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1 + 1 = 1 July 15, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Animal Welfare, Food & Drink, Nature.
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48 comments

When one hawk . . .

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Invites one snake . . .

To breakfast.

As breakfast.

Tree-Frog-PerchedWe note that, math be damned, 1 + 1 =1 :

1 + 1 = 1 less snake

1 + 1 = 1 happy hawk

The other morning, we looked out on the back deck and noticed a hawk having breakfast.

Grasped in its talons was a poor wee snake.

When the busboy cleared the table, the sole trace of the snake was its spinal cord . . . draped over the deck piling like a discarded napkin.

Aah . . . that’s the way of the world.

Related posts:  It’s a Snake Eat Frog World * Heron Does Not Live By Fish Alone

Daybreak June 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Life Balance, Nature, Poetry.
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34 comments

IMGP1920Owls grow silent

Grass starts to glow

Birds start singing

The cock starts to crow

 

Sunrise is here

Daylight has broken

All without orders

Having been spoken

Aah . . . that’s better!

Shapes and Shades June 15, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Life Balance, Nature, Poetry.
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26 comments

220px-Lightning_striking_the_Eiffel_Tower_-_NOAAI have faith the sun will rise
Even when veiled by stormy skies

Shapes and shades of purple sage
Reach up and out from age to age

The horizon remains steadfast too
Even when hidden from our view

Waters streaming as we gaze
Through mists of time and foggy haze

Aah . . . that’s better!

* Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.   ~ Vivian Greene

* A certain amount of opposition is a great help.  Kites rise against the wind, not with it. ~ John Neal

Green America April 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Food & Drink, Nature, Sustainable Living.
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24 comments

Green America sees a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come.

If you share that vision, you can learn more by visiting:

Green America: Our Programs 

Each year, Green America publishes National Green Pages to inspire consumers to make greener choices with the green in their wallets.

Green America’s corporate responsibility director, Todd Larsen, crunched the numbers published by the US Department of Labor for the average American household’s 2009 purchases, and came away with an inspiring conclusion and a $300 billion challenge:

If all American households shift just 10 percent of their current spending to green purchases, we could steer $300 billion toward green jobs and the green economy.

Think about it. That’s $300 billion toward businesses that build community… $300 billion toward recycling, composting, and reuse… $300 billion toward reduced energy use… $300 billion toward fair supply chains that protect workers and stop sweatshop abuses.

Equally powerful, the reverse of the equation is true. Shifting 10 percent to green means pulling $300 billion worth of support out of the business-as-usual economy. That’s $300 diverted from supporting fossil-fuel expansion … $300 billion pulled from irresponsible, exploitative banks … $300 billion of support denied to big-box stores with questionable sourcing standards and disastrous carbon footprints.

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Green America’s website offers a plethora of articles, tips, techniques, and strategies for greening your purchases:

1.  Borrow, Trade, or Buy Used:  The greenest thing you can do is to not buy new at all. Use Green America’s resources for inspiration on how to barter for books, movies, clothing, food, home repairs, and more.

Bartering: Get What You Need Without Money

Dinner Co-ops: Cook One Meal, Eat for a Week

Neighborhood Home Repair Teams

25 Ways to Give and Get What You Need Without Money

2.  Grow Your Own Food:  When you plant your own garden you can ensure that your food is organic and healthy.  A National Gardening Association study found that the average family spends $70 a year on maintaining a vegetable garden, and grows $600 worth of harvest.

Food Miles and Global Warming

Think Globally, Can Locally

3.  Green Your Home Energy Use:  Switch your lightbulbs, fire your clothes dryer, unplug small appliances that draw electricity even when they’re turned off, or go all the way, with wind, geo-thermal, or solar.

23 Steps for Energy Efficiency

Making Solar Affordable Now

Here’s to a more sustainable and just future for our planet!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Cocktails and Crew April 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
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35 comments

Last week, we attended a cocktail party hosted by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast at the Bay Preserve on Little Sarasota Bay in Osprey.

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The Conservation Foundation’s mission ~> “protecting the bays, beaches, barrier islands and watersheds of Florida’s Gulf Coast.”

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Before the drinks started flowing, we watched local middle schoolers wading into the waters for crew practice.

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Ready . . .  Set . . . Heave Ho!

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Over it goes.

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And they’re off.

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While the kids rowed, rowed, rowed their boats . . .

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Instructors scooted around in motor boats, barking orders.

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We wandered out on the dock and found a school of friendly fish.

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Bellying up to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

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The sun made its descent before the crew teams called it a day.

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The guest of honor, Rand Wentworth, President of the Land Trust Alliance, regaled us with tales of early conservationists, including Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt.

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At last, time for some Jack Daniels and Ginger Ale.

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 Aah . . . that’s better!

Sneak Peek at Neal Preserve April 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
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35 comments

Our neighborhood is a bird sanctuary surrounded by 3 nature preserves ~ Robinson, Perico, and Neal.  Avian visitors include egrets, heron, pelicans, cormorants, anhingas, ibis, ducks, geese, vultures, and roseate spoonbills.

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Robinson Preserve opened in 2008 with walking and biking trails, a picnic area, kayak launch, playground, visitor’s center, viewing tower, and lots of wildlife ~ including several nesting pairs of bald eagles.

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Perico Preserve, still under construction, will be a bird rookery for nesting parents and baby birds.  “No Dogs Allowed.”

Reflections

Neal Preserve, located just to the west of our neighborhood, is scheduled to open tomorrow.  A few weeks ago, we had a chance to take a sneak peek.

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We walked along the elevated boardwalk and climbed the viewing tower.

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We saw fluffy cotton and cacti growing wild, 2000-year-old conch shells lining pathways, and palms swaying overhead.

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We enjoyed stories shared by the resident archeologist about two ancient burial mounds (300 B.C. – 100 A.D.) found on the grounds.

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And admired a trio of skeletons acting sentry over the ancient mounds.

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We didn’t see even the whisper of a ghost.  Maybe next time.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

The Mad Hatter April 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Nature, People, Poetry.
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20 comments
220px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_27

Wikipedia ~ Alice in Wonderland (in Public Domain)

Trained to restrain
Our joys and triumphs
We share instead
Our sorrow and pain

Wings clipped, lights low
We diffuse our truth
To broadcast tales
Of worry and woe

Who created these social norms and mores we blithely follow?

The Mad Hatter?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Our Deepest Fear

 

Exterior Design April 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Poetry.
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30 comments

Nature bathes our senses in reds, pinks, purples, and greens ~ all the colors of the rainbow offered up with tantalizing tastes and textures, aromatic fragrances, and soothing sounds that speak to our spirit, like the cry of a gull above the crash of the waves.

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Primary shades demonstrate both restraint and zeal ~ an unparalleled zest for living:

* Red geraniums, strawberries, tomatoes, and cardinals
* Yellow daisies, sunflowers, lemons, and bananas
* Bluebirds, blueberries, and cloud streaked skies

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Secondary shades add nuance to nature’s palette, drawing us outward and inward simultaneously:

* Fragrant oranges bursting with flavor tickle our taste buds
* Green grasses tickle the soles of our feet
* Purple evening skies beckon us to linger longer under the moon’s rays

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Nature’s sights and sounds delight and inspire us to tread softly on this precious planet, while savoring all that it offers.

We hug its offerings to our hearts and souls, taking clippings and cuttings to brighten our interior decor and sustain us through hectic days.

Mother Nature . . . this bud’s for you!

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Even in the stillness, the cosmos swirls. Even when silence reigns, we hear its heartbeat.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Do Not Disturb April 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Art & Photography, Nature, Poetry.
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20 comments

Dragonfly rested
Wings folded
Still

Do not disturb

Desires ignored
Outstretched wings
Flight

How you perturb

Dragonfly settled
Wings framed
Anew

Kicked to the curb!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Artwork available at Roderick MacIver Arts.  The beauty of Rod’s art lies in his ability NOT to control all aspects of the water ~ he allows it latitude to do its thing while he does his. The result speaks for itself.

Bait For The Beast April 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, Humor, Nature, People.
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44 comments

Wikipedia ~ Trophy Wife (in Public Domain)

A few days ago, I saw a bizarre commercial for a dating service.

Which one, I couldn’t say.

The ad featured 10 “hopefuls,” all skewed in the same direction.

All women.

With long flowing tresses.

Long blond hair.

Long blond hair.

Long blond hair.

Long blond hair.

Long blond hair.

Long brunette hair.

Long brunette hair.

Long blond hair.

Long black hair.

 Long blond hair.

Wikipedia ~ Beauty and the Beast (in Public Domain)

None of them looked like they needed a dating service to help them troll for men.

Each had “Trophy Wife” stamped across her forehead.

I’m certain the site isn’t looking for dates for these prom queens . . .

No, I expect it’s looking for men “of a certain age” eager to hop aboard the dating express.

These beauties are bait for the beast.

Let’s hope the beast doesn’t have a heart attack while taking the bait out for a test drive.

Vroom . . . vroom . . .

Wikipedia ~ Beauty and the Beast (in Public Domain)

Perhaps, just to be on the safe side, the beast should start slow, by sitting down to a “getting to know you” dinner.

Whatever will they talk about?

Watching the ad made me wonder whether the marketing moguls are correct in their assumptions:

* Do 7 out of 10 beasts prefer blondes?

* Are beasts partial to long locks?

* Is Goldilocks more apt to get the gold?

* Is everyone in the target audience searching for Rapunzel?

Aah . . . that’s better!

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