The Unexpected

So, when I last posted on the morning of the 23rd in honor of the autumnal equinox, I wrote: I find myself curious and eager to see what this new season has in store.

I didn’t have to wait very long to find out. About an hour later, I encountered this gorgeous immature rattlesnake just hanging out at the base of our porch steps.

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, immature


My last rattler sighting had been back on the 12th of August (which feels like ages ago), so I felt rather satisfied by the sighting and pleased with the pics that I managed to get. It seemed like a truly auspicious beginning to the unfolding new season!

Little could I have possibly imagined that the very same morning would also bring THIS….


Mountain Lion


Yup. That is indeed what you think it is.

I tell you, it’s enough to leave a gal speechless… Well, almost anyway. *GRIN* This is a teaser post as there are other better photos and an entire story that still needs telling. I’ve been holding my tongue on sharing this news for a couple days now though and I simply couldn’t wait any longer.

Life is good. It may not always be easy. You may not always get things exactly how you want them or when you want them. But there are lions and snakes and birds and trees and spiders and moons and toads and rainbows and squirrels and clouds and all the other totally amazing things that make me wonder what tomorrow will bring and keep me hangin’ in there to find out!


Harsi / September 25, 2011 / mammals, reptiles / 7 Comments

In Celebration of the Autumnal Equinox

Mourning Dove feather
Fall Song

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries – roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay – how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.

Mary Oliver

Thank you, Mary, for the gift of your poetry… for having the words and the insight to write of things that seem fresh yet ancient, personal yet universal.

I find myself curious and eager to see what this new season has in store. Wishing a wonderful day to all of you reading this!

(For those that are interested, the lovely image is a wing feather from a Mourning Dove.)


Harsi / September 23, 2011 / birds, quotations / 4 Comments

Hullo again, dear friends!

California Ground Squirrel, on stump

Well, what I thought was going to be a short break has turned into a full month of silence. Just in case anyone was seriously worried about my disappearance, let me assure you that I am fine.

All better and back to normal then?!

No. I can’t tell you that.

I used the words “uncomfortable” and “exhausted” in my last post and I think that is still a fairly accurate assessment of how I’m feeling these days. One of my dear friends sensitively commiserated that GI problems are tough because it’s not really something that is as socially acceptable to talk about in depth, the way one might if it was a broken bone or a bad cold. This is certainly true. And, when it does get discussed openly, it’s usually detailing a brief and unpleasant bout of some virus or bacteria that you picked-up which should resolve quickly with medication or of its own accord after a few days. My difficulties with my intestines are long standing though. Several decades, in fact. I am still uncertain why I am having such an acute and extended experience, but this is not the first time this has happened to me. Quite some time ago, I was extremely sick for almost a year before things started to seriously improve. Some people might call it “stress”. Most doctors would probably label it “Irritable bowel”. I have come to think of it as a wake-up call from my body or my spirit that they need some things I haven’t been able to give them lately. My task is to figure out what those things are and try to heal.

I thought about sharing in more depth what sort of remedies and therapies I’ve been trying, what my exact symptoms are, what seems to be working and what hasn’t. But… I don’t really want to.

I have always had a host of health issues. In addition to the intestinal stuff, I have several chronic pain conditions, long-term struggles with anxiety and depression, and I honestly don’t think I can remember what a “good-night’s sleep” actually feels like (it’s been too many years). Some of this may be new information for a few of you, but that’s because I never really wanted this blog to be about any of that. I wanted this space to be about JOY and DISCOVERY and my PASSION for nature. I’d like to keep it that way for the most part.

This past month has been full of challenges and changes, yet observing wildlife and the deep solace I perpetually find in being outside alone in the middle of it all remains unchanged. I have had to limit the amount of time I can spend wandering the hills and photographing, but my enthusiasm and delight in those marvelous things that I see every day here in the canyon has not been lessened in the slightest. This has been a great source of comfort to me and an important reminder of just how stable and crucial my connection with nature is.

I’ve decided that it makes no sense to try and predict how much or when I will be able to post here and share with you all. It seems unlikely that I will go back to regular daily posts anytime soon, but I do hope to return to doing what I truly love — sharing through photos and words some of the many experiences that daily open my mind, heart and soul to the beauty and flow of life around me. *GRIN*

Harsi / September 20, 2011 / not nature / 4 Comments