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Amazing Creations Humor Nature

Not Quite Plain Sight

… unless you travel out a ways by boat.

We went out on the Sanctuary Cruise in Moss Beach, California to whale watch.

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The white plume to the right is a whale exhaling. The naturalist on board taught us to look for bird activity, with seals and stirred up water. Shortly the whales would appear. They stirred up food from the bottom and that attracted the birds and seals. These were humpbacked whales and not seal eaters.

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This one shows the seals and other activity. Sadly the man taking photos next to me is blurring the left side. I am not accomplished enough to remove him from the photo and keep the left whale.

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And the fun continued! The mist from the plume drifted our way. The captain asked how we liked liked whale breath! It was fishy and fun in a whale sighting kind of way!! My favorite is the one minute video I took, but I have to pay lots more for the blog if I post videos. The video went to my facebook account.

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Our trip was worth every penny. We had such fun. I marveled the God did not HAVE to allow us to see theses fantastic creatures. And yet, He did! So with the flip of the tail I say good day!

 

 

 

Categories
Amazing Creations Nature

Lillies With Magic Powers

There is a plant I have never grown, though many people in the area have them in their yards. This pink flower shows up with a cry of “Surprise!” After the foliage has died away. They have several names.


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Surprise Lily, Magic Lily, Resurrection Lily and Naked Lady because the leaves die back before the flowers emerge. These flowers are part of the amaryllis family. I enjoy those flowers in January! Researching this I discovered resurrection lilies can be used as cut flowers! Oooh, I “may have to get me some of those!”

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Amazing Creations Nature Traveling

Smoky Mountains in Spring

We love to hunt wildflowers in the Great Smoky Mountains national park. One of the most elusive is the Lady’s Slipper. I will never tell you where we found these, as folks tend to want to steal them, hoping they will grow in their garden. Well, frankly, that is against the law and most likely they will never grow at your house as they need very specific conditions to grow and then to bloom.

According to the U.S.D.A. Forest service “In order to survive and reproduce, pink lady’s slipper interacts with a fungus in the soil from the Rhizoctonia genus. Generally, orchid seeds do not have food supplies inside them like most other kinds of seeds. Pink lady’s slipper seeds require threads of the fungus to break open the seed and attach them to it. The fungus will pass on food and nutrients to the pink lady’s slipper seed. When the lady’s slipper plant is older and producing most of its own nutrients, the fungus will extract nutrients from the orchid roots. This mutually beneficial relationship between the orchid and the fungus is known as “symbiosis” and is typical of almost all orchid species.

“Pink lady’s slipper takes many years to go from seed to mature plants.  Seed-bearing harvest of wild lady’s slipper root is not considered sustainable. Pink lady’s slippers can live to be twenty years old or more.”

So we go to the Smoky’s to relax.

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And we hunt for these.

And even the ones that are wilting bless our hearts!

Then back to the river for more refreshment.

And maybe one more surprise !

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Categories
Amazing Creations Nature Spiritual growth

The Wise Turtle and Bloom

Turtle and Bloom © 09-07-21 Molly Lin Dutina

I came upon a turtle at the pond today. I missed her completely the first time I walked past. She was totally camouflaged by duck weed. The lily leaves were withering and the ones left standing placed shadows around her similar to the shape of her shell.

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I took one photo and drew closer to the water’s edge for another, hoping she would not slip into the water and vanish completely from my sight.
I posed no threat as she remained in her position on the log. I began to realize that she must be a very old turtle by her size.

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As I changed my position along the shore, I could see her more clearly. I began to notice the lily leaves, first as obstacles to my photographic efforts, and then as tattered, themselves old from a hot summer of sun and storms and wind. I was reminded of the poem I wrote at the Nature Center 19 years ago about the lily pads, (for the complete poem see the Stand and Tip blog) and the subsequent admonition from the Lord to me, “Perhaps I could ask you just to be a lily leaf. Fill up with mercurial spheres and overflow. Stand and tip. Ponder this My lily shield.” Here I am at the same location these many years later, seeking solace and direction at my current age in my current state.

The next photo attempt brought the lovely lily bloom into my photographic range. I had seen a dropped petal in the weeds along the shore line. It was fresh and somewhat velvety as I placed it between folds of paper in my journal.

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When I tried to frame the next photo the blossom made for good composition. Tired leaves, old turtle, flower blooming, though fading. Suddenly I was looking at a mini portrait of my life in the very frog pond that inspired me so many years ago. I have been wrestling with the topic of aging and the pain and distress that seem to be increasing in my body as I age.

2 COR 4: 16-18 came to mind: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

I had recently mentioned to Bob that I do not like to grow white roses as the petals begin to darken with the slightest bruising. Here I see a creamy lily flower bearing the beating of sun, wind, and storms yet barely showing the effects in her waxy petals. The aging turtle remained on the log, still enjoying her sunbathing, unperturbed by one woman on the shore taking digital photos. The lily leaves tattered, yet most still erect on their flexible stalks, able to gather a summer shower and tip when the pad is full.
At first glance my negative mind set cries, “Just look at her! Surrounded by decay and destruction! Duckweed hanging on her lovely shell. Leaves decaying and spoiled all around her! All alone on that log!” Then as I ponder I see her wisdom caused her to cover her shell with duckweed to blend in, her courage in taking a sunbath even if the other turtles choose not to, and regardless of her surroundings she is looking up, even now, the changes in my attitude begin. Wisdom, courage, and keep looking up! Yes, as one author said, “I need me some of that!”

turtlelcloseup5by7Upon closer inspection I am able to see the lovely colors in her neck, the awesome nails and webbing in her feet. The coloring continues around the under-edge of her shell into her legs. Most importantly, I realize she is looking up, as I am called to do, fixing my eyes upon things eternal. Letting go of the obvious pain and aging issues I am able to relax on my favorite bench and simply soak in the pond activity: belching frogs, passing humans, bird song and noonday joy.

Categories
Amazing Creations Nature Traveling

Eeyore! In the Black Hills

Did you know that Custer State Park has donkeys who run wild? They are fairly tame though. Bob had great fun watching me balance and walk across an extra wide cattle guard that was similar to this photo so I could get a closer look at them and some photos.

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Now mind you, the guard I crossed was crowded with people and cars all flocking to see the donkeys. But it was this color with very wide spaces between the bars.

It was worth the crossing though! The “Burros” (which is Spanish for donkey) are undomesticated. They were released into the park after the original herd that took visitors to the top of Black Elk Peak had their job discontinued. So the donkeys there today are descendants of the working donkeys.

They are also called Beggar Donkeys as they have learned to beg from the tourists. And the tourists have spoiled them rotten with vegetables and apples.

They were tame and soft. Some larger than others. I especially liked the one with the black stripe!975f5930-c938-4ac0-bec6-d93fada9a69d.jpeg
So as Eeyore might say, “Guess I’ve seen everything now! Donkeys being fed by tourists and begging rather than foraging the prairie of delicious grass! Oh well. Tomorrow is another day. Maybe, I will get some free food if I find some tourists. We’ll see.”

Categories
Amazing Creations Nature

Remember these?

…a few weeks ago?7839F38E-8FE0-4888-A88C-098EA82D92BD

Look at my other blog for details from this week!

Molly’s Poetry and Vignettes at

http://stand-and-tip.com/2018/09/04/butterfly-living h

Categories
Amazing Creations Nature Traveling

Oh Give Me A Home

where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play!

How about traffic stopped by a heard of bison? Think Custer State Park, South Dakota.

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Do not ever remember seeing bison calves before this! Well worth the wait in traffic!

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The herd came down a hill and crossed into the meadow. We were uncertain if the traffic was stopped because of gawkers or the herd. In a while two men in pickup trucks arrived with warning lights flashing on top. Turns out they were “herders” there to move the herd along. They encouraged them to cross the road again. And eventually the traffic began to move again.

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Categories
Amazing Creations Nature

Well, Maybe Not Quite Plain Sight!

Manatee

By U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey – Photo from U.S. Geological Fact Sheet 010-99; FS-010-99, Public Domain, Link

Have you been to Florida? Or a zoo? Have you seen the Manatee? Also known as the Sea Cow, Wikipedia describes them as slow plant eaters, similar to cows on land. They sometimes sleep up to 50% of a day! They range from 800 to 1200 pounds each!

Imagine my surprise when I discovered Water Bears. They have a remarkable ( to me) resemblance to these giant Manatees, but they are microscopic!

These guys can survive radiation as well as extremely low and extremely high temperatures, pressure, dehydration according to Wikipedia! I have a small photo of both the water bear and the manatee on my kitchen bulletin  board to remind me of the diversity and creative of our awesome God! Someday I hope one day to see a water bear under a microscope for myself!