It's all Hieroglyphics to Me

"Hieroglyphic symbols, unlike letters in our alphabet , are used to describe what we would use a group of letters to- such as an idea or thought in a picture form. Like to describe the sun for example 
they would have a picture similar to the sun, or to describe a crocodile you would see a picture similar to a crocodile. While some of their symbols are easy to understand it took years and help from many artifacts for scientists to decode these symbols."

So saith Reference.com.  Like they're basically saying that uh hieroglyphics are like word pictures to convey an idea. 

Remember the ancient Egyptians?  They  etched their thoughts, mournful, mundane, murderous and otherwise all over the pyramids which are arguably the penultimate burial vaults on earth. In doing so, they unwittingly made Harrison Ford  and a deck of Hollywood movie moguls multi-billionaires many suns and moons later as they were inspired to create moving picture shows about lost arcs, sun gods, grocery lists and golden treasure in order to entertain us. 

IN THE MEANTIME, back to reality. 

Nature also leaves hieroglyphics  all over the earth. Within the  power of every creature is the ability to communicate, at times with intent. At times, not. 

Winter in Canada provides many opportunities to read the stories being told by fox, wolf, squirrel, mouse, ferret, raccoon, deer, mink, fisher, coyote...they are all out and about, roaming the forests, fields and farms. While they forage they write their tales of life and death  and now it is for you to decipher...

Great Grey Owl lands suddenly. Kills quickly. Leaves.

What hops along and lands on its little bum every time? (I don't know)

Squirrel? but what's the long deep cut made by? 
and what's the plunge on the right?

Steps in its own trace, drags tail. Nope. No clue here unless it's a fox?

 Ghost owl. Likely Eastern Screech. Dropping in for take out dinner.

Ah! This one I know. Winter s'quitter. Running around in loud, noisy circles.

Humans. Creating hieroglyphics.


These are a Few of My Favourite Things

I would love to soar above the earth, free to follow the breezes. Untethered. Accountable only to myself, or my baser instincts. But Free. As a bird.
I don't know why I feel this way, only that I do. And that one of my greatest life pleasures is being outdoors, watching birds.
This hobby passion has taken me all over North America and parts of the Caribbean, and now is the primary reason we travel. To see new birds. Yes to see new places and meet new people and have new experiences, too. But, those of you who share this addiction know. It gets in your blood.
I have over 25 bird guides/books, 50+ bird sculptures and miscellaneous pieces of bird art, four pairs of binoculars, 10 feeders, an account at the local feed store (!)...well, you can see that it is a pretty major part of my life.
Over the past few years, since starting this blog, I carry a camera with me (as well as binoculars) and I now have several hundreds or thousands of photos. Which I have decided to start culling and organizing a little...starting today.
So here are my favourite bird shots of 2011...no particular commentary, just that each and every photo is a memory of a small, feathered thrill that left me smiling.
Funny. As I age, I can't remember what I had for breakfast, or what we did on the weekend -but I can remember  taking every single one of these photos!

2011 was a wonderful year, birding mainly along the routes and rivers of the Ottawa Valley, and along the eastern seaboard, from Connecticut to Long Island, Delmarva, Cape May, South Carolina and all parts in between
enjoying many flights of pure fancy!


It's a Small World After All

For the past week or so, I have been ruminating. Looking around, thinking about this and that, bits, bites, books and birds.
Wondering what's new, and what's hot. Newsworthy, or not.
And with the exception of a few small things, I find that the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Friends and family and just plain folk -we all continue to struggle with:
How to find it, court it and keep it.
How to be stronger, faster, thinner, smarter, harder, softer, better.
How to nurture, share, savour and care.

Besides love, health, and happiness -what else is it that the human spirit searches for? The degree to which we are successful in our quest can move mountains, molehills and armies of men.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.
This is the lesson I have learned in the past year or several.
And it's not that it's good or bad. It just is.

 While visiting Montreal over Christmas, I came across this amazing scene in the windows of a little Italian restaurant in NDG. Like all things small and intricately wrought, it drew me in..and I spent a lot of time just looking at this amazing vignette. Wondering how it got started. Who started it? Who keeps it up? Who creates it? Who protects it? Is it a village effort? Who's hands have made the tiny tools? Who's mind has decided what's needed next?
Who sets it up? Who takes it down?
And within it all, there are a hundred stories being told.
Each one set up to let you linger, to question, and to enjoy.
Which I did. And which you can too.

Happy New Year. May your life be as full as this one!