My Secret Garden

“If you look the right way, you can see that
the whole world is a garden.”
Frances Hodgson Burnett

My Secret Garden

My 2016 Secret Garden

For the past few weeks the weather in our neck of the woods has been inconsistent. So much so, that I’ve waited to start my patio garden until I felt it was safe for my 2016 plants to survive. Finally the weather seems to be back to normal and I started my garden for the year.

Having a small garden gives me such pleasure. Not only because it’s beautiful, but because I’m a nurturer by nature so having something to care for makes me feel alive.

This year I added herbs to my garden. It’s fun to be able to cook and have fresh herbs at my fingertips. I’m enjoying the beauty, the fragrance and the joy of life from my secret garden.

Shine On

Wise As An Owl

“A wise old owl sat on an oak;
The more he saw, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard;
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?”
Author Unknown

My feather collection

Collecting bird feathers is a hobby that has been with me since my pre-teens. These feathers are placed gingerly in my antique hand-woven American Indian basket, and are treasured keepsakes. Gathered throughout my years of horseback riding and hiking, each feather is treasured for not only its beauty but for how it once adorned each and every bird.

The variety of feathers ranges from birds such as my pet Cockatiel Max, to majestic peacock feathers. Among the dozens of feathers in my basket, the most cherished feather is from a Great Horned Owl. This large flight feather is rich brown in color with tan highlights. The soft, comb-like feather enables the Great Horned Owl to fly silently while hunting its prey. Though this feather may appear dull in comparison to my peacock feathers, it’s the fact it’s from an owl and the owl character I cherish.

The Owls Have It

Great Horned Owl

We’ve all heard the saying, “wise as an owl”. The saying as well as his reputation goes back as far as Native American and Greek mythology. Maybe the owl got his well-known reputation because of his most famous feature. Those large golden eyes framed in black, as though he is wearing eyeglasses, and his stern stare gives one the idea of a wise old bird. There’s much more to this bird than meets the eye.

This cryptically colored stealth bomber of the night has proven his smarts and wisdom through his hunting technique of first listening, looking, and only then reacting to what he has learned.  Unlike his only predator, man, he listens, looks and learns. This technique has allowed the owl to survive for centuries and proves how smart he really is compared to man.

Listening – Looking – Learning. A concept most humans cannot afford to ignore. The owl is wiser than we ever believed possible. Maybe, just maybe, if man would follow this wise old birds listening, looking, and learning technique, man could be as wise as an owl.

Shine On

New Flock Arrives

“Great men are like eagles, and build their nest
on some lofty solitude.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

New Flock.png

There’s a new President and First Lady in Washington, D.C. and the election isn’t even over. These two birds flocked to Washington, D.C. after a 70 year hiatus. But they are not your typical Presidential Family.

The two birds I’m talking about are a family of Bald Eagles who built their nest recently in a Tulip Poplar tree amongst the Azalea Collection at the U.S. National Arboretum District. The nest is approximately five feet wide by six feet deep.

The “First Lady” laid her first egg on February 10th, and laid her second egg on Valentine’s Day. The high flying couple are expecting the arrival of two eaglets in mid-March.

Their story began in the spring of 2014 when a lone male Bald Eagle started roosting on Kingman Island, it was observed that this male would survey the Anacostia River system on a daily basis and return to Kingman Island every sunset. During the fall Bald Eagles began migrating through the area and it wasn’t long until the male seemed to have found a mate.

Why would these Eagles choose to return to D.C. after over half a century?  What I read was that the Ar­bore­tum has a num­ber of old trees that are large enough to sup­port an eagle’s nest. Even though the nest is in an urban area, the Ar­bore­tum pro­vides qual­ity wildlife habi­tat and enough open space to dampen the noise from the city. Also, the Ar­bore­tum’s close to the Ana­cos­tia River, which is a sig­nif­i­cant food source.

Thanks to the American Eagle Foundation and the National Arboretum who installed and stream two high definition video cameras from the top of the nest tree, you can watch these iconic birds 24/7.

Bald Eagle fans can check out the live video of the birds through an “eagle cam” that went live on President’s Day, hence their pet names.

I know I’ll be watching this Bald Eagle First Family daily. Who knows, maybe I’ll be the first to see these eagles when their new flock arrives.

Shine On


Love For That Sunset

“You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.”
Albert Einstein

Love That Sunset.jpg

For over a decade, my husband and I have enjoyed well over 3,650 California sunsets. The sunsets are never the same.  Each one with its red, white, pink, purple and blue hues, one more dramatic than the next.

There is one thing we have noticed throughout the past decade. That is the fact that more and more couples flock to Redondo Beach to watch these spectacular daily images.

The sunsets may not take but a few minutes to experience, but it’s the lingering colors of the sunset that have you mesmerized by its beauty. Maybe that’s why couples young and old can be seen at the end of the day sharing not only their love but the love for that sunset.

Shine On