Category Archives: Nature

On being Mrs. McGregor: Bunnies

This bunny hopped into my backyard early Saturday morning.

small bunny on the snow
March Hare?

Cute bunny, right? But my reaction to the furry friend was not charitable, because last year this bunny, or one just like her, ate the tops off all my tulips. My Canada 150 tulips, no less. I was not impressed.

close-up of the leaf shape in the centre of the Canada 150 tulip
Canada 150 tulip – 2017

And my front garden has become her favourite place to poop. Yuck.

bunny poop in the garden
Bunnies poop is cute, but still . . .

As my tulips come into bloom this year I will be keeping a close eye on bunnies. My red and white blooms will be guarded, and I posted a comment to that effect on my Facebook feed. One of my friends commented: “Okay, Mr(s). McGregor.”

I laughed out loud, because I did sound like Mr. McGregor chasing Peter Rabbit about the garden.

cover of The Tale of Peter Rabbit

I laugh.

But, I love my tulips.

Bunny, I’ve got eyes on you. And I’m not afraid of being called Mrs. McGregor.

Extraordinary is just ordinary done over, and over,and over again

This post I first wrote in June 2012 might help us to approach September with new vigour. Summer is winding up, and soon our routines resume. Oh, sigh. But wait. Maybe our ordinary routines are more extraordinary than we think.

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“. . . I think there might be some presentations that go right over my head, but the most amazing concepts are the ones that go right under my feet.” —Louie Schwartzberg

Louie Schwartzberg has been doing time-lapse filming of flowers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for more than 30 years. It takes him a month to shoot a 4-minute roll of film. His subjects are ordinary. He shoots things we pass by every day with barely a glance: a bee landing on a flower, a strawberry, or a drop of water on a leaf. When Schwartzberg focuses on the flight of the bee, the ripening of the berry, or the movement of the water drop, he does so intensely and over, and over, and over again. The ordinary becomes extraordinary. Watch his work at the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQXaap6owZE

The same is true for professional athletes.

Wayne Gretzky’s DNA blessed him with many natural hockey gifts, but if Gretzky hadn’t passed pucks on his backyard rink until his toes froze night after night from a young age, he would never have become the hockey legend that he is. He focused on the ordinary and did it intensely over, and over, and over again.

Andre Agassi’s book, Open (which I highly recommend), tells of his hours spent returning tennis balls spit at him by the “dragon,” a ball machine modified by what he calls his “fire-breathing father.” Agassi didn’t return all those balls by choice—he desperately wanted to quit—but the ordinary act of returning tennis balls over, and over, and over led to Agassi having an extraordinary return of serve.

Even extraordinary parenting arises from the ordinary. Provide your children with nutritional food over, and over, and over. Squeeze your children with warm hugs over, and over, and over. Wash their dirty socks over, and over, and over. All these ordinary acts add up to extraordinary lives together.

Does the routine of your life feel ordinary? Place an imaginary time-lapse camera on your day and marvel at your simple, amazing, extraordinary acts.

Parenting

Parenting (Photo credit: Adventures of KM&G-Morris)

Re-discovering red clover nectar

red-clover-daisyOn my walks lately, I’ve noticed red clover in bloom beside the path. I can’t help myself. I have to stop and taste the sweet nectar at the bottom of the florets. When I was a child on the farm, my brothers and I whiled away many an hour plucking daisy petals (He loves me . . . He loves me not . . .) and tasting clover nectar, and when I taste it now, it takes me right back to childhood.

I have written before about my Wonder Walks with the Sunday school children. We go to the field beside the church, because wild things grow there, and there’s plenty to wonder at or about. On our most recent walk, I saw the red clover in bloom, and I couldn’t help myself. I had to stop and taste the nectar. Before I did, I looked around at the group of children with me. They didn’t grow up on a farm. They didn’t even know about clover nectar. I felt absurdly pleased to be the one to introduce them to the joy of red clover nectar. I taught them to peel away the tiny florets and suck the sweetness from the bottom.

A mind, once expanded by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

My mother and father taught me  how to taste clover nectar, and I never forgot it. Now those children have tasted the sweet nectar, and they’ll never forget it.

Sometimes simple things bring the greatest joy.

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To see beautiful photographs of red clover, follow this link: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artjun06/bj-clover.html