Monday, September 30, 2013

Tenants Harbor Maine

Completely blessed.  This place is absolutely amazing.  I have no battery power left on my computer and no charge cord so pictures will have to wait until I get home.  For the last two days we have had an adult Bald Eagle and a Immature perching on a dead tree right next to this gorgeous cottage.  You can hear the ocean, smell the delicious salty air, and see nothing but complete beauty outside every window of this delightful cottage.  The designer framed every view with a big window.  No need for art here....nature is the master of art. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Hawk Watch Friday!

Only 11 birds today....but two were adult Bald Eagles!  Tried to stay in the moment and just absorb all the beauty around me. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

BLT Wrap, it's what for lunch!

I am my father's daughter, his favorite sandwich was the BLT.  He had one every Friday night for dinner.  The BLT has long been my favorite as well.  Since I haven't eaten bread for a very long time, I miss having a BLT.  This is my lettuce wrap version of a BLT.

Homemade Mayonaise
1 Alvacado cut in chunks
3 slices Organic nitrate free bacon
sundried tomatoes
4 lettuce leaves

2 Hour Co. Park Hike...heaven on earth!  I had such a great time, alone in the forest.  Notable birds today 2 Kestrels, Black Headed Blue Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet. 

Hawk Watch tomorrow, so lots today to get ready for our Saturday early departure. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tenants Harbor

For my entire adult life, ever since we lived at Goose Rocks Beach in a adorable cottage on the Salt Marsh, I've been trying to find the perfect vacation home on the ocean in Maine. With every home we rented over the last 30 years, there were always issues or something was missing.  Neighbors were too close, the views weren't great, no beautiful sound of the ocean, no pine scent, or the vacation from hell when the rustic home was actually disgustingly dirty!   From the listing pictures of this gorgeous home, I think that I've finally found my dream Maine vacation home!  We will be staying in this home for all of next week.  I'm super excited to spend an entire week with my wonderful hubby in this beautiful home. Summer vacation for us~Yeah! 

Paleo Italian Wedding Soup

Here is my version of Italian Wedding Soup. 

Make chicken broth from scratch with organic chicken.   Cook until chicken falls apart, pick through meat and add back to broth. Make meatballs with 1 pound ground turkey,  2 pounds Italian Sausage,  add spices. Form into small meatballs.  Cook in a 350 degree oven until browned.  Add them to the soup.  Add sliced carrots and baby spinach.  Serve!  YUM!

My Childrens Favorite Dessert

Luvbird's Peanut Butter Pie
For the last couple of years this has become my sons hands down all time favorite dessert for their birthdays.  It started out as Reece's Peanut Butter Pies and has developed into my own version that now is GF and made in a 9x13 pan.

~Prepare and cool the crust first.
~Preheat oven to 350.
 ~In the food processor combine:
*1 pound Hershey Bar
*1 stick of butter
* 8 oz package of chocolate Gluten Free Cookies
~Bake for 12 minutes, cool and then pop in the freezer for 10 minutes.

 ~ Filling:
*16 oz Jar Peanut Butter
* (2) 8 oz packages Cream Cheese (softened)
* 16 oz container of Cool-whip

~Beat the Peanut Butter with the cream cheese, then add in 3/4 of the container of Cool-whip.
Spread in the pan. Top with the remainder of cool whip.   Then artfully add chocolate and peanut butter chips.  Drizzle with Chocolate and Peanut Butter syrups.  Keep in the fridge.  Also freezes great. 

Thought I'd post something different for a change, as I am a complete foody.  I don't eat desserts like this, so it's the only one I ever make for my family.

On the nature front.....Hummingbird and Monarch yesterday! 

My son arrived in Hong Kong this morning!  It was amazing to chat with him on FB for a few minutes.  I feel much better now.  So excited to hear about his adventures! 

One thing that I LOVE, washing my sheets in Soap Nuts and then hanging them on the line to dry.  They smell like the wind and sun.  So wonderful to get in bed with freshly washed line dried sheets! Is it bedtime yet?
Soap nuts

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The acorn

This afternoon my oldest son  left the country.  He is moving to New Zealand for the next year.  His first stop is  a 2 week vacation in Thailand.  While I am incredibly proud and happy for him, I am also immensely sad.  I will miss him deeply.  As I  hugged him tightly as we said goodbye, clinging on to him and not wanting to let go,  I could hear his heart beating.   26 short years ago I heard it for the very first time, how quickly the time has flown by. My never ending love for him has deepened and grown.  He is a man now, but to me he will always be my baby boy.   He hasn't lived at home for the last 2 years,  but he was still close enough that we could jump in a car or on a plane and get to him in a matter of hours.  Now it will take days.  I guess this is the hardest part of loving another human being so deeply......letting them go.   It's his time to experience the world.  My heart hurts tonight. This afternoon I spent some time thinking about how much he has taught me in his lifetime, the lessons are many and profound.  The greatest one being.....simplicity.  Watching him live on very little money and enjoy every moment of his life.  He takes little for granted and lives very much in the moment.  I miss him already.

My dear son I wish you the time of your life.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ask and you shall receive

While out on this mornings hike, I mentioned to hubby that I had not seen a single Box turtle this year. Not 10 minutes later what did I find?  She was well hidden in a tree snag, and I was lucky to see her.  A beautiful healthy turtle ready to hibernate. 

Symbolic Turtle Meanings (from the website
Those with the turtle as their animal totem can relate to the "sure and steady" message this creature brings to our lives.
It is also a powerful totem for protection as withdrawing into it's shell is an amazing self-defense mechanism.
The turtle has few predators, which gives it an innocent energy. This also increases its lifespan, and so holds the symbolic meaning for longevity in many cultures.
Did you know the turtle is one of the oldest living animal ancestors walking on the earth today? The oldest fossils of turtles are dated at over 200 million years old. This is highly symbolic. It indicates the turtle is a symbol of longevity, endurance, persistence, and the continuation of life (sometimes against incredible odds).
-Ever hear of the old adage "slow and steady wins the race."? Not only is the turtle's walking pace sure and steady, but so is its insistence at being a part of biological life on this earth. Something to consider when connecting with the turtle as a guide and mentor in living a dynamic, long life.

Because of its seemingly wide-eyed, long-lived, carefree attitude the turtle is often thought to be the wisest of souls among the animal kingdom. We would all do well to take this as a lesson and move at our own pace as the turtle does.
Furthermore, the turtle takes its wisdom one day at a time - not reacting, simply accepting and moving on in its natural methods. Again, this is a powerful analogy for humankind, and we would benefit from adopting the same behavior pattern.
Turtles share an association with water, which lends meanings of motion, intuition and emotion to the myriad of more symbolic meanings of the turtle.
Avia and Turtle Totem

Happy Autumnal Equinox

I'm headed out for a early hike, then to pick up ingredients for a amazing Autumnal dinner for my family and some table decorations to celebrate the gift of  Autumn arriving.

Why you ask?

I get asked this question a lot, why do you spend so much time up at the Hawk Watch, how can you deal with the heat, cold, wind etc for 8 hour shifts for 10 weeks?  This picture says it all....there is nothing like watching migrating raptors.  They inspire such a feeling of awe in me.  How can one see so many powerful, beautiful birds so close to home?  This photo was taken by my friend Matt, another official counter at the Mount Peter Hawk Watch. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Yeah ME!

Yesterday up at the Hawk Watch I had a banner day!  I counted a total of 2739 hawks and 1 eagle!  It was an amazing time.  As always sitting there in complete awe of nature and it's miraculous ways never fails to fill my soul to the brim.  I'm still walking on air today!  


Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 20, 2013
Species    Day's Count    Month Total    Season Total
Black Vulture    0    0    0
Turkey Vulture    0    0    0
Osprey    2    81    81
Bald Eagle    1    46    46
Northern Harrier    0    11    11
Sharp-shinned Hawk    38    192    192
Cooper's Hawk    3    15    15
Northern Goshawk    0    0    0
Red-shouldered Hawk    4    17    17
Broad-winged Hawk    2684    7105    7105
Red-tailed Hawk    0    5    5
Rough-legged Hawk    0    0    0
Golden Eagle    0    0    0
American Kestrel    5    47    47
Merlin    1    4    4
Peregrine Falcon    1    3    3
Unknown Accipiter    0    0    0
Unknown Buteo    0    3    3
Unknown Eagle    0    0    0
Unknown Falcon    0    1    1
Unknown Raptor    1    13    13
Total:    2740    7543    7543

Observation start time:    08:00:00
Observation end time:    16:00:00
Total observation time:    8 hours

Beautiful sunny day, nearly a cloudless sky. Hazy for the entire day due to high humidity conditions. Light winds out of the S SW. Temperatures ranged from 16c to 31c.

Raptor Observations:
First bird of the day was a adult Broad-winged in perfect plumage. It flew 50 feet from the platform at eye level. Shortly after the Broad-winged passed through heading south, just west of the platform, all of a sudden a half dozen robins erupted out of the tree tops. Flying for their lives, they were being chased by a Merlin. He flew directly behind the platform and into the forest on the east side of the platform. The Merlin was not counted. 1 Adult Bald Eagle came in from the North, but turned around and went back towards the North. 1 Immature Eagle went due South and was counted. 3 Unknown Red-Shouldered Hawks, 1 Adult Red-Shouldered. 3 Unknown Kestrels, 1 Male Kestrel, 1 female Kestrel.

Non-raptor Observations:
Winter Wrens (2) Scarlet Tananger (2) Cedar Waxwing (14) Chimney Swifts (12) Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (1) Male Pilated Woodpecker (1) Eastern Phoebe (2) Catbird (1) Empidonax Flycatcher (1) Purple Finch (1) Pearl Crescent Butterfly, Grey Hairstreak Butterfly, Monarch Butterfly (4)

The change of seasons is upon us.  The Fall Equinox arrives tomorrow at 8:44pm.  The day and night will be equal and then we will be heading into the darkness.  Time to draw inward and reflect upon our lives and how we are living them.  

I found the hammock that I purchased for hubby a few years ago, it's never been is where I am currently laying down writing my blog.  I'm able to be outside under the gorgeous clouds and enjoy every last moment of the last full day of Summer.  I wish that I could bottle how I feel right at this very moment.  A light breeze on my skin, insects, birds singing, gorgeous puffy clouds floating by and not a care in the world. 

I will be going to camp next Spring!  I'm going to Book a week at Audubon Camp.  It's something I dreamed about my entire life, if not now then when? 

Tuesday my oldest son leaves for NZ.  He will be living and working there for a year.    It's so hard to let him go, I'm going to hate having him so far away for so long.  I am very proud and happy that he is living the dream and following his own drummer. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Harvest Moon

In my own backyard
Gorgeous crystal clear skies tonight....the moon was simply stunning.  Blessed are those of us that see the amazing beauty of nature each day of our lives. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lake George Camping

Although the weekend at Lake George didn't go as I expected, we all managed to have a good time.   The weather reports were completely wrong and no one, except hubby and I had the proper rain gear.  The day went from 30% chance of rain to a huge rain storm. Everyone in our group was soaking wet by night fall.  The Ranger station had run out of firewood, and temperatures were expected to dip into the 40s.  We were looking at not being able to cook a hot meal and then a long cold wet night in our tents.  Temperatures for the next day were only expected to get into the low 60s.  At dusk we decided to head into shore and get a motel room.  We were able to dry everyone's clothing,  go out for a nice dinner out and get a wonderful nights sleep.  The rest of the weekend was uneventful.  Lots of laughs and much fun was had by all.   I did get a text during our dinner out with a report of my missed day at the watch.  Over 500 hawks. I was pretty bummed to have missed a great day at the watch, and even more bummed that I would miss the next two days.  This year the birds are moving a few days earlier.  Right after dropping our friends off to their home, we were heading out of their driveway and sitting right on a dead tree was a gorgeous adult Broad-wing hawk.  Upon arriving home at 5pm I took Monty out back....looked up and there was a raptor!  Ran into the house for my bins, and ended up counting 42 Broad-wings, 1 Osprey and a Harrier.  A few minutes later a beautiful sun-bow lit up the sky.  My heart was singing.  I didn't miss the migration after all.

Today I was back up at the watch at noon.  All our regular hawk watchers showed up.  What a great group of people.  I thoroughly  enjoyed seeing everyone and our collective bonus  was we had over 1000 birds by the time I left.  Lots of warblers and other fall migrants completed the great day.  Quite a few Hummingbirds still visiting my feeders.   Tonight after we walked Monty......a amazing double rainbow!  Life is good. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lamar Family

I was privileged to see this pack while in Yellowstone.  Great to see this picture of them that was posted on FB this morning.  Glad to see one of the pups made it.  I hope they all continue to do well.  Such amazing beautiful creatures. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Peace of the wild things

This says is all!!!!  If only we could be like all the rest of the animal world, wouldn't we all be so much happier?  Thinking about what might happen instead of living in the moment takes away our current joy. 

We are having a bit of humidity today, and warm temperatures today and yesterday. We are headed to Lake George for the weekend.  Two days of bliss on Fork Island.  I plan on doing NOTHING! Just observing and soaking in the world around me. I want to be one with nature.  I can't wait to sleep outside on the ground.  Waking at the sunrise, watching the sunset and sitting around a campfire with my hubby and best friends n the world.  Total bliss. 

I finished up my tests yesterday and found out that my health issues all are fixable, news for which I am very, very grateful.  I will be on a very strict diet for a long period of time, and then I can't eat the way I used to ever again.  Healthy foods only for now on.  I did have a 1cm pre-cancerous polyp removed.  So it is really good that I went in 4 years earlier then the plan.  Now I will be going for tests more often.

As of yesterday I still have Hummingbirds passing through.  Feeders were cleaned and re-filled.  I may redo them again tomorrow just because of the heat, I don't want the migrants drinking sour sugar water.

Here is the poem in it's entirety.

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My sit spot

A couple of years ago my wonderful hubby built me this gorgeous bench as a gift.  I find that when I sit on it and do absolutely nothing but observe the nature around me,  I come back to my life renewed.  I feel peaceful and calm inside. 

I'm a Sloth

"Buzz Feed" had a cute article where you take a Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test, I came back a ISFP.  They then matched up those personality traits to see what type of animal you are most like....I came back a Sloth.  LOL..that's me!
Peaceful and easygoing, ISFPs take things at their own pace and live moment to moment. They are considerate, pleasant, caring, and mellow. Their values are important to them, but they are not ones who particularly care about defending or debating their views publicly. Don’t call them lazy — maybe they are just more relaxed than the rest of us.

Woot~Woot!  First day at the Hawk Watch, first bird....a Bald Eagle!  I went on to see 7 more!  A total of 7 for the count!  One flew West and wasn't counted. Also....a cool sighting of a Merlin who attacked all the TVs on the tower and then proceeded to attack a couple of them in the air.  It was a long day, especially feeling so ill.  But one that I will cherish.  Each day I get to sit on that mountain and count migrating Hawks and Eagles is a complete blessing and total joy.

I am feeling worse then ever today.  I feel as though I am very ill.  I am glad that I know this isn't anything serious and it's part of the process of getting better. I  Hope to be on the mend soon, because being so sick is taking over my life.  I make a promise to my family and the entire world, to never, ever, again take my health for granted.  Feeling this badly has made me realize just how blessed I was before Candida came into my life.  One day at a time.  I WILL GET WELL! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Feeling a tiny bit better!!!

I am on the mend! My symptoms are a bit better today, first time in a month.  I've done a ton of reading over the last 2 days about my condition and I'm determined to get it under control and NEVER again take my health for granted by eating foods that aren't good for me!  I've been warned by my body big time and I am very lucky that what has been going on isn't more serious.  This website is now my obsession.  The women who started it is a GENIUS!  She has all the information that I've believed in for a very long time, all in one spot!   I am very happy to have stumbled upon it.  I am starting to implement what she recommends today.

Tomorrow begins my 10 weeks of counting at the Hawk Watch. I am really looking forward to it.  I still have Hummingbirds at my feeders, only a couple a day now, guess they are migrants.  How the heck did this Summer go so quickly?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


A Symbol of Hope

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed...
We feel lucky to have seen it.


Sadly all up and down the East Coast Monarchs are not being seen at all this Summer. I've seen a total of 3. It appears that because of last Summers drought and severe heat there was an 80% reduction in the total numbers wintering in Mexico.  With our rainy cold spring on the East coast it appears that they didn't recover. 

The Hawk Watch starts this Friday.  I'm looking forward to my mediation time on the Mountain.  I'm also excited to see all my Hawk Watch friends.  When Nature is your religion, every day you are alive is a blessing.

As for my health, according to my GI doctor it's looking like I am having a Candida flare.  I am taking the message to heart that it is time once and for all to stay away from all grains and sugar.  I am currently on the GAPS Diet to try and heal my leaky gut and then I will transition onto a Paleo diet for life.   Cheating on the ancestral diet has lead me to where I am today.  Being sick for months at a time is self abuse.  I am very lucky this hasn't turned into something worse. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Last night we took Monty up to the Park for a swim, it was about 6:30pm.  I was thinking that I had missed the Nighthawk migration as so many people on all the different ny bird lists had been posting about seeing them for the last week.  Well....I lucked out!  I just happened to look up, and there were Nighthawks EVERYWHERE!  We saw over a hundred in a very short time.  So amazing to witness nature on a daily basis. 
Image from Stokes Blog