My Rescue Geese – Part 1

I have pet geese. You’ll never know how wonderful, smart, funny and companionable a goose can be unless and until you get to know one for yourself. It’s important, for the full appreciation of the story I’m about to tell, to realize two things about domestic geese:

  1. They are very social. And I don’t mean just with other geese. They are social with people. If they’ve been raised in a fairly friendly relationship with a person, they will run to you when you step outside, they will chat amiably with you when you sit down and talk with them, or when you put them to bed.
  2. Domestic geese cannot fly. They have great and glorious wings, which they flap mightily when they run, but rarely will they leave the ground more than a few inches for more than three or four seconds.

So – on to my story.

One evening, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I went to my yoga class at my local fitness center. I came out into the night and looked up at a gorgeous full moon in a clear, cold sky. As I started to leave the parking lot, I noticed two birds near the front entrance of the fitness center, standing in the roadway. They were fairly large, and, from the distance, I decided they must be a couple of seagulls, glowing white under the moonlight.

But something about their body language took my attention. Their “shoulders” were sort of slumped, and one thing a sea gull never does is slump his shoulders. If it was just one seagull, I’d think it was not well, but two? No, that’s too strange.

I whipped my car around and drove up to the birds, who stood, forlorn and clearly confused, in the road.

They were a pair of domestic African Grey geese – the very same sort of geese I have! Standing in the parking lot of the fitness center, at the edge of a shopping area, with no reasonable place for them to have come from for miles. I parked my car, got out and walked up to them.

Now, here’s the deal with domestic geese. If you sit quietly, they will come up to you to chat. But if you pursue them, they run. The two geese evaded me, but without conviction. When I stopped and just talked to them, they stopped. By bits and starts, I finally got ahold of one of them. Although she appeared fairly large and was fully fledged, when I picked her up she weighed about half what I expected, and I could tell then that she was quite young – barely a teenager in goose terms.

The challenge now – how to get the other goose with one under my arm?

End of Part One
Stay tuned for more goose adventures.

Birds Flying in High Winds

Living in the forest and watching nature on a daily basis, I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of birds in flight. I’ve noticed that, generally speaking, when there are high winds (which are frequent when one lives at the mouth of a gorge) there is rarely a bird in the sky. But on occasion, there is.

Today there were high, high winds – the tops of the fir trees danced about, while the lower branches were as still as on a bucolic spring afternoon. I saw a raven plying these heavy winds, and wondered, how will he get to where he wants to be if the wind is blowing in a different direction from his destination stronger than his wings can prevail?

He happened to be at some distance and I was able to watch his progress across the big sky.

Here is what I saw – The raven beat his wings a bit, pointing north. Then he’d glide, letting the wind, which was driving just about due west, take over. The raven’s flight would be taken west. Then he’d point north and beat his wings, and then glide with the wind taking him due west. In this stair-step fashion, he made his way across the sky. When he got to my forest, he settled in the tallest tree. Behind him I watched as several of his companions performed the same exercises of flight, and they had a meetup in the big tree.

Nature can be very accommodating in providing us with visual examples of the lessons we might learn. Beat your wings a bit to keep your heading, but mostly allow yourself to use the winds of life to provide forward motion in the direction you mean to go. Fighting the winds one will never get to goal. Employ the winds, and you’ll soon be in your favorite tree, chatting with your companions.

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Owl Be Seeing You

I go to a dream group twice a month, and thank goodness too, because that’s where I get my centering, my balance, my clarity about what’s going on in the so-called “real world” by the insights my guru dream partners share with me.

Interestingly, I frequently have luminous, numinous experiences on my drive back home after these often late-into-the-night meetings. The first meeting in January was one such occasion. As I drove down the little road that leads to my home, the moon bright in a cold, clear sky, myself deep in thought, I was startled by a gigantic bird flying directly in front of my headlights, at headlight level.

I immediately realized it was huge owl, and I stopped, having seen it land in the leafless Alder beside the road. I peered up. There the owl sat on a low branch, inside the light of my headlights, as if he knew he would come to no harm from me. I looked at him, awe-struck. Owl-struck. Having never seen an owl so open and nonchalant in my entire life, I dared to slowly get out of my car and approach the tree. The owl watched me, his head moving smoothly on it ball-bearings, around, around, keeping his eyes on me.

When I stood a mere five feet from him him I said, “Well… what?

He studied me for a few moments longer, perhaps trying to give me the answer… the “WHAT” of it all.

Then slowly, with a graceful bow of the the tree branch, he rose, lazily sweeping his gigantic, stunning wings through the new year air, disappearing among the trees of the forest.

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day – and Happy Birthday to my Father today!

I cat sat & dog sat for my friends while they took a day off to run up to Seattle.

The dog and I went on a delightful walk last night, watching the rushing white-water stream, all roiled up in the wake of two months of rain every day. Lovely companionship with the Mitra dog, who appears to find everything equally as enchanting as I do. She and I chatted with the naiads sitting on the big rocks while the water crashed around them.

Back up at the house, a couple of throws of the frisbee, and then a paw drying session (for Mitra. I didn’t need one, having worn shoes).

On our walk this morning, however, Mitra did not find my fascination of the giant red slug nearly as interesting as eating grass. She grazed like a little cow on the tall, wet grass while I studied the amazing grace of the slug trailing its hermaphrodite body across the winding driveway, moving on invisible ball bearings.

Quite intriguing…

Back up at the house, a couple of frisbee throws, a drying of the paws and then, back inside to tell the cat of our adventures.

Who completely forbore listening to us, having discovered a moth to make soft muttery sounds to on the other side of the window.

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Ides of May & the First Swainsen’s Thrush

It’s been a very busy time of late. But what inspires me to write now, finally! is hat late yesterday evening, as the shades of dusk were pulled, I finally heard the First Swainsen’s Thrush of the season.

All through winter I wait for the return of this unassuming little brown bird with the magical call from another dimension. All previous beautiful sounds fall away as if nothing in the wake of this lilting, haunting call, echoing through the forest in the evening and, sometimes, in the early morning.

It makes me feel that all, perhaps, could be right with the world. Even if it’s not right now, I have faith!

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Because pH balance is so important to your health and the health of the planet, I read everything I could get my hands on and distilled it down to this one very easy to read and understand book that truly could contribute to saving your life or the life of someone you love.

Love Is The Answer is filled with love. A perfect gift to give to anyone you love!

My Winter Forest

Almost 7:30 a.m. The light steals very, very shyly about the forest… winter light begins to reclaim its dominion earlier and earlier.

The sky edges away from a color not found on any palate… a kind of black-purple-blue, tinged with green. It fades and fades, until the predawn light rolls in, and all becomes familiar as the keys to the Kingdom of Light are handed over to the day.

The rain that has steadily fallen all night has stopped, and the remaining drops play a slow syncopation off the gutters and deck, a patient metronome.

I hear the river rushing several hundred feet distant, I see in my mind’s eye the river rocks becoming polished… incomparable coins in the river bed, each unique. They lay at the bottom of the clear, rushing water, watching the sun and moon and stars, a clock face, above.

Song birds look for their reflection in the little pools that eddy along the side of the hurrying water, while the stealthy coyotes come to the water’s edge, looking over their shoulders. Always pursuers, always pursued. One by one they lean down to drink the cold, cheerful water while a sentry keeps watch.

This is my winter forest.

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