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Beyond Thought November 23, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness, Nature.

Thoughts often pull us out of the Now, causing us to become distracted and discontent.

Unburdened by a steady stream of chatter, we experience life without a filter ~ awake, aware, alert, at ease.


Nature helps me shift from thinking, with its perpetual analysis, judging, and weighing, to “just being” ~> sensing sights, sounds, and smells.

Until . . . thoughts creep in on padded paws and begin to negate the state I’m trying to embrace by cluttering up the space with words.


Rather than following these passing thoughts, I allow each to drift away, and return my attention to “just being” with the wind and the waves.  Listening to life’s heartbeat.

Content again (for now), my mind settles down.


The waterfall flows.  The clouds part.  The sun shines.  As a detached observer, I watch the Eternal Now unfold without feeling the need to steer . . .

Here I am.
Alive. Awake. Aware.
Watching the “what is” as it is.
Allowing it to be.

Beyond thought.


Aah . . . that’s better!

Attempting to understand consciousness with your mind is like trying to illuminate the sun with a candle. ~ White Fire, Mooji

Beneath The Breeze November 17, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, Music & Dance, Nature, Poetry.

_0001cOne night, I saw beneath the breeze

Beyond the leaves
To an ocean of shimmering cells within

Another world revealed

Nothing stagnant
Everything vibrant and alive

Awake and aware

Dancing to the beat of the Eternal Now

Aah . . . that’s better!

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

~ Lao Tzu

The 7 Wonders Of The World August 15, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness, Nature.

If asked to list the 7 wonders of the world, most people would include at least a few of the following:


1. Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. Great Wall of China
7. St. Peter’s Basilica


On further reflection, perhaps we might revise the list to include:

IMGP1676a1.  Seeing

2.  Hearing

3.  Tasting

4.  Touching

5.  Smelling

6.  Laughing

7.  Loving

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Free of Charge! July 23, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness, Nature.

IMGP1097bLike the sun, our inner spark never dies.

Sometimes we can’t sense the flame because it’s obscured by the “clouds and fog” of daily living.

Battered and bruised by a barrage of distractions, we become limp with nothing to fill our sails.

The whisper of the wind or the wash of waves on the sand may be all it takes for us to soar again.


Nature recharges our batteries.

Free of charge!


Even when we are grounded.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related: Keep Close to Nature’s Heart (Find Your Middle Ground)

Rising Tides July 18, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Nature.

170px-Creation_of_the_Sun_and_Moon_face_detailA minister got caught in a flood. When the water was up to the porch of his church, a canoe came by and offered help.

“No, God will provide.”

The flood waters rose still higher until he found himself on the porch roof.  Again a canoe came by offering help.

“No, thanks.  God will save me.”

Soon the minister was clinging to the church steeple. A helicopter lowered a line and told him to grab on so they could pull him to safety.

“Thanks.  But God will save me.”

The waters continued to rise and he drowned in the raging flood waters. When he stood before God, he asked why he was allowed to drown. “Why didn’t you save me?”

“I sent you two canoes and a helicopter. What more did you want?”

Aah . . . that’s better!

“People always call it luck when you’ve acted more sensibly than they have.” ~ Anne Tyler

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Bok Tower Gardens June 25, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Nature, Travel & Leisure.

Early May, we drove across state to Bok Tower Gardens, a national historic landmark in Lake Wales.

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Established in 1929 by Edward W. Bok as a gift to the American people, the 50-acre garden was designed by noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.

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The acres include ferns, palms, oaks, pine, flowering foliage, fountains, and wide expanses of manicured lawns.

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This flower waved at us from its shady perch . . .

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This plant’s radiant spikes caught our attention . . .

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Here’s some perspective on the size of its spikes . . .

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In the midst of the greenery stands the 205-foot-tall marble and coquina Singing Tower.

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Each day, a carilloner climbs into the tower to present a concert on the 60-bell carillon.

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The bells range in size from 22,000 pounds to 12 pounds.

After the tower’s construction, the bells got lifted into position through an opening now filled with this sundial.

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The grounds include a Visitor Center and Museum with changing art exhibits and a 9-minute introductory video about the Tower and the Gardens ~> an air-conditioned oasis on the HOT day we visited.

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The gardens are quiet, peaceful, and contemplative, especially when the carillon’s peals ring out from the Singing Tower.

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The site also includes Pinewood Estate and Gardens ~ a one-of-a-kind 1930’s Mediterranean style home surrounded by rolling hills and crowds of blooms.

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Wandering a remote path near Pinewood Estate, we found a baby scrub jay out of its nest.

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After giving it water and building a lean-to to shield it from the sun, we returned to the 20-room mansion to alert a director ~ she hoped to find someone knowledgeable enough to save the baby bird.

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Also on site ~ a Gift Shop, a Plant Shop, and the Blue Palmetto Cafe.

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After admiring the sights and sounds while walking 2-3 miles around and around the grounds with the blazing sun beating down, we climbed into our air-conditioned chariot for the ride home.

Aah . . . that’s better!

And now a few quotes for the Three Quote Challenge (thanks, Sylvia!):

* The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. ~ Alfred Austin

* My family lived off the land; summer evening meals featured baked stuffed tomatoes, potato salad, corn on the cob, fresh shelled peas and homemade ice cream with strawberries from our garden. With no air conditioning, the cool porch was the center of our universe after the scorching days. ~ David Mixner

* If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

If you want to play along, consider yourself nominated.  Then swing by Another Day in Paradise to see how many rules I failed to follow.

There’s A DAY For That! June 5, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature.

Today is National Donut Day!



It’s also World Environment Day which, for whatever reason, donut seem to stir up the same level of enthusiasm as National Donut Day.

At the ArchIf you donut read this in time to plan a suitable celebration, donut worry, there are lots of other days to celebrate this month:

June 6: National Trails Day

Dedicated by the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day is a celebration of trails, when people across the nation take to the trails while hiking, biking, horseback riding, paddling and more.

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June 8: World Oceans Day

June 15: Nature Photography Day

June 18: Go Fishing Day

June 18: International Picnic Day


June 21: First Day of Summer

June 21: Daylight Appreciation Day

June 26: Canoe Day


Aah . . . that’s better!

From See To Shining See May 21, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Mindfulness, Nature, Word Play.

Florida is not all blue skies and palm trees.

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We also enjoy pink spring blossoms.

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Framed by palm fronds.

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And budding families of Sandhill Cranes.


Brilliant reds dot the landscape.


While Great White Egrets patrol for lizards al fresco.


Gardens may be a wild riot of competing colors.


Or a single shade of shade-loving ground cover.


That’s why I keep my eyes open when prowling from see to shining see!


Here . . . see for yourself:

Aah . . . that’s better!

Creating A Zen Garden May 13, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Mindfulness, Nature.

Ego’s appetite for accolades, approval, acclaim, acknowledgment, applause, admiration, etc., etc., etc., is insatiable.

The bigger it gets, the more often it asks to be fed.

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It is up to us to cut it down to size.

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Allowing the rest of the garden to emerge from shade to sunlight.

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TIP:  To remove tenacious roots, use a bulldozer.

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Once we evict overgrown and overblown tenants, we can replant.

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Mulching new blooms with care to prevent weeds from taking root.

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Buoyed by success, we expand our efforts to encompass other beds.

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Transforming a landscape of uncontrolled chaos into an oasis of peace.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

3 Pelicans & A Spoonbill May 5, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Nature.

A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?

~ Dixon Lanier Merritt

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Like other snowbirds, pelicans flock to the region during season to commune on our lagoon.

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The resident snappy dressers, Roseate Spoonbills, happily share space with their snack happy northern cousins.

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As they glide across the mirrored surface of lakes, ponds, and lagoons, well-pouched pelicans scan for fish, dipping nets at the ready.

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Snatching fish in shallow stocked ponds is a *SNAP* for these sushi loving birds.

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As each fish gets scooped up and swallowed down, a resounding *SNAP* from the pelican’s pouch echoes across and around the pond.

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With every snatched snack, these voracious visitors smack their lips, keeping count in song:

100 tasty fish in the lake
100 tasty fish
I grab one out
And “SNAP* it about
99 tasty fish in the lake

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Spoonbills, in contrast, are less obvious in appetite as they silently sweep, swirl, and sift through silt at water’s edge:

The roseate spoonbill spends a lot of its time in shallow water feeding. It sweeps its open bill from side to side in the water to sift up food like small fish, shrimp, mollusks, snails and insects. It has touch receptors in its bill that help it feel its prey. Like the flamingo, the roseate spoonbill’s pink color comes from the food it eats. Some of the crustaceans it eats feed on algae that give the spoonbill’s feathers their rosy pink color. 

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Spoonbills don’t sing silly fish songs . . . but they do practice Tai Chi and Yoga.


A good after-meal S~T~R~E~T~C~H aids digestion.

Aah . . . that’s better!


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