Category Archives: New Perspectives

A potluck of musings: What else to do with insights on birding gained from parenting reminiscences?

The All-Aboutness of Art

Art is all about spontaneity, right?

It’s mid-February and I’m resting on a bench helpfully placed about 3/4 of the way through one of my regular walks in Gilbert, AZ.  (Helpfully, if puzzlingly.  I mean, how did they know? )

Looking up, I see striking bare branches against a background of last year’s harvest of leaves, now yellow and brown.

I play with depth of field a little bit in the field, as it were. At my winter rental home, I play with cropping and filters a little bit, and ta da! A masterpiece is born.  Or at least a photograph.   Continue reading

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Filed under New Perspectives, Photos of Flora

Defining the Desert

Desert:

  1. arid land with usually sparse vegetation
  2. an area of water apparently devoid of life
  3. a desolate or forbidding area:  lost in a desert of doubt
  4. any area in which few forms of life can exist because of lack of water, permanent frost, or absence of soil
  5. any place lacking in something:  The town was a cultural desert.

Synonyms: wasteland, barren wilderness.

– Sources: Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com

As I click through this past winter’s ton o’ photos of the Sonoran Desert, I realize how much my experience of the desert surpasses what I might have expected based on these definitions.

Certainly I have shots that evoke a sere, unforgiving environment.

Two dried seed pods against deep-blue sky.

Single blade of prickly pear with thorns

But I have other shots that invite a different understanding.

Desert: an area of lush prickliness

Close-up of thorns on rounded cactus

Desert: an area of soft prickliness

Single lavender fairy duster bloom

 Desert: an area of unexpected colour

Yellow fruit on cholla cactus

Bright yellow daisy-like flowers against bright-blue sky.

Orange globe mallow buds

Desert: an area of fuzziness, nay, even fluffiness

Red and green new leaves.

White seed fluff with green seed pods

Desert: a land of welcome shade

Yellow daisy-like flower in shade of tree

Desert: a land of life-giving water

Yellow grass reflected in water

 If a barren wilderness can so surpass its definition, surprising and delighting me, surely anything and everything can.

 

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Filed under New Perspectives, Photos of Flora, Through Space

Happy Birthday to Me

Today I turn, am, have, or complete 65, depending on your language (and those are just the few that I know). But whatever the verb, it’s an odd moment: long expected and yet totally surprising.  I cannot yet comment on the state itself but as I sit here, between the idea and the reality, I have a few random thoughts, as the aged often do.  Continue reading

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Filed under Mortality, New Perspectives

Travelling Light

I look at the pile on my bed.  When did it start, I wonder.  What was the first breach in the dam?  The first tumbling stone in the avalanche?  The first unheeding step down that slippery slope?  When exactly did I start travelling heavy?

Was it when I started carrying two kinds of toothbrush: an electric toothbrush and a proxabrush with two snap-in heads—each one matching only some of the gaps between my teeth—to keep my dental hygienist happy?  Continue reading

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Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia

It’s a joke, if such a casual name is appropriate for something that uses Ancient Greek roots:

  • Hexakosioi – six hundred
  • Hexekonta – sixty
  • Hexa – six
  • Phobia – irrational or persistent fear

Hence, hexakosioi-hexekonta-hexa-phobia: fear of 666.   Continue reading

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Filed under New Perspectives