Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

Kripalu Mindfulness Outdoor Experience Guide & Life Coach – Get Outside. Go Within.


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WPC – Danger

This week, share a photo that says Danger! to you.* A view down the steep hill you’re about to bike, the last piece of cake that’s in danger of being eaten, signage in your town warning you about gigantic sword-toting shrubbery — there are lots of places you can take this, not all of them scary. I’m girding my loins!

“It’s logic: The more forests die, the less carbon they take out of the air, the warmer it gets, the more forests die.” ~ Dr. Nate McDowell, Los Alamos National Laboratory ~

Danger! to me is watching the haphazard destruction of the forests from Albany north to the Adirondacks. It makes me wonder if people have gone mad in their quest to control the environment and line their pockets. Yes, we all need to eat and have homes, but where does the greed and destruction end?

The area in these photos is near my home and was a beautiful wooded area, one of the reasons I chose to live here. A beautiful treed area with ponds and hiking trails it was home to deer, turkey, rabbits, fox, woodchucks, birds, butterflies and many other wildlife enjoyed this as their home. Many local people hiked through the trails for years before I relocated here.

“The trees are our lungs, the rivers our circulation, the air our breath, and the earth our body.” ~ Deepak Chopra ~

Over the last few months, the area has been clearcut. It is sad to witness this destruction of such a beautiful area.

I called to ask why they were clear cutting, the sign says preservation. This doesn’t look like preservation to me. It isn’t my land so I really have no say, yet my heart aches watching the destruction. Danger! Wildlife Habitat Restoration – Preserve Commission apparently does not mean preservation of trees or the land.

The trees absorbed the stench of the landfill as well as the fumes and the noise pollution from the two nearby merging highways. Now anyone living in the area is exposed to the constant roaring of cars driving on the highways and the stench of the landfill fills the air. The gentleman on the phone said it hurt him to cut down the oak tree. My question was, why would you cut down a perfectly healthy oak tree? He shared they are returning the area to the way it was 75 years ago – a time when the pine bush grew in the area. He assured me that the wildlife living in the area found a new place to live and will return once the bush grows (in 6-7 years). I asked where he thought the wildlife would have found to live in the suburban sprawl of malls, strip malls, highways, and traffic congestion. He didn’t have an answer for that one. He said I would enjoy it once the shrubs have grown and I assured him I wouldn’t be living in the area that long.

Danger! to wildlife in the area, any remaining trees will be felled by the end of summer so I hope they have found a way to protect themselves for the next 6-7 years.

I still have hope for a wake-up call to all those who do not understand the importance of the trees and the fact that they are our lungs, our shade, our coolness in the summer and protection in the winter. An awareness that clear cutting and destruction of the forests, especially old growth forest, is not something that can be easily repaired. It will take decades if not centuries to restore. With the current administration in the United States, I am not sure what will happen to our natural habitat but I pray for an awakening and transformation in mindset to one of balancing the importance of maintaining a healthy environment with the material needs of the population. All the money in the world will not replace the need for a healthy environment.

Today, I dream of a world filled with a variety of trees lining the streets, filling the parks, shading playgrounds, thriving old growth forests, and a preservation of natural habitat.

What can you do? Teach your children the importance of maintaining a balance with nature and bring them into natural settings to learn about trees, fungi, soil, nature . . . Read books –  The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben; The Long, Long Life of Trees by Fiona Stafford or  Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv to name a few. Take a walk in nature and connect with the trees and wildlife. Slow down, revitalize your spirit in nature.

Love and Light!

If you would like to view additional photos for this week’s challenge or would like to enter your own photos, click on the link below.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/danger/

 


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The Pleasure of Play!

A snapshot of one afternoon with children.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sharing time with my sister, brother-in-law and their granddaughters, my great-nieces. This was a special treat. The girls live in CT and when they do come to visit my sister, there generally isn’t time for them to travel to my home. That is what made this visit so special.

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Standing tall

 

Play time

Play time

 

Many sisters argue and fight almost constantly throughout the day, especially when they share bedrooms. Just don’t let anyone come in-between them – that’s when their true love rises to the surface. I have four sisters myself and growing up we had some verbal and physical altercations, especially the three youngest of the group. But, let anyone say something nasty or do anything to the other sister and we would come together in a heart beat to protect and comfort one another. I was the youngest of the five girls with a fourteen year span between the oldest and myself. I started Kindergarten the same year my older two sister’s graduated high school. My poor Dad, living in a house of five daughters. It could not have been easy, except it did place him in the position of King of the household and we all cherished him.

Having my great-nieces visit reminded me of earlier days with my own sisters, especially their Nonnie. She and I were four years apart and have remained close throughout the years, sharing time with each others children and now grandchildren. As you will see from the photos, they were captured sharing laughs and hugs.  Poking and arguing are to be expected as they learn and develop relationships with others in their world. It is between sibling rivalry that children practice their relationship skills and release shadows of normal existence to the surface where they can be viewed and discussed. In the end, hugs and love survive.

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Sisterly love

 

Sisters having fun

Sisters having fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When my sister is with her grandchildren she shines and there is always a smile on her face. They can get her to do anything and she doesn’t mind. I think she actually glows when in their presence.

The girls love my old house, the swings, the nearby trails and that I am close to Barnes and Noble. We played outside, took a short walk and then went for a book and snack.

Em's pinecone

Em’s pinecone

During our adventure to the woods we noticed several deer trails. The girls were amazed to find out that the sand under foot was originally part of the ocean centuries ago.

Hand prints in the sand

Hand prints in the sand

If you have children in your life or whenever someone visit with children, get up from the table or living room and get outside on an adventure. Children are wonderful and you can learn so much if you talk less and listen more.

 

Both girls picked out a book and then a treat. It was so nice to sit and listen to their likes and dislikes. To watch their interactions and how different their personalities are. Em is very outgoing and doesn’t hold back. Abby is more reserved. Each is unique and wonderful to spend time with. After treats at Barnes and Noble we went into the mall to visit the Journey Through the Body exhibit. The ‘big’ kids were just as interested as the younger ones. Emily thought nothing of grabbing a pair of gloves and pulling them on so she could touch the pig heart. Abby followed her lead. Fun was had by all!!

Looking forward to the girls next visit with Nonnie and having them return for a visit at my house. Possibly the next time we can have an overnight and carry the fun into the next day.

Having grandchildren can be a wonderful experience, having great-nieces and nephews can be the same. For me, having any children around can be just as much of a pleasure. Taking them outside in nature can add to the  experience. Actively playing with them, priceless. Even if we hadn’t gone to Barnes and Noble, the visit would have been fun because you do not need to spend money or have a big house filled with ‘stuff’ to amuse children. Just sitting on a swing or on the grass and letting them tell you their story allows your hearts to grow and connect. On a rainy day having a tea party, dressing up in old clothing, playing games, or making collages can fill the day with a fun experience for all. There is no money that can replace that connection.

Love and Light,
Sandy


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Enjoying nature!

Feeling blessed that I can walk out my door and behind my neighbor’s home to enjoy all the beauty that nature has to offer. I am a tree hugger who touches the bark of trees whenever possible. There are so many discoveries in the woods and I so am grateful to have this opportunity.

Reflections of trees in the water amaze me and as you can see from the photo above. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between a reflection and the real thing in a photo. In this part of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, there are wooden steps along the path in one area and a wooden bridge in another. As you can see, the fallen leaves of autumn continue to blanket the ground.

On Sunday, we spotted two cranes perched on a log in the water. As we drew in for a closer look, they moved to quickly for us to capture a photo. As they flew off, we heard a noise across the water and turned to witness a turkey fly up and out of sight into a tree where it too hid from view of the camera. The noise of the turkey scared several deer. We caught a glimpse of their white tails bobbing up and down through the trees ahead of us.

I would love to share that it was quiet and peaceful in the woods however the noise of the cars, trains and airplanes can sometimes drown out the sounds of nature. Although near the beautiful preserve, my home is also located within a short distance of two major highways, an airport, railroad tracks, and a landfill. It amazes me that this little piece of heaven exists here in the midst of the busy world. I feel fortunate to have this preserve filled with wildlife so close to my home because it reminds me of the importance of preserving nature for future generations. On this hike through the woods, I noticed trash, beer bottles, and soda bottles strewn along the path. The next time I shall bring a garbage bag to clear the clutter and do my part in preserving nature.

If you have a local area in nature that you love is there something you can do to help preserve it? What about the road side near your home, can you adopt an area and keep it clean of trash, graffiti, or other destruction? Let’s work together and take steps this week to make our world a better place for ourselves and future generations. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort. If you see litter on the ground pick it up and put it in the trash. If you have trash in your car, don’t throw it out the window, place it in the garbage. Teach your children and grandchildren the importance of the natural environment so they will grow to respect it. We can take responsibility for the environment and the animals that we share this world with.

Love and Light,

Sandy