Indigo Bunting Sighting

Teachers have favorites. I hate to break it to you, but we do. For me, it’s usually the nature-loving, part wild child, book-loving child that finds a space in my heart. Sophie was that child for me eleven years ago. She arrived on the first day of Kindergarten with a whole lot of spirit and spunk. I loved her right away. As I soon found out, Sophie had many passions. Her mother told me that at 4 years old that she announced that she would be a vegetarian. No one else in her family was a vegetarian so there were lots of changes in the household, as you can imagine. But the parents honored her decision and from then on she was a vegetarian.

Children this age often choose to be vegetarians because when they learn where they food comes from (a long lashed soft-eyed cow, a clever chicken that can outfox a fox, a cute pink pig like Wilbur or Babe) they become very upset and decide right then and there they will be stewards of animals. We often chatted about Sophie’s vegetarianism at morning circle because some of the other children in my class didn’t understand what being a vegetarian meant. Sophie was kind and patient when she explained that she didn’t want to eat animals because she loved them. There was no judgement, just a simple and clear explanation. My heart swelled. I found a few picture books on being a vegetarian – I have no control when it comes to an opportunity to acquire more books – and this one was our class favorite.

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You may have thought that some of the other children would’ve decided to become vegetarians, but they didn’t. They simply accepted that Sophie’s lunch was just lunch and they ate up the Herb the Vegetarian book.

Sophie came to kindergarten with another passion: Indigo Buntings. Sophie had seen one in North Carolina and that’s when her passion for the Indigo Bunting began. So yes, at four years old, she had a passion for all things Indigo Bunting.

She drew them.

She talked about them.

She asked me at least once a week, usually on a Monday, if I’d seen one that weekend. Sadly, I always said no.

Sophie wanted (aka slightly demanded) to know more about them. Yay! Me too! I brought in my Audubon bird identification book and provided her with books and many Montessori lessons on birds, and since she learned how to read with me that year she began independently reading about them during D.E.A.R (drop everything and read) time. I presented lessons on the external parts of a bird and then she made her own bird book (she colored her bird blue), lessons on the internal parts of birds (and she made a diagram), lessons on geography (we researched North America and where the Indigo Buntings live), lessons on migration (we researched Central America), lessons on how birds reproduce, what they eat, and what their nests look like. I spent the whole year integrating Indigo Buntings into the curriculum areas for her and on every field trip the whole class was on the lookout for them. Everyone grew to love and appreciate the Indigo Bunting, and Sophie sealed her place in my heart.

I had never seen an Indigo Bunting live and in person

UNTIL

this morning.

Here’s what the Mister and I saw at 6:20 a.m. this morning!

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The blue is like a Lapis Lazuli color! So bright!
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Looking for a mate? If I’m really lucky there will be a nest nearby!
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They prefer insects, live mealworms, small seeds, and thistle.

Here’s a little bit about Indigo Buntings.

  • They have a conical beak that give you an idea of  what they eat: small seeds, berries, and insects. They will come to your thistle feeders and will really like your live mealworm feeder.
  • They are native to North America.
  • They are roughly the size of sparrows; small and stocky birds.
  • They frequent areas where the woods meet the fields.
  • Their nests are made of grasses, sticks, leaves, and wrapped in spider silk.
  • They lay a clutch of 3-4 eggs and can have up to 3 broods a season. Their eggs are white with some brown spots.
  • The nestlings fledge at two weeks old.

 

Thank you, Sophie.

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Have Time For That

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Recently, I was asked, “How do you have the time? Don’t you sleep?” Easy answer. I make time. Even when I worked outside the home for 40 hrs – plus another 10+ hours of commuting – I had time to do projects, take a class (or teach an additional class), and still shop, cook meals, clean the house, work the gardens, mow the lawn. You get the picture. I’m no superwoman, I certainly don’t have endless energy, and I definitely have my share of aches and pains.

This I know:  We make the time for the things that are important to us.

So when someone say, “Oh, I don’t have time for that,” what he or she really means is, “I don’t think that’s important enough to make time for.” And that’s OK.

Cheers!

A Call to Action! Save the Pollinators!

This is the CALL-TO-ARMS for our coming meeting tomorrow.

We need beekeepers and people that are concerned about the decline of the honey bee population!

The purpose of a meeting tomorrow, July 16th is for attorney to discuss and explore options with us. Ideally, we will need several dozen Massachusetts beekeepers that have suffered complete or partial losses as well as other concerned citizens who recognize that the environmental damage of pesticides is far too great and the expected results far too inconsequential. We are in the early, but extremely important, stage of discovery. We need to gather as large a group as possible of those that have been affected by the use of pesticides or are concerned citizens and we need you to help spread the word. There is power in numbers and NOW is the time to act!

If the attorneys feel there is a case, they will make a proposal for a class action suit. The attorneys will work on a contingency basis and absorb all the costs. To be clear, there will be no financial obligation of anyone who decides to become part of this class action suit and anyone can withdraw from the suit at any time. The attorneys get paid only if we succeed in court or if there is a Settlement. They will work for and take direction from those who are willing and able to become members of the class action. The attorneys are simply asking that you come to the meeting, share your stories, share your concerns, and express your passion so that they can assess whether a class action suit is viable.

I know many of my blow and Twitter followers share my passion for the honey bee colonies and for the environment as a whole. We can now do something to save the bees, but only with your help. We have been working diligently on this and other initiatives and this meeting could be a turning point in the fight.

The attorneys that are meeting with us are Jan Schlichtmann and Scott Dullea.

Please spread the word to like-minded people and join us for the meeting on July 16th at 7:00 p.m. at:

Masonic Lodge
20 Washington Street
Beverly, MA 01915

Please forward this email to your connections! They could be beekeepers, organic farmers, garden clubs – anyone that wants to support and protect the honey bees and other beneficial pollinators from pesticides!

Here is a link to the public Facebook Event. Please check it out and share this important meeting with your Facebook friends.

We need your help! We need supporters to generate action!

This is our big opportunity and it may come only once.

In gratitude,
MA Beekeepers Against Pesticides

Gretel Clark
Anita Deeley
Pete Delaney
Rich Girard
Marty Jessel
Randy Johnson
Kimberley Klibansky
Todd Klibansky
Tony Lulek

 

Be Here Now

Only in the awareness of the present,

can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.

Only in the present, can you savor the aroma,

taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy.

If you are ruminating about the past,

or worrying about the future,

you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea.

You will look down at the cup,

And the tea will be gone.

Life is like that.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Think about this for a minute …

I saw this photo online today and it made me smile. Summer is waning and a new school year is beginning for teachers, children, and families.  I think it’s important to be reminded that flexibility, a sense of wonder, creativity, motivation, risk-taking, perseverance, determination, confidence, and future success CANNOT be measured in a test.

Cheers to a great 2013-2014 school year!

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