Heritage for WPC 5-17-17

Heritage
The word for this week’s WordPress Challenge theme is Heritage. This “wall” in my home  office/group room was created to balance the masculine energy in my house these days as I live with SIX MEN!

But it really represents my Heritage. I come from a long line of very creative and powerful women, specializing in survival. Most of them, through necessity or circumstance, were Single Mothers.

These lacy, pastel bits and pieces are from these women, as far back as one of Brigham Young’s many wives…all of whom were basically “single mothers”

IMG_6906IMG_6901IMG_6900IMG_6899IMG_6898IMG_6897IMG_6894

The Eagles (for once, NOT the rock band)

I have delayed, avoided, and postponed writing this because I wanted to find the words to convey my recent profound experience.

For more than a month, we have had Bald Eagles visiting on our quiet little dead-end street, unusual in the middle of one of the largest, fastest growing cities in Washington state.

I’ve lived in my home for almost 44 years and have sometimes seen eagles circling high above.  Twice, I was even gifted with a low fly-by right in my driveway! But I have only seen them land once before. (I wrote a whole story about that dramatic event but I’ll save it for a later post!)

A few weeks ago on my daily walk I just happened to spot, well actually hear some sky activity. A couple of Bald Eagles, apparently cruising our neighborhood for prey or a nesting site (although it seems late in the year for that latter). Not sure why they are hanging out here. (Hope all the neighbors are keeping their pet Gerbils inside.)

It was a really gray day which made it impossible for my hard-working point and shoot Canon to get a good shot when they landed in a tree top.

And then, a few days later, I was at my computer sending a favorite link to my new blogging friend, Lisa, at  https://dailymusing57.com/  (a terrific Blog, by the way). The link is to a live camera for the Decorah Eagles. As I was typing, I heard that unmistakable eagle-screaming right outside my window! I ran outside onto my deck (without my camera-Dang!) and witnessed the most amazing thing.

This deck is very large, about 600 square feet, and wide open. It’s actually the roof over an old 3 car garage. Before the trees in my neighborhood matured, from my deck I could see the Space Needle and the Olympic Mountains! And every year, lounging on this deck, I would watch the big fireworks shows in July or the Blue Angels performing in August.

But I had never seen a show like this one! There were FIVE BALD EAGLES circling my above me!! Like a small Convocation! (you gotta be impressed I knew that word!) It looked like two were fending off or chasing the other three. Maybe it was a territory battle or some kind of mating ritual. I don’t know!

The twosome flew very close together in large and then smaller and smaller circles. They landed on the top of the biggest tree right in front of my house. The other three flew off into the distance.

IMG_9047

In all these years living in my house, no eagle has ever landed right in front of my house before! Maybe I was just tapped into Eagle Energy on that day or something. I mean, what are the odds I’d be typing away about the Decorah Bald Eagles at the exact moment my local ones appear? I have often wondered if Eagles are a “totem” (spirit animal) for me. Supposedly, if an animal presents itself to you three times, they are yours! So I looked them up.

http://www.pure-spirit.com/more-animal-symbolism/629-eagle-symbolism

For the next several days, the Pair that won the turf battle, hung out in some trees right up the street from me.

IMG_9139

Finally, a sunny day. I shot so many pictures, I broke my camera…literally. I now have to use glass tape to keep the battery door closed.

Now my neighbors all know about our visitors. I am the longest (and oldest) resident on our street and the self-appointed Wildlife Reporter for our neighborhood e-mail list. When I am in the street with my camera, looking up, they stop their cars and ask where the Eagles are today? There have been many emails of sightings, almost as many as when there is a coyote prowling around. On Easter morning, several households were treated to a dramatic Bald Eagle show during outside Easter Egg Hunts. Great opportunities to teach the younger ones about these majestic birds!

Part of the “show” was a couple of Crows dive-bombing these two Eagles, who seemed to be simply sitting there…but I bet there was a Crow’s nest near by.

IMG_9435
This Eagle “peals” each time the Crow dives

This whole experience has totally inspired me to upgrade with WordPress so I can share short videos on my blog. And I think there is a way to capture single frames from a video but I don’t know how. Here is the opening frame of a great video I got of that epic sky-battle. (It’s a photo of my computer screen, so sort of a blurry “screenshot.)

IMG_9154

In recent weeks, almost every clear morning and evening this beautiful twosome sits at the top of my tree to watch the sun rise or set. They remind me of a scene in the movie City of Angels (Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage) where all the Angels are lined up on the beach to watch the Sunset. (It’s in this Goo Goo Dolls video)

 

I have been house and dog sitting for dear friends this last week, so I have missed their visits, but every day I drive the 25 miles back to my house hoping for a sighting. I pay lots of attention to my three cats for a while, pretending that’s why I’m home, but then, I go out on my deck looking for my Bald Eagles. I miss them. (Do NOT tell my kitties that’s really why I’m home. They are so sensitive!)

One morning, at the place I’m staying, I looked up from writing this story to see a huge bird right outside on the fence…some kind of Hawk, I think. Couldn’t get my camera focused fast enough but here he is.

IMG_9401

Anybody recognize this pretty? I thought to myself “Hmm, settling for a Hawk? It’s just not the same.” but when I looked up the Native American symbolism for Hawk, it was so close to Eagles I decided I’d better start paying better attention to their message for me.

I have to admit that with all this activity and totem research, I am now taking these Bald Eagle visits very personally. I’m looking at my current life differently and as usual, with a “message from the Universe”, there is a mixture of wonder, awe, and Duh!

If I knew how to thank these birds, I would.

I mean, I’m not going to sacrifice one of my cats or anything, but I am truly grateful for their amazing and persistent presence.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My message…
“This may be a good opportunity for you to renegotiate and balance your obligations–-Eagle ”  from http://www.spirit-animals.com/eagle/
OK, got it!! Could not be more fitting right now.
IMG_9430
You must always look carefully at the WHOLE picture….even when there is distracting beauty right in front of you…
(My accidental discovery…I didn’t see my Eagle in the background until I enlarged the apple blossoms…)
If you read all the way to here, I sure would appreciate some feedback or reactions to this post. Thank you.

Earth for WPC 4/18/17

Earth
Earth

What an Earth Day morning I’ve had…nothing short of miraculous!!

I apparently woke myself up before daylight fretting about how I could respond to the WordPress Photo Challenge this week. The topic this week is Earth, perfect given today is such a special day, but overwhelming in it’s vast and endless possibilities. As is often the case, I just can’t choose one picture! So here is a photo journal in honor of Earth Day.

I love photographing plant life!

20160330_120503

I am thrilled with landscape shots, especially mountains

Arizona11-10-07 047

img_8561

Sunrise and sunset are, in my opinion, Natures purest art form, and it’s a brand new canvas every day!

IMG_8603IMG_9043

I love animals, especially birds.

IMG_8574IMG_9309IMG_9145IMG_9315

Don’t even get me started on water. Ahh, the ocean…

All of these things seem to capture Earth for me…

I thought I might do this post about the pair of Bald Eagles that have been hanging out in my tree for the last 3 weeks. They were there with me this morning for 2 hours during a stunning Earth Day sunrise…

But, I have been collecting photos in a particular and slightly odd category for quite a while, just waiting for the right “topic” to inspire me to post some of them. Today seems like the day.

Contrails

It started with a very powerful waking dream one afternoon. In my non-chemically altered state (I promise) I became a native inhabitant of the Northwest, maybe 200 years ago. Here’s what I dreamed.

One day I was simply enjoying the afternoon sky when all of a sudden I saw a strange narrow white cloud, shooting a perfect line across the bright blue expanse. It was moving rapidly and though quite pointed at the front end, it spread out into thicker rows of tiny clouds, all in a straight-ish line. I thought this must be a special message from Father Sky and wondered if I was supposed to find a man to interpret. And then I knew…Father Sky and Mother Earth were one in the same…both identically important and equally powerful. Even more significant, that one could not provide it’s individual sustenance to and for EARTH without the other. Different, but equal. Differing, but the same. Separate, but connected.

When I shook myself out of my revery, all I could think of was that Contrails did not exist back then and if one had streaked across the sky, how in the world would it have been explained by any who had witnessed one? Can you imagine? What would you have thought???

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Maybe this doesn’t seem like an Earth Day post to you but there you have it.

Happy Earth Day to all and don’t give up.

Surprise for WPC 4/12/17

Surprise

I was sitting outside, at the table on my sister’s deck, trying to capture a good photo of one of her many hummingbirds. She has several feeders as well as a ton of flowers all around so the photo opportunities were abundant. I even put a feeder right in the center of the table, inches away from me but still was not that happy with the shots I was getting.

I got this one…

SAN JUAN'S 4-09 202

 

And then this…

SAN JUAN'S 4-09 167

 

But the one that surprised me was THIS!!  Look carefully. (I call it “Incoming”!)

 

 

 

SAN JUAN'S 4-09 210

 

 

And then my favorite.

I almost erased it until I really looked at it!!!

SAN JUAN'S 4-09 211

SURPRISE!!!

I’m so glad I didn’t delete it. I LOVE this picture!

Who knows what else we miss when we don’t really look closely….

Song Lyrics Sunday-4/2/17 Music of the 80’s

Helen from https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/ has asked for some “hopeful” music from the 80’s. I’m not sure my selections are what she had in mind. Because my very first thought was Joan Baez and her song (and album) Children of the 80’s, all I could think of after that was all the great political and protest music that came out in the tail end of that Disco-laden era.

Actually, now that I think of it, there really isn’t anything much more hopeful than younger generations filling our hearts, minds and EARS with thoughtful and inspirational music, even if it is protesting the current state of affairs!

In the 1980’s, I attended Antioch University to finish my Masters. We were encouraged to be creative in how we learned about our chosen subjects. I took a class I expected to be dry and factual, called One World-the History of Political Science. I hated both history and politics.  My professor could see how much I dreaded this class and suggested that I create an informative project about “politics” as I personally defined it. I designed an auditory presentation called Music of the 60’s vs Music of the 80’s. Going in, I had assumed the music from MY time of Flower Children, Hippies and Protesters would insultingly overshadow the inane stuff I was hearing on the radio in my house. My son would have been a young teenager then. Rupert Holmes singing about Pina Coladas, Captain and Tenille, Bananarama, Come ON!

Man, was I ever shocked when I started actually researching current music. I talked to local band members like Heart, Queensryche, and Soundgarden. And all the folk singers I could find-Riley and Maloney, Tom Dundee, Jim Post. I started really listening to the non-mainstream (the tail end of disco and it’s spinoffs) type music. I interviewed disc jockeys from several local radio stations.

What I ended up with, almost accidentally, was a 90 minute tape that blew my professor’s mind. He lobbied for, and won me 10 credits for my 3 credit class.

Here are just a handful of songs I had in my project.

If you want to hear more great 80’s Protest or political songs, check out this great site.

http://www.inthe80s.com/protest.shtml

Thanks to Helen, and all the participants in her challenge, who make my musical week!

A Good News/Bad News PS

That tape got destroyed in a basement flood not long afterward. I was SO crushed!!

BUT, my son Michael informs me that the music I was so judgmental of was not at all to his liking either, just happened to be on the radio. We now enjoy mostly the same stuff.

michael and mom
In the bottom photo we are probably listening to Depeche Mode…

IMG_1345

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-4217/