Category Archives: Nature

Weekend Coffee Share # 19-The Sky Is Not The Limit

Coffee’s up. Come in and pull up a chair. The coffee is strong this morning. I do have tea if you prefer it. If we were having coffee I would ask if you can relate to this. You know how we like to think we can do anything if we try hard enough. I recently enrolled in a ‘beginning’ Yoga class and found that it was too challenging for me. When I was younger I was able to do it. The instructor moved us through the poses pretty fast and some of the poses would be too hard on my shoulders and actually triggered vertigo. I felt like I was going to fall down from vertigo on the way out of the class last week. I had been trying to stick with it to see if I could improve over time. The vertigo episode made me realize that this class is probably not for me. I have a problem quitting something. I don’t like to admit I can’t do it. I have to tell myself that we all have limitations. There is no shame in accepting that we can’t do something. It is better to accept this than have a bad fall and possible injury if I continue with the class. You are not a failure if you try something and realize it does not suit you or you do not have the ability to do it. I can still do some gentle Yoga classes. The Chair Yoga class is working out well. You might think, like I did at first, that chair yoga means sitting in a chair doing yoga poses. Actually, you do not spend hardly any time sitting in the chair. The chair is used as a prop and for balance. I am glad I decided to try it again. The class is not overly crowded. We are spread out and all wearing masks.

I’m so excited to tell you that on one of my walks this week I spotted not 1 but 3 roadrunners. The first sighting was of a pair of roadrunners. One was larger than the other. I am guessing they could be mates or a parent and child. The larger one ran out first and the other stayed near a bush. Eventually the smaller one joined the larger one on the green. I had to shoot photos pretty blind because of the light and distance. I am not allowed to walk onto the golf course unless I am playing golf. The third road runner was making its way near some houses on another street. Unsuccessful in getting a photo of that one. I feel so lucky to have seen all three of them though. It really made my day.


Hallelujah! A pair of roadrunners
Single roadrunner looking to right

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer.

Featured image ‘Coffee swirl’ by Will Keightley on Flickr.com, reminds me of vertigo.

Weekend Coffee Share #18-Camera Shy Bird

Coffee’s up. Come in and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you I continue my quest to capture a photo of the Roadrunner. There have been several sightings but he will not stop long enough for me to get a shot. One bit of news is that he has been coming closer to my house. My husband has been the one to spot him lately and say things like, ‘the Roadrunner just ran across our driveway,’ while I was retrieving our trash can from the curb. The tricky bird ran behind me. I turned to say to my husband, ‘are you kidding me?’ We looked in the direction our bird friend headed and I spotted him running off at the end of our cul-de-sac. On a recent morning, my husband reported the Roadrunner was on the wall in our yard and had flown up into a neighbor’s Shoestring Acacia tree. Try as I might I could not see the bird. I am now on high alert for any signs of him around our yard.

I have been taking walks about every day and noticing more interesting cacti and succulents. The first one, below left, looked like a giant asparagus to me. It turns out the Yucca is part of the Asparagaceae family like the common asparagus we eat. I think this is called ‘The Lord’s Candle’ or Yucca Whipplei. If it blooms I will be more confident in my identification skills. The next plant, center, is a Madagascar Palm, (it’s not really a palm but a succulent), or Pachypodium Lamerei, which looks to me a bit like a pachyderm trunk. The name Pachypodium comes from two Greek words, ‘pachys’ meaning thick and ‘podion’ meaning foot. The word pachyderm translates to thick skin. The little flowering tree on the far right looks interesting. Does anyone know what it is?

Shoestring Acacia Roadrunner hideout

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer. Image of ‘Coffee with foam’ by Lotus Head in Johannesburg, South Africa on wikimedia.org That’s a lot of foam. Looks good.

Weekend Coffee Share #17-Burrowing In

Coffee’s ready. Please join me and pull up a chair. We have Pete’s French Roast this morning. I am out of half and half so we will need to use milk. If we were having coffee I would tell you I met some of the neighbors this week. One lives next store, a nice lady with two small friendly dogs. Things are opening up here in California but I still don’t see all the neighbors out and about much yet when I take a walk. We found evidence of a new resident in our backyard. I spotted a hole in the ground near the grapefruit tree. It has some sand piled up near the lower edge of it as if something has been digging. I’ve been keeping watch and haven’t seen anything coming out or around there. I think there is a bit more sand pushed out today. I noticed there is slight cave in of the ground above and another small hole near the big one. We are not sure what to do about it yet. We do plan to ask the gardener. I did a bit a research on which creatures make burrows in the sandy soil of the desert. I don’t think it is a tortoise but it could be a rodent. I read snakes do not make burrows but would occupy a vacant one. I don’t want to use poisons because that can hurt birds like The Roadrunner. If he finds out we have a critter in our yard, he may come in and hunt it. Roadrunners will eat things like that.


Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer.

Featured image by Ermal Tahiri on Pixabay.com

Blow The Coop

I have been writing about my re-emergence into the world. In the past couple of weeks I have made those long put off appointments for a haircut, routine medical tests, and started taking some live in-person exercise classes. We are still taking precautions in California like mask wearing and social distancing. Each foray into the world has been a learning experience in increasing my comfort level around people again. There has been visibly more activity in our neighborhood. I see more people on foot or driving around. It seems like there are more repairmen trucks parked in front of neighbor’s residences.

One thing missing from view when I have been outside is my friend The Roadrunner. I was thinking this could be due to all the increased human activity scaring him away or he/she was injured or killed.

I have gotten in the habit of taking my cell phone with me every time I go on a walk so I can take photos. I always keep an eye out for The Roadrunner. As I mentioned, I haven’t seen him, until today. I was on my way to the mailbox and he was crossing the road near there. I was so excited to see him I said it out loud, ‘I’m so glad to see you.’ We stood still observing each other. I did not have confidence to point my cell camera and get a good photo for fear of spooking him. He ran over to a palm and disappeared. I gave the palm a wide birth so as not to startle him or have him charge me. The palm was next to the mailbox and there was a wall behind it so I am pretty sure he was in there somewhere. He did not come out and I did not want to go in after him. Next time I will try for the photo even if I am shooting blind.

Thinking about all the places where the pandemic is surging. Sending thoughts and wishes for strength and healing. Let this terrible time be over.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is words that sound like ‘oop.’

Tres Fatigue

For our SOCS prompt today we were to “open a book, a newspaper, or whatever is handy and close your eyes and point. Whatever word or picture your finger lands on, make that the basis of your SoCS/JusJoJan post.” I have a book of short writings on self-care. The one for January 22 is ‘Listen to Fatigue.’

I mentioned in my past post that I’m in the process of moving to another house. ‘We are downsizing,’ she said hopefully. In reality, I think we are taking everything with us to a smaller house. Packing up is tiring. One member of this couple has a very hard time letting go of stuff and it’s not me. Oh well, if I am being honest, I would say I have a hard time letting go of some of the stuff. As a result we are taking a lot of stuff to our new place. Today we made an extra trip to the desert to drop off some of it. We made the round trip in one day and I am pooped. On the positive side, it was good getting out of the house and seeing the sky, clouds, hills, and mountains. I have been spending most of my time indoors and have missed out on seeing nature. The beauty of nature always restores me. That and getting some sleep. Good night.

‘Lone Cypress’ (17 mile drive Pebble Beach, California) by Anita Ritenour on Flickr.com

Above is a scene from another very beautiful drive.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill.

Featured image ‘Tired’ by Christian Krohg via wikimedia.org

Mini Doses Of Wonder

I find some relief from the bad news and stress in nature films. They remind me that there is much I do not know about this world and there is so much beauty in it. Here is one.

Rainbow Blanket Octopuses filmed in Philippines

And still one of my favorites:

Flapjack Octopus filmed by EV Nautilus in California
Filmed by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Monterey Bay Aquarium has videos from their mini-subs and films from around the aquarium for meditation and relaxation. They call them MeditOceans.

Here’s one with Sea Nettle Jellyfish.

From Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, miraculous:

I think I need to look at these nature videos daily at least.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ‘mini/maxi.’

 

One Liner Wednesday-Nature In My Neighborhood

“I was the shyest human ever invented, but I had a lion inside me that wouldn’t shut up!” – Ingrid Bergman

 

Mountain Lion (Puma) Yearling via NPS Joshua Tree National Park

There was a mountain lion in a tree a couple of blocks from my house on Saturday. We were unaware until we heard and saw a helicopter hovering high over our house for a long time. I called my son to tell him about the helicopter and he told me there was a mountain lion in a tree near where a boyhood friend of his used to live. He sent us the link to the news story about it. I was worried the lion would be hurt by authorities trying to remove it. Then I read the wildlife authorities said to leave the lion alone and it would return to the Santa Monica mountains when night fell.


One Liner Wednesday, #1linerWeds, is hosted by Linda G Hill.

X is for Xiphosura

Horseshoe Crab family: Limulidae, Suborder: Xiphosurida, Order: Xiphosura

In America they are found on the Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico. Their blood is blue, not that they are aristocrats but warriors who have survived for over 300 million years.  This blood contains amebocytes and is drained by the pharmaceutical industry to produce limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) which can detect baterial endotoxins. Horseshoe crabs are not really crabs but arthropods.

A video about the Horseshoe crabs and how they are used via You Tube:


Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2020

Notes Tied On The Sagebrush now has 1001 followers. Thank You.

1,000 Follows!

Wonder

Important not to lose our capacity for wonder. During our visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium last year our grandson saw the penguins for the first time. One swam down and looked like it was nose to nose with him, almost like a kiss. Very magical.

My grandson visits with the penguins

Some undersea creatures near Monterey are glowing in the dark:

Pearls of the Planet/ Pacific Ocean by Explore.org via You Tube:


What Day Is It Anyway? #WDIIA, is hosted by Linda G Hill

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2020

Trees

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” – John Steinbeck

I have written about the California coastal redwood forests in prior posts. I keep coming back because I love these trees, I love nature, and I love California. I have visited the redwood forest a couple of times and it is truly awe inspiring. We can visit now with virtual tours, videos, and beautiful images. I hope to go and visit them again after we are released from our ‘ stay at home’ orders. For now I have the trees around my house that provide shade and shelter for the birds and squirrels. Here in my part of Southern California there are a lot of Oak trees.  They are protected here and dot the landscape throughout this area and other parts of California.

Drive through Oaks, Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara, California via New York Public Library

Redwood National and State Parks in located in the northernmost coast of California and approximately 50 miles long from Crescent City to south of Oreck, California.

 

Maybe this ‘Stay at home’ time will inspire me to get out in the world much more than I have been in recent years. We’ve got to embrace life because, as this terrible crisis makes us so acutely aware, we can’t take life for granted.


What Day Is It Anyway? #WDIIA, is hosted by Linda G Hill

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2020

Featured image ‘Ancient Coast Redwoods tower above hikers at Simpson Reed Grove Trail’ courtesy of US National Park Service