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home is where the heart is…

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Bloom where you're planted

Bloom where you’re planted.

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where there’s a will there’s a way

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Darwin wrote that it is not always the strongest species that survives, or even the most intelligent. The species that survive are the one that prove to be most adaptable. The photo below is one of a survivor.

Bloom where you're planted

Bloom where you’re planted

Snake Mountain conquered by spring

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IMG_2968Spring has officially conquered Snake Mountain. There is now nowhere one can look without seeing the power of new life exploding in every possible direction. A thousand and one shades of green carpet the ridges and plants are working overtime to demonstrate their attractiveness to every passing butterfly, bee and hummingbird.

And speaking of the birds, well, let’s just say love is in the air. From the delightful drumming of the woodpeckers, to the gobble of turkeys, the mountain is alive with the sounds of avian courtship. There is also a noticeable increase in territorial behavior at the feeders, as well.

IMG_2904  For most of the year it is not unusual to see three, four or five species at the feeder all peacefully sharing a meal together. Now, however, there seems to be far more testosterone in the air. The volume and intensity of the bickering has definitely ratcheted up a notch or two.

And the fun part is that it is all happening so fast. Blink and you have already missed something too beautiful to describe, or just too powerful for words.

Sometimes it is easy for us to take nature for granted. But, not on the mountain, not during the invasion of spring. It’s a natural high so completely addictive it is close to incapacitating. It’s probably a blessing that it cannot be bottled, otherwise it would have to be illegal.

spring exploding on Snake Mountain

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Two weeks ago when I was here on the mountain it was obvious that spring was on the way. Now the Snake Mountain is literally exploding with spring.

Forsythia blooms

Forsythia blooms

Everywhere I look there’s a riot of color and new life. A special treat is that once again we have Red-breasted Grosbeaks joining us. They have been noticably absent for past couple years. I have already seen a half dozen males around the feeder at the same time, so they are back in numbers.

male Red-breasted Grosbeak

male Red-breasted Grosbeak

The males are the showy ones, but the females are just as beautiful. The Grosbeaks are just one of almost a dozen species using the feeder this weekend. But, it’s really nice to have them back.

I am actually having a difficult time getting any work done with the live show taking place on the porch.

female Red-breasted Grosbeak

female Red-breasted Grosbeak

spring springing up Snake Mountain

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As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I owed myself a little reward for a good morning’s worth of writing. So I grabbed my walking stick and my camera and ambled down the mountain to the creek.

During my walkabout I discovered that spring is already sneaking up the mountain. Green is beginning to snake around the edges of the creek and there are even flowers starting to grace the hillsides.

It’s a glorious time to be on Snake Mountain. But then, there’s no time that isn’t.

Here’s a couple of pics of spring beginning to spring up the mountain.

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a growing green carpet down by the creek

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brave souls leading spring’s advance up the mountain

back on the mountain

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Like Edward Abbey wrote in his introduction to THE JOURNEY HOME, “I am not a naturalist. I never was and never will be a naturalist.” But, Like Abbey I am a deep and passionate lover of nature. My most intense joy is being immersed in nature in any of its myriad of guises.

Right now I am again soaking up the solitude and splendor that is my small slice of Snake Mountain. PreSpring is here. The snow is gone. And if the bright sunshine hasn’t actually knocked the chill from the air, it has revealed that it won’t be long before those loveliest shades of green will be covering the mountain from the ridges down to the creek.

I have been waiting to get up here since before the new year kicked off. Actually, I’ve been here several times, but never for more than a couple or three days. And I will admit it…I’m greedy when it comes to Snake Mountain. Two or three days is just not enough time to  soak up the beauty of this place.

Even though it probably doesn’t sound like it, I am here working. My next book, STOP HUNGER NOW: Ending Hunger in Our Lifetime is due out in early December. That’s a short timeline. But, that doesn’t keep me from soaking up the richness and beauty which surrounds me as I write.

I’ve been able to get over a thousand words into the machine this morning, so now it’s time for a little reward. My walking stick is by the door so for me it mean’s it’s time to grab the camera and head down toward the creek. Besides, I need the exercise to stay sharp.

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