The Desert’s Amazing Life Forms – Part Four – Flora

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 After a bit of desert crawlers and things that go “sting” in the night, we enter the world of wildflowers. Our friend Michael who has lived in this southern New Mexico desert landscape for eighteen years told us he had never seen so many flowers, a result of lots of rain. They were everywhere, dotting the landscape from white poppies to tiny daisies, and many flowers new to my eyes. They sent forth their melodious scents, attracting insects and brightening our hearts with profound gratitude.

Too many photos to scroll (27, I think) so I put them into a slideshow.

   Enjoy! 

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Posted in Flowers, Nature, New Mexico, Peace, Photographs, Silence | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Desert’s Amazing Life Forms – Part Three – Birds

On a bright crisp desert morning I walked outside to the familiar buzz-buzzing of hummingbirds darting to and fro, suspended mid-air, moving from flower to flower in their morning nectar round-up. One rested on a nearby fence long enough to take this picture.

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Later that day, I had the opportunity to visit the home and lush gardens of Michael, a gentle recluse who hand-built his fine crafted home and meditation room. The birds in his walled garden were busy pecking the dried heads of sunflowers and removing the seeds. I felt privileged to witness their harvesting and delight in so much abundance.

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Notice the bug on the left-hand side

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Sunflower seed inside the beak

Moving closer and closer, this bird finally succeeds.

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DSC00952And so did this one, sunflower seeds! Hurray!

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Seeing with Unknowing eyes this magnificence arising and passing away – such joy, such joy!

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The Desert’s Amazing Life Forms – Part Two

New Mexico Desert Landscape

New Mexico Desert Landscape

“What does it mean to abide in the Heart? The Heart is Unobscured Consciousness, Pure Consciousness, no conditioning what-so-ever – Unborn – which is the very field in which every experience arises.”  Adyashanti 

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   Walking along the deserted road at sunrise, colors intensified as each tree, each plant, each flower, the wild expanse of waving grass and all the critters seen and unseen enlivened with the touch of the sun’s life-giving light.

My steps took me further and further away from my desert “hut” and with each stride, the heart filled with desert song, each breath inhaled the passionate gifts of desert landscape.

Along the road-side a black color stood out against the green. With a closer look I saw this, and should you see one, never, ever reach out to touch – unless you want to experience being stung from an insect bearing down like a jolt from a live electrical appliance dropped in water (the reports are rather convincing!).

Tarantula Hawk "Wasp"

Tarantula Hawk “Wasp”

Later I found out this wasp is commonly called a Tarantula Hawk – and why? Because Tarantula Hawks use tarantulas and other large spiders as part of their reproductive cycle by first paralyzing the spider with their sting, then laying an egg on the spider’s abdomen. After that task is accomplished, the wasp drags the spider into a hole, covers and bury’s the spider along with the egg. And when the egg hatches? –  live food for the new-born, a 35 day spider feast for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My, what unique ways Nature has evolved to keep generating new life-forms.

Each day hares appeared in my desert meanderings, munching on grasses, keeping a few hops ahead. When the light was just right, their delicate ears became translucent yellow antennae.

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And their cousin, the jack rabbit – one friendly fellow was sitting at the end of the driveway one morning as I walked up, as if to greet me on my sunrise stroll. One day, he was joined by a compatriot, both listening to coyote howls in the distance – later along my path, I saw two coyotes running through a field, a wild blur of light brown intrigue and couldn’t help but wish for the jackrabbits safety.

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When the sun re-appeared after a large downpour, the critters who went into hiding emerged to dry out, including this harmless Desert Striped Whipsnake. Not minding my presence, it did not move and seemed to rather enjoy the attention.

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Here is one of the many varieties of desert lizards, this one took up residence along the rocky wall inside my room.

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In reverence we receive the gifts of the desert and learn to walk with slow step and Silent Heart.

P   E   A   C   E

Posted in Advaita, Nature, New Mexico, Peace, Photographs, Silence, Snake, Spirituality-Inner Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Desert’s Amazing Life Forms – Part One

Southern New Mexico Desert

Southern New Mexico Desert

Back from a trip to New Mexico, part of it spent in silent retreat surrounded by infinite sky and a multitude of desert life forms. Recent rains generated abundant and diverse wildflowers and swelled the canyon creek to a river.

The air smelled like pungent rain soaked sweetness. 

Camera in hand, this splendor presented itself in a magnificent dance. I ended up taking so many photos that I decided to offer them in a series of posts starting with this one, since it seemed such an apropos way to begin a retreat. 

For the bug squeamish, you might want to wait till the next post!

. . .

So much aliveness, yet, underneath the ever-present Stillness. 

. . .

In the desert all kind of critters show up going about their natural life. Away from city noise, the rural quiet seems to heighten the senses to the smallest movements –  thankfully – revealing this on the bathroom rug at four o’clock in the morning.

Yes! This is a Scorpion - Caution: Wear Shoes

Yes! This is a Scorpion – Caution: Wear Shoes

And this one, also seen in the bathroom during a sleepless vigil.

Another Bathroom Nighttime Visitor

Another Bathroom Nighttime Visitor

Well, never having seen such a creature like this before, I got to Witness my mind in its initial reaction……egads! What is this, this thing which I later found out is referred to as the Child of God, as only the Divine could love such a critter, so the folk-lore goes. How steeped we are with visceral conditioning that immediately an eyuuuu!! flies out from the mouth.

On another night I spied its cousin about to crawl into my sleeping quarters, and using a broom, quickly re-located the six-inch giant outside the house. This one I discovered hanging on the screen door, waiting for the right moment to sneak inside.

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Standing Back about Five-Feet (just in case) using the Zoom

Standing Back about Five-Feet (just in case)

Being in silence I could not ask anyone about these beasties, and beside no one was around to ask. I wanted to know if it was poisonous or not (like how close is advisable and will it eat my fingers off?). I managed to get the first one under a cup and out the door. Then I discovered a book on the deserts and found out this black beauty with overdeveloped pincers is NOT a stinging scorpion, although a member of the Whip Scorpion tribe that immobilize their prey (worms, insects and slugs) with ascetic acid, or vinegar, hence how it got is name the Giant Vinegaroon. So much for that bit of insect lore, now we shall move on to something a bit more benign.

Lace and Spring Green

Lace and Spring Gree

This lime green delicate cricket with transparent wings sang me awake at one a.m. When I chased it with my handy bug cup, it crawled up onto a book – perhaps he/she had an interest in Buddhist philosophy?

A Buddhist Scholar Perhaps?

A Buddhist Scholar Perhaps?

The desert exploded in a symphony from all the miscellaneous crickets, the first one my friend caught after its back legs had been hit by a car – he knew my amazement at the life forms here and saved this one for my perusal. It was still alive when I first noticed it atop a white piece of paper on the table. I sent a prayer wishing for its peace and freedom from suffering, a moment later I felt its life force leave its form with a simple poof and a quiet, joyful let go.

Cricket Blending In

Cricket Blending In

Colorful Cricket in Release

Colorful Cricket in Release

Oh, and of course, the delicate winged member of every garden, fluttering here and there among the flowers and the grasses.

Butterfly and Cricket

Butterfly and Cricket

Oh, how graced we are to share this planet with so many diverse and unique forms, going about their business in this phantasmagoria called Life.

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To see the Divine everywhere is given to us for more than seeing,

it’s given to us to Be That.

– Adyashanti –

Posted in Butterfly, Nature, New Mexico, Oneness, Peace, Photographs, Silence | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Desert Retreat

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A desert retreat calls again, a period of silence, away from the internet and blogging. But all of you remain in the Heart where you always are, here, now.

Let us walk as One Together along the silent road of Being.

A Deserted Road in Rural New Mexico......aaaah.....

A Deserted Road in Rural New Mexico……aaaah…..

May peace be the road our hearts ever travel! Back in a week or so…..

xxoo

Posted in Nature, New Mexico, Oneness, Peace, Photographs, Self-knowledge, Silence, Spirituality-Inner Life | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments