Thursday, September 30, 2010

Watching The Birds

Wow! Look at me! Two posts in only a week. I've even been able to leave a few comments here and there. I still can't do very much yet though, because after only a little effort my head feels like it will explode. So I made a plan to slowly get back to commenting on my favorite blogs, and writing posts when I'm up to it. So if you haven't seen my name in your comments section yet, then it's only a matter of time.

It makes me happy every time I can read a blog and leave a comment, even if it's only a little bit at a time so far. Every time is a small step back for me. I'll tell ya, it's a strange feeling to feel effort and discomfort by simply trying to think in a normal way. I usually get headaches and dizziness, and I get so hot that I have to sit in front of a fan after only trying to use my mind. It's really frustrating, but at least not thinking takes no effort.

Still, I feel the need to stretch my horizons bit by bit right now. So I was glad when I was able to go out and sit on my porch for a little while today. There's not much nature immediately outside my house, mainly because of the busy street and all the people around, but there is a small amount.

So what did I see out there? I saw sparrows! There were about a dozen of them lined up underneath the edge of a parked car, and they were all standing there staring at me. It was the strangest thing. I guess they didn't fly away because I wasn't moving very much, but they hid from anyone else. They really liked it there under that car.

There were also a few on the rooftops, like the one in these pictures. And a few birds in the trees. They didn't seem to notice me at all. But the sparrows under the car seemed to be very interested in me. I always wonder what an animal is thinking when it shows interest in a human.

I know what we humans think when we are interested in a particular animal. But what do the animals think? Is it similar to our thoughts? I met a deer once that seemed to try to lure me closer to it. Others have been aggressive towards me. I've also had similar encounters with birds.

Sometimes we look at an animal and we think, "Oh, what a beautiful creature!" I wonder, do animals ever think that of us? Or do they just see us as either a threat or a food source. I'd like to think their thoughts are more complex than that last thought.

Maybe other animals aren't as intelligent as us in the way we think of intelligence. But maybe they have an intelligence that is just different. We all say that each person is special in their own way, so I think that can be true for each animal as well. All have something that makes them great. Every species. Every individual.

Nature Center Magazine - Take a look and see what's new. I've been posting a few of my past writings from The Everyday Adventurer here, along with everything else. I try to pick the best, but I'll let you decide.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Call Of Crows

I woke to the sound of a single crow today. I listened very closely. It made three sharp calls, "Caw caw caw!" Then it would pause and do it all over again. It repeated this more times than I remember. There were a couple of reasons I was listening so closely.

The first was that I woke to the same sounds yesterday. Or at least close to the same sounds. Yesterday's crow would repeat only two caws in sequence before repeating. Remembering the great intelligence of these birds, I wondered what the different numbers of calls meant. Was it some difference of a language they speak? Why were they so near my window making those calls?

The superstitious part of me imagined that it could be some kind of dark omen. Maybe it was bringing a foretelling of future doom. Was it meant for me, or for some other unfortunate soul? In my currently injured state of mind I knew I was thinking much too negatively. What else might those sounds from that crow mean?

Even though I tried to make the effort, my brain still doesn't want to let me imagine anything further. The only other thing I kept thinking was that those sounds didn't really bother me as much as my dark thoughts tried to make them. What really came to mind was that the call of the crow was a small link to nature for me. It was giving me comfort. Maybe the crow was just trying to tell me that nature is still out there waiting for me, and that one day soon I'll fly free once again.

Nature Center Magazine - Yup, I still push my other site whenever I can. Along with this one, it's my pride and joy. If you're curious, go and find out why I like it so much.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Miss Nature Right Now

What you see above is a picture of Carpenter Lake. This is from among the last group of pictures I got before my car accident. It's a very similar view to the picture they took when they were celebrating the opening of this nature park. I was planning on going back here again on the day of the accident. Right now I miss this place terribly.

I understand how much nature means to me now that I can't be out there and feel like I'm one with it. But I understand the joy of nature the most when I'm at a place like Carpenter lake. I wish I knew when I could go back, but there is just no set timetable for me.

I don't want this post to sound too negative, but I know it is just a bit. It's really intended to give an update and to show the difference that experiencing nature can make. Take away nature and the joy and happiness goes with it. But knowing that it's still there waiting for me gives me hope for when I'm able to return.

The pain in my head doesn't seem to be getting better as quickly as I had hoped right now. I have pain and dizziness with any little effort I try to make, including just the effort of thinking. Most everything else seems to be progressing in an orderly fashion though. At least that part is encouraging.

I'm hoping that one of these times I'll wake up and feel like my old self. Then I'll be able to go out and find myself another truck, and I'll be back out wandering my nature trails once again. But for now I have trouble even focusing my own thoughts. It's such a helpless feeling.

My next post will hopefully be more like my regular stuff. I'm not exactly sure when that will be. I'll write posts whenever I feel well enough to do it, so they will be coming on an irregular basis. Before I write another one though I'm going to attempt to read a few of your blogs and leave some comments. Again, I'm not sure when yet. Anything I do will come as I feel well enough.

I'm keeping both of these things as goals that I hope will help me improve my health right now. This post may make things seem very bleak, and they do seem like that to me a lot of times, but at least now I have a plan for a return. So that is encouraging. If I take small steps towards my normal habits I'll wake up one day and realize that I'm back. Then I'll go back to my forest and have a visit with the squirrels.

I can't stress enough how fun it was sneaking up on this little fella. It makes me smile just to think about it. My next post will be much more cheerful. I promise!

Nature Center Magazine - This is where I'm spending most of my blogging time for now. Running a site where I have others who contribute helps very much. I'm very grateful to them for the help.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Long-Winded Update

It's been about a week, and I'm happy to say that I think I'm getting better from the accident at the pace I expected. I'm now able sit up for longer times without a whole lot of pain and dizziness, so I can get back on my computer for longer times. I'd like to thank all of you who left such kind comments on both The Everyday Adventurer and Nature Center Magazine. And I'd especially like to thank those of you who wrote the wonderful posts about me. It all has helped me feel a lot better and I really appreciate it. I read your comments and your posts the same days they were up, but I couldn't stay on for much longer than that.

I'm still having a lot of problems, but I think I am steadily getting better. So on Monday I will resume editing and posting on Nature Center Magazine. I'm still not ready to resume posting on The Everyday Adventurer yet though.

This is mostly because of the format of each site. Nature Center Magazine doesn't require as much work from me because I'm not the only writer, and I'm still not feeling very well. Plus I don't have to get up and walk to get material to write about for it, which I won't be able to do for awhile. I feel that writing a little bit will help me get moving again though. The Everyday Adventurer is going to be much harder for me. I still can't stay on the computer for very long without having to stop, and I've had some trouble thinking straight, so I'm not able to write very much yet. It's also going to take awhile longer for me to be able to go back and walk my nature parks.

There have been a few ideas given to me for The Everyday Adventurer, and I'm considering a few other things as well. I'll give another update on that as soon as I feel well enough to begin posting something on The Everyday Adventurer again. In the meantime I'll be doing all my work at Nature Center Magazine.

I'll also be reading all of your blogs as much as I can. I've already been lurking around just a little bit now. You'll all begin to see my name in your comments sections as time goes by. It's not going to be much at first, but I hope to be able to do more as I get better.

Sorry I haven't really given many details about my injuries, but as many of you know I don't really like talking about myself. I tell all of you more than I tell most people. The main thing keeping me off the computer for very long is a concussion. There are other, worse things wrong that I'd rather not talk about too much. The concussion is what is keeping me off the computer, so I feel that is the important thing right now. I'll be on here longer as it gets better. I hope it's not long, but nobody seems to know how long it will take.

Anyway, Nature Center Magazine will be back up and running on Monday. I'll give another update shortly before I'm able to start posting on The Everyday Adventurer again. I'm hoping I can write a little bit for it in a week or two. And thanks again for all of your concern. I really do appreciate it. It has helped a lot.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

An Unexpected Interruption

The Everyday Adventurer will not be updated for awhile. Friday afternoon while I was sitting at a stop light in my truck I was hit from behind by another car. The truck was smashed up pretty good and I was rushed to the hospital. I'm getting better now, but it's going to take time for me to get back to normal. As a result I am taking some time off from everything so I can have time to heal. I hope it won't be long, but I'm not sure how long it will take. Nature Center Magazine will also stop for the time being for the same reason.

I'm hoping I will be able to get Nature Center Magazine back up and running in about a week, but I'm not sure yet. It's going to take longer to get The Everyday Adventurer back up because walking my nature trails is impossible for me right now. I'll be back as soon as I can though.

In the meantime I hope you will all visit the links of others that appear in my comments section here, the links in my sidebar, and the other blogs that I'm linked to through the advertisements on this site. I'll also be back to reading and commenting on your blogs as soon as I can.

I hope to be back soon.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Butterfly In Mid-Flight

This looks like just an ordinary picture of a butterfly, doesn't it? If you click on it to make it bigger, you will notice that the butterfly is more than a little blurry. That doesn't really sound like a very good picture at all, really. But there is much more to this picture than that.

What you are actually seeing here is the fulfillment of the hope of a longtime mission of mine. That is to capture a butterfly in mid-flight. I have chased flying butterflies in vain for many years now. Always pointing my camera at these fluttering little blurs of color, but never quite catching them.

Oh sure, I've gotten many pictures of butterflies after they have landed on a leaf or a flower. But the ones in the air are always too fast for me. It has been a near impossible task to attain such a prize. That is until now. The picture above shows the butterfly right in the middle of flapping its wings while it was flying in close to these plants, never quite staying in the same pace.

This picture above is another of the pictures I took of the butterfly as it flew near these plants. This time you can see that it is definitely flying. It never moved far, maybe within an arms length from here, back and forth. The story started even farther than this.

When I first saw the butterfly I noticed a pattern. I don't know why. I saw that this area was where it kept coming back to. It would fly a very long distance to the left. And then it would fly back, but then move an equally long distance to the right. I thought about chasing it at first, but I knew I would lose it.

So I waited in this central area for it to come back to its starting point. I hoped something lucky would happen, but I never quite dreamed it would be this good. I just wanted one more picture of a butterfly before I made the journey home. Sometimes with persistence we just get lucky.

And here was my original goal. This is what I was hoping to get when I first saw this butterfly. After all of that effort it came to this. I got what I wanted. And happily what I wanted turned out to be the second best thing about this little butterfly.

This all proves that the more you see nature the more amazing it seems. There are always new surprises, even with creatures that you see every day. The thrill will never end.

Nature Center Magazine - We have an all new Free Wallpaper. This time the contributor is WiseAcre, and he has given us a real treat. Take a good look at the frogs nose!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Spotted Eyes

Sometimes they look right at you and you don't know it at all. Is this butterfly looking at me? Maybe. Maybe not. But I at least got a good look at the butterfly. It was those magnetic eyes that drew me in. Those spotted eyes. Spotted?

Yup. They're almost too easy to see in most of my pictures today. I showed the top picture first so you could get a good look right into the face of a butterfly. Now this is what I call alien! We think of them as flying flowers, but what do you think of them after seeing that face?

Honestly, it's not really an unattractive face. It's just so very different from what we would expect from a human or most other mammals. It does have hair though. Hair is something you wouldn't expect from an insect, but a large amount of them have it.

I think most of us think of mammals when we think of hair. Reptiles don't have it. Birds are very close, but they have feathers. Amphibians? No hair either. What about fish? You already know that one. They do not have hair, but they have scales. Wait. So do many reptiles.

Scales and feathers, and many other types of coverings like that are thought to be in some way related to hair. So even with that alien face of a butterfly, they are a lot more like us than we think. We are all living things.

But enough of those random thoughts. The picture above is how the butterfly was when I was able to first get close to it. It flew from leaf to leaf,but it never felt the need to get too far away from me. I actually had to lift the camera over my head to get this shot. There were too many tall plants in the way.

And I was so surprised when I walked around those tall plants, and the butterfly was still there waiting for me. Oh sure, it had flown to another leaf, more than once! But there it was waiting for me there. How many times have you stood so close to a butterfly. They almost always fly away before you can get within more than a few paces.

And this butterfly wasn't alone! There was at least one other. But I was still able to walk around this butterfly to get pictures from almost any direction I liked. The only thing preventing me from all directions was the thick shrub it was sitting on.

It flew up into the air one more time, but still came back down to an accessible spot. I thought about getting a few more pictures of the butterfly with the spotted eyes, but I decided that it had been generous enough and it was time for me to move on. And so I left the butterfly with the spotted eyes in peace right where I found it.

Nature Center Magazine - The state of Massachusetts. What does it have to offer a nature lover like you? Come over and find out.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sometimes They Look Back

So there I was minding my own business... Well, I was actually spying on this little red dragonfly. So I guess what I was really doing was minding the dragonfly's business. Sometimes when we look at a wild animal it decides to look right back at us.

Out of all the animals, bugs of any kind seem like the most alien creatures to us. We never expect them to notice anything we do. We humans think we can walk right up to them, and they never even know we exist. Oh sure, they will try to get away from us, or in some cases they will bite or sting. But look back at us? Bugs? Sometimes they look back.

Anyway, I was standing there taking pictures of this little red dragonfly. I've done this many times before. There are a lot of dragonflies when you are out at a place that is so full of nature. Dragonflies are some of the bigger bugs you might find. They can bite, but they are mostly harmless.

So, what makes this particular time any more special than all the others? Go on, take a guess.

Too easy! The dragonfly looked right back up at me. I'm sure that it probably didn't need to move its head up to see me, but I guess it must have wanted a really good look at the big creature that was paying such special attention to it.

As I said before, compared to most other creatures, bugs seem very alien to us. It can be very startling if we se them look right at us. Why? Maybe it's because that makes them seem a bit more like us. Maybe it shows an intelligence in these alien creatures that we don't want to think about or didn't realize existed. We wonder what this creature is thinking about when it focuses so closely on us. What will it do about this?

What do you think about this? What would you do if a big bug suddenly turned and looked right at you?

Nature Center Magazine - Today we will show you how to make a pine cone bird feeder.