What does it mean to “follow your bliss”? We all make choices in our approach to life and art – to follow your bliss is to pursue that which provides you happiness and joy. It is quite likely you have more than one focus that gives you deep pleasure. For this week’s challenge, in words and photographs, show us your sense of wonder and excitement. Whether it be one activity that is your passion, or many different interests you follow, this is a wide-open opportunity to showcase how you “follow your bliss.”
Whether scanning the sky or focusing on a row of tiny mushrooms, when I’m engaged and learning ~ that’s my idea of bliss!
Since November 13th was the start of the 2021-2022 Project Feederwatch season, and marks the beginning of my 14th year as a Cornell Lab of Ornithology Citizen Scientist, today I’ll showcase my passion for birds. What fun it continues to be for me to observe these amazing creatures, to learn their names and what they are up to in any given season of the year.
The state bird of Washington, American Goldfinches are always a delight to behold in their bright spring feathers. This guy, perched atop a Coastal Pine, is pouring out a love song to attract a mate!
“A widespread shorebird (occuring on six continents), Black-bellied Plovers breed at the very top of the world, farther north than other species.” As with many other birds their feathering is muted when they are not into the breeding season, so I was excited to spot this one in full feather!
The journey from cracking the egg to full-breeding maturity is a five year process for Bald Eagles. When everything shut down in March – May 2020, I was able to observe many Bald Eagles at fairly close range on the Long Beach Peninsula. What a treat to get excellent portraits and then study the characteristics of each phase in their development. Subsequently, I created a folio of poems and photos, Walking With Eagles.
Rarely do I see a Sanderling standing and alone, as they more typically gather in groups and chase the ebbing tide in and out probing for prey in the wet sand. “One of the world’s most widespread shorebirds, Sanderling nest only in the High Arctic. In fall and winter you can find them on nearly all temperate and tropical sandy beaches throughout the world. During migration, Semipalmated Plovers can show up almost anywhere across North America. The dark back and a single black band across their breast, along with their run-and-stop foraging style helps to pick them out from other small shorebirds.”
What a delight to look up to the swaying branches of this fir tree and see the bright feathers of a breeding male Purple Finch! “Although these chunky, big-beaked finches do breed in northern North America and the West Coast, they’re often irregular winter visitors to our feeders. Backyard sunflower seed feeders are where you might find Purple Finches, if you live within their winter range.”
Short-billed? Well, only compared to their relatives the Long-billed Dowitcher! “Widespread shorebirds, they are relatively easy to find during migration and winter in coastal areas. They probe for food by rhythmically inserting their bill straight up and down (like a sewing machine needle) in mudflats, tidal wetlands, or shallow freshwater sloughs.”
I just never know what I’ll find when I crest the berm and look out across the vast shoreline of Long Beach. On this lovely June day in 2019, a flock of Brown Pelicans were resting and refreshing in the surf. “Brown Pelicans live year-round in estuaries and coastal marine habitats along both the east and west coasts. On the west coast they breed between southern California and southern Ecuador—often wandering farther north after breeding as far as British Columbia.”
All quotes are from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website – https://www.allaboutbirds
Follow Your Bliss, Joseph Campbell
It is truly an honor to be your guest host this week joinimg Amy, Ann-Christine, Patti and Tina in providing opportunities for visual expression. We hope you’ll join us in sharing how you follow YOUR bliss. Be sure to include a link to my post and to use the Lens-Artists tag so we can all find you in the Reader.
Next week, Christine will lead the challenge, so we invite you to stop by her Leya blog on Saturday, November 27, at noon to join us.