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Acrobats~

Looks aren’t everything.

Acrobatic skills,

are more important.

The ability to debate is a also necessary ability.

It isn’t fair, but unfortunately is true,

looks often get you, more grape jelly!

Cheers to you from the handsome, skillful, and well fed Holler Orioles~

(Note- We are traveling now and will be out of the range of wifi for while. Stay safe & take good care).

Chasing Rainbows~

Off again,

chasing rainbows.

This one arced over The Holler,

the valley,

the bank.

The Pot of gold was on our garage!!!

I ran to catch it, but it danced away.

The storm was followed by a frosty moon.

and pastel sunset.

We’ve left again. Chasing rainbows.

Cheers to you from The Holler~

Feathered Pairs~

Big Gulp Gull,

swallows his catch, Coeur d’Alene Idaho.

Bald Eagle,

and juvenile, catch grizzly salmon scraps, British Columbia Canada.

Saddle Bill Stork catches a cat,

Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Red Tailed Hawk,

loves rare water, Southern California.

A pair of Yellow Legs multiply in reflection, Salton Sea, California.

Greater Flamingos tango, Tagus Estuary Portugal.

Mated White Storks greet on their nest, Alsace France.

Cheers to you from your feathered friends~

What a Load Of Bull~

Is it just me? Or does he look irritable to you?

Would you cross his pasture?

The timid California Quail,

seemed to like hanging around him.

Maybe she thinks no one will mess with her, when he’s around.

But the roadrunner stayed clearly on the other side of the fence.

He’d rather deal with a confusing human like me,

than a bunch of bull like him!

Cheers to you from California’s clever critters~

Bloomin’ Holler~

Rain is in the forecast,

for tomorrow.

It will be the first winter storm,

for the parched Holler,

and won’t be nearly enough,

but we’ll take what we can get,

to keep The Holler bloomin’.

Happy Holidays to you from The Holler~

Note: These photos were taken near The Holler, at The Vista Botanical Garden, Ganter Nursery, and The San Diego Safari Park.

Pandemic Anxiety Busters~

In the last two posts we started filling our anxiety busting toolbox and we are now down to our final three tools.*

Thank you to all the bloggers who added their own personal tools that work. They are most helpful and are incorporated into our toolbox. Choose any tool(s) that might work for you, and discard any/all that are not a good fit. Add more of your own resources that work. Adapt your toolbox to suit yourself. The most important thing, regardless of the specific tools, is to have tools in your awareness, to improve your mood, and ease your anxiety, when bad things happen.

Here is our toolbox:

ANXIETY TOOLBOX:

Self Talk Reframing (Cognitive Therapy)

Guided Imagination/Visualization

Exposure Management

Progressive Relaxation

Distraction in Action

Self Soothing

Second Voice

Spiritual Meditation/Prayer

Exercise, Diet & Good Health Practices

SECOND VOICE

Carl Jung emphasized the importance of paying attention to our inward self and inner voice and felt that, “engagement with the inner voice is pursued not as a form of inner housekeeping, but rather in the humble service of the development of a relationship with an intelligence present within us but greater than our own. Committing to that service means relating more deeply to our inner nature; its only end-goal is the whole-bodied, whole-hearted, full blossoming of who we really are.”

https://themindunleashed.com/2015/12/five-ways-carl-jung-led-us-to-the-inner-life.html

I wait for, seek out, and listen to my ‘second’ voice, which is often corrective, more helpful, and more calming to me, than my first immediate thought. If this makes any sense to you, try it. When an event occurs, and you have an immediate thought about it, pause, ask yourself, “is this right?” Your second voice may well chime in giving you a more helpful and accurate option. The more you practice listening for your second, more rational thought, rather than accepting your first immediate impulsive thought, the better you get at doing it. Jung felt that our inner voice was direct communication with the collective unconscious, hence the Divine.

SPIRITUAL MEDITATION/PRAYER

Taking time each day to clear your mind of worries and concerns by focusing your attention on the bigger picture is immensely helpful. There are many ways to do this. Prayer and spiritual meditation are methods for connecting ourselves to the greater whole which is profoundly comforting. This spiritual connection can be reached through independent or group prayer, formal or informal meditation, religious or spiritual practice and study. Immersing oneself in nature helps us feel comforted, part of a grander design. Exercising creative pursuits and talents help us feel spiritually connected. The idea is to take time daily for spiritual retreat and connection, eliminating all the noise, chaos, and negativity of the temporal world.

These practices encourage us to fully live in the moment and feel gratitude for being alive. In times of serious stress like a pandemic, turning inward spiritually, connects us outward, bringing calm and comfort. And now that most of us are isolated, finding a way, remotely to be of service and help to others, could never be more important.

EXERCISE, DIET & GOOD HEALTH PRACTICES

We all know the importance of exercise, a healthy diet, hydration, plenty of sleep and rest, in maintaining our physical health. These practices boost our immune system and improve our emotional and psychological health. This becomes more important when we are under sustained and serious stress. As part of your health plan don’t forget to have fun. Be creative about fun, include daily relaxing, distracting, and fun activities, that you have more time for now that you are home. Don’t forget to enjoy life, after all, it is passing, and you are living, now.

  • I tried to upload new photos specifically for this post but wasn’t able to. It seems my wifi is overwhelmed. So I reluctantly include prior posted photos.

Cheers & calm to you, from me, at The Holler~

What a Big Mouth You Have~

The better to growl at you,

besides it’s hot for a polar bear, and I pant and get grumpy when it’s hot.

I’ll growl at the dirt if I want to.

Whose gonna stop me?

Baby Bear, like a pint sized Narcissus, practices panting and growling at his reflection. Someday, he hopes to grow huge and growl as fiercely as Mama Bear, but for now, all he can do is practice.

What big teeth,

huge tongue,

and what fine bears you are!

Your sleepy cub is quite handsome,

and your home is lovely too!

Cheers to you from the awesome bears in their stunning Hudson Bay home~

Patagonian Sea Lions~

Check out los lobos del mar playing in Peru!

This group was photographed in Los Islas Palominos off the coast of Lima.

They were quite curious about their unusual human visitors,

and kept popping up to get a better view!

This bull was hanging out near La Serena Chile.

Southern bulls are more massive and furry than their northern counterparts,

and they seem more threatening too!

These happy guys were playing around Islas Balestras near Pisco Peru.


I am only intermittently near functioning wifi so please excuse my absence, and cheers to you from Los Lobos del Mar~

Wilder Ranch~

I wish I could travel back in time to the mid-1800’s and live at Wilder Ranch. You are looking at the original ranch buildings which are now a museum.

The Wilder’s bought the property as a dairy farm in the late 1800’s.

The ranch covers 7000 acres of pristine coastal and marine habitat in Northern California’s Santa Cruz County.

The good news is, the Wilder family sold the property to the state in the 1960’s and it is now a protected marine and wildlife sanctuary and state park.

As you can see, it is a rich habitat, home to 1000’s of birds. I was amazed by the number of bird species I saw and photographed here.

The ranch has some 34 miles of hiking trails, all with stunning views of the coast and coastal valleys.

It is also a diverse marine environment with otters, seals and whales. Even Blue Whales are here, attracted by the mile deep Monterey Trench, the deepest marine canyon off the west coast of North America.

Camping is prohibited to protect the wildlife, but you can spend as many days as you like exploring the ranch on foot. I recommend visiting in winter when the whales are swimming by!

Cheers to you from stunning Wilder Ranch~

Birds of the Far South (pt. I)~


There are lots of birdies in the southern hemisphere! They can fly where humans (and boats) flounder.

This osprey was the furthest north of all the birds pictured here. Ospreys are the most widely distributed bird in the world after peregrine falcons, and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. This guy was in Peru.

Magellanic Oystercatchers live on the tip of South America in Argentina, Chile, and The Falkland, Sandwich, and South Georgia Islands.

Peruvian Pelican’s are a near threatened species and are twice the size of their Brown Pelican cousins.

They can be found off the coasts of northern and southern Chile and Argentina. Standing next to them, they reached my shoulder!

These Brown Pelicans live as far south as the northern coast of Chile, which is where their territories overlap with Peruvian Pelicans whose distribution continues to the south.

This juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron,

was busy catching and swallowing a snake!

Cheers to you from the incredible birds of the southern hemisphere, and stay tuned for more, even further south~