It’s a little embarrassing for me to admit how dependent I’ve become on the internet. It’s been off and on here for two days, and Rise Broadband reports that they know there’s a problem and expect it will be resolved by Monday at six pm. Another two days! Oh well. First world problems. I’m grateful for the internet and for how it allows me to connect with you, with the drag queens of the world, weather forecasts, and so much more, including the platforms I’m using these days for work. If I have to spend some hours without it now and then I suppose I have enough to keep me occupied!
I admit it would be easier to go without internet if it weren’t deep winter. In summer, I could at least bundle up and sit outside under the stars if I can’t watch Drag Race or Modern Family. It’s just too cold now. Lows overnight in the single to minus digits, and highs during the day often not breaking freezing. So even during the day, if I can’t work online, I can’t spend much time outside. The tiny dog loves the snow but too much time in it gives her a reverse-sneeze seizure and she runs to me to pick her up, then shivers mightily until I bring her inside. A sweater isn’t much help in the teens, or in snow deeper than herself, and booties are out of the question. I’m grateful I have a little treadmill inside where I can walk up my heart rate and exercise my lungs.
I’m grateful for the moisture the snow is bringing to our ground and to the mountains where we keep our water until we need it in summer. I’m grateful for the mild does who hang out during the day. Grateful for my solid little house, and for the garden in winter.
Sometimes I’m even grateful for the ‘memories’ that pop up in Photos unbidden. When I opened the program this evening this image from 2018 showed up, with Stellar and Raven on a trail up above Lost Lake that autumn. I love how the yellow aspen leaves ornament the deep evergreen boughs and the path, the bright white of the aspen trunks, and the cherished images of my dear departed catahoulas. I imagine that trail is under six or eight feet of snow at the moment. I’m grateful for perspective.
I’m filled with hope tonight, and grateful for all the hard work that went into the runoff election in Georgia: those campaign workers on the ground in the state, those making calls and texting to get out the vote, and the many thousands of us who donated to Rev. Raphael Warnock’s campaign.
I’m also grateful that I braved the snow-covered driveway this afternoon to go get the mail. I was expecting another batch of course materials for the Mindfulness Foundations Course I start teaching in January, and didn’t want them sitting up there in the weather. Between snows, clouds lay low in the valley, a rare and beautiful sight. And the doe in flight. Consider this an invitation to check out the course, and pass along the course information to anyone you think might be interested in learning to live a more meaningful life, with more inner peace and less mental and emotional suffering; with, even genuine happiness. Learning to live mindfully is transformative. It’s simple, but it’s not easy: It, also, is hard work that we do internally, and it benefits ourselves and the world around us.
I was going to drive up to get the mail this afternoon, but I glanced out the window as I grabbed my hat, and saw this little family by the front gate, the old doe and her twins. Needless to say I paused my plans until they were out of sight. What a joy to live where I can see this out my window. I’m so grateful for wild babies.
“Both male and female S. rufus are territorial; however, they defend different types of territories. The more aggressive males fight to defend areas with dense flowers, pushing females into areas with more sparsely populated flowers. Males generally have shorter wings than females, therefore their metabolic cost for hovering is higher. This allows males to beat their wings at high frequencies, giving them the ability to chase and attack other birds to defend their territory. The metabolic cost of short wings is compensated for by the fact that these males do not need to waste energy foraging for food, because their defended territory provides plenty of sustenance. Females on the other hand are not given access to the high concentration food sources, because the males fight them off. Therefore, females generally defend larger territories, where flowers are more sparsely populated, forcing them to fly farther between food sources. The metabolic cost of flying farther is compensated for with longer wings providing more efficient flight for females. The differences in wing length for S. rufus demonstrate a distinct sexual dimorphism, allowing each sex to best exploit resources in an area.”
I copied this straight from Wikipedia. Fascinating. Fair? For some reason, I trust their information for basic science, though I might be skeptical for more subjective knowledge. Around here, we call these birds “little bulldogs,” or more subjective epithets. I love them despite their aggression; they are beautiful, remarkable creatures. I am grateful to have the Rufous and the other two species zipping around the yarden all day, intensifying in the evening.