We usually do not see Grebes on the local pond during winter in our neck of the woods. However, last week, this Western Grebe was swimming in a small section of a local pond that remained unfrozen. Perhaps she if off course in migration and landed here to rest and refuel. Although it was a pleasure to see her, I hope she takes advantage of this weeks thaw to get back on track and is gone the next time I visit this pond.
Watching the earth breath in and out reminds me that this system is alive.
Alive in a way we might not fully understand as the pieces and connections are known yet the interactions a complex.
We have the knowledge yet lack the understanding or so it seems.
How to make it understood is a question we seem to struggle with. Perhaps seeing and observing can help in some way soften the mind to consider complex ideas and then understanding will follow. Time spent just looking is thus time well spent.
Fountain Paint Pots, Yellowstone National Park, 2018.
A regular and constant companion on forest hikes is the Clarks’s Nutcracker. This day instead of foraging for pine nuts this nutcracker was busy feasting on crickets on a late fall afternoon. We watched as she swooped down from a tree landed in a field and quickly picked up a cricket. We were quite surprised as it had been quite cold and well below freezing yet there were insects to be found.
Clark’s are fascinating birds that each year bury tens of thousands of pine nuts. They remember the location of a large majority of the seeds which they consume during the winter. The seeds they forget then may become new trees and thus the Clarks it integral to the growth of new forests.