Sunday, January 29, 2012

Re-e-member what the dormouse said...

Speakers up. Way up. 

Hey Rocky!

OK, this story is silly but it cracks me up. 

Watch to the end

A lovely, gentle dance. At first it is mere food-luring, yet another trick to get some footage. And then...

(Thanks to my friend Jan for sending.) 
See more about the filmmaker here


Did you enjoy the snow? So did this crow! (Thanks to my friend Ruth for sending.) 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

This way, please

One of the many heartbreaking effects of trying to create solutions to counter the destruction of animal habitat is that the animals often wait for years to see if they're safe. Then people declare the solution a failure and move on to the Next New Thing. But when they wait, animals often start using the new pathway, or safe fence, or discover the new prey, abandoning their domestic animal meals.
So everybody gets pretty excited when a human solution works. Hence the picture that flew around the world extolling the virtues of the "elk crossing" solution in Banff, Alberta Canada. 

Only it isn't true.
It's even better than that. This is not a wildlife corridor built by animal-lovin' engineers. It's the Canadian Pacific Railroad overpass; according to local residents the elk and other wildlife have learned to use the railroad bridge to safely cross the busy highway.
Source:, my favorite Myth-busting site.

Spaghetti Night

Pedro? Can you feed the dog tonight? My meeting's running late.


Animals always seem so much more together than humans. So giving, living in the present, calm and centered--sound of record scratch. Yeah, right. 
We are enjoying a lovely visit with our neighbor dog Bill, who has long been known as a gentleman. Gave up his bed (and humans) to our beloved late Molly, shares his food, sits at the edges, not taking anyone's bed or favorite chair, or running rampage over the other animals' things. Even takes swats from the cat.

But Kola is jealous.

Pouty, nose-pushing, baleful-staring jealous. This makes no "sense." We make sure to pet him 100 times more than Bill, and still he tries to butt Bill out of the way, staring at us as if we had tied him up in the yard during a blizzard.  Stricken. He is deeply committed to his jealousy.  True, he's a shelter dog and never bonded with any humans before us. He will not easily give up what he's only just learned to adore.

In the face of this drama I can see that humans do try to grow, do try to overcome all these raw displays critters perform without any shame. 

At Earthfire InstituteBluebell the Bison swung her great head swiftly over at Fofie the horse, lest there be one tiny pet for horse over bison. Fofie knows the rules and sneaks in her requests when Bison grazes elsewhere.

This week I was struck with the concept of alchemy. Everyone around me is saying they are aware on some level, be it dreams, events in their lives, or simply the world's turning, that things are moving at an accelerated pace. Faster than ever, and no one knows why. But we all feel it.

In my dream I saw the two coming together, alchemy and this new pace. You stick your hands out into the air and whatever is in them alchemizes into more of itself, or something else. If you're holding crap, it turns into more crap. There is a scene in the new film Melancholia where Justine puts her hands in the air and sees electricity dance right off her fingertips.

I'm assuming if you are holding gratitude it'll turn into something even grander (since I just discovered this formula, I realize I have been holding only crap). I have been focusing on all the "bad luck" to come to my family in the last few months. Wow, I say, it's like it accelerates into more badness. Hey! Light (finally) dawns: Then the same would hold true for the good stuff.

So now I am excitedly trying this discovery out: placing good things into the air to see if they alchemize into better things. So far so good.

And, meeting the acceleration with my own in the form of ritual. I used to feel pleased if I could get in a walk or a prayer or two every day. But now I'm going to try something every hour if possible, accelerating my attending to my own grounding. My wise friend Pam called it a touchstone, something that has meaning for you, if mysterious to others. Picking up a rock, placing it a few feet away.  Brushing my hand over a tree trunk on the walkway in front of my office. Small, but distinct. 

The other night I was in a very rich neighborhood and it made me a little uneasy. The ol' junior high "I don't belong here" feeling. I was about to slide into the whole cycle of not-belonging when I decided to try something else. I had a walnut in my pocket of all things. I dropped the walnut casually on the ground just before going inside, smiling at the thought of some crow or squirrel finding it, or even someone rushing madly to their job, hopping into their BMW, pausing for just a second to see the incongruous walnut on the ground. Taking advantage of my human mind and its relationship to my animal heart.