Birds and Bees, and a Weird Morning

It’s not even noon, but it’s already been a weird day. I got to the Hermit Haus for work, and was just making my coffee when the lights went out. Well, most of them did. For some reason, my red lamp and the light over the kitchen sink kept glowing, eerily.

It was just barely glowing when the power was out. Wonder why.

So, Kathleen and I went outside, and saw Chris talking to the neighbor (at way over 6 feet away) about the power being out. We got a text from Mandi saying Oncor (power folks) knew about it and would get the power back on in a couple of hours. Great. I had a couple of things I’d wanted to get done immediately.

Grr.

After standing around and thinking for a while, we each went back to our respective areas to do work that could be done on the phone. Kathleen made phone calls, I did weekly employee reviews, Chris painted trim.

We opened the doors in our office for more light, and Chris did the same at the Pope house. A mistake? Maybe.

That’s when the invasions occurred. Chris heard noises and saw that he had a new coworker, but one that just banged on things randomly. This poor mockingbird was not helpful at all.

Hey, you’re not paying me enough to work in here!

At the same time, all the honey bees that have been out enjoying our wildflower meadow (the one with all the yellow flowers) decided to check out our basement. At the time it was no problem.

Then at 10 am, the power came back. Yay. The bees were still in the building. They decided to visit my office, with its bright lights. At first they checked out the monitor, but then I realized at least three of them were on my light fixture. Kathleen could hear them all buzzing away.

This moon is beautiful!

Finally I couldn’t concentrate on my work, so I turned the light off. Hooray, the bees went out. And we shut the doors, so no more can come in. We’ll shoo them back out at some point today, since there’s not much nectar down here.

I’m glad the June bugs are only at the ranch. I don’t think I could take them all bouncing around down here. Back to work.

Donkey Legs and Other Problems with Dampness

Poor Miss Fiona! When I trudged over (okay, I drove) to feed the steeds after finishing my newsletter draft, I noticed one of them did not slog up to greet me, and it was her.

The horses were clean on top and muddy on the bottom after yesterday’s big rain, but were happy to see me. Fiona stood in the middle of the paddock and brayed at me. Hmm.

They’d also gotten locked out of the pens, so were excited at new grass (at most they were locked out two days).

I got their supplements all prepared, and the horses dug in, but FiFi just hobbled a couple of steps. Uh-oh. I went out to her and eww! Every single leg was raw and bleeding on the outer side. Of course there were also flies everywhere.

I took pictures and sent them to Sara. We pondered. Did a dog go after her? No, they aren’t puncture wounds. Did she slip in the mud and scrape her legs? Well, how would that happen to all four?

Ick.

We’ve narrowed it down to rain rot that she’s making worse by gnawing on it, or lice or something. I’ll look again tomorrow and try to get better pictures to send the farrier. In the meantime, I cleaned her as much as I could and fly sprayed her. More news as it happens!

Damp Hens

I felt badly for the chickens last night when it rained so hard, but they were fine today. I need to get their food covered better, though, because it keeps getting wet.

We’re happy hennies.

It is still damp and foggy now, so I just put food on the ground with their delicious scratch and leftover veggies.

They still aren’t laying, even though they have grown a lot. Oh well, they are good diversions.

Not Long Winded

Too bad, but I’m just not up for writing an ode to the wind, as the UU Lent prompt would want me to. And my wind photos right now consist of mostly pictures of pollen and ducks. Here is pollen that needs to get blown around by the wind more:

These folks parked under an oak tree. Oops.

I’m like my mom in that I am not a big fan of the wind. It’s not as bad as my son was when he had his long rock-and-roll hair, but I am not fond of it. That’s one reason I cut my hair, so it wouldn’t get me all wind-miffed.

And happy holiday to you ethnically Irish friends. Note that I need a haircut and that there is a donkey poking out of my head. Oops.

The pollen has been pretty awful, as I’ve mentioned, and everyone in my little pod of containment has to explain to each other that really, really, they just have allergies.

I’m glad we can get outdoors, anyway. The wind blew n some whistling ducks this morning while Chris and I were talking outside, and I got to enjoy the look on his face when one of the ducks landed in a tree. He said, “I didn’t know ducks did that!” I told him just these.

I’m a special duck.

I’ll just share one more picture of a duck and a tree full of pollen, then I hope to have a fun Pope Residence update for you.

Two whistling ducks, one sort of hiding.

And yes, the dogs were glad to see us when we got home!

A Very Different Ocean View

We’ve been relaxing with Donita and Libba in Swansboro, NC. They live on the Intracoastal Waterway near the quaint old fishing town.

Me, relaxing.

While I have enjoyed my two days of shopping here and in nearby towns, it’s the birds and other animals that have made this trip special. You can see all sorts of marshes and barrier islands, which are just teeming with life.

Oysters by the sea wall

It’s a great contrast from Myrtle Beach, which is all big resorts. No natural beauty.

Laughing gull

Last night I saw an otter bopping around, which was really fun. Today I got to see a wild pony off of Beaufort. That’s pretty good viewing!

The otter was on the shore at left.

And the birds are fascinating. I saw an osprey and a gull fight over a fish. And there are so many waterfowl to enjoy, including many kinds of ducks, geese, egrets, herons, ibis, and so on. This is what makes me happy.

Ibis in Beaufort

Who needs people? I can just sit outside and observe.

Donita and Libba love boats.

What are your plans? When not working from home, I’ll be reading and knitting. And writing!

One of many amazing beach homes. Yow.

Wisdom: Did We Make a Wise Decision?

The salesperson we dealt with yesterday, the relentlessly flattering Kathy (she kept telling us how smart we were), convinced us to stay an extra day here in Myrtle Beach. So, we pushed our trip out a day. Hmm…that brings me to the UU Lent word of the day, wisdom.

There is no doubt in Lee’s nor my mind that this wasn’t a wise decision! An entire day with no agenda and no feeling rushed is a real blessing to us. After losing more than half of yesterday working out a deal to make traveling easier for Lee (he NEEDS to get out, but doesn’t like to fly), today feels good. And it’s given me a chance to think hard about what wisdom is and where it comes from.

I looked out the balcony this morning and saw a perfect depiction of the path to wisdom. It runs between my watery intuitive side and my my analytical side. I need them both.

I’m not being egotistical to declare that I am a lot wiser now, at age 62. Life’s journey has given me plenty of learning opportunities (or challenges), and while I may have not been as wise as I thought I was early in life, at least I was always open to learning and growing. Like in the picture above, I can never see where I’m going on this path, but there’s always something new coming up. Then at the end, I’ll disappear into the mist. (GEEZ that’s cheesy.)

What Do We Need to Gain Wisdom

Yep, this is what I look like in a mirror and it’s just fine, thanks.

Well, there’s lots, of course, but one thing that’s really helped me is accepting myself as I am, rather than trying to be who someone else wants me to be or comparing myself with others. I like that I can look in the mirror now and tell myself I am fine just the way I look, and that I am really great inside.

Learning to love myself and retraining my brain to send me positive messages was the hardest thing I ever did, and it’s rewarded me more than I can express. I sure see things more clearly when they aren’t obscured by self criticism and insecurity about myself. Go me!

Another characteristic that has brought me a lot of wisdom is curiosity. I’m not interested in staying in my comfort zone and not exploring new ideas, new places, or new activities (after a bit of Suna’s patented hesitation). I love to look around corners, explore nooks and crannies, and see what’s out there, just like the beautiful bird below. That’s helped me see things in new ways, which can’t help but bring on not just knowledge, but wisdom – which includes knowing what to do with what you learn.

“What’s over here?” asks the egret.
I found this picture on my phone, taken by Lee when he was supposed to be taking pictures for me. Made me laugh.

One thing that maybe people don’t think about leading to wisdom is humor. Humor requires looking at life in different ways, not just what’s readily apparent. That’s got to help you become wiser. I’ve found that the wisest people I know laugh a lot, too. Maybe that’s good for you in more ways than are apparent!

Being able to laugh at experiences rather than dwelling on how bad they are or what awful consequences there may be also leaves you more open to learning, even from the hard things that we all go through.

And finally, wisdom requires patience. You don’t get wise overnight (like I used to think when I was an all-knowing teen psychic wonder). It doesn’t just show up. Sometimes you have to experience things multiple times to learn from them (how about those repeated relationships with inappropriate men?). And sometimes you have to wait for life to unfold before you get to where you’ve internalized your knowledge and applied it to your life. It doesn’t help to know something, it’s got to get IN there, and that takes patience.

I’ll get to use this soon, away from dog toenails, of course.

Yep, I am finally almost done with this lap blanket. If only I’d brought the green yarn to finish the corners. This took both patience and perseverance!

What Have I Missed?

I’m sure some of you have in mind other aspects of life that lead to wisdom. Share them here or on Facebook, because I’m interested to know what you think. Wisdom also comes from learning from your peers!

Birds Birds Birthday Birds

It’s the spouse’s birthday. That’s why we took a trip! What fun that half the day was taken up doing business! Yes! Woo!

Me taking a break and wishing I was on the beach.

Um. It wasn’t horrible and we came out with some future travel fun. I want to go places before I die. Lee will put up with it, or send me off with Anita.

Whew, he’s as old as me again, and can still hold up a tree.

Birds!

We escaped the towering beach resort at last and made it to a state park. There, I had more Nature Girl fun that humans should be allowed to have. And even Lee enjoyed the walking around my favorite thing on earth, a marsh.

It’s a marsh.

The Huntington Beach State Park is beautiful. We didn’t look at all of it, but focused on the wilder parts. The trails we walked on were spectacular, with huge old pines and oaks and much evidence of fairly recent flooding.

What a huge oak tree!

We saw SO many birds. As soon as we got out of the car, I saw cheeky chickadees, and when we got on the boardwalk, there was a family of Eastern bluebirds. They have lots of nest boxes on the island, and they seem to be working!

Blue birds!

I took lots and lots of photos on our walk, and I got more and more excited with each new bird I saw. The causeway was a real hotbed of shore birds, and I had SO much fun with other birders looking at a group of birds hanging around together, with anhingas, ospreys, and bald eagles flying over head. Wow!

Of course, I took lots of pictures of plants. This is a wild blackberry or a dewberry or some bramble.

Enjoy these photos, which are enough to make any naturalist swoon, far as I’m concerned.

After all that, we had a beautiful birthday dinner at the Sea Captain’s House, a restaurant that has been here 58 years. I had she-crab soup and then oysters (of course) for my main course. Then we shared a wonderful birthday dessert.

The picture is dark so you can see the ocean out the window. Nice.

Was it a good day? Oh yes, it was. That blue bird of happiness followed us all day!

Camellia outside the restaurant.

Trying to Do Nothing. It’s Hard.

This vacation to Myrtle Beach is for Lee to get some rest and relaxation, so I am trying to not impose my agenda on him. Today he wanted to scan in receipts and balance his budget, so okay, that’s what he did. I’m not great at just doing my regular job in a different spot (though I uploaded a post for another blog, dealt with a couple of issues for the Austin job, and such).

I just feel like if I’m in a new place, I should go check it out, so I spent much of the day looking around the resort area where we’re staying. This morning I walked a long way up the beach, and was actually glad for all the brightly colored hotels, condos, and resorts on the beach, because everything else was solid gray. The surf, sand, and sky all matched.

Gray sand, gray birds, grayish water, gray skies.

I did get to enjoy something you don’t get to see every day, though. They were tearing down a condo building that I guess isn’t big and tall enough or something. The wrecking ball had to be careful not to damage the building a few yards away from it. Half the building was rubble and half looked like people still lived there. Weird.

Future former building.

The nature watching was limited. I saw laughing gulls, pigeons, and dead jellyfish. The shells here are all broken (it’s the Atlantic, after all) but a lot of them obviously were big ole clams!

Poor jellyfish.

Lee came out of the building and walked with me to the next pier, where we had a very good lunch at the Pier 14 restaurant. Even veggies of the day were good (most places they are not even completely defrosted and have no seasoning, but these were hot and tasty). I had some good scallops. I’m managing to keep eating healthy!

The boardwalk is nice. I assume it’s much more crowded next month.

Most of Myrtle Beach reminds me of Ft. Lauderdale (a place of which I have never been fond). Not a lot of natural beauty, at least anywhere near the water. I think this place is designed for a different kind of tourist than me. If I wanted to drink, hear live music, buy cheap souvenirs, play golf (mini or otherwise), or ride Ferris wheels, though, this would be nirvana.

This is the most nature I found. The blue thing is where I had lunch.

But, I enjoyed sitting and watching the waves this afternoon, while chatting with a lady from Tennessee, and have gotten a lot of good knitting and reading in. Plus a nap. Yes, a nap! And Lee did go for a walk with me around 5 pm.

Mmm, shops and more shops.

So, I succeeded pretty well in doing nothing and avoiding large crowds. Tomorrow, though, I have been promised a trip to a park. They tend to not be hotbeds of disease.