Flora and fauna: Adventures in hope
We are blessed with an abundance of fauna this year, more so than in previous years.
In May, our resident groundhog made his appearance. He’s been living under our front porch for two years. Apparently the single adult we kept seeing was actually two different adults taking turns getting some fresh air. I say that because all at once there were eight little pups pouring over our front garden and entertaining us with their playful antics, such as trying in vain to climb up the bird bath pedestal. Alas, after a local dog seized and killed two of them, mom and dad decided to decamp. We haven’t seen any of them since. I kind of miss them, but then it’s true they can do a lot of damage to one’s house in carving out a home for themselves.
Next came the return of the wrens, who first created a home in our bird house last year. They’ve been very active, flying around and perching on the crook yodeling to whatever winged listener might be interested. We get to watch them surreptitiously from our breakfast nook window. One morning we watched as this tiny little wren drove off a woodpecker three times his size. He wouldn’t quit until the invader completely left the area.
Every year we try to get our goldfish pond cleaned up as early as possible, so we can add little gold ones. We are still working on it here in late June. We have a new feature though. We always have quite a few frogs in the pond, but this year we have what must be a bullfrog. He has a really deep croak I think people would pay to listen to. Any takers?
We hope he stays safe from the hawks. Three hawks regularly fly over our property. We are advised that hawks are opportunistic creatures. This means that, while they are noted for dining on rodents and rabbits, they are not above snatching up a sun bathing frog if they feel like it. They are a majestic spectacle though, these hawks! One day I was meandering up to the pond when suddenly I saw one of them perched on the back of our bench. At first I was startled, but then I stood still and drank in its magnificence. On the other hand, hawks have a ubiquitous screech that seems to constantly be on the airwaves. Mercifully, they wake up later than other birds, so they have not replaced our alarm clock. Wait a minute. Who am I kidding? Nobody sets an alarm clock in a pandemic, do they?
Speaking of the pandemic, along with racial tensions, the climate crisis and Donald Trump — they are all to be taken seriously, but they cannot stop the unfolding drama of nature all around us. They also cannot stop the current unfolding of humanity into a virtually new species, called “homo luminous.” They cannot stop the eternal life of our souls on their quest for infinite expansion.
Be of good cheer, friends.
Bill O’Brien is a consciousness coach and shamanic practitioner. He and his wife Linda have lived in Shepherdstown since 2005. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.