Stopping By

The Woods and Words Today. While we continue to wait for official election results. Covid 19-end days. The next turn around the corner.

Female Northern Flicker. Came upon this neglected shot I made a few years ago. I was alerted by a neighbor that the flickers were migrating through the area. Lying on my belly in my small blind (set up overnight on her property), I was able to capture a few shots of these beautiful ground feeders. Thanks Melissa Starbuck. And thank you, David Moynahan.

The Waiting Days

Song And Joy

Once upon a time
when women were birds,
there was the simple understanding
that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk
was to heal the world through joy.
The birds still remember
what we have forgotten
that the world is meant to be

~Terry Tempest Williams

Photograph: Viola Loretti

Once Again…

…obsession takes hold. This is a photo of Rainbow Lorikeets that was posted on the Bing background/desktop photo. I wanted to clip the single parakeet that is looking at us, sitting on top of the branch. As a result, I have missed two regularly scheduled appointments, haven’t done any writing, and was unable to achieve the objective as intended.


And yet, and still, I’ve learned a great deal about MS-OneNote and Clipper, (no, they are not the same as it turns out) a great deal about Bing, and once more wondered about my control of self. I guess the latter is called self-control, but I’m not sure. This doesn’t exactly feel like that. I think self-control relates to the ability to stop before entering the path. (Which I can do, if planned.) Once on the path itself, it may be impossible to stop before completion of the goal.

Maybe this is why we find after death, a composer’s sheets are black from not washing. This might have been Debussy but I’m not certain. And why Beethoven walked into a cafe, ordered lunch, then left without eating. A while later he came back in and ordered lunch again. I don’t know if he ate that time, or if the lunch was the same as before. Those more interesting details seem always neglected. Like: did they charge him twice? Did he do it so often that they kept his order and just reheated it? What?

And then, my inability to control my driving forces is no longer humorous. Well, maybe a little. I’m sure I could manage if something a little more rewarding were offered at a stopping point. At least I sincerely believe so.

Brain Sucking—Praying Mantises Killers


Praying mantises Are killing birds and eating their brains. Unbelievable news. Not new information apparently, just news to me. The photo above, taken by Tom Vaughn via university of Basel, shows the mantis hanging from the humming bird feeder where he has pierced the skull of the humming bird and is sucking out its contents. There are documented cases of them doing this worldwide.  Carnivores that they are, they go beyond the occasional bug and garden pest to devour small birds, usually humming birds.

And their methods are horrific. They just hold their prey, and they eat them while they are still alive, slowly—until there is nothing left,

Some scientists are concerned that the very large mantises that are non-native to the U.S. are having an effect on the bird population. These mantises were introduced by people in the hopes they’ll eat insects such as aphids and flies. The downside is that they also consume creatures people want to have around, like butterflies and, yes, sometimes hummingbirds. And plenty of people are still releasing mantises. I expect you can still get the little pouches at garden stores with directions on how they will hatch and how to release them with good health to grow and flourish.

But who knew this would happen? Who knows today? Those babies that hatch are just darling and are complete miniatures of the mature adult. (Yes, I did that once in my total ignorance.) Once again—because we never learn from history—we are interfering with the natural world and disturbing the balance of nature. We don’t seem to ever stop and ask ourselves what the consequences of our actions will be.