Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sunrise, Sunset, and Thoughts in Between


Resisting the urge to stop my car and capture this sunrise was impossible this morning. I still made it work on time.


My mind is tired during this busy time of year at the college but it was on overdrive today about recent happenings and current events while I stopped to admire colorful weeds during my daily walk. Mundane things, like, "What will we have for dinner tonight? What’s the status of my laundry? I wonder how the baby finches are doing?” Foremost in my mind was what happened yesterday.

I know the media is haunting and killing us with too many details about VA Tech and we are getting tired and annoyed with it all. It’s time to be quiet and let the issues take their course with those closely involved and to quit reminding us of the horrid incident. Privacy to those families matters now. In advance, I apologize for once again writing about an unpleasant matter but this one is very close to home for me.


While I was on my campus walk yesterday and thinking about the scent in the air and the beauty around me, something very critical was happening during those minutes. I was unaware. Less than one-half mile away from where I was walking, four schools were in lock-down, including a high school, middle school, elementary school, and a charter school.

On the high school parking lot, a sixteen-year old male student carried a handgun and threatened to use it on two students. Supposedly, he had an issue with a girlfriend. Police followed him to a nearby gas station and when the boy was asked to release his gun, he refused, and shot himself in the head. He died later at the hospital. My daughter works in the same company with that boy’s Mother.

Did I deserve a nice walk in the park at the very same time a young boy took his own life? It seems so unfair…


On to more happy thoughts!

This afternoon when I was sweeping my mailbox, I saw and heard some little kids near me stomping on caterpillars for fun. Sweet little kids but obviously clueless. After their lesson from “Miss Mary”, they promised never to harm a caterpillar again. No one told them. I think they really got it and also realized their Moms wouldn’t appreciate caterpillar guts imbedded in the soles of their sneakers!


I’ve been eyeing up this arrangement for a while. It’s “Nature’s Arrangement”.


Before the clouds rolled in tonight for expected storms, I was breathless when I saw a new visitor at my house. I saw Chipping Sparrows on campus last week but I never saw them in one of my trees! I thought I heard a familiar song… If these tiny little birds had cheeks, I’d want to pinch them. I think they are the cutest sparrow on Earth.

Many times over the years I said that if I didn't have a full-time job, I'd be bored and would spend too much money in my spare time. Now I know it isn't true.


Chloe watches TV. She’s gained interest in TV in the past few months. Shows like COPS and commercials really intrigue her. Last night she enjoyed American Idol for a while. Does anyone else have a dog or cat that watches TV?


Bella has no interest in television. Her main interest is putting her mouth around something edible and her waistline confirms it.


The rain and cold will return tonight. This sunset is chilling, I think.
All around the world we have different views from our front porch but we all share the brightest star in the universe.

Sherry at Q’s Corner has a way with the camera that is so beautiful. For some smiles and wonderful photos, scroll down to “Mating Doves” she posted on April 15. Enjoy her bees and butterflies, too!


Anonymous said...

That is soo cute that the kids come to you and ask about the critters! Also love the fact your puppy watches TV!

Cathy said...

Mary! This is lovely, lovely, lovely. Sunrise - sunset . . . (add appropriate melody) Yes - our precious, precious star. We just don't have the beautiful horizons that you do.

And yes, Mary - you do deserve beauty, happiness and serenity. The juxtaposition of tragedy and beauty you experienced today is just the way life is. You're right. It isn't fair. We do what we can to make this place a better place, but you can't with-hold oxygen from your little flame. You must keep it bright.

Unknown said...

I agree with Cathy -- beauty and tragedy balance each other out. It's terrible that that boy should be so miserable as to think that killing himself is the way out but even worse to think that we should rid the world of beauty and wonder on his behalf.

We need MORE beauty and MORE joy in our world so that we can fight the darkness that threatens to steal our world.

I love that those boys got a lesson from Miss Mary -- I had a similar moment at school a few weeks ago. The kids have seen me rescue caterpillers and earthworms. Nothing impresses first graders more than a woman who will pick up earthworms in her bare hands to return them to an earthy area so they can live.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Yeah! on rescuing caterpillars and instilling the idea of the sanctity of all life!
Science Chimp sez: That's a field sparrow--pink bill, vs. black in chipping sparrow, and white eyering, and no black line through the eye as the chippy displays. Agreed--very cute. A lifer? Hope so! Don't you love photographing lifers?
Bella is soooo cute.
Keep showing us the light.

Mary said...

To all: (Julie Z confirmed this..)

Right after I posted this, I realized I goofed on the sparrow ID. I was missing the black eye-line. But you know what? Those sparrows drive me crazy. I'm calling them little brown birds from now on.

Mon@rch, I think the kids liked my sweet lesson!

Cathy, what you say is very true. It was hard to enjoy the day, though. Keep us Looking Up!

Liza, I love the fact that you hold earth worms. The kids love it, too! We do need more light these days. Let's keep it up.

Julie, it's a lifer. :o)

entoto said...

Mary, you do deserve a walk, a walk in serenity. We all do. Other items are not of our timing. It is just odd synchronicity. And I KNOW what I am talking about there. I have been on that nice walk and all else is going to hell in someone else's life.

Susie said...

Love your pictures, especially the birds and sunrise, sunsets :)
Two of our schools also had lockdowns due to threats. Perhaps a copycat kind of thing??
Scary in any case...

dmmgmfm said...

I love the sunrise photo, Mary. I couldn't have resisted stopping either.

Jayne said...

What a spectacular sunrise to greet you! The beauty you put out into the world helps to balance the not so pretty aspects of life Mary. Love and hugs to you...

Cathy said...

I am so lazy with sparrows. Really, it's embarrassing. For decades I've been a regular among the local birding community. When I spot a brown-streaked fluff ball - he receives the local moniker of LBJ - little brown job.

(Mary - I hope you'll have a better day today. I don't even have the TV on this morning. How much can we take?)

Gotta Garden said...

Hi Mary: This is a beautiful post on so many levels! Love the pictures and your thoughts. I think it is the serene walks that keep us in balance and we can certainly use them now.

So funny about your dog watching tv! Mine don't, that I notice, but I do have one of the eating types! Lol! Well, maybe loves to go outside (or anywhere) anytime and the other actually smells the flowers!

Thanks for your kind thoughts...and I like your view!

KGMom said...

Mary--read your headline and started humming the wonderful song from Fiddler on the Roof.
We do need quiet after tragedy--and yet, as you note, tragedy keeps on happening. The poor family with the kid who shot himself. Families as so bereft after suicide.
And good good good for you--where do kids get the idea that it is fun to destroy creation? I carry spiders outside rather than kill them.
Finally, your question about pets watching TV--we had a cat who loved to watch football. She kept batting at the players! Now, our one cat--Allie--watches, but only Animal Planet!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Thank you!
I needed some inspiration this morning from "people"! I needed to believe there are people who truely care.
It is beautiful to me that you were able to educate the children on the joy of caterpillers. Why humans, young and old, want to distroy is beyond my ability to understand!
Your sunrise and sunset photos are works of art! Again thank you for celebrating! Mother Nature's decorating is sublime. So few ever see her gentle, beautiful ways.
Chriping Sparrow is also one of my favorite birds. Very sweet.
Also, thank you for including "Mating Doves". Your encouragement means so very much to me.
Happy to be with you, a kindred spirit.

dguzman said...

My old kitty used to watch TV as well; her favorites were the low-key channels like History Channel. Anything like Animal Planet or Discovery was, I think, a little too loud and in-your-face and had other animals.

Hey, I rescue earthworms too! I don't know why they come out during the rain and get on the sidewalks and streets, but I always just say, "Worm suicide: it can be prevented!" and I pick them up and put them back in the grass and dirt.

Anonymous said...

Ziggy says...I love action pack tv shows while chewing on a good old bone in the sofa (on my mommy's lap) of course. Chloe and Bella rock! -- Ziggy Howshall

Chrissie said...

A beautiful moving post, Mary. All we can do I think is be kind to the people around us. We can't take on the whole world at once but one at a time :-)

thailandchani said...

The pictures are *so* beautiful!

The school lockdowns: We've had three or four in this area during the week. Copycats.



Mary said...

Trixie, thanks. We all need a break from bad news.

Susie, the power of suggestion is so strong. There have been bomb treats and all sorts of foolishness...

Cathy, sometimes I am so screwed up with those little LBJs...That photo was planned to be a mystery bird I was saving for the weekend. The Chipping Sparrow shot will be posted later... Duh... The Science Chimp was right on it!

Laurie, you would have been proud of my lightning fast pullover!

Jayne, was are similar creatures, don't ya think?

Gotta Garden, thanks for visiting! I'll stop by and visit you, too. Gotta love those piggy dogs, huh?

Donna, that's funny. When I owned cats, they watched TV quite often. Cartoons!

Sherry, you are delightful. Everyone on this comment list is delightful, but you have the power in your artistic photos.

Delia, I think they escape because they are flushed out during a storm - they could drown. I pick them up to. My fish adore them but I throw them back in the grass :0)

Hi Ziggy! Stay away from them sardines, ya hear? (from Chloe & Bella)

Chris, we are all trying, aren't we.

Chani, thanks for the compliment.
We don't need copycats. There are too many...

Beth said...

Mary, your photos continue to amaze me. Beautiful shots here, and precious words.

sonia a. mascaro said...

I agree with Cathy and also with Liza, we all need more beauty, more peace and more joy in our world. And you share with us beautiful pictures, Mary. Thank you!

Chloe watching TV is so cute! You ask if does anyone else have a dog or cat that watches TV? My daughter had a chicken and one day the chicken was looking to the TV and suddenly a dog show up on the screen and she mades some weird sounds, and his feather were so bristling, so ruffle, as she was afraid of the dog. So we figure out that she could see the image on the screen. It was really amazing!