Showing posts from June, 2024

Poetry Sunday: The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

This may be my favorite of Mary Oliver's poems. It is certainly in the top five. And it is one of her most famous, deservedly so. I am particularly struck by the lines that say "I don't know exactly what a prayer is, but I know how to pay attention," and I can only smile my assent to that. Perhaps that is enough. The question she asks in the last lines may be the most important one that we all have to answer: What will we do with our one wild and precious life?   The Summer Day by Mary Oliver Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean— the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down— who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do

This week in birds - #587

  A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment : This is a joro spider and evidently we can expect an invasion of them in the eastern part of the continent this summer. They are venomous but shy and do not pose much of a threat to humans. *~*~*~* Seabird populations can be devastated by tropical cyclones . *~*~*~* Pharmaceutical and illegal drug pollution is a growing threat to wildlife . *~*~*~* John James Audubon has long been honored for inspiring the conservation movement, but a closer examination of his life shows that he was a racist who profited from the slave trade. *~*~*~* A woman in California was killed in an attack by a black bear , the first known attack of its kind. It is unclear what precipitated the attack. *~*~*~* The revival of medieval farming practices in Europe is offering a welcome refuge to wildlife. *~*~*~* It turns out that climate change is taking a toll on soil-dwelling invertebrates.  *~*~*~* Amateur archaeologists in England are making

Poetry Sunday: June by James Russell Lowell

Welcome to the gentle days of June. Before too long the heat of summer will be upon us but until then let us enjoy these "rare" and "perfect" days. June by James Russell Lowell What is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days; Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune, And over it softly her warm ear lays: Whether we look, or whether we listen, We hear life murmur, or see it glisten; Every clod feels a stir of might, An instinct within it that reaches and towers, And, groping blindly above it for light, Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers; The flush of life may well be seen Thrilling back over hills and valleys; The cowslip startles in meadows green. The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice, And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean To be some happy creature's palace; The little bird sits at his door in the sun, Atilt like a blossom among the leaves, And lets his illumined being o'errun With the deluge of summer it receives