Saturday, October 6, 2012

Setting The Table

Get ready for a post full of random thoughts from an AM car ride to work:) And it's about how we began and where we are now.  Keep in mind the question, "How does one set the table?"  And as a side note before I get started, I just wanted to let everyone know that I'll be working at the Butterfly Magic exhibit in the afternoon at the Tucson Botanical Gardens on October 8th.  Come and stop by!  I'd love to meet you and show you around Southern Arizona's only tropical butterfly exhibit. On a side note, I'll be on vacation this next week heading out to some far away places after the 8th.  I'll be sporadic on blogger as I hopefully discover more incredible things. But until I return, I have lots of fun finds coming your way everyday.
As a kid, I dreamt about magical gardens, meeting strange new people, finding incredible creatures, and learning about what was beyond that next star.
Ladder Back Woodpecker
In college I would feel like I wasn't doing enough.  Not traveling enough. Not knowing enough. I thought it was something I had to fly to by plane, train or automobile.  I didn't know how to start.  I just threw myself carelessly out there. 
But as the years advance, it's about learning the subtle strokes of the painting.  The things we overlook in our lives. The things I now wish I could slow down more. 
Spotted Towhee
It's not being first at the finish line.
House Finch
There is so much chaos and noise all about the world.  We wonder sometimes, "What if?"
Mexican Jay
What if everything was perfect and all we had to do was find that inner calm?  But it's not, is it? We have friends and family who suffer from sickness and terrible situations. It's that chaos that affects us all.
Magnificent Hummingbird
Life is short.  I watched a Civil War show on PBS that showcased just how many people lost their lives during this difficult time in our country's history.  I thought about it more.  It has been well over a hundred years since the event but as a child, I remember that there were older people who had met these survivors and actually had conversations with them.  The last confederate survivor died in 1956.  My Great Grandparents was born in 1899. They came from Germany.  One set of Grandparents were born in 1911 and 1914....which was around the time the automobile was created and introduced to the world. My Grandma lived on dirt roads with horses being the main transportation to and from her village.  Her parents died of Scarlet fever.  She was 14 and moved in with her aunt on the farm.
They are all gone now. The personal stories of the Civil War, WW1, WW2, and Korean war vets have almost completely faded from our current society.  One Grandmother remains and I want to keep her alive forever.  My parents grew up in the 50's and 60's to a different world.  One where cars and the "American dream" would develop further.  You just had to follow the plan and success was guaranteed.  I grew up in the 70's and 80's.  I am the last generation of the group who could ride bikes and play with neighborhood kids before getting snatched up by a stranger.  And in the 80's began the electronic age with Atari.  Kids would begin to stay inside their homes and play video games all day. And it was safer for parents since now they had to worry about society stealing their children out of their own backyards.  A made for TV show called "Adam Walsh" would expose the horrors of child abduction. And so it would begin...obesity. I told you this was random:)
The 90's seemed a peaceful time of happiness and prosperity. It was the time of suburbs and loss of more habitat.  But at the turn of the century so much would come crashing down around us.  Chaos. Anger.  Loss. Faster electronics making people move faster in their everyday lives. Fruit orchards around the Bay area of California would be replaced by Silicon Valley and the suburbs.  Faster faster faster. 
Vast areas of land as the human population swells are now having to be marked as sacred.  Do not touch.  Land which seemed endless is now measured by the google mapping system of Earth.  Every square inch is being carefully scrutinized to own or protect.  So where does that leave us today?
Acorn Woodpecker
Our younger generations are much more educated on the preservation of nature than I was when it came to  protecting the environment.  But there isn't a sense of security like there was decades ago.  There are no guarantees and if things keep going as they do, a lot more will change.  This isn't political at all.  It's just that it's been happening all along in such subtle ways.  And I wonder about these young students of mine as they raise their families.  What will their kids face 20 or 30 years down the road?  Will all of this still be here for them?  It's not a question of when because it's now.  Today some countries and their states are making the difference and preserving spaces.  Some are not.  The difficulty is that we are all linked to one another environmentally.  We've done it with technology but now we have to do it with Mother Nature.  There is a movement but it is patchy globally.
Because what one place does, affects the other. Mexicans burn their land away which is habitat for the hummers in winter.  What if they don't have that habitat anymore?  Will they come back to Southern Arizona?  It's happening. As I sat in my 45 minute car ride to work, this is what I thought about today.  Is "setting the table?" a proper question to ask when most of us don't even sit down at a table for dinner anymore?  


  1. Naszły Cię dzisiaj przemyślenia i to smutne. Ale jest dobrze, jedziesz na wycieczkę i będzie dużo nowych informacji i zdjęć. Teraz dziękuję za śliczne ptaki na zdjęciach i wiewiórkę. Pozdrawiam.
    Today they are thinking, and it's sad. But it is good, you go on a trip and will be a lot of new information and photos. Now, thank you for the beautiful birds in the pictures and a squirrel. Yours.

  2. Brilliant writing and the same for photos.

  3. Faster and faster but older by the day :-) Yes we do sit at the table every single day, without hat, without cell... but it's a challenge, it used not to be one...
    Take care during your time off.

  4. Well that was random Chris but from your comments and questions you obviously share the concerns that many people have about where society and the world is heading to. I try not to worry about it too much, but just spread the word about the natural world in the hope that we eventually see sense and cherish the birds and creatures you so admirably show.

  5. This is such a thoughtful post - well written with poignant questions. I too worry about how much our lives have changed over the past few decades.

    I live in an area of Ontario that is being eaten up by "progress." And I don't think most people are even noticing.

  6. Fantastic photographs, nature is unusual. I am greeting

  7. Bonitas y variadas imágenes.. Muy guapos los pájaros carpinteros pero las ardillas son adorables.. Un saludo

  8. i think, as a frequent international traveler, you have a bigger view of the world than most of us have. yet, i treasure the small bit of world that is 'mine' and wonder how long it will stay as natural as it is. i have moved several times to escape the city, then suburbia, then expansion. 'remote' isn't much of a possibility any more.

    1. we chose to build our house in what was the vegetable garden of our neighbour. I was determined not to destroy more of nature. First time we built I was younger, but we did keep as many protea bushes as we could. The new owners of that old house replaced the garden with a McMansion.

  9. Excellent photos and commentary Chris!

    I hope you have a great weekend.

  10. The cry to protect the environment grows louder each day and I hope the next generation will lead the charge to make real changes that last. In the meantime enjoy every bit of nature you can because all we really have is today!

  11. That's a lot to ponder, so much history lost, so much barely acknowledged.

    We take it for granted that the technology we use today has always been hasn't.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  12. Gosh Chris this was a very philosophical post, you really are a deep's nice to see someone care so much for their environment..beautiful words accompanied by such lovely images, thanks.

  13. A great post. You deserve a good holiday after that.

  14. Chris you have put the ever changing world into perspective. I fear for our young people. Will they have natural places to recharge in? That's what I try to instill in our youth at the park. Otherwise they, the 1%, could win at closing down all our "sacred" places.

    Have a wonderful vacation. Wondering where. And wish I could get to the butterfly magic the 8th.

  15. A time for reflection...the world is moving much too fast. But I wonder if my grandma said those same things. She would have been right because the world did change drastically and you're right now too...because the world is still changing drastically. Good thoughts to have and you're a good person to be mentoring our youth. Enjoy your time and have fun!!

  16. I enjoy reading about your thoughts and pontification on the youth of today and the fate of our environment. All is not lost as the youth of today are definitely more aware of the importance of conservation. Have a good vacation. I'm on a much needed vacation too - in Ireland to be with my children.

  17. Great post, very thought-provoking. And wonderfully illustrated of course :)

  18. Very thoughtful and thought provoking post, Chris. I admit to longing for the simpler times.

  19. Lots of food for thought in there.
    I shutter at the way people raise kids today. All so structured. We used to run wild. Today, play dates, dance lessons, riding, music lessons, organized sports, with mom driving to each event!! Yikes.
    What ever happened to Hide and Seek?

  20. A really beautifully written thought-provoking post Chris. Some great photos and wise words too. Enjoy your holiday and take care of yourself :)


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