Friday, January 29, 2010

Wild Birds that give us joy. Squirrels that make us laugh!

We have two bird feeding stations: one in the back garden in view of the kitchen and dining room windows, and another in the front garden hanging from various branches of a tree. Both bring us great pleasure as we watch different species of birds, plus cheeky squirrels, feed off seeds, nuts and fat balls.
The squirrels have to work for their food — my husband sees to that! I love to see them work out how to get up the pole and find a way to reach the nuts by hanging upside down. Young squirrels tend to slide down the pole to start with and get their bodies into intricate positions before finally stretching themselves fully at an angle to get a nut. After they had nibbled away the bottom, they now have to nibble metal if they want to be greedy and get the full load. But they can do that sometimes. Hubby uses his brain to keep them exercised — a battle of wills and ingenuity! A year or so ago, I saw a squirrel under our oak tree playing with a stick. I could hardly believe my eyes — it was rolling with it, tossing it and skipping after it just like a puppy.

The robin is a bully and frightens off the small birds but we love to see him just the same — as we do all of the beautiful birds that give us so much joy. But I don't like the sparrowhawk (or whatever) hovering around. It catches other birds and sometimes we see the remnants on the lawn — especially pigeons.

But the white pigeons gave us incredible pleasure last year. One found a way to get at the seeds — not easy as it involved fluttering in space. But he did not appear to eat the seeds himself, he just caused them to fall to the grass below the feeder. The rest of the pigeons, ranging from pure white to dappled shades of beige, just waited for the seeds to fall. Curiously, the provider pigeon did not seem to eat any. He just strutted around until deciding to get more for the others. Now, was he a cock impressing the females?

The most beautiful pigeon was a pure white fantail. I loved to see that bird, whether he was strutting around — cute in his fluffy 'bootees' — or flying fully stretched, an angelic being caught in the sun's rays. We missed him when he did not appear day after day. Then we heard that he had been found on a lawn with his head bitten off. I felt so very sad. But life of our wild birds go on — such a blessing.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

When All Seems Dark

There are times in life when all seems dark and pointless.
Tragedy hits millions of people in distant lands. Just when the mind and heart has taken in the enormity of what has happened, death in thousands strikes again, and again, and again. But, unless personally involved, that is the backcloth to daily living.
We do what we can and put the horror to the back of our minds. After all, personal issues, so small in comparison, have to be dealt with with day by day. For some, sickness or loss of loved ones, for others loss of job, or death of ambition. But how does anyone deal with horrific incidents involving innocent children? How do children recover from heart-breaking cruelty? Cruelty that children all over the world endure day after day?

But there IS light and love in the world. It comes creeping in when we least expect it. Nothing is certain in life, except death, but in small ways each of us can make a difference. Often, it is in little acts of kindness that we are surprised by joy. It is true that in giving We receive. Light breaks through the dark clouds. Spring is on its way.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Simple Pleasures

We had a fall of snow during the evening/night. Not heavy but everywhere was magical, better than the heavier fall. We sat in the bay window and I could not take my eyes off it. There was a fine mist of very light snow still present. It was all too light to bend the tree branches and twigs. A harmony of white and soft greys, with a hint of green of the evergreens not hidden, and a pale gold-beige of the beech trunks. Only a soft cooing of pigeons to break the silence, and only an occasional bird moving across our vision.
The sight was even more precious than the lovely blue sky above the snow of not so long ago. Spiritual in its beauty and healing for the soul. The snow now melting, of course, and my husband has once again gone out to keep a path clear. If I had boots which I knew would keep me on my feet, I would be walking up the local hill to get a glorious view of fells and mountains, coast and sea. (I have not found any boots to fit my feet; likely they would not be any good on ice anyway.

Yes, I was pleased to see the snow back this morning. But then, I knew it would not stay long enough to make life difficult. It has just about gone from the shrubs and trees now, and sheep are able to scrape it away to get to get at the grass.

Simple pleasures to enrich the soul.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Trailer Videos — do they improve book sales?

Well, my video for When Angels Lie is now completed and out on Youtube etc.
I would be interested to know what readers think of it.
Does it draw attention?
Does it create a desire to know more?
Does it create an interest sufficient to seek the book in a library or actually buy it?
The book can be bought in the USA at
OR buy my UK book (When Angels Lie, all hell is let loose and demons fly! by Richard L Gray ISBN 9780954888510) either direct from Magpies Nest Publishing — post free in the UK, or from Heath's at Barrow, or at Tinners Rabbit in Ulverston or Novel Cafe at Ulverston. Waterstones may still have copies, if not, can be ordered.

For those 'with it' readers, the ebook version can be bought cheaply on line. Go to Mythica Publishing