October 16, 2019

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Times of Me

So many times in life we’re caught up in ourselves.
There’s nothing more important than us
than our day
than our time
our money
our possesions.
 
Some have never felt humbled, never felt worthless, miniscule, irrelevant. 
They have never felt that they’re just……nothing!
Overshadowed by the natural world
the rising of the moon, the vastness of the ocean, the color of an autumn day
 
For some of us, the lucky ones
there are fleeting moments of uselessness interspersed between the times of Me
I long for those moments, dream of them, I crave them.
 
To be nothing is to feel everything.
I’ve had no greater moments of irrelativeness than simply standing in the dark woods with a billion stars overhead, watching one single snowflake float to the ground, hearing the first spring peepers on a foggy April night.  
 
When you stop to smell the roses, when you take that simple phrase to heart, when you realize the world goes on without you, without all of us
you’ll see the grandeur of it all,
you’ll be nothing, yet feel everything.
 
 
 
 

The Wind Blows

reds and yellows rustle in the breeze
dangling so brilliantly, daintly above me
the colorful landscape reflects in my eyes  
 
towering against the dull gray september sky
like a giant paintbrush waiting to swipe the canvas
the maple waits.
And then…. the east wind blows
leaf stalks that held so tight through so many winds bid farewell
 
the sky becomes a living watercolor, an abstract of nature
the most accomplished artist of them all.
and the winds die
colors flutter, twisting and turning, tumbling to the earth
the most perfect leaf lights on my shoulder, crimson red on all five lobes
I smell the fall, I smile
 
and the wind blows.

Pictures in My Mind

Pictures in My Mind

I stood in silence in the deep snow
bathing in the beauty of my surroundings would be an understatement, I was drowning.
This spot in the woods was just that…a spot. It wasn’t a destination, it didn’t have open vistas, no waterfalls
or colorful leaves………It was just a spot.
Yet that spot held me in its embrace and wouldn’t let go.
Sky the deepest blue,
the river just a whisper, a faint trickle under the ice.
Snow so white it was crisp, sharp like a knife.
Warm air carried the scent of rain.

I tried in vain to capture that moment,
the beauty, the serenity of it all!
A great photographer I’ll never be, yet my mind holds the most vivid pictures I have ever taken.
The colors, the breeze, the aroma…… they’re all there.
A never ending photo album, page after breathtaking page of the most spectacular spots I’ve ever seen.

Few pictures can ever do those moments justice.
Those moments when we realize the perfection of Nature,
of how small we are in this universe. When the simple beauty of the landscape makes you feel …….. complete!

I can never and will never be able to convey the love I felt today.
I’ll never be able to show you the world that I saw, so beautiful, so peaceful, so perfect.
Forever they remain, pictures in my mind.

Sunday Night Nature

Somewhere I read that the greatest invention ever made  was  also the worst. That invention was the television and this time of year it’s especially true. Most people are content to park themselves in a chair for an entire weekend and watch nothing but football.  I can’t for the life of me find any interest in that, but as the old saying goes “to each his own”.

This Sunday evening as I  crept through the woods I thought of how rich I am. Not rich with money, no…. I’m far from that. Tonight I’m rich with life, rich with senses, with the experience of solitude,  that I’m one with my surroundings.  There’s an overcast sky, light drizzle falling, the fall colors paint a faint crimson hue where ever I look. Even the birch take on a reddish tinge tonight. The only sound is the creek down below, swollen from the recent rains. I snap a few pictures of a doe and her fawn working their way toward me through the forest. They don’t know I’m here even though I try not to mask my movement. I’m invisible, I feel invisible. I hear them long before I see them. I strain to look beyond the foggy mist for a glimpse. There, just above the treetops they break through. Their sound is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, the song of winter. It always brings a smile of  “wow, amazing” to my face. Canada Geese, two groups of six flying in formation. They’re so close I can almost feel the whoosh of their wings as they pass.  The doe looks up….. what’s she thinking?  Does she  feel this moment as I do?

 

Sunday Night Football…….. no thanks.  I am indeed the richest man alive!

Free Apps for Earth Day!!

We’ll be celebrating Earth Day this year in a big way, all our Apps in the MyNature series will be free this Friday the 22nd of April. By offering our nature apps for free we hope that you take a step outside and learn a thing or two about Earth, the animals and plants that contribute to our every day existence. So what are you waiting for? Make sure you stop back in tomorrow and pick up all the apps you can carry out. We’ve got apps on Animal Tracks and Animal Scat, Tree Identification, a State Tree Quiz and our growing National Park Tracks, Trees & Wildflower series. If your visiting Yosemite or Sequoia National Parks or you know someone who is this is a great app with tons of information on all the tracks, scat, trees or wildflowers you’ll find in the parks.       Happy Earth Day !!

Evergreen ID Tips

Celebrate National Parks Week

Were all about National Parks week here at MyNature.  April 16th is the start of  National Parks Week and to help you celebrate were having a 50% off sale on our two newest park apps.  Yosemite Tracks, Trees & Wildflowers and Sequoia/Kings Canyon Tracks, Trees & Wildflowers.  Both nature apps hit the iTunes store just in time for the holiday week.  Soon to join the MyNature  National Park series will be Tracks, Trees & Wildflowers of Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Glacier and Grand Teton National Park. We’ll surely have a nature app for you no matter which park your heading to!!

With any one of our National Park apps you be able to identify over 30 animal tracks, the sign they make as well as the scat the leave behind.  Not sure whether it’s a Grizzly Bear track or Black Bear track, Mule Deer scat or Moose Scat, no worries it’s all in the app.  Maybe one of those Gray Wolves out in Yellowstone just chased you up a tree…… yep!! you guessed it, you can even ID the tree while your sitting in it waiting for help to arrive.  And guess what? if you are rescued from that tree and your walking back to  camp make sure you stop and smell the flowers.  We’ve got over 240 wildflowers packed into our National Park app.  Answer any one or a combination of the MyNature 15 question search and you’ll be able to  tell the difference between Baby Blue Eyes and a Black Eyed Susan.  You’ll know more than the resident Naturalist in no time. The MyNature National Park App will identify whatever has 4 legs, grows tall or flowers pretty, this will soon become your favorite app on your outdoor expedition.

Look for anyone of our National Parks icons to  take along on your next trip.  Learn a little nature, tracks, trees and wildflowers, you’ll be glad you did. 

Happy Parks Week America !!

Identifying an Eastern Hemlock

Check out our new video series we’ll be doing here at MyNature.  Each week we will try to feature a short video on tips for identifying a tree, track, wildflower or other subject in Nature.  Were hoping you’ll find these helpful in learning a few things about the plants and animals that surround us.   Happy Hiking!

A Yellowstone Hike

A recent project I was working on had me going through some of my pics of a past trip to Yellowstone a couple years back.  I’m always amazed that I can look at a picture and virtually relive that moment, that smell, the thoughts that passed through my mind the exact moment I experienced it.  A first look at a Yellowstone valley and how inviting it was, begging me to come walk through its trees.

The first Bison to captivate my mind, is this where perhaps 200 years ago an American Indian stood in this exact spot  and hunted the ancestors of this powerful animal. 

Walking through sage brush, stirring so many aromatic smells that reach my nose,  smells not found here in the Adirondacks, smells of a different environment, a different way of life, a different world of that I know.  Yes, I remember standing here, the Pronghorn watching me, crouching in the sage, I snap a quick picture and pull some leaves of the bush and place it in my camera bag to discover another day, to inhale the sweet smell and bring me back to this moment.  

I go on my way, there’s a ridge that needs to be climbed. Whether I make it to the top or not isn’t important to me, it’s the journey there that I crave, there’s so much to discover. 

Wolf tracks ! 

I look up and around to make sure I’m still alone, I realize for the first time in my life how minuscule I really am.  I remember the pure excitement when I found this perfect track, the power it represented, the solitude I felt at that moment yet the feeling of being the most alive I have felt. 

 My first Elk shed, has anyone else even ever gazed upon this exact antler?  I wasn’t on a trail and far from the road and my answer was no, no one else could have possibly seen this, no one else is bush whacking their way up this ridge.

  A  bull Elk stood in this exact spot high above the valley floor on this lonely ridge, yet so spiritual. We both shared a moment in time in a space so far far away from my every day life.  I feel as though I’ll always be connected to the animal that gave  this memory to me. Though I’ll never see him he’ll always be in my mind standing there on that cold lonely slope. 

 My goal was the Bighorn Sheep that were still 500 feet above me and a half mile down the top of the ridge but I took so much time exploring the way up that I don’t have enough time to make my destination.  I ‘m not sad, or mad or disappointed, today it was about the journey there, not what was at the end of my walk, but what was along the way.   I have the same feeling today looking out over the valley  through this picture that I had that moment I took it ………. It is truly great day to be alive!!

Make today a memory, Happy Tracking!!

Blue Jays

I don’t have many species of birds at my feeder in the winter but one of the prettier ones is the Blue Jay. Since they seem to be costing a small fortune in seed this year I thought I would see what I could find out about their winter diet. 
Surprisingly there isn’t much information on the net about birds winter diets, not much that I could find in my limited time this morning anyway!From what I could find stated that the average song bird consumed 1/4 to 1/2 of his weight per day in food, one site stated more than it’s body weight per day. An average Blue Jay weighs in at a hefty 3.5 oz. If we went by half their weight of 1.75 ounces then you need just under 1 pound of feed per each Blue Jay per week. Figuring I use approximately 60 pounds per week means I’m feeding roughly 60 Blue Jays. I’m thinking the number is more likely around 40 if I take into account the Chickadees and Nuthatches who partake in the feeding frenzy as well.
Suet?? that too, but we won’t even go there. Let’s just say I have some fat healthy birds.

Happy Birding!!