Snail’s Pace Escape

I discovered a snail that escaped from one of my yard waste containers so I rolled it closer to a spreading geranium and watched his ascent to freedom.

His excruciatingly slow movements had a very mindful awareness, as if he was channeling Thich Nhat Hanh.

“When you walk, arrive with every step. That is walking meditation. There’s nothing else to it.”

Fly, Dragon, Fly

Isn’t this the most vibrant orange? I’m in love with this little guy.

Flame Skimmer, Libellula saturata

Dragonfly species that are orange include a variety of skimmers, such as the flame skimmer, firecracker skimmer, golden-winged skimmer, or Needham’s Skimmer.

Orange dragonflies can symbolize joy, creativity, wellness, and sensuality. This relates to the second/sacral chakra, which is orange.

There is magic all around, if you stop and look.

As Robert Bly said, “To be wild is not to be crazy or psychotic. True wildness is a love of nature, a delight in silence, a voice free to say spontaneous things, and an exuberant curiosity in the face of the unknown.”

Me and My Shadow

I thought about this: I’m lucky enough to experience a great deal of butterfly interactions; a continual source of joy and delight.

No photographic evidence exists to prove I’m telling the truth, but yesterday, as I was planting a bunch of California natives, a mourning cloak butterfly was fluttering all around me and then sat on my arm for about two minutes.

I tried to get to my phone to document this magic, but I couldn’t, so you’ll have to believe me. I guess she really really approved the locations where I planted the coffee berry and manzanitas!

This planting experience was a team effort: my son was on the phone with me when I was at the nursery having done the research about which specific plants to buy, and he also determined where each one should be planted. It’s not as much fun as having him here in real life. but we had a good time.

She came back today, blocking my way on the steps, so I was able to finally snap a photo.

Me and my shadow and her own shadow!

Release | Set Free

In keeping with positive intentions and more of that anticipatory vorfreude for this new year, something so strange and wonderful happened!

I had been working in the garden — in my zone of bliss — raking leaves from the ash tree as it finished abscission during last week’s rainy and windy weather. It’s a mystery to me how and when the leaves fall; last year it was before Thanksgiving and this year was much later.

Read about abscission here: https://enchantedseashells.com/2020/11/20/the-process-of-abscission/

When I came inside to freshen my lemony water, I saw what I thought was a piece of paper stuck to the kitchen window, but upon further examination, it was a yellow butterfly!

A yellow butterfly!

I have absolutely no idea how it came to be in the house. I never leave the screen door open ‘cos the rats and squirrels are my constant arch nemeses.

Isn’t this magical? I think so…

My grout isn’t dirty or dingy; I enhanced the photo so the butterfly would be more visible!

I was able to gently coax her into a small plastic container and set her free on the deck. With a joyful heart, I carefully watched her flutter away back to from wherever she came. There was no harm done to her delicate wings.

I wonder if it’s the same butterfly I saw a while ago…that would be SUPER cool.

According to “World of Feng Shui,” a butterfly in the home is always a good omen but…

Maryland lore believes that a butterfly that enters the home and flies around someone foretells one’s death or the death of someone one knows, yet the same sign in Louisiana means that the person will have good luck.

In Japan, they treat a butterfly that enters the home kindly, as the soul of a loved relative or friend might reside in the butterfly and has come to visit them. 

I’m going with the good luck and visit from my mom theories. In either case, I am grateful for the visit.

GO VEGAN in 2022 #Veganuary

(That’s me, one of my favorite pics!)

Of all the positive and healthy choices one could implement for 2022, how about becoming #vegan?

A great way to start the process is to visit https://veganuary.com/

There’s a blog along with recipes and a Getting Started eating guide with shopping and nutrition tips.

Do it for yourself, to prevent animal suffering, and the environment.

No human needs to eat the flesh or secretions of a dead creature.

If you choose to join the movement, please let me know so I can give you encouragement, support, and a virtual high five!

Stay Safe, Yellow Butterfly

Gale force winds, tree limbs down in the garden, neighbor’s pool toys are in my yard, umbrellas broken, lights flickering, and so much RAIN I can’t go outside because it’s dangerous.

This is a perfect time to share a photo gallery of this sweet little yellow butterfly who flirted with me on Sunday afternoon.

I can’t figure out if it’s a Sleepy Orange or Southern Dogface or California Dogface, Little Yellow, Southwestern Cloudless Sulphur, or Jamaican Yellow.

Whew!

I didn’t know there were so many yellow butterflies that look quite similar! (iNaturalist Butterflies of San Diego County).

Anyway, here’s a bit of sunshine on a rainy day. I hope all butterflies and birds and coyotes and bobcats stay safe and dry.

Bobcat Love

I’m so glad I noticed this before our big rain event tomorrow because it would probably decompose or deteriorate beyond recognition.

It’s bobcat scat!

I’ve seen a lot of coyote and raccoon scat on hikes and in my garden but this is the first time I’ve been able to identify bobcat scat here in my own little world.

I’m super excited! The location is directly off my deck so that means the bobcat has been roaming all over, not just up on the hill. It makes me so happy that he or she is marking this territory.

Don’t you especially LOVE the heart-shaped piece? What a gift!

I might run out and save some to show the angels because of all the little bones imbedded in the scat, but I won’t take it all because I want the lovely bobcat to return…this is his (or her) home, too.

And you’re correct; it doesn’t take very much to bring me joy!

Over the Rainbow Bridge Memories

Even though Victor died a long time ago at the age of sixteen, I still miss my best Border Collie every day, and especially now.

He loved to be included in family celebrations, sit by the fire, and tear up wrapping paper.

I think this was his last Christmas before he took the walk over the Rainbow Bridge. If he wanted to rest his old bones on the sofa, he deserved every comfort.

Nothing made him happier than a bucket to toss around the yard. I wonder how many buckets he went through in sixteen years because this one looks pretty well beat up. I believe this pic was taken early in the morning before he died.

He was so sweet to his little sister, Bandit. She’s over the Rainbow Bridge too, and I’m sure she’s still the princess, taking his bed so he’d have to sleep on the floor.

My sweet, sweet babies.

A very old pic of Bandit as a kitten and old man Victor

No ReGRET, just my Egret AGAIN

Well, hello there!

As I pulled into the driveway and opened the garage door, look who was waiting for me!

I couldn’t park fast enough to jump out and greet this magnificent creature. I’m positive this is the same egret I had been lucky enough to have an encounter with on Sunday.

How did she know where I live?

In my fantasy world, I like to pretend that she was flying high above me as I walked home the day before and decided to pay me a personal visit because I helped her cross the street and stay safe from speeding cars.

I’m sure that’s NOT reality, but I like my version better.

This isn’t my house, but I followed her down to the corner. Come back soon, my friend! I have lots of yummy lizards running around the garden. Enjoy!

A Day in the Life: A Naked Lady and a Wandering White Egret

Or how I became the spirit human to a wandering white egret. Do you have a spirit animal? I’m sure we all do, but today I became a bird’s spirit human. At least that’s the story I told myself.

(I’ll not bury the lede and confess that I’m NOT the naked lady, just in case you were curious.)

I don’t know if it’s because of the lingering full moon energy coupled with another Santa Ana heatwave, but this was a strange and interesting Sunday.

I’ve been able to increase my mileage according to the doc’s plan, as long as my foot doesn’t hurt. It can be bit sore, but if I start limping, that’s my cue to give him a call. So far, so good.

On today’s walk, I got a late start and didn’t want to walk to the beach because that’s about 7 or 8 miles round trip, much more than the five miles he approved.

I walked up and around the lagoon. On the way back, I saw one police car and then two and when I saw the third one, my interest was piqued and I decided to follow it. They seemed to all be parked on a street that leads to a lagoon beach.

I stopped and asked a neighbor what was going on and he said he heard there was a naked woman wandering around the area. I then walked up to a police officer and asked him to corroborate what I heard, and he did. I exhorted (strongly encouraged) him to be kind to her since the police dog was there too, and it probably was some sort of mental health issue, not a “let’s unleash the hounds of hell” issue.

By the way, when did cops start dressing like urban warfare combat fighters? The ones I saw today were dressed in FULL ON body armor, in FULL ON FIGHT MODE to what was probably either a domestic or a mental health situation. They were incredibly intimidating looking for a little beach town, way too hard core.

I decided to move on and continue walking out of respect for whomever it was and whatever was going on. Sometimes I hang around to document possible police misconduct, but there were other people gathering, so I felt it was okay to leave.

After walking for another block or so, this is what I saw.

Yup, a beautiful white egret simply standing as still as a statue. S/he took a couple of steps…do you have any idea how SLOWLY egrets walk? It’s like doing a mindful walking meditation with Thich Nhat Hanh, something I’m not at all good at, ‘cos I’m not patient. At all.

But this time, I slowed down to enjoy the moment. S/he walked across the street SO S L O W L Y, turned his/her head and seemed to beckon me to follow, so I did. I stayed a couple feet back and every so often, s/he would turn to look at me and continue.

When it seemed as if (I’ll just call it a female, cos that’s the vibe I got) she wanted to cross a street that’s a bit busier, I went out in the street to warn traffic and to escort her safely. A mom and her two kids joined me and we all followed this queenly white egret up the street. Cars stopped to watch and it was so joyous and so delightful to participate in the Queen Egret Parade. The mom and kids went back home but I continued on our journey together to shepherd this magnificent bird.

I felt as if she was a bit timid, a bit unsure about where she was, and needed me. When we came to a clearing with a field and tall trees, I decided it was time for her to fly. I raised both of my arms outstretched like wings and silently communicated to her that it wasn’t safe on these streets and she needed to fly.

And she did. I watched her circle the area and land in a tall eucalyptus tree. Another egret flew by and my hope is that they all ended up back at the lagoon, safe and sound.

Honestly, I feel like in that moment, I became the spirit human to this pure white egret wanderer.

I don’t have any new information about the naked woman, and I’ll update if I hear anything.

It’s only 11 a.m. and I’ve already had a magical day. It’s time to put a clothes in the washing machine and check the video to see if my coyote or bobcat came to visit. For me, that would be the icing on the cake.

Check out how S L O W L Y she walks.