Thursday, April 30, 2020

Social Distancing Nature

Social Distancing Nature

Saturday was such a beautiful day here. We were out walking (what else?), this time in a local nature park. The site was closed to cars but not to people. Fortunately, there weren’t too many walkers that day so we only had to divert our path a few times. One man was fishing in the creek. A family was biking. 

And then there were the geese. Usually there are many geese in the park but only a few were around on this day. They seemed to be in their own form of social distancing. This goose was eating on its own after being chased away by a connected pair. It seemed to want to gather food near us. As we backed up, it came closer. It seemed to want company and comfort as if it was looking for its family. I softly reminded it to keep a safe distance.

I wondered if animals are as prone to get the corona virus as we humans are. I read that a dog was recently diagnosed with the virus but then I read that dogs were being trained to sniff out the virus in those without symptoms. There are so many questions about this pandemic. But one thing to remember is that social distancing can help us contain the spread.

I hope the goose eventually finds its natural family. I hope that we all are safe and healthy and remember that while at a distance isn’t our natural way of interacting, it is necessary at this time.

Canadian Geese

Monday, April 13, 2020

Maple Seeds in Abundance

Maple Seeds in Abundance

We have a large maple tree in our backyard. Each Spring it produces tons of seeds that offer food to the wildlife and promises of new trees. This year the tree seems to have exceeded its seed production. We have maple seeds all over our yard. It speaks of a burgeoning of life, an opening up of the season of growth and expansion.

And yet, things happen. This morning one of the branches was ripped from the tree trunk by an incredibly strong wind. It lays upon the grass, the seeds still clinging on. But now it has me thinking about the strength of the parent tree. Is this a harbinger of its decline?

It’s a short step from tree-worry to people-worry. Is our tree of life starting to weaken? We seemed strong until the corona virus began playing havoc with us. It is hard to see the bright side of things right now but I try to focus on the positives: a neighbor offering to shop for me, fellow walkers saying hello but carefully avoiding close contact, having a snack virtually with my grandchildren. Small things but they help to keep the positive in view.

I’m looking forward to a season of healing, whenever that comes about. I hope the squirrels enjoy the feast Nature has offered.  I hope you find whatever is positive around you and that you stay safe and healthy.

Lots of info about maple seeds:

Friday, April 3, 2020

We Are Birds of a Feather

We are Birds of a Feather
We took a ride recently to The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge protects more than 47,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal habitats and is a haven for migratory birds. We drove slowly through the Refuge, observing the birds that were gathering in flocks. When they were flapping around or searching for food, we would park, get out of the car, and take photos. Other people were there, watching as well, but no one was close to anyone else. It was at the beginning of the social distancing rule. All along the road, the cars and the people kept appropriate distances.
It was the time for nesting, for bringing new life into nature. Ospreys were gathering grass and weeds to place within the nesting formations set up for them. Geese were moving in vees and flapping from one part of the marsh to another. Ducks quietly floated, occasionally poking under the water for a treat to eat. Gulls dropped shells in the middle of the road, cracking them open for a meal. They were all together, as Mother Nature designed.
Across the fields was the city. Tall buildings reminding us of how people needed to stay away from personal contact, such a sad contrast from the what we were seeing. I hope that we are able to connect with each other soon, to enjoy our connections with family, with friends, with our professional contacts. Like the wildlife at the Forsythe Refuge, we are meant to connect with others. May this time of isolation be over soon.  After all, we too, are birds of a feather…  

The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge:
A wonderful video:
For bird lovers, here is a website you’ll enjoy: