Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Rare Treat. ..

yesterday as i was walking little o, i heard a strange sound in the woods. i thought maybe it was someone chopping down a tree... well, that was close, as it turned out it was a pileated woodpecker having a real go at it on a very dead basswood tree. we continued walking up the lane, and to my surprise, on the way back he was still there, putting a rather large hole in that tree. so i rushed home and got my camera and came back. sure enough, altho at first i couldn't see him because he was down in the hole he made, i was able to get this photo. it is a bit blurry because the trees were blowing in the wind, and his work was still in progress.

it always amazes me what i have learned living in the midst of nature. i haven't tried, it just sort of seeps in thru ones pores -- and i have learned that we must learn to live in tune and with respect for the world that surrounds us. it worries me that so many of us seem to think we can continue to use resources with no thought to the effect on our planet. altho, i did read recently that it really isn't the planet we are destroying, it is ourselves. the author of that paper contends that the planet will survive perhaps in a very different form, but that human life as we know it will not, because we are not wise enough to stop biting the hand that feeds us.

you know, it is hard to believe that the planet is in trouble... just walk with me thru the forest now that spring is here. the early wild flowers like bleeding heart -- kind of appropriate, if unintended! -- are in full bloom, the trees are filling out with their new leaves which come out in many subtle colors of greens and dusky reds, my violets are in purple profusion all around me, and my magenta tulips, all four of them that survived the squirrels, are beautiful. how can the planet be in trouble?

but look a little closer and see how many of the trees are dead or dying -- elm disease, acid rain and other pollutants are killing the trees from the inside out. do we know that without the trees we cannot survive? all living plants breathe in carbon dioxide, and without them to do that -- well, we all know about global warming and that we have overburdened our trees and plants which can no longer do their job well.

so, it behooves us to rethink our need for so much material wealth. i think we have lost something very important in our world today when we, even without intending to, put material goods as a higher priority than good people skills and relationships. there also seems to be a great decline in the joy of living. out here in the country i am blessed to feel the exuberance that comes with waking to a glorious sunrise and living the day watching the otter play in the pond, or the beaver building their dam, or the woodducks landing in my trees. there is no better feeling than to be alive on this earth and feel the glory of its beauty. i am sad that so many people rush about and don't stop to smell the flowers. i wish to every living being the joy that life brings.

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