Learn Something New Every Day!

Archive for April, 2016


IMG_6098If you are ever traveling through Arizona near Flagstaff, take a detour off I-40 through the Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert.  The main park road stretches for 28 miles with spurs and viewpoints along the way and a visitor center at each end.  The drive itself is gorgeous.  You can stop and hike a bit or just keep driving, but my advice is to take your time to enjoy the beauty and solitude.


IMG_6135The Petrified Forest National Park was initially designated a National Monument by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, finally being upgraded to a National Park in 1962.  Although its official area almost doubled in 2004, the fee-access area still covers about 110,000 acres or 170 square miles.  The park draws its name from the fossilized trees prevalent in the area.  The trees—nine different species now extinct—lived in the Late Triassic Period about 225 million years ago. It is amazing to see these ancient logs strewn along the hillsides while driving through the park.




IMG_6066IMG_6076The Visitor Center at the Petrified Forest National Park’s south entrance showcases the geological, historical and cultural past of this area.  Displays share everything from dinosaur skeletons to native pictographs.  A stroll through its garden shows some of the area fauna as well as examples of petrified wood.  The wood’s many colors come from three minerals:  pure quartz is white; manganese oxides form blue, purple, black and brown; and iron oxides provide hues from yellow to red to brown.


dino skeleton

ancient cougar drawing

petrified wood

IMG_6204IMG_6261If you visit the park in the spring, you will probably see extensive wildflowers as well.  They pop up along the route, adding color to the landscape.  Three of my favorites are Indian Paint Brush, Apache Plume, and Poppies. Clouds always add dramatic impact to the vistas too.   I love cloud shadows.




A typical drive through the Petrified Forest, entering at the south entrance and traveling northeast through the park, offers many spectacular views.


























IMG_6309At the Petrified Forest National Park’s north entrance is the Painted Desert Visitor Center.  The Painted Desert itself covers 93,500 acres, stretching east from the Grand Canyon. While most of the Painted Desert lies within the Navajo Nation, a portion is accessible within the Petrified Forest National Park. The colorful badland hills, flat-topped mesas, and sculpted buttes of the Painted Desert are primarily made up of the Chinle Formation, deposited over 200 million years ago.  The area was given its name—El Disierto Pintado—by Spaniards who invaded the area.








The Arizona Leisure Vacation Guide posted this little video providing a big picture overview of the geological processes that created the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. The music that accompanies the photographic montage has been called irritating by several, so you might want to turn the volume down or off.  Otherwise, its display is informative and offers some good photos.

I have visited this area several times—and each time is a bit different depending on time of year, general weather and time of day.  Once—over 15 years ago—I enjoyed an afternoon visit there with Mom and Dad.  I was picking them up in Flagstaff to bring them home to California after they were in an accident while on vacation—long story.  They were fine.  It was a nice afternoon. My memories of that day always come to mind when I visit the area—one of the reasons it is a favorite spot for me.


Do you have a favorite spot in Nature you like to visit often?


IMG_9678It was a great afternoon drive.  I did not expect to see many wildflowers at all on this little excursion.  Maybe—if I were lucky—a few blooms would still be holding out.  But it was a glorious day for a drive, so I took off anyway.  I had never been to Carrizo Plain National Monument, even though it is less than 100 miles away from my home in Bakersfield, California. I started driving east on Highway 58.

IMG_9723Heading northeast across the Temblor Range, I eventually drove down into the Carrizo Plain. The main road across this largest remnant of the original habitat of the San Joaquin Valley is Soda Lake Road.  Parts of the road are not paved, but they are pretty well maintained.  Although the area can look dry and harsh, it really is home to abundant flora and fauna now and in the wetter climate of the past. Native tribes have lived in the area since at least 10,000 years ago and homesteaders started moving into the area in the early 1800s.












IMG_9658Today, a few wildflowers were evident on my drive as well as lots of birds (black birds, ravens, meadow larks) and a few small scurrying squirrels.  Of course, only the wildflowers were willing to pose!  











Soda Lake was intriguing as it stretched for what looked like miles across the hills.  The white crust atop its 3,000 acres is comprised of sulfates and carbonates, resulting from the evaporation of mineral-laden surface water.  The winds stirred up a white dust devil swirling across the lake.






I was able to visit the Carrizo Plain this spring because steps have been taken to preserve the area.  In 1988, a joint effort of the United States Bureau of Land Management, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the Nature Conservancy pulled resources to buy about 82,000 acres within the Carrizo Plain.  In 1996, an official joint initiative was started to work on preserving the location.  Finally, on 17 January 2001, President Bill Clinton designated the area as the Carrizo Plain National Monument and soon after its area increased to its current size of almost 247,000 acres (about 50 miles long and 15 miles across).


If you have not visited the Carrizo Plain National Monument yet, plan a trip.  The area contains several interesting geological features such as a clear view of the San Andreas Fault along Wallace Creek; Painted Rock, a 4,000 year old sandstone formation that is covered with native pictographs; and Soda Lake, a dry lake bed that covers almost 3,000 acres.   On today’s visit, I did not take any of the hikes out to view these specific features; some of them are only accessible via guided yours.  Next time.  Probably in March, when more of the wildflowers might be in bloom.


Is there a hidden gem near you that you love to visit and wish more people knew about?  


Monument Valley 4Even before I visited Monument Valley, I knew of its iconic vistas and buttes from many of the old westerns like Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Cheyenne Autumn. Its use as a location, however, is not limited to westerns; the area was also featured in such productions as Easy Rider and two recent episodes of Dr. Who.

Of course, seeing the place in a movie is nothing like being there.  As filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich explains, “It’s breathtaking. You can’t believe it. It’s very photogenic; it has a kind of mythic feeling of age, of legend. . . You’ve seen it in the movies, but when you see it in life, it’s so epic in its proportions that it almost stands for the whole of the West.”

Monument Valley 3

I felt the various contrasts inherent in Monument Valley when I first visited years ago:  grandeur and simplicity, immediacy and timelessness, and vibrant beauty and engaging solitude cannot be overlooked.  Even though there are many visitors and tour groups sharing the road, I was patient.  The crowds eventually moved on and I discovered a few treasured moments of solitude.

IMG_5731The geology of the area helps add to its grandeur.  Monument Valley is part of the Colorado Plateau, which covers 130,000 square miles. More than 50 million years ago the area was a lowland basin that over lots and lots of time and extensive layers of sedimentation, ceaseless pressures from below the surface and eventual geological uplifts was transformed into a plateau.  Then wind and water took over the task of creating the dramatic vistas and formations evident today.


The current elevation of the valley floor ranges from 5,000 to 6,000 feet.  The floor is basically siltstone from the Cutler Group.  Iron oxide gives the area its red color.  The blue gray rocks get their color from manganese oxide.  The buttes are clearly stratified in several distinct layers:  Organ Rock Shale, de Chelly Sandstone, and Shinarump Conglomerate.  These buttes rise high above the valley floor with many reaching 400 to 1,000 feet in elevation.


In 1884 President Chester Arthur added the region that comprises Monument Valley to the Navajo Nation.  The park itself rests mainly in Arizona but spreads into Utah and New Mexico as well. It covers close to 92,000 acres, equal to about 45 square miles.  The tribal name for Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is Tse Bii Ndzisgaii, meaning Valley of the Rocks. Tourists can view many of the iconic buttes and mesas by driving the 17-mile scenic loop.  Navajo-led tours give access to other areas of the park as well.

IMG_5707On my most recent visit (April 2015), I traveled to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, heading north on Highway 163 through Kayenta, Arizona.  The landscape is vast and open, and eventually rock formations start rising along the route, suggesting what is to come.




The first full panoramic view of Monument Valley in the distance is remarkable.


IMG_5771It was a hazy day.  When strong winds picked up, I was glad I opted to drive the 17-mile scenic loop myself rather than being part of an official tour.  The tour groups were in open-air shuttles.  I at least could roll up my windows!  Fortunately, the little dust storms were short-lived and only happened a couple times throughout the day.




IMG_6040It is expected that the scenic drive will take at least 2 to 3 hours to complete.  I managed to stay out all day, relishing the beauty and the solitude. The drive alternates between showcasing panoramic vistas and then closer views of the many park formations.  There are overlooks and parking areas, allowing visitors to take short hikes throughout the day.



IMG_5831IMG_5934Being there in the spring, I was able to see some wildflowers along with the ever present juniper trees.  I was even fascinated by dirt, rocks and clouds. The only animals I saw were a couple horses and a wandering dog.  My bet is they belong to the several Navajo families that live within the park.




Purple Sage

Purple Sage


The Scenic Loop starts near the East and West Mittens and Merrick Butte.  These three formations are probably some of the most familiar within Monument Valley.






Elephant Butte







Camel Butte




Three Sisters




Totem Pole & Yei Bichei






 The Hub 







The Thumb 





Mojave Yucca

Mojave Yucca


The Cube





Spearhead Mesa 






Thunderbird & Rain God Mesas







Artist’s Point Overlook

IMG_5965 IMG_5966





IMG_6043As the day ended, it was hard to head back to my hotel.  Next time, I hope to stay at the Inn right on the property, so it would be easier to be around for sunset and sunrise photos.  Then again, I do not really need an excuse to visit Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park again.  If you have not visited this majestic place yet, add it to your list.


Monument Valley 1

Monument Valley 2

Where do you visit over and over again, seeing something new each time?



An Afternoon Drive: Windy

“Who has seen the wind?  Neither you nor I:  But when the trees bow down their heads, the wind is passing by.”  Christina Rossetti

 “Life is full of beauty.  Notice it.  Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces.  Smell the rain, and feel the wind.  Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”  Ashley Smith

With the El Nino rains this year in California, the promise of wildflowers is in the air.  Even though the Antelope Valley California State Poppy Preserve was saying the poppies were not yet out in great numbers at their facility, I decided I would go check the area out.  After all, color had already splashed across the hills near Gorman, California, an area that I would pass en route to Lancaster and Antelope Valley.

IMG_9426IMG_9429By the time I got started, it was already early afternoon.  The weather changed a bit as clouds moved in and the winds picked up. Overcast is not the best weather for seeing wildflowers since many—like the poppies—do not fully open on dark and dreary days. The winds were picking up too.  Strong winds undermine taking photos. But I kept with my afternoon plans.  After all, I love watching breezes dance across the fields and the clouds were likely to be great.

As expected, the hills near Gorman showcased lupines, a few poppies, and some pretty views of the open road.







As I merged onto Highway 138 (Lancaster Road) heading toward the Poppy Preserve, the number of flowers in the fields diminished.  But the clouds were enticing and patches of yellow goldfields were evident along the way.









There was not much color around the entrance to the Poppy Preserve on this visit.  (Past years have been pretty impressive.)


The winds were great this afternoon.  I even (finally) thought to practice using the video feature on my camera.  I did forgot the videos record sound as well as pictures, so there is some silly music in the background.  But you can also hear the wind rustling about.




It was a great afternoon!

Do you have somewhere you love to drive on a leisurely afternoon?

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“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”  Charles Dickens

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”  John Ruskin

“There is muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind.”  Annie Dillard

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”   William Arthur Ward

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”  Henry Ford

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind.  The real you is loving, joyful, and free.  The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.”  Don Miquel Ruiz

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”  Bruce Lee

“I love the feeling of the fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair.”  Evel Knievel

“A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.”  Catherine the Great

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.  To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”  Oliver Wendell Holmes

“I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun.  I was born where there were no enclosures.”  Geronimo

“Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!”  William Butler Yeats

“The substance of the winds is too thin for human eyes; their written language is too difficult for human minds, and their spoken language mostly too faint for the ears.”  John Muir

“When one has faith that the spring thaw will arrive, the winter winds seem to lose some of their punch.”  Robert L. Veninga

“Poetry is the impish attempt to paint the color of the wind.”  Maxwell Bodenheim

“The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.  The answer is blowin’ in the wind.”  Bob Dylan

LANDSCAPES: America the Beautiful

“I am interested in the way that we look at a given landscape and take possession of it in our blood and brain. None of us lives apart from the land entirely; such an isolation is unimaginable.”         N. Scott Momaday

Zion National Park, UT

Zion National Park

For many years now, I have retreated to Nature for an extended visit at least once a year.  The destinations are varied, but they all have something in common:  vast open spaces.  Whether I am at the Grand Canyon,  Zion National Park or some local country road, the landscape sets the stage for wonder and solitude as well as awareness and reflection.  Each landscape—although different—suggests a sense of freedom and adventure inherent in the open road.

IMG_0991Although I have traveled a bit in Europe and Mexico, most of my travels are across the good old United States of America.  As I travel across these vast vistas, I cannot help but think of the native peoples and early pioneers who crossed these same expanses without benefit of car and rest stops.  Such strength and courage.  Such determination and perseverance.  Such hope for the future and sense of adventure.  These traits—a lingering part of the American spirit—are evident for me in the open vistas from these panoramic photos of various scenes from across America.

View from Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ

View from Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ

This post is my second response to the Daily Post Photo Challenge: Landscapes.

Mono Lake, California

reflection 5



Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

hoodoo 2

Bryce Hoodoo Vista pano

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona


monument valley clouds

Tioga Pass Road, Yosemite National Park, California




Red Rock Canyon State Park, California



Some General Vistas

Monterey, California

Monterey, California

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur Coast, California

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur Coast, California

Petrified Forest, Arizona

Petrified Forest, Arizona

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Canyonlands, Island in the Sky Section, Utah

Canyonlands, Island in the Sky Section, Utah

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“The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere—in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion, and in ourselves.  No one would desire not to be beautiful.  When we experience the beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming.”  John O’Donohue

“There is an eternal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives.”  Josephine Hart

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer—and often the supreme disappointment.”  Ansel Adams

“Life is like a landscape.  You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance.”  Charles Lindbergh

“You cannot, in human experience, rush into the light.  You have to go through the twilight into the broadening day before the noon comes and the full sun is upon the landscape.”  Woodrow Wilson

“The landscape is like being there with a powerful personality and I’m searching for just the right angles to make that portrait come across as meaningfully as possible.”  Galen Rowell

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”  Andrew Wyeth

“I think landscape photography in general is somewhat undervalued.”  Galen Rowell

“Any landscape is a condition of the spirit.”  Henri Frederic Amiel

“Memory is the fourth dimension to any landscape.”  Janet Fitch

“I can go into the wilderness and not see anyone for days and experience a kind of space that hasn’t changed for tens of thousands of years.  Having that experience was necessary to my perception of how photography can look at the changes humanity has brought about in the landscape.  My work does become a kind of lament.”  Edward Burtynsky

LANDSCAPES: On the Road Again!

“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.”  Kurt Vonnegut

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”  Susan Sontag

Entering Sequoia National Park

Entering Sequoia National Park, CA

I love to travel.  I enjoy visiting relatives, touring museums, shopping for souvenirs, and even trying local foods.  But the best travel plans for me mean getting in the car and driving any roads that help me explore Nature in all its wonder.

I am not really able to hike the trails anymore at the various national and state parks I visit.  Thus, I have become a roadside naturalist, often staying in the car as I cruise the scenic highways.  Whether traveling on paved roads or bumpy country lanes, I love the wide open spaces of Nature.  The colors that are mostly gentle and subtle until vibrant splashes of spring dot the landscape.  The trees and rocks, hills and mountains, rivers and trees that make each view unique.  The clouds that take over the horizon and stretch out forever.  When out in Nature, I leave any problems and nuisances behind and realize how small I really am in the scheme of things.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley, AZ

As I drive, I stop fairly often to sit, reflect and observe Nature, often coaxing some wildlife out into the open.  Sometimes I park at official overlooks while at other times I just pull off the road and take a break.  I treasure the clouds and sunsets and open vistas.  I take pictures every chance I get to try to capture the calm and wonder of the day.

Over the last several years, most of my travels have been in California or throughout the Southwest.  The photos I am sharing show the roads that take me out into the landscapes that make every trip special.  These photos are my response to the Daily Post Photo Challenge: Landscape.

I sure am anxious to get out on the road again, soon!

California Highway 178

California Highway 178

Leaving Mono Lake

Leaving Mono Lake, CA

Traveling the Big Sur Coastline

Traveling the Big Sur Coastline, CA

Heading into Death Valley, CA

Heading into Death Valley, CA

Valles Caldera, NM

Valles Caldera, NM

Canyonland, Needles Section, UT

Canyonland, Needles Section, UT

Near Canyon de Chelly, AZ

Near Canyon de Chelly, AZ

Near Gallup, NM

Near Gallup, NM

California Highway 178

California Highway 178

Shiprock, Navajoland, AZ

Shiprock, Navajoland, AZ

Petrified Forest, AZ

Petrified Forest, AZ

Sunset Crater, AZ

Sunset Crater, AZ

Monument Valley, AZ

Monument Valley, AZ

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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”  Mark Twain

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”  St. Augustine

“There are no foreign lands.  It is the traveler only who is foreign.”  Robert Louis Stevenson

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go.  But no matter, the road is life.”  Jack Kerouac

“A journey is like marriage.  The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”  John Steinbeck

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”  Lin Yutang

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel’s sake.  The great affair is to move.”  Robert Louis Stevenson

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”  Henry Miller

“A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.”  Moslih Eddin Saadi

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover.”  Mark Twain

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”  Miriam Beard

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.  There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”  Jawaharial Nehru

“Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I—I took the one less traveled by.”  Robert Frost

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”  Lao Tzu

“There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.”  Charles Dudley Warner

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”  Lao Tzu

“The journey not the arrival matters.”  T. S. Eliot

“Not all those who wander are lost.”  J. R. R. Tolkien

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”  Maya Angelou

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.”  Anatole France

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”  Seneca

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”  Anita Desai

“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”  Ernest Hemingway

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”  Anais Nin

 “The traveler sees what he sees.  The tourist sees what he has come to see.”  G. K. Chesterton

“Travel makes one modest.  You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”  Gustave Flaubert

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads.  Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.”  Rosalia de Castro

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.”  Danny Kaye

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”  Henry David Thoreau

“Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it.”  Eudora Welty

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”  Andre Gide

For the Love of Birds

“Everyone likes birds.  What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”  David Attenborough

Red Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird

Birds have always fascinated me.  When I was a kid, I included them whenever I drew a picture, and as a young teen I had one as a pet.  When I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1980, I was introduced by a good friend to the act of bird watching. Even though I am no longer keeping an active life list, the art of birding is still part of my life, especially when I travel.

As a birder, I do not just watch for birds in the garden or along the road, but I marvel at their beauty and diversity, their colors and songs, their trust if you sit quietly enough so they come out from hiding and share energy and activity with you.  I see the birds as a reminder that life is full of wonder and should be appreciated.  That it is important to sit quietly every once in a while and just become part of nature.  That life is not about me and my to-do list but about slowing down and celebrating the wonders of life, like listening to the birds sing.




Original Angry Bird?

Original Angry Bird?

I have written about birds before whether out in the wild or on display at a zooHummingbirds are especially glorious!  But all birds—from the flamboyant peacock to the common sparrow, from the graceful swan to the chattering bluejay—are worthy of notice. And I always feel lucky if the birds cooperate at all and let me glimpse them in their daily routines.

Here are a few of the birds I have noticed over the years.

Canada Goose Family

Canada Goose Family



Mallard Ducklings

Mallard Ducklings

American Kestrel

American Kestrel

Black Swans

Black Swans

White Pelicans

White Pelicans

California Brown Pelican

California Brown Pelican

Gambel Qualis

Gambel Quails

American Robin

American Robin

Robin Singing on a Log

Robin Singing on a Log

Western Grebe

Western Grebe

Yellow Headed Blackbird

Yellow Headed Blackbird

Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker



California Gull

California Gull

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“I don’t spend that much time being introspective, believe it or not.  All I know is that I grew up not questioning God because that’s how you are.  God was there like the birds and the wind.”  Jane Goodall

“Birds sing after a storm, why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?”  Rose Kennedy

“Use those talents you have.  You will make it.  You will give joy to the world.  Take this tip from nature.  The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.”  Bernard Meltzer

Singing Gambel Quail

Singing Gambel Quail

“I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.”  Charles Lindbergh

“Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain.”  Douglas Coupland

“Birds are indicators of the environment.  If they are in trouble, we know we’ll soon be in trouble.”  Roger Tory Peterson

“The best thing you can do when you’re not feeling funny is go out and get more stimuli from the world, get out and walk around, read a book, go talk to some birds or a dog and replenish the well, as it were.”  Rob Delaney

“I think people who don’t believe in God are crazy.  How can you say there is no God when you hear the birds singing these beautiful songs you didn’t make?”  Little Richard

“When the moon covers the sun, we have a solar eclipse.  What do you call it when birds do that?”  Kim Young-ha

“I hope you love birds too.  It is economical.  It saves going to heaven.”  Emily Dickinson

“I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could.”  John James Audubon

“There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.”  Robert Lynd

“Did St. Francis preach to the birds?  Whatever for?  If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats.”  Rebeca West

“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”  William Blake

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence.”  Robert Lynd

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.”  Maya Angelou

“Keep a green tree in your heart, and perhaps the singing bird will come.”  Chinese Proverb

“We have flown the air like birds and swum the seas like fishes, but we have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”  Langston Hughes

“Did you ever see an unhappy horse?  Did you ever see a bird that had the blues?  One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.”  Dale Carnegie

“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”  Salvador Dali

“You have to believe in happiness, or happiness never comes.  Ah, that’s the reason a bird can sing.  On his darkest day he believes in spring.”  Douglas Malloch

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird; it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.  We are like eggs at present.  And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg.  We much be hatched or go bad.”  C. S. Lewis

“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.  A small bird will drop frozen from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.”  D. H. Lawrence

“Accept that some days you are the pigeon, and some days you are the statue.”  David Brent

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy.  They don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.  That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”  Harper Lee

“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and the flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly thing can be.”  Rachel Carson

“God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into the nest.”  J. G. Holland

“It’s a good thing we have gravity, or else when birds died they’d just stay right up there.  Hunters would be all confused.”  Steven Wright

This post is my contribution to the WordPress Photo a Week Challege: Birds.

Soaring Red Tail Hawk

Soaring Red Tail Hawk

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