Meanderings Of Filosofa’s Mind

Today I am feeling introspective, philosophical.  Perhaps it is because my workspace is temporarily at the kitchen table, directly in front of the kitchen window until my new chair and laptop desk arrive sometime next week.  As I glance outside the window, I see the birds, pecking at the feed my darling neighbor, Maha, has put down for them, and I see the children … one kicking a ball, another attempting to fly a kite, while yet another is taking some of his very first steps under his mother’s watchful eye. Life is happening … the nation’s shut down has not stopped that, nor has the coronavirus, nor has the person in the Oval Office, nor have those who support him.  My flowers are blooming … well, some of them, anyway … a few bees are seen hovering, and even a hummingbird!  And so, Filosofa’s mind begins to wander …

I think about all those people screeching for the economy to re-open, for shops, restaurants and bars to be once again open so that they can spend what little money they may have there.  And then I look at the birdies and I wonder … in the grand scheme of things, do the shops really matter?  Do you really need a new pair of jeans or a dress or new toaster oven?  Will you be happier or healthier in the long run if you dine out tonight, and hit the bars tomorrow night?  For some, no doubt, the answer to that question is ‘yes’ … I am glad I am not one of them.

I never enjoyed shops and malls anyway, and I am definitely not a bar person.  I did always enjoy our Saturday afternoon meals at a favourite local casual restaurant, and then a trip to Barnes & Noble afterward, but frankly, I’m finding that I have adapted, that my life is no less rich without that, and my bank account has grown considerably without our weekend spending!

On May 27th, another space shuttle of sorts will transport two U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).  I wonder why?  After all, it isn’t as if it matters to most of us, it is historic only in the sense that it is an outside craft, not a NASA-built craft, but rather one created by Elon Musk’s company, that will transport the astronauts.  It really isn’t important … so many things have been postponed, have ground to a halt, including the education of our children … that IS important … that I wonder why this launch continues as planned.  Probably an ego trip for Trump & Musk.  Ah well, it matters not to me, for there are far more important things for me to focus my attention on.

I’ve largely ignored the efforts by Trump & Co to distract our attention to his circus acts of blaming everyone but Thomas Jefferson for his own failures and shortcomings, but some things cannot be ignored, such as his systematic purge of people in the administration who would hold him accountable for his actions.  He is, in essence, creating a ring of protection around himself, giving himself powers that no president was ever intended to have.  I worry about what’s next on his agenda.  Is not that a far more important concern than heading to the local mall, or sending a couple more men into space?

Look out the window … better yet, step outside.  Look, really look at the birds, the trees, the flowers … would you really rather be at a mall packed full of people, choking on the smell of 100 different varieties of tacky perfume, ogling things that you neither need nor really even want?  What’s really important to you?  Is it more important that you can go ‘do stuff’, or that you are still alive to appreciate the beauty of nature?  Do you really care if planes are flying again right now, or thousands of cars are clogging the highways at rush hour?

Yes, I do realize most have jobs they need to get back to, that the mortgage is coming due, groceries must be bought and paid for, the kids need braces and those aren’t cheap.  I realize the economy of the nation is important.  But is it more important than ensuring that our government is looking out for the people of this country … all the people, not just the wealthy?  Is it more important than ensuring that we still have a voice in our government?  Those who eagerly seek a “return to normal” will be sorely disappointed, for I suspect it will not happen any time soon, if ever.  In mid-March, I cared … now, I hope that we find a new ‘normal’, one where people matter more than ‘things’.

But, aside from all that … are you really so eager to return to the battlefield, knowing that many more will yet die?  Nothing has changed since March.  There still is no cure.  The virus is still just as contagious as it was two months ago.  We still have over 1,000 new deaths per day in the U.S.  Human beings.  Mothers, fathers, children, grandparents … people, not merely statistics.  Do you really care if the U.S. has two new astronauts on the ISS right now?  Wouldn’t next year be just as good?  There is no ‘race for space’, no reason for one.  Money down the tubes that frankly could be put to MUCH better use this year, helping the people who are suffering, keeping the nation safe.

As I write this, two young boys walk past my patio, see me in the window, and they give me big smiles and wave as if I were an old friend.  The birdies are pecking away at their food.  The neighbor’s dog is fertilizing the grass in my yard.  And despite all that is wrong in the world right now, I find a reason to smile.

Saturday Surprise — Strange & Unique Critters!

Good Saturday morning, friends and welcome to the …weekendI’m sure you must all have big plans for the weekend, perhaps watching the grass grow, or something equally exciting.  Well, let me start your weekend off with some cute and unique critters!  I’ve heard that there have been sightings recently of animals never before seen by humans … let’s take a look, shall we?

1

Blurb

4

Squix

5

Meowth

Heh heh heh … APRIL FOOL!!!  These are actually photo-shopped creations by Norwegian electronics engineer, Arne Olav Gurvin Fredriksen.

A project that started purely as a hobby, Fredriksen began making his photo manipulations in 2012.

“Me and a friend were joking about how weird and harmless guinea pigs are, so I started mixing them with other animals just for fun with the Photoshop experience I had. This was right in the exam period, so I needed some pauses from studying. The pictures became quite popular, so I continued making some in 2013. Then I had a break for several years, and in the past years, I’ve picked up the hobby again.”

2

Bowl

3

Felinguin

6

Spowl

7

Samoyird

Fredriksen engages his audience in his entertaining hobby by letting them suggest and pick names for the new surreal creatures and most of them are spot on and almost as funny as the pictures.

“At the beginning I named my animals myself. But when posting the pictures on the web, people would almost always write comments with better name suggestions. That gave me the idea to let everyone suggest names and then vote between the best ones. I think it’s really fun to see the names people come up with, as they’re very creative.”

8

Monkat

9

Pear

10

Chitten

11

Doggorang

12

Spug

14

Bish

15

Chickabunny

17

Spoat

18

Cird

20

Forilla

23

Fizelle

26

Ravenzee

 

You can see a whole ‘nother set if you head over to Bored Panda!   Now that you’ve (hopefully) started the weekend with a bit of a chuckle, have a good rest-of-the-weekend … get outside and go for a walk, observe nature, breathe the fresh air … and who knows, perhaps you’ll even spot a unique critter!

THE TREES!!! GONE!!! 😢

Yeah, I know … my 2nd rant of the day.  I promise to make this one short.

Today, I heard loud engine sounds from within my house, so I went to the front window to see what was happening.  The street was blocked by two large pickup trucks, one with a bin-on-wheels attached, the other with some sort of large piece of equipment on a pull-along attached.  The piece of equipment was running loudly, and as I watched, three men got out and started removing chain saws, rakes and leaf blowers from the trucks.

Now, last year some of you may remember, the landscapers pulled up all my sunflowers and I caught them just as they were pulling the last one.  This year, my sunflowers have succumbed to autumn, but still, the birds come ‘round every day to score some seeds, and I have a profusion of cosmos and morning glories still in bloom.  I was not about to turn my back and let these dudes chop down my flowers … I went out the front door (in plaid jammie bottoms and a holey t-shirt) arms akimbo, ready to do battle if they so much as even looked at my little tiny garden.

However, they were out for bigger game than my little flowers … they began by, I thought, trimming the tree at the south end of the street.  They trimmed branch after branch … until it was bare, and then … they chopped it down!  WHY???  Then they crossed the street and proceeded to do the same with the Asian Pear, one of two on the street that bloom so beautifully every spring.  Then the next, and the next.  They chopped down the tree next door … I have no idea what kind of tree it was, but it attracted a profusion of bees every year.  By the time they left, there were only two trees left on our entire street.

I asked the older of the three men … “Why are you doing this?  Why are you chopping down our trees?”  He looked at me as if either I had two heads, or perhaps I was frothing at the mouth.  Realizing that I was powerless here, my parting shot as I stomped off (being barefoot makes it hard to do a convincing stomp, but I gave it my best), was “You, sir, are a murderer and I hope your conscience keeps you awake tonight!”  I should have asked him if he was related to Donald Trump or Jair Bolsonaro.

As much as we need trees, and these eejits are cutting them down for no reason!  Trees provide beauty, they provide substance and shelter for bees, birds, squirrels and more.  And then, there’s that little matter of trees providing much-needed oxygen!!!  I am furious … and I am heart-broken.  And I just felt a need to rant a bit about it.  Thanks for listening, my friends!

Dying For The Fiction – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

The single most important thing that should be on everyone’s mind today is the environment, for if we don’t take steps to stop the bleeding, none of the other issues will matter before long. Blogger-friend Paul lives in Western Australia and he writes poetry. Most times, I can even understand his poems, which is saying something, for I am often find it difficult to understand the subtle, hidden messages in most poetry. Last night, I visited Paul’s blog, as I try to do a few times a week, and was stunned by his poem of the day. Please take a minute to read it … it’s short but says an awful lot in a few words. Thank you, Paul, for your generous permission to re-blog “Dying for the Fiction”.

parallax

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Climate Crisis

cartoon20091118.jpg

Cartoon found at sites.duke.edu

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”  Rachel Carson

Dying For The Fiction

They filled in the wetlands and gave me a house
of dreams filled with death,
and we cut down the trees that gave us life
that we might see the views of the city lights,
in a panic we scorched everything in the
belief that we must perpetuate production,
the very poison that kills all,
while giving happiness in spades of plastic that
smothers reality and makes us long for more
fictions that soothe and inspire
how self murder is so healthy for us,
I awoke this morning to find
my limbs removed,
my lungs cut down
and plastic in my gut,
I am Eco,
I…

View original post 10 more words

Jolly First Monday of a New Year!

Well, it’s finally here … that year we all couldn’t wait to see replace the past one and now that it’s here, we’re already talking about the next.  There’s something flawed about humans and their concept of time … but that is a topic for another day.  Today is a day to relieve our angst a bit and find a reason to smile!

A friend sent me something last night that lit my heart up like a flame, and I immediately thought … Jolly Monday!  Well, no, that’s not quite right … I immediately thought “awwwww”.  And then, I thought it was perfect for today’s post.  First, though, I have a special treat for a young man, Benjamin, who turns five years old today!  Benjamin is friend Ellen’s grandson and a special young reader on Mondays and Saturdays, so I made a special cake out of sprinkled donuts, Benjamin’s favourite!

birthday-donuts

Happy 5th Birthday, Benjamin!  From Miss Jill and Jolly

And of course, can’t forget our coffee, tea and more …

juice boxcoffeeMonday-coffee-potcuppa teaAnd now, grab a piece of  birthday cake, a drink, and prepare for one of the most heart-warming things to start your year!

simon dell


Simon Dell is a nature photographer who has done some marvelous, whimsical work, but today I want to focus on one project that, in addition to providing us with some beautiful pictures, tells us the story behind the pictures, and I was enchanted … I hope you will be too!


Recently, photographer Simon Dell stumbled upon a family of mice running around his garden. Instead of reaching for the traps, however, he took out his tools. Dell built the mice a miniature village and they repaid him by posing in front of his camera.mice-1.jpg“I was out one day just taking photos of the birds in the garden and having just cut the grass I noticed something moving on the ground,” Simon told Bored Panda. “I pointed my camera at the ground and was shocked but very happy to see a very cute little house mouse standing up just like a meerkat in the fresh cut grass.”mice-2.jpg“I knew instantly he was a star and ran back inside to get a couple of peanuts to put down for him. Sitting there, waiting, it was only minutes before he came back out for the treats.”mice-3.jpg“It was at that point I thought I would give him a little shelter and safe place to hide and feed.”mice-4.jpg“I had a bit of experience taking photos of wildlife and mice as I also had another mouse that used to live in my garden shed and only come out after dark. He was a wood mouse and we named him Stuart.”mice-5.jpg“He was once a single mouse but he left at the start of spring 2018, maybe to find a mate. Hoping he comes back this winter and maybe he could get to know the new mice in the garden.”mice-6.jpg“We get all kinds of wildlife in the garden. Many types of birds, such as starlings, house sparrows, blackbirds, robins, and more. Even a grey heron who has taken most of the goldfish from my ponds.”mice-7.jpg“We also have a fox that visits every night and a lot of hedgehogs and squirrels.”mice-8.jpg“At first there was just the one mouse. He had a cut in his ear and we called him George. I piled some small logs around a box as a home for the mouse and covered it with moss and straw to give him a little shelter.”mice-9.jpg“I could see the cats sitting just feet away at the other side of a fence so the log pile also gave him a bit more safety.”mice-10.jpg“I then put up some wire fencing along the fence so there was no way the cats could get to the mouse. I also have a small Jack Russell Terrier dog so the cats know not to come in the garden and the dog pays the mice no attention.”mice-11.jpg“A couple of days later, I noticed there could be more than one mouse inside the log pile and it was not long ’till they both came out for a bit of food.”mice-12.jpg“I decided to build them a home as I wanted to give them a safe place in the garden and not fall prey to cats or other animals. Also, as I was feeding the mice it was the right thing to do as I would feel it was my fault getting them to come out if they became prey. Being a wildlife photographer, I wanted to create a nice looking habitat for any pictures I would take.”mice-13.jpg“The first stage of the log pile was very easy and only took an hour or so to make. As more mice came the following days, however, I made changes, adding more rooms. The inside of the box structure has 2-3 ways in and out, so they can escape if need be. Over the weeks and months, the log pile village has been steadily growing.”mice-14.jpg“I added more space and made it ready for a cold winter, giving the mice the best chance possible to survive. I have counted around 5 or more mice and the female, Mildred, is looking very pregnant so hoping we will have a large litter of baby mice around Christmas.”mice-15.jpg“Knowing mice can have up to 14 babies, I could be building many more log pile rooms. But I have space and don’t mind living alongside such cute and very photogenic little critters.”mice-16.jpg“The mice seem to love the log pile homes and wasted no time in moving in. They are wild animals so they still run if I get too close or move too fast but often I manage to sit down just a few feet away with a zoom lens and they seem happy to pop in and out for nuts a seed.”mice-17.jpg“The food I give them is usually all natural. I pick or collect berries, nuts, and fruits that grow wild just over the road in the Shire Brook Valley Local Nature Reserve. I also give them the same mix of seeds that I put on the bird tables along with sunflower seeds and other hazel or walnuts. As a treat, I give them a couple of dry mealworms and some suet pellets but do try and stick to a natural healthy food.”mice-18.jpg“I have always liked photography but have only owned a DSLR for around 3 years now, slowly building up my kit and upgrading cameras to improve my skills and also help get better images of wildlife.”mice-19“A better kit and a good lens help but nothing beats learning how to control the camera understand the settings and learn to understand the wildlife you are taking photos of. To help get closer or know where and when to find your subjects.”mice-20.jpg“The mice are still here and living a very happy life. It is winter now, so the days are shorter and they come out less often. Once it gets dark, it can be hard to see them. However, I see them come out in the day for food and it is always all gone by the next morning. I also give them handfuls of feathers from an old pillow and they take that to line their beds inside and keep them warm on these cold UK winter nights.”


How many people would go to all that time and trouble to protect a few mice?  Most people I know would be putting out poison instead of berries! simon dell calendarMr. Dell has even made a calendar of his pictures and it is for sale on his Facebook page for only £15.00 ($19 USD)!  I am ordering one!

jollyWell, it’s off to work for some of you … the first full week for a while.  Try to have a happy week, keep a smile on your face and most importantly, share that smile with others, for these are tough times and we could all use a bit of good cheer.  Keep safe and have a great week!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!!!

♫ Pastorale ♫

Okay … most of you weren’t all that enthused when I asked if you liked classical music, so it isn’t destined to become a regular here, but I did want to share one of my favourites, just to give you a taste.  Plus Hugh loves classical.  Give it a listen, if you don’t like it, then I certainly understand and my feelings will not be hurt.

The word ‘pastorale’ refers to something of a pastoral nature in music, whether in form or in mood.  Calming, peaceful.  Beethoven was a lover of nature who spent a great deal of his time on walks in the country. He frequently left Vienna to work in rural locations. He said that the Sixth Symphony, aka Pastorale, is “more the expression of feeling than painting”.

Olde England, carrying on

Most often these days my posts tend to be dark and depressing. I think it is time we all have a breath of fresh air!!! My dear friend Mary, writing as memoirsofahusk, has written one of the most uplifting posts I have read in a long time. Mary lives in the UK, and as we all know, they have had their share of troubles lately. She was in need of some time spent in nature to re-gain her perspective, and she shared the experience with her readers in both beautifully crafted words and gorgeous pictures (she is both a writer and a photographer). Please do yourself a favour and spend a few minutes reading Mary’s beautiful post … I promise you will smile and feel a bit of peace. Many thanks to Mary for permission to share this with my readers!

MEMOIRS OF A HUSK

It wasn’t a dawn chorus, it was a cacophony. And it went on, and on, and on.

Barney

The lambs joined in.

Then the donkey.

Then we heard the clippety-clop.

Clutching my camera, I leaned through the tiny window, in the thick stone wall, of the old farmhouse that’s now an inn. An unusual inn…

‘Good morning,’ I called.

‘Good morning to you,’ replied the passing stranger, ‘how are you?’

‘Fine,’ I replied, ‘how are you?’

’I’m very fine,’ he responded with the biggest, sunniest smile you’ve ever seen, ‘I’m on holiday.’

A flat cap on his head, greying moustache on his upper lip. A spring in his step and a twinkle in his eyes, the gypsy was walking beside a horse pulling an old-fashioned, brightly-decorated gypsy caravan. Looking barely big enough for a man his size.

But I doubt he lives in it year round. For this is a…

View original post 1,040 more words