Category Archives: Robin

#SmallStone: Day Six

Small Stone: Flock of Robins

csurobin03
Walking the dogs at Colorado State University this morning, making our way through a stand of trees next to some of the campus greenhouses, we are swarmed by a flock of Robins. We try to count them, but getting an accurate number is difficult, as they flit from branch to branch, fly from tree to tree, mostly won’t stay still, but our guess is there are between 15 and 25. I have never seen so many in one place, together. I am amazed, and happy, and a tiny bit sad, without needing to explain any of it.

Something Good

view of the high park fire as seen from my corner this afternoon

Kind and gentle reader, today’s post is hard. I need something good more than usual, keep asking Eric to “tell me something good,” but all I really want him to tell me is that this fire will stop, that no one else will lose their home or get hurt, that all the animals will be safe, that our favorite places to hike won’t completely burn up, and that it won’t reach us, that we aren’t in danger. The lizard part of my brain is having such a hard time with it, keeps screaming at me “grab the dogs and run!,” and my heart is just breaking for all the hurt and damage. The High Park Fire, as of the last update, was started by a lightning strike, has burned 36,930 acres and 100 structures, and is 0% contained.

So in light of all that, it feels a little silly, naive to share a list of things I saw this week that I thought where awesome, but at the same time, it feels more important than ever…does that make sense?

1. If you are interested in helping, one way to do so is to donate to the Larimer County Humane Society. They have taken in pets from evacuated homes, are “currently providing temporary shelter for cats, small mammals and farm animals (the size of a goat or smaller) displaced due to the High Park fire,” but are at capacity for dogs (in Colorado, we love us some dogs, so there are lots of them). They need help feeding the animals, so have set up a way for you to give a donation online. I’m sure there are plenty of other places to donate, this just happens to be the one closest to my heart.

2. The Denver Botanic Gardens. We needed a break from worrying about the fire today, so we took a spontaneous trip to Denver to look at things that were lush and alive. We walked around for over three hours, and I took lots of pictures, and we got lots of ideas for what to do with our new beds in our front yard. We were laughing at ourselves, because if you add in both dog walks, we did about 4.5 hours of walking today.

hidden bench, can you see it?

dreamy purple clematis

3. Kizuna exhibition at Denver Botanic Gardens. As a lover of most things Japanese and all things bamboo, I adored this strange and wonderful instillation spread throughout the gardens. “This season’s signature exhibition, Kizuna: West Meets East, brings together two installation artists working in bamboo: Tetsunori Kawana and Stephen Talasnik. Through different working methods, both artists employed this versatile natural material to create large site-specific works for the Gardens.”



4. I want to make this list: Jamie Ridler’s Discovering Delight. In fact, I think we should all make this list, throw out our “to-do” lists and live this one instead. I will if you will…

5. 7 Ways to Celebrate Summer from Positively Present. This list is a good start, but I bet if we tried really, really hard, we could think of more than seven ways.

6. How to Make a Living as an Artist at Create as Folk, by Laura Simms. Be sure to watch the video, if for no other reason than Laura is just so stinking cute.

7. How to Unstress and Truly Enjoy Your Vacation from the Positivity Blog. Can you tell where my head is at?

8. Welcome to the World, Book Baby by Susannah Conway. This is a really great post about her new book, This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart, how it came to be, and links to her virtual, online book tour.

9. Really cool terrariums by the slug and the squirrel.

10. Photo a Day, June Challenge List. I wish I had time, because I love this idea and think it would be really fun, so I’ll save the link and maybe do the one in July.

11. A sweet little video about life and how fast it goes by, in honor of the baby robins next door who are learning how to fly today.

12. The color of. Oh, I could waste so much time here…”a system created to find out the colour of anything, by querying and aggregating image data from Flickr, a popular online photo sharing community. It is an attempt at answering a potentially complex and abstract question in an objective manner, by using simple algorithms on data originating from subjective human perceptions.” You can search any term. Here are the ones I just made.

Love is cooler, calmer, gentler than fire, but they are clearly similar.

13. Quotes from Ray Bradbury on Brain Pickings. Ray Bradbury passed away this week at the age of 91. I adored him for most of my life, and am sad he’s gone, but glad he left such a wonderful legacy.

14. Want To Know Yourself Better? Ask Yourself These Questions from the Happiness Project. These look good.

15. You Can Be at Peace from Jennifer Louden. Oh how I adore her…

16. I love Rosie Thomas, and apparently, so does Susannah Conway, who shared this link to an interview with Rosie. I love hearing stories about how someone “finds art” or “becomes an artist,” those magical origin stories, and this article also pointed out that Rosie has a new album that I didn’t know about, which I am listening to as I write this post, (oh, and it’s really, really good, so #16.5 on the something good list is her new album).

17. Do These Petals Make My Stem Look Fat? by Sunni on the Daily Breadcrumb. Oh that Sunni, so precious, so brilliant. This post, which I adore because maybe you’ve noticed by now how much I love flowers?, also reminds me of this quote: “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change,” (Buddha, who is precious and brilliant as well).

18. This quote, shared by Judy Clement Wall in her latest post on A Human Thing: “You can’t control what other people think about your art. Think about the part of yourself that you can control, which is your ability to be kind and loving and creative.” ~ Ann Patchett, Yoga Journal

19. Calm.com, my new favorite website. Go ahead, try it and you’ll see what I mean.

20. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zero, Man on Fire.

i’m still standing

Things I Forgot to Tell You

I forgot to tell you that the other day on our morning walk, we saw two turtles digging holes to lay their eggs. In fact, they may have been actively laying when we saw them. They were only about 20 feet away from each other, and both tensed but didn’t move when they saw us. One was over the hole that has been used (by the same turtle?) for the past 5+ years. Later, we saw an empty nest, it’s edges littered with shells. I chose to believe those babies hatched and are swimming around deep in Wood Duck pond, rather than breakfast in a raccoon or fox’s belly.

The robin who spent all those weeks throwing herself against the bathroom windows of my neighbor and I’s houses is a mama. She finally built a nest on the light over my neighbor’s back porch, but still spends a few hours a week throwing herself at the window. There are at least three babies, and they look really close to being ready to leave the nest.

Also seen on our morning walks this week:

  • two sets of baby geese (one already colored like the adults, only miniature, and the others still with baby fuzz),
  • two herons being chased by smaller birds who repeatedly dive bombed them,
  • a white tailed deer,
  • a kid sized inflatable pool and float toy both fully inflated and abandoned in a grassy field,
  • a probably rabid skunk by the Little Dog Park (Eric and the boys saw this on their walk, but it’s worth mentioning),
  • a letter to the Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Employment and Training, Benefit Payment Control that had clearly dropped out of someone’s pocket or backpack, so I brought it home and mailed it,
  • an abandoned homework and grade report for a 7th grader that’s apparently failing,
  • new graffiti on the Soft Gold Park bathrooms (970 B.P.L., Brown Pride),
  • a wild rose growing and blooming in the middle of the Little Dog Park,
  • and a river so black and full of soot, it smelled burnt.