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The starlings are back

Beekeeping.

Droughts especially appear to have accompanied the spirits of the dead in bee-form, and for this reason the honey offering was almost always customary in rain-magic, and the power of predicting rain was attributed to the bee.

~ Hilda M. Ransome, The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore

Farmers depend on honey bees to pollinate ninety different fruits and vegetables, from almonds to lettuce to cranberries to blueberries to canola—nearly $15 billion worth of crops a year.

~ Hannah Nordhaus, The Beekeeper’s Lament

White coneflowers, a surprise in the flower garden.

This morning on the front lawn a chattering of starlings were feasting on whatever it is they find in the grasses and eat for breakfast.  They have probably been here as individuals throughout the summer, unnoticed by me, but they’re flocking together now.  Or is that murmurating together?  (Is that even a word?)  As you probably already know (because you are a curious and smart group of people), the European Starling was brought to North America in the 19th century by some fans of Shakespeare.  You might also know that the European Starlings in North America are descended from the original 100 birds that were let loose in New York City’s Central Park.  There are now over 200 million starlings murmurating around the continent.  They did a good job of going forth and multiplying.

The ever-blooming azalea which is not, of course, ever-blooming but we do get blooms from spring to fall.

During my morning practice on the front porch (and oh, it’s so wonderful to be able to do my yoga practice outdoors again!), our resident deer came by to munch on the clover and perhaps have a look at whatever that weird human was doing on the front porch.  The other-than-human who live around here don’t seem to mind my chanting and singing very much.  They stay to listen for a while.  There were five fawns with three of the moms.  I didn’t realize there were so many babies this year.

I’m practicing the Gayatri mantra.  I did my first round of 108 repetitions the other day.  I don’t know what I was expecting.  For the heavens to open and a great awakening to occur??  Whatever I expected, that was not what happened.  It was a good meditation.  It was not mind-shattering although there might have been some feeling of expansion.  I feel that in my practice anyhow.  It’s a sense of space, within and without, of being small in the grand scheme of things and yet being a part of the grand scheme of things.

I managed to get a quick photo of four of the fawns, but it’s not very good. They were too far away for the lens I had on the camera.

I’m not exactly sure why I started this post with quotes about bees or with an image of a beekeeper from the archives.  Perhaps it’s the drought we’re experiencing and the idea of making an offering of honey in rain magic.  We do need some rain magic and some rain.  That seems to be true of a lot of places lately, not just here in the U.S.  I read in the news that China has been seeding clouds in their own attempts at rain magic.  Farmers in many parts of the U.S. are giving up on orchards and crops, sometimes destroying them.  Reservoirs in the southwest are at record lows and the water system, they say, has reached a tipping point where cuts to water supplies are necessary.  The problem in the southwest has been going on for at 23 years.  And yet, they’ve done little to solve it.

Conservation appears to be a dirty word in a capitalist society.  Well, Mother Nature will likely have her say about that.  Eventually.

Before the wilting.

We have had our own water problems here on the ranch.  A week or so before we left for vacation, the water pump stopped working.  Naturally it happened on a Sunday afternoon.  The man who owns the well company originally dug our well (back in the 90’s before we arrived on the scene) and services our well (on the rare occasions it needs servicing) happens to live nearby.  When M called him and gave our address, the man said, “Oh!  You’re the trash man!”  This was confusing to M and eventually the Well Man said, “You know, the guy who picks up trash on the road?”  Ah, so.  Yes, that’s M.  And me, on occasion.

Someone came out within a few hours and replaced the pump.  We were told that we also needed to replace the wiring.  It’s old and fraying.  We scheduled it and asked to have the well sanitized (it’s a good idea to do that once in a great while), but they keep cancelling on us due to other water (and well) emergencies.  I do wish they’d get the work done, but I’m not going to grouch about them helping others who are without water.

The flower images were taken about ten days ago, before the flowers began to wilt and dry up.

I brought a few things — other than words and images — to share with you.  First, there is this article about June Huh, a mathematician who dropped out of high school to become a poet and who eventually found math.  That might not sound particularly interesting to those who are not interested in math.  Although I am not particularly good with math (I went to school at a time and place where it was thought that girls did not need anything beyond the basic math needed to cook and take care of the household accounts), I did find the math bits of the article fascinating even if I didn’t understand them.  No, it’s not the math that brought about my recommendation.  It’s the man, June Huh, that the article is about.  Read it and you’ll see what I mean.  He has a unique approach to life and problem solving.

I think intention and willpower … are highly overrated.  You rarely achieve anything with those things.

~ June Huh

Zinnia love.

In regards to the other-than-human and whether or not they pay attention to us, there is this article by Heather Swan about owls and the death of her father.

And, for a little levity, a Dr. Glaucomflecken video:  The Farmer Pain Scale.  I’ve been following Dr. Glaucomfecken for a while, perhaps able to relate to his humor and videos because M used to teach medical students (and many of our friends did and/or still do and/or are in the basic sciences).  But I don’t think you need to be in the medical world to appreciate this (or maybe any of his videos since it is likely we’ve all had some experience with doctors and the medical community).

The depths of orange.

Thank you for stopping by today and joining me in the garden.  Let’s meet at the Point for sunset this evening.  It’s scheduled for 7:54 PM.  Maybe we could do a little rain dance, in praise of the rain that might come this weekend, making it welcome and showing some gratitude for the water that falls from the sky and nourishes life.

Please be safe, be well, and just Be.

Clouds, but no rain.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  2,076)  Zinnias, cosmos, and all the flowers of summer.  2,077)  Water, especially clean water for drinking and cooking.   2,078)  Mother Nature.  2,079)  The changing sounds of the bird songs at dawn.  2,080)  Learning, about art, about life, about yoga, about myself (and my Self).

So many clouds passing through lately.

Author:

Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

24 thoughts on “The starlings are back

  1. For the heavens to open and a great awakening to occur??

    Made me smile with this line. I’ve had that experience, too. It SEEMS like if you put the effort into something, success should be immediate and exactly what you want it to be.

    As for your observation about conversation in a capitalist society, sadly you may be right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, Ally. 🙂 Even though I tell myself to “try this and see what happens,” those expectations still jump on the wagon and go for a ride with me.

      Like

  2. So much on offer here (today – for me). How wonderful to be able to do your practce on the porch, surrounded by such wonderful nature.
    While I didn’t read the whole article on June Hah, I was fascinated by what I did.
    Heather Swan and the owl – wow. Just wow.
    And I love the farmer’s pain scale! My husband should have been a farmer…
    Wonderful. Happy Friday, Robin!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It pains me, Robin, to see so much drought. Perhaps because I live in the Midwest (the nation’s bread-basket), I’m more cognizant about the effects of weather on crops. And if we don’t get the right rain when we should, we’re ALL going to suffer. We hope we’ll be getting some this weekend (sure can use it, too!) Love the color of that Zinnia — mine are pink, but yours looks more lavender.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debbie. 🙂 We have watermen (fishermen) and farmers here. The interior is mostly farms so we’re very aware of the weather and how it effects the crops, too. And we grow some of our own food (some of which isn’t looking too good right now). I wonder, sometimes, where people think their food comes from and how they think we can continue as we are towards climate change without that upsetting the food supply chain.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing a walk through the garden 🙂 As a New Mexican, water has always been at the top of mind and heart… and it’s just getting worse. I don’t have any grand ideas on how to fix these big picture problems we’ve created for ourselves but I do my best to do my part and bless the acequia that runs outside our front door every time I walk over it. It currently run black from the burn scar run off which adds a whole new layer of immediacy for us in addressing climate change and caring for these beautiful lands. But I digress. Laughter is medicine and I, too, enjoyed the farmer pain scale skit when it hit my feed a few days ago. It is nice to see you share it here, too 🙂 Hope you have a lovely week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Melissa. I think that’s the bulk of what we have to do — just do our part in little ways and hope it all adds up. (I think it would, if everyone — including corporations — did.)

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  5. Perhaps ‘conservation appears to be a dirty word in a capitalist society’ isn’t necessarily true everywhere! The best performers on the 2022 EPI (environmental performance) list also rank high on the World Population Review 2022 Capitalist Countries list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You may be right, Margy. It’s true here in the U.S. that we rarely hear about conservation in terms of individual behavior when it comes water usage, fossil fuel usage, etc. (the word is broadly used when it comes to land), but perhaps there are different brands of capitalism to be considered and some do it better than others.

      Like

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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