Road trips and bioregions

I’ve recently had the opportunity to take several car trips from the North to the South and back and forth, over the past few weeks.

On one of the trips, I was by myself for three days of daytime driving  (18 hours total.)  This was something I have never experienced before, and I really enjoyed the Journey.  It was an extended meditation:  I listened to music, I looked at the scenery, I thought about things, and I drove.  One of the things I thought was interesting, was how the scenery changed about every 30 miles or so.  And I realized, that is about the extent of the bioregion.

When you have the opportunity to take a long car trip by yourself, try it.

When you have the opportunity to look at the scenery on a long car trip, notice how it changes.  Notice where the Big Hills turn to the smaller hills.  Notice the different trees and where they stand with different types of water.  Consider the names of the small towns you pass along the way.  See if you can identify where the boundaries of the bioregions are, along this route.

Advertisements

Springtime…is a state of mind

Spring is an undeniable astronomical event.  But where we live guides our perception of it!

When I was growing up in the North East, My Mother used to sing, “When it’s Springtime in the Rockies, you’ll be coming home to me…”

And, she used to plant crocus and daffodil, and forsythia, in her garden.  As you probably know,  crocus and daffodil are bulbs and so we all had a great time each year, waiting for the flowers to sprout each Spring, bulb hunting.  (I think that’s the origins of the Easter Egg hunt, if you ask me.)

This was of course after we had spent a long cold winter, ice skating or playing in the snow, and feeding birds at our bird feeder, and collecting bird feathers.  We longed for Spring, for the flowers to come, and the soft rains and the mud.  I actually enjoyed mud for a day or two until it would freeze or dry (or both) and then it was very hard to walk over those gnarly frozen muddy tracks.

But Spring would come each year and we would enjoy the influx of the flowers and birds and flowering shrubs and budding trees.

Budding Trees, (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved
Budding Trees, (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

THIS is a totally different reality from the way we experience Spring in Southwest Florida.  We have flowering shrubs, already flowering:  This is Tri-colored Bougainvillea-(c) 2013-2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

(c) 2013-2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

and of course, we have the Gulf.  It is beautiful.  (A little chilly for me to go swimming in.)Gulf of Mexico at Dusk, March 2014.  (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved.

Gulf of Mexico at Dusk, March 2014. (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved.

This is why I encourage you to synchronize your pagan observances with where you live.

Happy Spring!

 

 

 

The Gulf Oil spill: Murder of our way of life!

MURDER!

That is how many of us who live in Southwest Florida are feeling right about now, as we watch , what is it day 40?  — We are watching the spewing, the oil plume, every day and we feel that BP has committed MURDER and they should be made to pay.  They have Murdered our water, our very way of life.  This is what the water looks like now in May 2010.  How long will it take for the oil balls, the tar balls, the goop, to drift or slide or roll, in to our shores?

Caloosahatchee River Water-May 2010-WhaleMaiden

What will happen to our mangroves?  Our estuaries?  This is where the fish lay eggs and where the hatchlings live.  What will happen to our fish?  Our Snook (“Schnook”)?  Our Mangrove Snapper?  Our Mullet?  Our Grouper?  What about the Pompano?  What about the Sheepshead.  People fish for these and many other fish all over Southwest Florida, day after day.  Fishing is a pastime for visitors, and is a livlihood for many, many people. 

Beyond us as a species, beyond the people who play and fish in the water, and who drink this water, there are the Birds and Sea Turtles and all manner of other species who depend on the water being clean and just right for them.  When the oil comes (And we feel it is only a matter of time, really,) and the oil soaks into all the nooks and cranies of the mangroves, it will coat all the roots and branches with oil and kill everything in its path.

This isn’t a particularly good picture– I got the focus off a bit — but it shows you what the base of the mangroves looks like.  Each one of those b rown things is a root going into the shallow water.  This is the way our land is formed here in Southwest Florida.  How do you clean the mangroves without destroying them?

Mangroves at Sanibel by WhaleMaiden

Bees at the Pier

We went out to the Pier the other evening to watch the sunset.  It was one of those evenings where there isn’t much to the sunset, really.  What was fascinating were the bees!

(I’ll be back tomorrow. I have photos but it is sleepy time.) 

Ok, I’m back (4/26/10)  Here are the Bees in a nest on the Pier over the Caloosahatchee River:

I have Questions:

1.  Why are the bees nesting here?  They are on recycled plastic, fake wood on the back of a bench.  Why do they perceive this to be a safe place to, um, be?

2.  Where were they nesting, before they picked this location?

3.  Are they building a honeycomb under all of themselves?  So, their honeycomb will stick to plastic?

In which the Crow has a snack

In which the Crow has a snack.

When I was out at Sanibel Island last Saturday, I saw a Crow having  a bite to eat.  I didn’t realize Crows eat Bivalves!   Be sure to look at Photo #4 carefully to see the Crow clutching the seashell in its talons.

Out to the Beach — Sanibel in March

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to go out to Sanibel Island for the morning.  My Daughter, Agatha, had a school assignment out there and I went along for the ride.  It was sunny, but windy and cold!  I was also surprised at how foggy it was.  So of course, the first thing I look at when I am at the Beach, are the Waves in the Gulf of Mexico.(*)  And then, I look left and right.  Then, I look down at the Beach itself. 

I saw an “earth circle,” which is what I call a natural formation that makes a circle.  (A Medicine Wheel.)  This one is made of a spindy vine of some kind.  I saw a nice Pen Shell.  Note the air holes in the sand next to it.  Those may be from sand crabs.  The purple pointy object, is a small Sea Urchin.  It was smaller than a golf ball.  The last photo (with the snake looking object,) is a Welk Egg Case. 

(*)  You must keep in mind that the Beach is on the Gulf of Mexico which is to the West.  I’ve been here in Southwest Florida for almost 30 years.  However, I spent my formative summers at the Shore, which faces EAST.  So, anytime I am orienting myself even to this day, I have to consciously think about where I am.