When I was little, riding in the back seat of the car, I had lots of thoughts about the natural world as I watched our world pass by through the scope of the window. The world from the window gave me an early glimpse into humanity; or rather humanity’s “place” here on Earth.
I very much enjoyed viewing the scenery of thick woodlands and diverse countrysides. In stands of thick trees I often wondered about the animals which called them home. I saw these places for the habitats they were, feeling a sense of respect, naively thinking they’d be there forever.
But my young eyes began to see some things “wrong” with the imagery of the world coming in and out of view. It was naturally calming when we’d drive through places where nature seemed to abundantly envelope us from all around. But in other places, what I saw deeply disturbed me.
I began seeing things that jarred my view. Things that didn’t seem to belong… One of those things were, strangely enough, telephone/electric poles. When I took notice of their presence, I couldn’t unsee them. One after another would zip by my view. They were everywhere! And they were ugly. They took some of the beauty of this world away. I giggle remembering this because I know far to well how these memories seem so cruelly naive. But I am certainly not laughing at young Soraya. I giggle, a bit out of frustration, and a bit out of fondness for her.
Upon this strange recognition I began to notice other things, like litter, construction, for sale signs for large natural acreage which were eventually bought up and cleared for building houses or shopping plazas. This list of man-made things went on and on, and filled not only my view but of my consciousness. I felt in a way threatened by them. Somehow I sensed they were wrong or at least excessive, the pace was even too fast, and impact too large for my younger self to accept.
Why am I telling this story?
I took a few photos recently which reminded me of those backseat observations. While I try to take note of the natural beauty around me every-day; the native wildflowers in the yard, dancing butterflies, the newly budded trees, roaming jackrabbits, etc. it seems my radar for man-made intrusions is constantly turned on. As I bend down to take a photo of the wild Indian blanket flowers an engine loudly rumbles from afar some-where. The opportunity arose a couple of times where a kestrel comes into camera range. Excitedly, as I always am to see them, I grab my camera and take several shots. As I am looking through my camera lens I ascertain whether its a male or female, and think: “What lovely markings!” Kestrels are quite stunning birds. They’re almost exotic looking, yet they are common birds of prey. And of course, I find the bird sitting atop an electric pole. My thoughts of this arise while admiring the bird through the camera wishing he’d rather be perching within one of the trees nearby. Heh. Oh well. Kestrels are remarkably gorgeous birds! I am so lucky they make their appearance often around here.
Birds of all kinds have been passing through in their journeys for mates right now. I enjoy being able to hear four or five different species at a time share the tree out front. Hiding within the thick tree they cannot be seen but their songs are enough to flower my soul, just knowing they are there. The songs of birds just seem so happy.
I only get glimpses of these birds which hop in and out of view. Glimpses of yellows, blues, rusted reds and more, from Hooded Orioles, Mountain Blue birds, Woodhouse Scrub-Jays, Canyon and Spotted Towhees. Occasionally I hear the squeaky call of a Cow-bird nearby. Life, of course, abounds where plenty of un-mangled nature is allowed to be. And though I find irritation in the many man-made noises and things around me, I know I am fortunate to be living surrounded by so much undeveloped nature.
This lovely capture is of a female Kestrel. I spotted her out on a short walk outside and noticed she was feeding on something. When I went back inside to grab the camera she had already finished.
This is a lovely perched male. Isn’t he gorgeous!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And here are some backyard wildflowers…
(An Engellmans Hedgehog Cactus)
(Evening Primroses, without fail they bloom every night)
(Western Yellow Salsify)
(Indian blanket flower)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
One evening this week, my partner and I were sitting outside, enjoying a drink, engaging in thoughtful conversation. Watching the world change as the sun’s light gradually faded. Looking around we remembered the tarantula that once graced us their presence in this same spot, near the crawling vincas. Listening to the life fall gradually asleep as bird songs faded, I saw a jack rabbit wander through, faint to the eyes but recognizable. Something about these things took my breath away momentarily and I pronounced aloud, shaking my head: “This world is just too amazing for us (humankind) to mess it up!”
My partner agreed.
Our world is indeed amazingly beautiful. I have been accused of having a view of thinking the world is a “shitty world”, because the often markedly ecologically-sensitive observations I make. Though I have never thought of our world as such, the complete opposite is true. Which is what motivates me to do what I do. No… We inherited this beautifully diverse living world which is why I believe we need to embrace a better way of life and better way of living. A way in which we take into great consideration our living world.