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June 2016

“The Bad Guy” —

Sometimes to maintain standards and discipline you must accept the burden of wearing the mantel of “The Bad Guy.” We live in a world where fear of unpopularity or being the focus of blame trumps honesty and integrity. The need for acceptance in the name of harmony when better judgment …

Flying Things —

There was a fly buzzing back and forth in the house tonight and not being able to catch it was a real annoyance. I remembered purchasing some fly strips months ago and put one inside a lampshade. After a while I noticed the fly no longer flew back and forth …

Train Whistle —

We live about a mile and a half west of Marietta Square, north of Atlanta. At night we can hear the whistles of north and southbound trains as they journey through the city. It is actually a very soothing and lonely sound that does not disturb and in a sense …

Progress —

In two previous entries for the Backyard Life I made mistakes.  The two incorrect entries were in Born Interloper and “Grandmother.”  We subsequently learned that the bird in the Born Interloper entry was not a Blue jay but rather a Tufted Titmouse.  I was informed that this bird is often confused with …

Letting Go —

Sometimes the most difficult thing yet the most essential thing when trying to solve a problem is intentionally letting go. When fierce concentration does not work, relaxing by opening the mind will often introduce the simplest solution. We have all experienced working on something and in the middle realize our mind has …

Lunch Root —

The lunch tree and its lunch root sit on a gradual climb about three miles into a fairly technical ride. You’ll know it because it’s about 40 yards past the split log and sharp 90-degree turn. The angled root protrudes up through the dirt path right at a small ledge …

Taking a New Path —

I’ll try a new path tomorrow. The entry is a short slope upward that leads to a drastic drop over a dry streambed to some bottomland deep in the wood. Sharp twists and turns, exposed roots, periodic mud holes, rises and lumps – let the bike roll as you float …

Bicycle and the Airplane —

Bicycling, like flying, is an extension of our mind. In dreams we fly through forests passing swiftly between trees down gullies and over rises. We never touch the branches, wings never hit the trees, faster and faster, the senses are keen, the judgment analytical at first, then natural. The right …

Consider What You Say —

Height and strength are irrelevant, how handsome or beautiful does not matter, what is owned or in the bank is of no consequence, no matter how aggressive or right you might be, no matter how much in control or able to make things happen, no matter how many graduate degrees …

Butterfly —

When a Butterfly lands on a flower does it know the experience of pain and worry? Is it consumed with the trappings of daily life? Is it nothing more than a higher form of stone without thought, feeling, just an instinctive actor? Or, does it understand, feel and take pleasure …

Healing —

Today I felt someone else’s pain but said nothing. I said nothing, because I felt it was not my place. Somewhere between not wanting to be chastised for sticking my nose where it might not belong and saying something that could have helped, I decided to take the safe road. …

Tree and Structure —

Incredible potential for life and beauty for years winding its way through the tangle of man-made structure – Tree and Structure becoming one. Unlike man not able to exercise a choice for freedom or bondage. Trusting, flourishing, to be eventually cut at the trunk, limbs removed no more of use. …

Unruffled Feathers —

As expected our daily Blue jay visitor has sloughed-off the large wing feather that looked like a vertical stabilizer for a few days.  Our Unruffled Feather friend still flies beautifully and it is a pleasure watching the bird swoop back and forth through the Yard before making stops at the …

A Framework —

If one does not with intent establish, formalize and internalize a personal framework for living, one only exists but has no soul. An understanding of self and the belief in self is what provides the foundation for knowing the essence of being. To function with confidence, without fear or concern …

Life’s Doors —

One of the primary secrets of living is the ability to understand and be able to accept Life’s doors. When we enter a room we function with the expectation that we can at some moment re-pass the door if we choose. In other words we have the option to escape, …

Why A Soldier Fights —

I was only a small child during WW2 and obviously too young to understand what it was like to fear for ones personal safety and family security. But, as a young man in my early twenties, I became a prime candidate for a conflict that was the result of later …

Different Yet Alike —

Water and rock are so different yet so alike. Both from the same star material, one rigid and hard and the other malleable and disbursed. One is immovable in the moment, easily redirecting the other, yet worn to silt in time by persistence – one on a continuous ever-changing journey, …

Ruffled Feathers —

Seems we all get Ruffled Feathers at one time or another.  Such is the case with our favorite Blue jay visitor who stopped for sustenance.  The additional vertical stabilizer did not create a problem moving around the yard, in fact there were a number of stops to both the feeder …

Wonderfully Different —

Would you like to drive up to the mountains in the morning and watch the sunrise? Ahhh, sounds great! But, wouldn’t you rather drive up to the mountains in the afternoon and watch the sunset?