties, I had the opportunity to visit this park. My family and I hiked the outcroppings trail with its signature 315-foot spire that overlooks Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. The ascent up the wooden steps that make up this trail leads you to the 535-million-year-old monolith for which the Park is named. It is one of the most iconic sites in North Carolina. This granite outcropping is on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains and truly takes your breath away. Continue reading “A Mountain of Inspiration”