As the song goes, "When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so sad." I do have my down times, don't you, too?
So, I thought we could use a thread where one of us or more write three of our favorite things each day.
Today, I will choose three things that involve different senses.
2. Meditating during a thunderstorm.
3. A sweet juicy orange (which I have to limit because of the potassium!)
kittens such sweet, entertaining creatures! I clicked on the Okeanos Explorer link. Have you been following that online or are you involved in some other way?
I'm just watching the video feed. It's very relaxing and sometimes they see something super cool, like this rare pelagic holothurian:
My late friend Rob Lyden was, like you, a diver. Before I had my head broken, I was a flier. Rob and I often discussed our hobbies and concluded that they had a similar theme: One is simultaneously master of, and utterly subservient to, an alien realm. Technology allowed us both to enter realms where humans are unwelcome, but, if we comport ourselves properly, are allowed. Rob could see the amazing creatures of his realm; I could see the earth as humans had changed it, and where Nature still held sway. I could see clouds and mountains at their level. Both activities allowed us to see beyond our native realms.
I miss my friend and my pilot's license.
So, Geoff, that's one of yours.
1. Soft rain in the spring
2. Lake Michigan waves on a windy day.
3. The smell of newly mown grass.
kalleh, it isn't that I don't like the smell of newly mown grass, but sometimes I feel like I can't breathe after someone mows grass!
Napping on my sister's porch on a warm day.
A gentle breeze
The songs of birds in Spring
Beautiful! I have been noticing the bird songs this spring - a delight to the ear.
I'm not much of a birder, but I identified red wing blackbirds, cardinals, robins, flickers, red bellied woodpeckers, downy wodpeckers, house sparrows, Carolina chickadees, goldfinches, doves, bobwhites, red tailed hawks, blue herons, and cowbirds within the last week. A delightful cacophony! Then there are the starlings and so-called English sparrows that steal the food I set out for the native species. When it comes to birds, I'm a xenophobe.
Revision: I just now looked out the kitchen window and saw a crow, a blue jay, and a nuthatch. This is what I like about country living! The false start at spring has brought several species here early. Some may not make it. Yesterday Sue found a leopard frog frozen stiff. Climate change is hard on lots of critters!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Geoff,
You are more of a birder than you realize, Geoff! Do you realize how many more birds you know than most people in this country?! My mom loved cardinals and ruby-throated hummingbirds. My husband loved (His birthday would have been today and my mom's tomorrow.) chickadees and red-winged blackbirds. I had never seen red-winged blackbirds until I lived in Indiana. We often would see them sitting on fences as we drove through the countryside. Ron, my husband, first pointed out their call to me. He eventually lost his ability to hear them. I haven't seen cowbirds or blue herons since I lived in Indiana. Thank you, Geoff, for bringing up some sweet memories
I agree with Sattva - you know a lot about birds. I've always loved bluejays and cardinals because of their colors. I don't see hummingbirds much, but they are pretty too.
I can't tell a wren from an emu.
I can't tell a finch from a quail.
Ask me to point out a penguin.
there's a pretty good chance that I'll fail.
I think what we have is a budgie,
'cause a turkey won't fit in a cage,
but hoopoe and heron and hornbill
are pictures and words on a page.
At Christmas I recognize robins,
on a card with some holly and snow,
but outside on a branch or in flight
could be vultures for all that I know.
If you point at the sky, my eyes follow
and I look at the circling dot,
but is it a swift or a swallow?
or a Dodo? (Well probably not.)
A condor, a jackdaw, a lapwing,
a pelican, puffin or kite,
a woodpecker, ptarmigan, eagle
are all just the same in my sight.
Believe it or not, I am bird blind.
I'm not ornithologically graced,
but it's not all bad news, I can tell
A duck from a chicken... by taste.
You and me both!
Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
I said the pelagic holothurian was rare, but we saw 3 of them on March 22, and a dumbo octopus!
I have known many people who didn't like Bluejays because they are noisy and hog the food at bird feeders, but they also are the ones that sound the alarm when a predator is in the neighborhood' and, as you say, Kalleh, they have beautiful coloring.
I have been fortunate enough to see both Eastern Bluebirds and Mountain Bluebirds. They also are a beautiful blue color and the female is lovely, even though subdued in color.
glass=cut, clear, colored.
the scents of pine, spruce, and hemlock
the sound of children laughing
Great stuff, Bob! However, naming so many birds belies the very premise of the poem. For instance, how many people actually know what a budgie is? Most just say, "parakeet."
Kalleh, we do have hummingbirds here in the summer. They're pretty, but mean!
When I lived in Oregon, the only year-round pretty bird was Steller's jay, a family of which I had nesting on my back porch one year.
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Stellers_Jay/id Somewhere I have a photo of one perched on my hand. They're very bold, and often hop on picnic tables and steal your food. I'm glad hawks, eagles, and owls aren't so inclined!
Er... everybody in England? Seriously, the word we use is budgie.
We grew viburnum close to the spread of back windows, which provides cover for a lot of close-up observation. A couple of years ago I became aware that a bluejay had been perching immobile for minutes (never happens). I snuck up close to see if he was dead. At that moment: whump, whump, chaos! A red-shouldered hawk swooped down to grab him, & a dozen bluejays materialized, fending him off w/shrieks & wing-whaps while escorting their weak friend to safety!
This year we're trying a 'birdhouse' my youngest gave me for Christmas. It's made of lightweight beige resin, entry-hole adjusted to med-small, suction-cupped against the outside of window. The back is open to our view through a sheet of one-way-mirrored plastic. Waiting for viburnums to leaf out, then we'll see if we get any takers.
What kind of viburnums do you have? Are they the most fragrant ones? Your birdhouse sounds really interesting. Please share more if you get nesters.
Just regular old vibernum dentatum, gets big flat cream-colored blooms that resemble lace-cap hydrangea, w/a mild sort of field-flower scent. I'd wanted lilacs behind the addition-- thought moving to NJ would get me the huge tree-like shrubs I grew up w/in rural upstate-NY. But lawn guy said they're pollution-sensitive, will always stay modest in size & delicate. He recommended viburnum, native to area, & they're great. They grow 10+' up & out, bees & butterflies love blossoms, birds love the navy berries, & leaves turn burgundy, lasting into early winter.
My concern with the bird house is that birds sometimes see glass as a straight-through passage and whack into it. We've had several hit one of our windows. Otherwise, a neat idea.
Wow, sattva, I love this favorite things thread! Is it OK if I just meander on w/bird & plant thoughts? I'm way too verbose to confine myself to a simple list, I have to describe! So I'll limit myself to one at a time.
Favorite thing for today:
Amazing migrating birds...
Our first home (in the '80's) was a small Brooklyn brownstone we'd bought from an interesting lady. She was a judge who'd grown up in rural Utah, highly energetic, whose case load was shared w/multiple hobbies: instead of renting out 3rd-fl apt, she used its livrm for a giant quilting-frame, & the apt fridge for culinary items requiring 'feeding', like SF sourdough starter & fruit fermented in brandies for fruitcake.
She grew sunflowers out back for birdseed, & the upper 2-stories' fire-escape was hung w/multiple feeders. Even long after those were replaced w/our flowers & shrubs & fewer feeders, we continued to get interesting spring visitors. The year-round fare there is sparse: pigeons, seagulls, sparrows, robins, bluejays, cardinals. But Brooklyn, it turns out-- tho densely urban-- is on the coastal wetlands bird-migrating path, & we got extra visitors due to proximity to the botanic gardens. I used to keep a journal of them every spring. Routine spring visitors included such things as vireos, flycatchers, tanagers. Pretty & unusual were Eastern bluebirds and evening grosbeaks. Astonishing: a huge bright-green monk parrot perching one spring on a clothesline.
In suburban NJ for 25 yrs-- a different kettle of fish. Our routine year-round visitors are more plentiful, including the Brooklyn regulars plus song & chipping sparrows, house finches, wrens, gray catbirds, the occasional oreole, & oddities like black & turkey vultures. But for migrating species, you have to have a good ear. Don't get me wrong, we have lots of them, but you may have to learn online & take a birdwalk on the nearby Watchung mountain to actually see them. Closest I've come is the ovenbird.
I don't mind at all Bethree5! I was going to say this has turned into something of a bird thread even before you posted. Seems most of us like birds, even if we think we don't know as many as we would like to know. I saw evening grosbeaks once, too, during their migration. It was a whole flock of them. Aren't they just gorgeous?! That was many years ago, in the 80's I believe.
I never mentioned my favorite bird. It is one I don't see where I live, in a high rise in the middle of downtown, but I use to see it on my mom's back porch. It would come and sit and look in at me looking out at it. It was such a perky cheerful type of bird, rather plain, but curious. I wrote a very bad poem once called, "If Birds, Which One I'd Be" and I said that I would be this bird. Can anyone guess what it might be?
I sometimes entertain myself on the porch by playing birdcalls on the iPad. Most birds will answer from a tree, but the chickadees all come flocking right up close, calling at me, apparently intent on conversation.
Nope, not a chickadee!
Btw, Bethree, in your story about living in Brooklyn, you mentioned sourdough starter. Good sourdough bread is one of my favorite things!
I'm a sourdough fan too!
As for what bird. a hummingbird? Or maybe a good old robin?
Years ago I had a screech owl living in the house I was renting. It got so used to us that it wouldn't fly off at our approach. Get too close, though, and it would rear back on its tail, wings spread to act as the second and third legs of a tripod, and out its talons would come! It made a clacking sound - a warning that we were too close.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Geoff,
What a great story, Geoff!
As for your guesses, no and no. lol
"lol?" Larks, orioles, and loons?
Loon, I like that, but no!
Bethree was close.
Oh, me too! I've found that the midwest does not have good sourdough bread. I sometimes think it's just white bread passed off as sourdough. But San Francisco? Mmmmm!
Geoff stole one of my favorite birds - the humming bird. I love going to the Chicago Botanic Gardens and watching them humming around flowers.
My cousin photographs birds, and he is so good! I wish I could put them here, but the photo facility on this board stinks.
A titmouse? We got tits aplenty here.
Go to the head of the class! A Tufted Titmouse is my favorite bird.
1. Cherry blossoms
3. A good summer tomato
Speaking of tomatoes, the best cherry tomatoes we had last year were the ones that grew out of the mulch pile. Store-bought tomatoes, picked green so they'll ship without bruising, may as well be linoleum.
A day when the whole family is together and everyone get along, laughs, and has a good time!
Holding your new baby (or grandchild) for the first time.
How nice for you! My baby is 42 and I have no grandchildren, but I do have great nieces and nephews.
A blue sky with big fluffy clouds, like today and especially like the ones I use to see on drives through the Indiana countryside, ---big skies there!
This is fun! I love looking out over the ocean or out at mountains or through trees in a woods.
You know, I think for many of us, some of these loves are universal, maybe in our DNA.
Don't look this word up if you don't know it because I have thought of using it in the bluffing game, but I love petrichor. I am assuming that quite a few of you will know this word though. If you don't, let me know and I will use it in one of the bluffing games. It's such a great word I think and I only came across it about a year ago.
I am a good bluffee, so I don't know. I bet others here do, though, knowing this board.
I agree that many of these favorite things are universal - and many are related to nature.
Not one of my favourite things but here, opposing the universality theory, is a poem that is 100% accurate about my mate Dave's favourite thing...
It's called "En Exploration Into The Darker Regions of Dave's Psyche" and was written at his specific request. He loves the poem as well, so that makes two of his favourite things.
He likes movies that have heart
He likes movies that have brains
But perhaps not in the sense that most would mean
For he thinks a film a miss if a
Scene does not have viscera
Splattered liberally across the screen
Not for him a dull mainstreamer
Nor yet an old-style screamer
He prefers a darker theme, a
Movie that's extremer.
Films of this New Extremity
Present his vicious remedy
To the blandness and vacuity
That is not the sort of view that he
Likes to spend his time to see.
The themes and execution
Are of sexual dissolution
And of violence that is bestial
Psychotic or incestual.
If you suggest it's “torture porn”
Such a view will draw his scorn
And he'll go on (at some length) that “this is art”.
“Irreversible”, he'll tell you
Is a film that will compel you
To sit through it from the end right to the start.
For the order's been inverted
The morality's perverted
And you need to be alerted
That normality's subverted.
He may recommend you start a
Viewing spree with Martyrs
A film where frequent slaying
Culminates in flaying
That most would find dismaying
But for the connoisseur
It's considered de rigueur
To have this culmination
Of despair and degradation.
So he likes movies that have heart
He likes movies that have brains
Not to mention kidneys, liver, flesh and spleen
So if a movie then fails
To present sufficient entrails
It would be better in his mind if left unseen.
I take it he liked Ran?
Earlier we mentioned birds as among our favorite things. While this isn't a favorite, it IS weird! We have a turkey vulture nesting in our barn! Yesterday I observed a pair of them circling the barn, so went to see what was dead. I found nothing fresh, so figured it was a fluke. Later Sue went out and heard a loud "thump - thump-thump behind the door to the threshing floor. She looked in just in time to see a vulture departing, and an egg in one corner, right on the hard oak floor. This afternoon there's still just one. We spooked Mama vulture when we looked through a crack.
Has anyone ever heard of vultures setting up housekeeping in a barn? Owls, yes. Swallows, yes - but VULTURES???
No, I have never heard of that. Strange!