this week in bird-watching

In the world of the super unusual, we have three gigantic Cooper’s hawks that have settled into the backyard and called it their new stomping ground.

John thinks they’ve nested just over the fence in the dense woods, and we just can’t see where. They sit along our back fence, looking for rabbits, I suppose.

The other day, one of the hawks caught a rabbit just as I let Otis outside.

It was like a Keystone Cops comedy — the hawk swooped; the rabbit shrieked; Otis pounced; the rabbit escaped. And the hawk was pissed off all day.

It made me think of this:

 

 

Light and Dark; Where Hope Shines

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I took this photograph with my iPhone 4s, no filters.

Cape San Blas in the Florida panhandle is one of my favorite places for a long weekend escape. I’m not a fan of the water for swimming, too much mineral stuff makes the water brownish, and frankly, catfish, sharks, and all manner of rays makes it unpleasant for floating in a cheap plastic raft (though ideal for surf fishing).

It is, however, a heavenly place for reflection. For photographing. For amazing sunsets. For long walks, and short walks, and sitting in the surf.

It is a perfect place for prayer.

And a perfect place to count the stars and sift the sand through my fingers and ponder my role in God’s perfect plan.

When I took this picture, I was intentionally noticing the juxtaposition of darkness and light — the shadows that are both a place to hide, unseen, and a refuge, when the heat and the spotlight are too much with us.

There’s a tiny silhouette of an egret in the bottom third of the picture. He’s barely seen in the wide expanse of the sea and sky, but there he is, all alone.

I’ve felt like that sometimes in my life, overwhelmed by the world — the universe — around me, and I’ve felt tiny and insignificant, unnoticed in the infinite sky.

I like this picture because it tells a different story. The egret may be alone, it may be almost lost within the shadows, but it’s there, and so is the sun, peeking out behind the dark clouds. I witness a scene like this and I know that God is present in every place, in every moment.

check out the Catholic Photo Challenge at Steve Nelson’s blog, everythingesteban.

just a regular Friday

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Had breakfast with a friend. Stretched the creative muscles. Bought honey for my honey. Prayed with the monks. Put my pen to paper. Received lovely virtual flowers. Watched an artist at work. Sat in the sun. Chatted with a bluebird. Walked. Sent a postcard. Prayed a rosary.

Breathed.

Deeply.

today’s horror story

kingMy life is ruined.

Ok, too much drama and hyperbole there. My afternoon of gardening is ruined.

Ok, maybe not ruined. But side-tracked. I was walking along the retaining wall ¬†showing Hector, our heavy-lifting-guy some things, and I’m poking around in the weeds trying to find the little lost hydrangea when suddenly he grabs me in a dramatic I’m-about-to-save-your-life-lady-so-don’t-get-hysterical-and-think-I’m-groping-you way.

My hand was a mere inch away from this three and a half foot snake.

That sneaky snake-in-the-grass. I wanted to hack it to death, after I stopped screaming.

Hector calmed me down and pointed out it’s a good snake to have around the house (impossible) and then, fairly sure I wasn’t going to faint, proceeded to chase the snake for more pictures so he could send them to his wife and make her scream.

Because we all know men have a 12-year-old version of themselves ready to play if the opportunity presents itself.