08 March 2009

Back to the Bend

Colorado Bend State Park is a location that Heidi and I hold dear. We had only visited it, together, once before. But, that past visit holds fond memories. Memories of a very wet spring resulting in a mid-summer that held many wildflowers, butterflies, chorus frogs, and the thirst-quenched leaves of the woodland elders such a pecan and cottonwood trees. The on-coming breeze persuading them to sing their centuries old songs. Sounds we can't replicate. Sounds we don't hear unless we un-plug and step outside.

The picture above was taken during that first visit. Heidi had slipped on a slick rock and found herself sitting in the water momentarily. That was the day, the moment, she baptised her cell phone. It was in her pocket. With its faith renewed, the phone went to a better place. (I think. Heidi you weren't able to resuscitate that device were you?)

Anyhow, Heidi and I found a great rock outcropping for sun-basking as if we were vultures on this particular pour-off pool that is illustrated in the picture above.

I remember basking next to her with strengthened emotions and thoughts toward this wonderful friend of mine. I remember just wanting to hold her hand; but knowing that we were both in seperate lives in those regards. This wonderful friendship was of a respectful platonic nature. That was quite alright by me. This incredible friend of mine.

That picture and that time are of the date: 19 July 2007.

Now to 06 March 2009.

These pictures illustrate the return to the "basking rock" nearly 2 years later.
To be able to hold her hand, and ponder, enjoy, and share in our Knowing; indeed, to have come Full Circle at a place....
Places such as:
-Lower Rio Grande Valley, TX
-Dublin, TX
-now CO Bend St Park, Bend, TX
-and next?...

So many places over the past 3+ years where friendship was forged, strengthened, and reinforced.

The cottonwoods had yet to foliate on this return trip. That only makes their singing with the wind slightly higher in pitch, but no less meaningful.

They knew 2 years ago, as They know now.

Listen to the Wind.

Hi. ;-)

Anyways, we were afforded some interesting pictures of fellow earthlings during this trip. Heidi took great pictures of Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) and our first of the year Orange Skipperling (Copaeodes aurantiaca). She always seems to have the eyes for herps that I walk by. I may have walked by that skipperling as well. I like our team. :-)

Butterfly list this outing, just from the top of my head, and in no taxanomical order:

-Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

-Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

-Giant Swallowtail (P. cresphontes)

-Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia)

-Cloudless Sulpher (Phoebis sennae)

-Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus gryneus)

-Henry's Elfin (C. henrici)

-Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

-Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

-American Snout (Libytheana carinenta)

-Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

-Little Yellow (Pyrisitia nise)

-Orange Skipperling (Copaeodes aurantiaca)

-Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

-Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funeralis)

-Juvenal's Duskywing (E. juvenalis)

-Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

-Texan Crescent (Anthanassa texana)

Heidi has our complete field notes, and lists, of birds and bugs and things for that day.

The following are some pics of a Giant Swallowtail basking near where Heidi and I were basking. While this insect was warming itself as the clouds finally broke, it was also "puddling." The latter term when applied to certain members of the Order: Lepidoptera refers to the insect taking in various minerals and salts found in mud, or in this case wet sedementary rock like this limestone.
A note about the last picture...
Whenever I am afforded the opportunity, I try to take a photograph of the creature at its "eye-level" or below. It seems to give the fellow earthling more importance; not nearly so inferior to the almight Human Being (Homo sapien sapien).

So, for example, when we see a butterfly from the aforementioned angle we are suddenly in its world. Out of "ours" and into its. When we are transported to its world, if only through a still photograph, we come to have a greater appreciation for it as a living being as we are living beings. We do share lives, liberties, and persuits.. on this planet we co-occupy.

Seeing an insect from above reinforces some of our ingrained superiority complexes. Our importance that is so far beyond the importance of other members of creation, of the natural world.

An example; this photo of a Hermes Copper (Lycaena hermes) taken in San Diego when I lived there:
This organism is the size of a dime. The size of its required habitat that remains is ridiculously small as well. But from this perspective, slightly below (not towering above) we get an eyeful of its world. Our world. Its life.

Who cares, right? Maybe the question for some of us is What cares? Perhaps the What or Who that you prayed to, sang to, or worshipped this very Sunday morning. Ah, stewerds ... indeed, Who/What cares?
So I recommend turning off 24-hour "news" channels with screaming-heads posing as journalism yet appearing as talk show hosts. Life is too short too wonderous too beautiful to SCREAM at each other.

After doing so, take advantage of an opportunity to look at a fellow being at its level. Yeah, we may have to get on our bellies and get slightly dirty. It just might be a moment to take in fascination, wonder, and even a learning experience.

This place we live in teaches.

Books, classrooms, pulpits..., these are such infinitesimal portions of the Whole that teaches.

So don't always listen to that talking, glowing screen.


Listen to the Wind.

We might just find that spiritual texts and "creation" are not necessarily mutually exclusive opposites of hard science and this natural world of ours. Absolutes just may fade if we let them; if we listen, if we look.

Hmm. That butterfly list had an interesting ending.

peace, shalom, salaam,


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