Friday, April 26, 2013


The cubs have left the den, this is one of the last shots I took of them the day before.  I wish them well, and will really miss watching them. 

Blue-grey gnatcatcher at the tipi yesterday. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

a kid at heart

Spotted Salamander Eggs

1st Gold Finch

Chipping Sparrow

What is that?  A squirrel that has never seen a turkey before! 
I'm such a kid at heart.  I am hatching amphibian eggs, it's an annual event I never tire of.  A little miracle to watch unfold right on my kitchen table.  I love nature so much that I want to surround myself with it 24/7.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I suddenly feel like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.   I've spent the better part of my adult life searching for the answer, when I didn't even know what the question was.  I've never felt whole, I've always felt like I was missing something.  I've been reading self help books since I turned 20, and not one has helped me to become who I really am.  I wish that I had back all the money I've spent on the books as they have all been a complete waste of my time and money. The answer was inside of me all this time, just BE ME.  It really is that simple.  We spend our lives trying to fit a mold that isn't ours to fit. We each come here with a life purpose, and we spend so much time listening to others that we can't hear our own unique voice telling us what we should do with OUR life.  I have nothing to prove to anyone. Each day I am giving 24 hours to live MY life as I want to.  I don't have to fit or fill anyone's expectations.   Grounding with mother earth is what heals me.  There is nothing else that makes me feel whole and complete like being outside seeing nature.  There is no need to seek answers from anywhere or anyone else.   I AM. 

On the nature front.  Chipping Sparrows have now replaced the A.Tree Sparrows.  Saw my first Warbler on Sunday.  Today I'm off to find some Raptors as the conditions are awesome today for a good flight.  I've seen a couple of Broadies, Osprey, lots of Shoulders.  We have had deer and a lone Turkey in the yard.  Across the street had a bear last night hit their dumpster.  The bears are back in town!  I can't wait to see one! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Note to self

Maybe this is the answer I've been seeking all my life. I get close, then I fall away again, life gets busy and my mind moves to obsess over problems. When I drift too far from the core of my being, and stop feeling like I'm one with nature, I get sick again. I am trying the herbal route to heal my gut. I'm doing a parasite cleanse.  As I always say, I'm sick and tired or feeling sick and tired.  I'm super food sensitive.  I would love to feel great again, it's been a really long time.   I'm also going to get a book out of the library about foraging for local herbs.  I know now that being out in nature is everything to me, when I return home from a day outside, even while working physically, I feel at peace, I sleep like a baby.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

As Dad would say *It's a done deal!*

There was a little rain last night, evidently just enough that the Spotted Salamanders laid their eggs and went back to the forest.  I had the most magical of magical walks this morning.  There was a light breeze, warm temperature, the songs of the Water Thrush and E. Phoebe filling the air, the croaks of wood frogs and spring peepers.  I laid down in one of my favorite spots and just listened, and absorbed every moment.  I've tried meditation, I just can't get into it, grounding in nature fills me to the brim so much quicker.  Being so close to nature makes me look deep in side and ask the question, what is it I really want?  It's only in the stillness that I can hear the answers.  I want to spend more time each day immersed in nature,  I want to help native local turtles, I want to take good care of my hubby, sons and mom oh and myself...of cause I'm on the bottom of the list, that's why I have so many issues.  LOL  That's it.   If I could live my life over I'd for sure pursued a wildlife biology degree and become a Herpetologist specializing in Wood Turtles.  It's too late for that, so I will continue to do citizen scientist volunteer work.  Maybe before we start building the cabin I will get to spend a week up on Hog Island at adult summer camp, is it too late for me to give myself a better childhood? 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fecal Plug

Today on our land I found a Black Bears Fecal Plug!!!  After hibernating for many months a bear forms a stool in it's lower intestines that becomes hard and dry from sitting in the intestines for so long.  A bear must have been spending the winter on our land. 

Best day!

Hello my dear friend

Today is one of my favorite days of the year.....the first day that all the reptiles and amphibians are out! It was actually yesterday, but I didn't feel well enough to get out.  I ran into two of my favorite old wood turtles.  How amazing to see these two old boys again!  My pond frogs are back in our backyard pond.  They are very happy to be back outside.  All the frogs are out and about, so my timing was perfect.  Dozens of Painted Turtles covering all the logs in the ponds.  Ahhhh Spring! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

From Marks Daily Apple

Keep trying and failing, trying and failing, maybe look at it differently?  How do I stop cheating myself?  Get on BOARD....spring is here and you still can't wear your Summer clothing! 

1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants.

332090619 06d5d8df50 This is the basic description of everything our ancestors ate to get the protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phenols, fiber, water and other nutrients necessary to sustain life. But it was a huge list of individual foods – some anthropologists say it may have been 200 or 300 food choices at a time depending upon the geographic area. The net result was a dietary “breakdown” of fat, protein and carbohydrate that was far different from what Conventional Wisdom considers optimum today. This diet provided all the necessary fuel and building blocks that, along with specific exercise, prompted their genes to create strong muscles, enabled them to expend lots of energy each day moving about, to maintain healthy immune systems, to evolve larger brains and to raise healthy children. They ate sporadically, too. When food was plentiful, they ate more than they needed (and stored the excess as fat). When times were scarce, they survived on fat stores. This random or “non-linear” eating pattern kept their bodies in a constant state of preparedness.

2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.

23793275 0f33045919We know that our ancestors spent an average of several hours each day moving about at what today’s exercise physiologists might describe as a “low level aerobic pace.” They hunted, gathered, foraged, wandered, scouted, migrated, climbed and crawled. This low level of activity prompted their genes to build a stronger capillary (blood vessel) network to fuel each muscle cell, to be able to store some excess food as fat, but also to be readily able to convert the stored fat back into energy. Of course, they did all this without the benefit of paved sidewalks or comfortable shoes. Because every footfall landed at a different angle, every muscle, tendon and ligament worked and became stronger together in balance. Note that they did NOT go out and “jog” at 80% of their MAX Heart Rate for long periods of time as Conventional Wisdom suggests today!

3. Lift heavy things.

92171477 1e7b88bbc2The women carried their babies much of the time (hey, no babysitters in those days), as well as bundles of firewood, or whatever they had gathered, foraged or scavenged. The men carried heavy spears or other tools, they dragged heavy carcasses of animals they had hunted, and they moved large boulders or logs to build shelters. They also lifted themselves into trees or up onto higher ground when escaping from danger or to scout a new route. The biochemical signals created by these very brief but intense muscle contractions generated a slight surge in growth hormone and a reduction in myostatin gene expression, prompting an increase in muscle size and power; particularly fast twitch fibers.

4. Run really fast every once in a while.

156548807 96fddeb86dIn a world where danger lurked around every corner, your ability to run was a strong indicator of whether you would live long enough to pass your genes down to the next generation. (Note to Nietzsche: That which didn’t kill Grok made him stronger). Avoiding a charging beast to save your life, or surging forward to catch a different beast for dinner, the net effect was still survival. A combination of the hormonal events that occurred simultaneously and the resultant gene expression within fast twitch muscle made sure that the next time this happened Grok could sprint a little faster.

5. Get lots of sleep.

314603021 1983498579Our ancestors got plenty of sleep. Even after the discovery of fire, it wasn’t as if they stayed up all night partying. From sunset to sunrise it was safer to huddle together and rest. Long days of hunting and gathering and otherwise working hard for every bite of food also required sufficient time to repair and recover. Studies of modern hunter-gatherers suggest it wasn’t necessarily always an uninterrupted nine or ten hours, either. It’s likely that they slept together as families or as small tribes, keeping a watch out for predators, breast-feeding the baby or just dozing in and out throughout the night. Growth hormone and melatonin were the major hormonal players. Of course, the occasional afternoon nap was also available when the urge hit, with no guilt about what else they really should have been doing.

6. Play.

300894037 4e4c2bae71Just like in modern times, all work and no play made Grok a dull boy. Hunter-gatherers have always generally worked fewer hours and have had more leisure time than the average 40-hour-plus American worker. Once the day’s catch was complete or the roots, shoots, nuts and berries had been gathered, our ancestors spent hours involved in various forms of social interaction that we might categorize today as “play.” Young males would chase each other around and wrestle, vying for a place higher up in the tribe social strata. The males might also practice spear- or rock-throwing for accuracy or chase small animals just for sport. Young females might spend time grooming each other. To the extent that play was considered enjoyable, the net effect was to solidify social bonds and to prompt the release of endorphins (feel-good brain chemicals) and to mitigate any lingering stress effects of life-threatening situations.

7. Get some sunlight every day.

928727884 618cf2cb33Cavemen weren’t really men (or women) who lived their lives in caves all the time. Most of the day, they were in the great outdoors pursuing their various survival tasks. Regular exposure to sun provided lots of vitamin D, an all-important vitamin which they could not easily obtain from food and which their bodies could not manufacture without direct sunlight.

8. Avoid trauma.

376261703 144a1d67c2Our ancestors required an acute sense of self-preservation matched with a keen sense of observation. Always scanning, smelling, listening to the surroundings, on the watch for danger, aware of what immediate action needed to be taken, whether it was running from a saber-tooth tiger, dodging a falling rock, eluding a poisonous snake, or just avoiding a careless footfall. Remember that a twisted knee or a broken ankle could spell death to anyone who couldn’t run away from danger. In fact, it was probably trauma (or a brief careless lapse in judgment) that was most responsible for the low average life expectancy of our ancestors, despite their otherwise robust good health. Avoid trauma and there was a very good chance you could live to be 60 or 70 – and be extremely healthy and fit. Modern day hunter gatherers maintain strength and health often well into their 80s.

9. Avoid poisonous things.

2047547974 779e6595abMan’s ability to exploit almost every corner of this earth was partly predicated on his ability to consume vastly different types of plant and animal life. But moving into a new environment and trying new foods posed a danger that the new food might contain potent toxins. Luckily, our liver and kidneys evolved to handle most brushes with novel-but-slightly-poisonous plant matter – at least to keep us alive anyway if the stomach didn’t regurgitate it first. Our keen senses of smell and taste also helped us sort out the good from the bad. The reason we have a sweet tooth today (dammit) is probably an evolved response to an almost universal truth in the plant world that just about anything that tastes sweet is safe to eat.

10. Use your mind.

Lascaux2Obviously, one of the most important things that separate man from all other animals is his intellectual ability. The rapid increase in the size of our brains over just a few thousand generations is the combined result of a high-fat, high protein diet (see rule #1) and a continued reliance on complex thought – working the brain out just like a muscle. Hunter gatherers all around the world have developed language, tools and superior hunting methods independently. The fact that some haven’t entered the industrial age doesn’t mean they don’t possess the same ability to process information rapidly and effectively (try living in a jungle where you need to catalog thousands of different plant and animal species, knowing which can kill you and which can sustain you).

Nature Lover

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hello Spring!

Our first beautiful day here on the East coast and I'm still not feeling well.  I do think that I've figured out what is going on with me.  I think that I may have a parasite issue.  I think that it's possible I've had this for a very long time.  I have every single symptom of a large scale infestation of some sort of intestinal parasite.  For now I'm going to treat it myself.  It's pretty simple actually.  My plan is to stay completely away from sugars and simple Carbs, use different herbs and preps to rid myself of them, take acidophilus several times a day, drink Pau d'arco tea, and eat lots of fermented foods.  I can't wait to feel better. 

More bear pics

Precious Bears