Let Me Fly Bro, Let Me Fly…

Padre Island National Seashore’s Tom Backof holds a rehabilitated sea turtle before releasing it in to the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 400 sea turtles were found stunned by the recent frigid weather. After being nursed back to health, the turtles were released at the national park. (Photo by Courtney Sacco, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, AP, wsj.com January 7, 2018)


 

Miracle. All of it.

Pregnant Turtle. Female turtles are able to retain sperm in their Fallopian tubes for up to three years, which can be used for different clutches of eggs. A single clutch of eggs can also have multiple fathers.

~ Jessica Stewart, 12 Incredible X-Rays Reveal How Different Pregnant Animals Look (My Modern Met)


Notes:

  • 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.”
  • Related Live & Live Posts: Miracle. All of it.

Miracle. All of it. (perfect in a way we aren’t)


Fred is 15 years old and 80 pounds, and since my parents adopted him two years ago, he has never left this yard. When he is dozing in the shade, the old shower trees outside the picket fence that surrounds the yard rain their pink and yellow petals down on him…Fred has nowhere to go and nothing to do, and my parents expect nothing from him.

Every morning, Fred must be fed: a mixture of timothy hay, romaine and protein-rich kibble, which is spread across a baking tray so he can see it easily…Some five hours later, lunch must be provided. Then, at around 6 in the evening, someone has to check that Fred has put himself to bed in his wooden house, where he spends at least 20 minutes bumping and scraping against the walls and the floor: the sulcata, which is native to sub-Saharan Africa, is like most tortoises a burrower by nature; in those arid climates, tortoises will dig deep tunnels in order to access damper, cooler earth. My parents’ neighborhood is humid — it rains every morning and every evening, a light, brief mist that makes the air smell loamy and slightly feral — but Fred is conditioned to dig regardless, his stumpy back legs chafing against the flagstones beneath his house. By 8 p.m., he is silent, sluggish; like all reptiles, Fred is coldblooded, and he will remain in his house until the morning and the return of the sun and its heat…

When the occasional passer-by looks over the fence and sees Fred marching across the yard, his legs churning with the same steady, hardy energy of a toddler delighting in his newfound ability to walk, they are always startled. The surprise is attributable to his size, as well as his shape and color; at first glance, you might mistake him for a large rock, only to then realize that the rock is moving…

To be in the company of a tortoise is to be reminded — instantly, inarticulably — of the oldness of the world and the newness of us (humans, specifically, but also mammals in general). Nature has created thousands of creatures, but most of us have been redrawn over the millenniums: Our heads have grown larger, our teeth smaller, our legs longer, our jaws weaker. But tortoises, some varieties of which are 300 million years old, older than the dinosaurs, are a rough draft that was never refined, because they never needed to be. They are proof of nature’s genius and of our own imperfection, our fragility and brevity in a world that existed long before us and will exist long after we’re gone. They are older than we are in all ways, as a tribe and as individuals — they can live 150 years (and can grow to be 200 pounds). As such, you cannot help feeling a sort of humility around them: They may be slow and ungainly and lumpily fashioned, but they are, in their durability and unchangeability, perfect in a way we aren’t. It is all this that makes them unique and unsettling animals to live with, for to be around them is to be reminded, incessantly, of our own vulnerability…

Fred doesn’t actually need company, or water, or even food; were he at home in Sudan, he would be eating (dry grasses; shrubbery) only every few days…A tortoise knows how to wait. It is another piece of wisdom that comes from being a member of a species that is so very old.

He was, I always thought, an unattractive animal: his eyes might kindly be called beady, his mouth a puckered seam — the writer Jane Gardam once described a tortoise as having “an old man’s mean little mouth” — but over my summer with my parents, I also realized that I was mesmerized by him — even that I respected him. How could I not? An animal that demands so little and craves even less? An animal so unlike the animal I am, one with such a developed sense of self-possession? What secret did Fred know that I did not?

…I liked to sit on the porch steps and watch Fred trundle across the lawn. A few weeks into my stay, we’d grown familiar enough that he would toddle right up to me and stretch out his neck, its skin sagging into crepey pleats, and let me pat his head, closing his little black eyes as I did. In those moments, I found myself talking to him, usually about banal things: asking if he’d enjoyed the hibiscus flowers I’d snapped off a neighbor’s bush; if he could feel the myna birds that occasionally perched on his back. This time, though, I asked him something else, something more intimate, something about what it was like to be the creature he was, what it was like to live without a sense of obligation or pity or guilt — all the things that make being a human so sad and so mysterious and so wondrously rich.

He didn’t answer, of course. But for a moment, he held his position, his head motionless beneath my hand, a short pause in his very long life. And then he moved on — and I stood and watched him go

~ Tanya Yanagihara, excerpts from A Pet Tortoise Who Will Outlive Us All (NY Times, May 17, 2017)


Notes:

  • 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.”
  • Related Posts: Miracle. All of it.

Photography (astonish the senses)

“Over seven days, dawn to dusk, flying over 2,000 miles, Zack Seckler brought his camera, and his unique vision, to South Africa, capturing an astounding world of land, sea, and natural life. Direct and complex, magically precise yet abstract, the images draw the viewer back repeatedly to the interplay of form, light, color, and composition. They, like the region, astonish the senses and engage the mind’s eye.”


Source:

Miracle. All of it.

turtle-eggs

 An olive ridley turtle lays her eggs in the sand at Rushikulya Beach, nearly 100 miles southwest of Bhubaneswar, on Thursday. Thousands of olive ridley sea turtles started to come ashore in the past few days from the Bay of Bengal to lay their eggs on the beach, which is one of the turtles’ three mass nesting sites in the Indian coastal state of Orissa. (Asit Kumar, Agence France Presse, via wsj.com)

And don’t miss one of the 2017 Underwater photographs of the Year:

[Read more…]

Miracle. All of it.

turtle-nesting

They come, lumbering, from the many ponds. They dare the dangers of path, dogs, the highway, the accumulating heat that their bodies cannot regulate, or the equally stunning, always possible cold. Take one, then. She has reached the edge of the road, now she slogs up the impossible hill. When she slides back she rests for a while, then trundles forward again. Emerging wet from the glittering caves of the pond, she travels in a coat of glass and dust. Where the sand clings thickly the mosquitoes, that hover about her like a gray veil, are frustrated. Not about her eyes, though, for as she blinks the sand falls; so at her tough, old face-skin those winged needles hang until their bodies fill, like tiny vials, with her bright blood. Each of the turtles is a female, and gravid, and is looking for a place to dig her nest. […]

I saw the tracks immediately— they swirled back and forth across the shuffled sand of the path. They seemed the design of indecision, but I am not sure. In three places a little digging had taken place. A false nest? A foot giving a swipe or two of practice motion? A false visual clue for the predator to come? I leashed my two dogs and looked searchingly until I saw her, at one side of the path, motionless and sand-spattered. Already she was in the nest— or, more likely, leaving it. For she will dig through the sand until she all but vanishes— sometimes until there is nothing visible but the top of her head. Then, when the nesting is done, she thrusts the front part of her body upward so that she is positioned almost vertically, like a big pie pan on edge. Beneath her, as she heaves upward, the sand falls into the cavity of the nest, upon the heaped, round eggs. She sees me, and does not move. The eyes, though they throw small light, are deeply alive and watchful. If she had to die in this hour and for this enterprise, she would, without hesitation. She would slide from life into death, still with that pin of light in each uncordial eye, intense and as loyal to the pumping of breath as anything in this world.

~ Mary Oliver, from “Sister Turtle” in Upstream: Selected Essays (2016)

 


Notes:

  • Photo: Brent Fleming, Nesting Sea Turtle
  • 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.”
  • Related Posts: Miracle. All of it.

Monday Morning: Head up. Slow and Steady Wins the Race.

painted-turtle


Source: Traer Scott Photography. Don’t miss: Adorable Photos of Newborn Animals in Wildlife Rehab Centers by Traer Scott

 

SMWI*: Pick ’em up and lay ’em down

adorable


Notes: GIF: Life and Lover. SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration

Yet…

snapping-turtle

The snapping turtle
wore the most horrifying face I have ever seen,
yet she seemed to be enjoying
the warmth of the sun,
as thoroughly as the household cat.

~ Mary Oliver, Sand Dabs Eight, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Photo: Kerry Hood via Giraffe in a Tree

5:00 Bell! Fly!

turtle-cute-gif-adorable


Source: Adorable Gifs

Thank You For Being a Friend


Loved this. And can’t seem to get Andrew Gold’s song out of my head:


Source: Grindtv.com

 

It’s been a long week

funny-gif-apple-turtle-bite


Source: Themetapicture

Monday Morning Wake-up Call: Still so sleepy…

funny-turtle-cute-sleeping-baby


Source: themetapicture

Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration?

rabbits-dogs-turtles-life-exercise-funny


Source:themetapicture.com

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5:16 am. And Inspired.

black and white, photography, Luca Setti


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. The photo above was taken by Luca Setti.  Check out Luca’s other shots at Luca Setti Fine Art Photographer. (See Galleries section.)  Awesome and Inspiring.
  2. Elena @ Live Simply, Travel Lightly, Love Passionately & Don’t Forget To Breathe with her post: Old-Fashioned. “In a town, that has so many healthy, but plastic-looking women, with ridiculous hair extensions, it’s truly empowering to be walking it, my way…knowing, that family of a sick child has to pay for a wig, according to that family’s income level, is more than enough reason for me, to donate my hair to an organization that gives it for free.  The family is going through enough pain and trauma as it is. I know, because I lost my father to cancer.  Authentic and inspiring Elena.
  3. Rob Biesenbach @ Act Like You Mean Business with his post Fewer Inspirational Quotes, More Original Thinking, PleaseThe Internet has ruined quotations for me.  I love inspirational quotes as much as the next guy…But enough is enough…Now some people may feel they’ve got no special wisdom or insights to share. Bull. You’re just not looking hard enough…”  Excellent wake-up call and post Rob.
  4. Steve Aitchison @ Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life with his post What on Earth is Stopping you? “Times are changing fast and more and more of us are realizing it’s possible to create a life for ourselves instead of life creating us. There is something more you should be doing. There is something waiting for you. There is a spark inside of you waiting to be lit. There is craving, a feeling, of something more important you should be doing. There has never been a better time to start…So, tell me this.  What is stopping you?[Read more…]

4:15 am. And Inspired.

Autumn-colored Sedges in The Enchantments


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. The photo above was taken by Lee Rentz @ Lee Rentz Photography Weblog.  Check out Lee’s other shots in Washington State at a post titled When We Walked Through the Forests of Gold.  Inspiring.
  2. Sheri @ The Other Side of Ugly with her post No Small Thing.Existence is no small thing. To be alive and made up of the very particles of the universe that you live in is no small thing. To have eyes to see, hands to feel, ears to hear, mouths to taste, minds to think and hearts to love is no small thing”…Terrific.
  3. Ofe @ Tropical Spice Living with her post What Every Boy Should Know where she shares 20 lessons that Mothers should impart with their sons.  On point and heartwarming…I won’t be a spoiler.  Check out her post.
  4. Ed Batista with his post The Meaning of Life.  I’ve been thinking about this post all week.  Haunting. Eye-opening. Here’s an excerpt: “…The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.  That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the “rat race” — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing…” Check out Ed’s post. [Read more…]

T.G.I.F.: Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

turtle, tortoise, baby, cute, smile, happy,


Source: Imgur

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T.G.I.F.: Raptor Sighting Down Under…


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T.G.I.F.: Wheels on the bus go round and round…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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