Sunday Morning

It’s hard to hurt things.

Isn’t it.

I’m afraid of spiders but I still scoop them cold

into my hands & let them free.

Where’s the church for things like this.

Talin Tahajian, from “No steeple” (Cosmonauts Avenue)


Notes: Poem via bostonpoetryslam. Photo “no bell” by Christian Collins

Sunday Morning

It’s spring, and everything looks frail;
the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves…
a little dogwood tree is losing its mind;
overflowing with blossomfoam…
dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds,

so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene.
It’s been doing that all week:
making beauty,
and throwing it away,
and making more.

Tony Hoagland from A Color of the Sky in What Narcissism Means to Me


Notes – Photo: Dogwood in Blossom by David Castenson. Poem: Thank you Whiskey River

T.G.I.F.: It’s Been A Long Week


Source: Hippo Photographed by Dale Morris (via Newthom)

Thirsty (95 sec)

Let’s just say…Wow. Stick to the finish on this video.

And don’t miss these photographs here: The real Lion Kings: Incredible photographs show the majestic animals in their stunning natural habitat on the African plains (via DailyMail.com, February 23, 2019)

 

 

Sunday Morning: Invocation

Architect of icebergs, snowflakes,
crystals, rainbows, sand grains, dust motes, atoms.

Mason whose tools are glaciers, rain, rivers, ocean.

Chemist who made blood
of seawater, bone of minerals in stone, milk

of love. Whatever

You are, I know this,
Spinner, You are everywhere, in All The Ever-
Changing Above, whirling around us.

Yes, in the loose strands,
in the rough weave of the common

cloth threaded with our DNA on hubbed, spoked
Spinning Wheel that is this world, solar system, galaxy,

universe.

Help us to see ourselves in all creation,
and all creation in ourselves, ourselves in one another.

Remind those of us who like connections
made with similes, metaphors, symbols
all of us are, everything is
already connected.

Remind us as oceans go, so go we. As the air goes, so go we.
As other life forms on Earth go, so go we.

As our planet goes, so go we. Great Poet,
who inspired In The Beginning was The Word . . . ,

Everett Hoagland, from “Invocation” in Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology (University of Georgia Press, 2018)


Notes: Poem via 3 Quarks Daily. Photo: coolultramodernesolitude (via Newthom)

Big Baby

A rare black rhinoceros calf, born on Dec. 9, is seen with his mother Maisha at a zoo in the Czech city of Dvur Kralove nad Labem. (David Tanecek, wsj.com January 4, 2018). More on the story here.

Miracle. All of it. (This Year on Earth)

In 2018,

  • Earth picked up about 40,000 metric tons of interplanetary material, mostly dust, much of it from comets.
  • Earth lost around 96,250 metric tons of hydrogen and helium, the lightest elements, which escaped to outer space.
  • Roughly 505,000 cubic kilometers of water fell on Earth’s surface as rain, snow, or other types of precipitation.
  • Bristlecone pines, which can live for millennia, each gained perhaps a hundredth of an inch in diameter.
  • Countless mayflies came and went.
  • More than one hundred thirty-six million people were born in 2018, and more than fifty-seven million died.
  • Tidal interactions are very slowly increasing the distance between Earth and the moon, which ended 2018 about 3.8 centimeters further apart than they were at the beginning. As a consequence, Earth is now rotating slightly more slowly; the day is a tiny fraction of a second longer.
  • Earth and the sun are also creeping apart, by around 1.5 centimeters per year. Most of the change is due to changes in the sun’s gravitational pull as it converts some of its mass into energy by nuclear fusion.
  • The entire solar system traveled roughly 7.25 billion kilometers in its orbit about the center of the Milky Way. This vast distance, however, is only about 1/230,000,000th of the entire orbit.
  • There were two lunar eclipses and three partial solar eclipses, each a step in the long gravitational dance making up the roughly 18-year saros cycle. During one saros cycle, eclipses with particular characteristics (partial, total, annular) and a specific Earth–Moon–Sun geometry occur in a predictable sequence; at the end, the whole thing starts again. This pattern has been repeating for much longer than humans have been around to see it.

I like knowing these bits of cosmic context because they link me to a larger world. I can echo the words of Ptolemy: “Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day. But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth.”

Mary Hrovat, from “This Year on Earth” (3 Quarks Daily, December 24, 2018)

Don’t miss the rest of her essay here: This Year on Earth


Notes:

  • Photo: Phys.org.
  • Related Posts: Miracle. All of it.
  • Inspiration: Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Soul Crushing

@whs_worldheritagespecies: Soul crushing image of a rhino fetus whose mother had been poached the evening before. Poachers, those who benefit from selling a rhino’s horn, those who believe the horn is a “miracle” drug, and the courts that let poachers walk free are cancers of the planet!😡😡 It’s not very often that I post a photo of myself, but I thought I would share my experience at a rhino poaching incident I was working at in South Africa this year. I’ve been working closely with wildlife vets, particularly for my rhino photojournalism story. A few weeks ago we were called to a rhino who had been killed by poachers during the night. The vets performed an autopsy on her to find the bullet; a vital piece of evidence in the investigation. In this case the cow was shot badly by the poachers, she was hit in the stomach causing her to die a slow and extremely painful death during night. I was taking photos and helping the vets where I could as they cut through her to search for the bullets when I overheard one of the vets mention that she was pregnant. I ran to the back of the rhino just as they were slicing open the amniotic sack, exposing this foetus, which was close to being born. Conservation, particularly of rhino, is something I’ve been involved in for a long time. I’ve been to poaching incidents before, I’ve seen some gruesome things, but this is something that will haunt me for a very long time. His fragile skin was soft to the touch, and tore easily with the most gentle of brushes. His feet were underdeveloped, his lifeless eyes glazed behind the thick eyelashes that had started to grow. There in the grass he lay, next to his mother, who must have died slowly, agonisingly, and full of fear in the dark night. His opportunity to live torn away at the pull of a trigger, and at the greed of mankind. I’ll be revealing some of my work from this incident over the next few weeks. Photo credit: @lisa_vet_graham IG My Instagram: @benswildlife

Saturday Morning

I can watch elephants (and elephants alone) for hours at a time, for sooner or later the elephant will do something very strange such as mow grass with its toenails or draw the tusks from the rotted carcass of another elephant and carry them off into the bush. There is mystery behind that masked gray visage, and ancient life force, delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea.

Peter Matthiessen,  The Tree Where Man Was Born


Photo: Lukas Holas. Quote: via Schonwieder

Let’s just say…Wow. (28 sec)


Back story here: How Drones Are Helping Scientists Study and Protect Endangered Whales (Thank you Christie!)

 

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