Saturday, October 6, 2018

No matter what life is bringing your way, STOP AND SMELL THE FLOWERS


Last Tuesday when I went to Central Park, I was on a mission to get a disappointment off my mind by observing squirrels as away of honoring Squirrel Awareness Month (which always occurs in October). I wrote about that particular experience (and included photographs of those busy-tailed creatures) in last Wednesday's posting here on Blogger.

One thing I did not discuss in the aforementioned entry is that while on my way to take in the antics of such entertaining furry creatures, I came across numerous Common Grackles and I shared some of the peanuts that I had intended for the squirrels with them.

A "representative" for this bird type noshing on one of my peanuts can be seen in the image atop this entry. I am aware that grackles like peanuts because I've often seen them in my rooftop garden, munching on this legume.

An example of this can be seen in the photograph (taken in 2014) directly below.


Behaviors of the Common Grackle are one of the many topics included in volume three of my book series, Words In Our Beak, which is featured in the next image.


It is the last volume of my series and I was suppose to have my copy from the publisher by the week ending September 28, 2018.  Moreover, an advocate for the placement of volume three in a UWS bookstore is in NYC (on a short visit from California) and had planned to use her influence to get the place to carry my book. 

Alas, it did not arrive by the promised date. And when volume three finally arrived days later, I noticed my book was full of errors that the publisher had made in the printing process. 

This was disappointing on many levels; and the main one was that I had to let go of the opportunity for the advocate to visit the bookstore on my behalf. And it is the angst and disappointed that I wanted to get off my mind by heading to the park to observe some squirrels. They certainly did a good job of "making" me focus on something else and so did the common grackles. 

The long lens of my camera gave such an up close and personal look at these creatures, that I was even able to capture their blue eyelids.


As often as I've seen this bird type, I wasn't aware of the fact that their eyelids were this color. I knew blue eyelids are a characteristic of mourning doves ...



.... which is something I discuss in volume one of my book series, but the other day was the first time I noticed it to be the case for Common Grackles. I also noticed something else on that day, these birds, take time to smell the flowers.



Taking time to smell the roses (or any flower) seems to be a lost art for many people (including me at times).

In her article, Stop and Smell the Roses, Slow down now before it's too late, Beverly D. Flaxington points out, "People drive fast, walk faster, all with purpose in the destination. The journey to get there is relegated to the back of one’s mind. So what if the scenery was spectacular on the walk to work; you have to beat that red light to cross the walkway and can’t pay much mind to it anyway! When driving, you might try to beat the light even though the pedestrian is still in the crosswalk, and when walking, you might march in front of that car as the light turns yellow just so a few seconds of standing on the sidewalk could be shaved off."

Flaxington  goes on to say, "The rush seems to rule the day. Rushing to get somewhere, to get something done, to beat the crowds...and for what? To move on to the next thing that needs to be addressed. This is a real dilemma for many people; demands from family, children and parents and siblings; demands from work and the worry if you don’t get it all right you might lose your job; financial demands that require your attention and focus; demands to be healthier and to rush to the gym or get the grocery shopping done; demands from home to do the laundry, let the dog out and clean the house. The list goes on and on and on. In fact, the list never ends. You never quite get to that destination, because as soon as you get there, something pulls you onward to rush to the next place. The time to enjoy your success is often stolen by the need to move on to what’s next."

I confess that even though I have a garden, appreciate nature and am a lover of animals, especially birds, I do not always take the time to smell the roses. This is not necessarily because I'm rushing (which I do), but because my mind is occupied with my concerns and worries re my health, the health of friends, and with the what-can-I-do-about-my-lack-of-finances question.

So I was grateful to have a grackle's reminder, as he/she paused to appreciate a flower, of the importance of doing this.

For whenever I stop to appreciate what is around me, I'm truly rewarded, as was the case when I took the time to be with turtles in the park.





Not only are their expressions endearing, but the way turtles go about day to day living is quite moving  to me.

Additionally, the patterns on their shells have inspired my kaleidoscopic photographic image, Turtle Pond, which can be printed (by Fine Art America) on an array of surfaces for wall art (including canvas, metal and wood).


Being inspired for the content of my books or for my art work is hardly the only thing I get out of stopping to smell the roses! The main benefit that occurs in taking the time to do this is realizing the precious aspects of all living creatures and how to appreciate them.

How else would I have even noticed a young mourning dove on my window sill with an interesting "hair doo" (which is one the consequences of molting)?






I highly recommend that no matter what life is bringing your way, stop and smell the flowers. I will also say one way of doing this would be to pick up my book series where when reading through it, you will be able to stop to appreciate flora and fauna without leaving your home.

Here's the purchase info:

Volume One: ISBN: 9780996378529
Book Seller Info: http://bit.ly/2AFZDCz
Barnes & Noble On-Line: http://bit.ly/2AAnB26
book culture On Columbus (a bookstore on the UWS in NYC): http://bit.ly/2FsC1Uf

Volume Two: ISBN: 9780996378536
Book Seller Info: http://bit.ly/2q75g8e
Barnes & Noble On-Line: http://bit.ly/2G65m6H

Volume Three: ISBN: 978099637853
Stay tuned for details re availability to book buyers and book sellers!

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