The Wonder of It All

Our world is such an ever-evolving miracle of mystery and unsurpassed beauty, we should do everything possible to keep it that way for future generations.  In cleaning out some files from Lightroom, I came across a few images that remind me time after time of the immense majesty in the places I have visited.  The Grand Canyon defies an appropriate description–just look:

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I have stood in awe as the sun set behind this vast canyon:

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In Georgia, I have stood above the clouds and watched the sun come up:

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And, later that day, I’ve come upon this:

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When in the Everglades in Florida, I expect to find this:

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And, it never fails to warm my heart when I come upon the exquisite beauty of wild flowers blowing in the hot, swamp breeze:

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Let us all take care of our beautiful world!

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Ask and You Shall Receive…

…Maybe more than you bargained for!!  It is almost a year since my kitty, Iroquois, went to the great hunting grounds in the sky:

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He had a grand life for 15 years.  Born to a feral colony in New Jersey, he relocated to Philadelphia when I adopted him and his brother, Cherokee, at the tender age of eight weeks.   Cherokee was never really happy being an indoor cat so, when we moved to the Bahamas and he could run outside in the garden, he was supremely happy.  When he was indoors, he became a computer geek and took over the keyboard and mouse pad before I switched to a tablet.  No open document was safe as he would try his own writing style and insert his own slant in the plot:

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Iroquois was happy anywhere as long as he had a ball to chase and a poolside chair to lounge on:

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For several years, I had been under the impression that Cherokee had no time for Iroquois and would avoid him when he was indoors.  However, a few years ago, they started to sleep together on our bed and when Iroquois died, he seemed devastated.  Cherokee ruled our acre of land with an iron paw and only certain cats were allowed to roam in. I used to think of him as King of the Jungle.   I saw him chase a young labrador who had wandered in one day, so I was surprised when a week after his brother died, he came home pulling his rear legs behind him.  It looked like he had been mauled by a dog.  He recovered quickly but would stare out the door with a wistful mien and was not his happy, though grumpy-old-man self.  I mentioned to Jim that maybe he was lonely and we should get another cat from a shelter. “Funny you should say that”, says Jim.  It appears that he had received a call from our friends about a kitty they had rescued but had a family adopt (they already had a full house of rescues!!).  But after four months with the family, he was unceremoniously “returned” to them.  Their dilemma became our solution to Cherokee’s loneliness.  Enter Tigger:

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I mean, really, who couldn’t love this kitty to death?  Well, for one, Cherokee didn’t take too kindly to our concerned gesture but we thought that, in time, they would totally ADORE each other.  Didn’t happen.  You see, Cherokee is now over sixteen years old and has become a grumpy old man.  He just wants his peace and his food and “get this monster away from me.”  Tigger is a Maine Coon cat and even as a one year old, TOWERED over Cherokee.  Added to that, he thought Cherokee was HIS cute toy and only existed for his  entertainment.  There was much hissing and gnashing of teeth!!   We managed to keep the peace as best we could but one day I witnessed this while I was out trolling for butterflies in the yard:

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So, now I’m thinking that TIGGER needs a companion/playmate--a YOUNG one who can run and play and they can go nuts together.  That way, we can deflect the unwanted attention from Cherokee. Well, one moonless night I was out calling Tigger to come in.  Nothing!  I kept calling and suddenly, I felt a burly, furry something run up to my ankles.  I couldn’t see in the dark but this burly, furry thing followed me all over the yard and when I approached the house and came into the light, all was revealed:

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She came through the door and wouldn’t leave.  SHE adopted me.  I thought that she was, perhaps, a neighbour’s kitten so we put her out after she sucked down two bowls of food and deposited a bag of fleas.  Let me tell you something about fleas:  Jim and I live in the same square footage and share the same bed but they GRAVITATE towards ME.  Next day I had polka dotted legs from the bites and as usual, they gave Jim a wide berth.  I digress!  The next night, same scenario:  out looking for Tigger and up she trots, downs THREE bowls of food this time–maybe she was being polite the night before–and parks herself on the bed.  This time, we were ready with the flea medication so all three kitties got a dose.  Cherokee was NOT happy–now he had to put up with TWO monsters.  Things were getting way out of hand.  But wait!!  Now, Tigger was the center of unwanted attention when the newcomer decided she had found a soul mate in him.  Chases, rolling around on the floor, galloping up and down the stairs, she was constantly at his side or rather, ahem,on his bum.  Hence, the name Shadow.  I wanted to call her Baudelaire after one of my favourite poets but Shadow was the keeper. Problem solved!  Cherokee has his peace and food but is fading rapidly.  I am living with two emotions right now:  desperate sadness for Cherokee’s imminent passing and heart squeezing  joy watching the antics of these  new additions.  Tigger and Shadow have developed an affinity for a fountain on the lanai:

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They LOVE and adore each other and it’s hilarious to see Shadow (6 months) tackle Tigger (he’s at least five times her size)! When she got spayed, she licked off the glue and had to wear a cone for a few days.  I was not happy about this but it was a necessary evil:

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Poor little baby!!  It’s off now and when she’s not chasing her soul mate, she likes to play with Ratsy and will do so for hours while Tigger is out:

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Tigger REALLY enjoys his naps and catches one everywhere he can:

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Oh, Yes!  Because, you know,  they are EXHAUSTED  after chasing each other all night and keeping the humans awake.  And, no, we never bother making the bed anymore!  One final note, Cherokee has passed on the baton and now…:

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…It looks like we have a new King of the Jungle.

 

 

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The Lovely Phenomenon of Surprises

Last week Jim and I ventured out to a place called Dinner Island, south of Lake Okeechobee, to see if there was any wildlife about.  Usually, the place is teeming with Egrets of all types, Great Blue Herons, deer, bobcats, alligators, and the odd Floridian Panther.  We hadn’t been there for a few years and now, this time, there was nary a bird or furry critter to be seen.  It was the end of dry season, so there was no food available in the streams and swampland.  It WAS nice to see the cows and feel the aura of a remote and wild area.  I was a wee bit disappointed because I’d taken ALL my cameras and lenses and gear in the hope of getting some stills and video.  Yes, I’ve been caught up in learning filmmaking and editing and am feeling EXTREMELY frustrated because the learning curve is horribly steep.  Apart from taking a few online classes, I really don’t know anyone I can ask for advice and tips.  At this stage of my life, learning is fine but I’m in a hurry to be doing, not stumbling. Oh!  Boo Hoo!!!

I digress!  Anyway, we decided to return home and, after a few miles, something caught my eye:

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It was a young Caracara with its little crest looking like a somewhat skewed French beret.  I hadn’t seen one of these in ages and very infrequently at that.  So, don’t be deflated if you don’t find what you’re looking for.  After all, there could be an even better surprise just around the corner!

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