Birdwatching: Blackpoll Warbler

Blackpoll Warblers breed mainly in spruce and tamarack forests in Canada’s boreal forests, but they also use young stands of evergreens and alder or willow thickets. During migration they stop over in evergreen and deciduous forests.

The Blackpoll is among the most numerous warblers in far northern forests in summer, and perhaps the most impressive migrant of all our small birds. Every fall, most Blackpoll Warblers make an over-water migration from our northeastern coast to northern South America; some may pause in Bermuda or the Antilles, but others apparently fly nonstop for more than 72 hours. In spring they are more leisurely, traveling via the West Indies and Florida, pausing to sing in our shade trees on their way north.


Moon Talk


“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible”
― Vladimir Nabokov

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“To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others.”

– Francois Mauriac



“I can understand wanting to be invisible and mistrusting people and wanting to understand everything before you engage with the world.”

– Rooney Mara




“It’s hard being visible, so I’ve made myself invisible.”

– Danielle Steel




“There is an invisible strength within us; when it recognizes two opposing objects of desire, it grows stronger.”

– Rumi



“Making those around you feel invisible is the opposite of leadership.”

-Margaret Heffernan





And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Being invisible is glorious until you truly want to be seen.  We try hard.  Light shows flaws and flaws are unacceptable.  Misery loves company and the company isn’t so bad but it’s great to move up and forward.

A weed in the yard is so unacceptable.  This isn’t bad, until it is joined by more weeds. The sunlight helped them to grow.

Nevertheless, hard work never killed anyone.  We can work on anything, like getting rid of the flaws or weeds.  Perseverance is key.  Being seen is truly not necessary, but it can be.





               The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.


By Mary Oliver



Birdwatching: Ruddy Duck



Ruddy Ducks are compact, thick-necked waterfowl with seemingly oversized tails that they habitually hold upright. Breeding males are almost cartoonishly bold, with a sky-blue bill, shining white cheek patch, and gleaming chestnut body. They court females by beating their bill against their neck hard enough to create a swirl of bubbles in the water. This widespread duck breeds mostly in the prairie pothole region of North America and winters in wetlands throughout the U.S. and Mexico.


Photo Credit: Tony Hepburn

Free Things Speak to Me

What speaks to you?




Life does not always give you what you want,

sometimes life is unfair, when you seem to be going through a rough path,

When the zeal of life fades away,

When no new springs of life emerge, a dark cloud hangs above you, just remember we all go through this,

What you touch breaks and what you make crumbles,

Life is a two way street, you’re not alone, never quit when the journey has just began,

Never throw in the towel, life is up and down, we never always get what we want,

The best things in life are free, and if you want the finest things in life you have to go out there and get them,

The music may stop but life goes on, every new day is a challenge, the worst failure is never trying,

When we fall short of our dreams and aspirations, hope is the only message that carries us though the day,

Hope that there will be a better tomorrow

Hope that the grass is greener on the other side,

Hope that the dark clouds will move away,


Copyright © Mash Mulla | Year Posted 2013

Learning How to Learn: Parenting

It is wonderful to have a child.  No it is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!  I know because I have been a mom for thirteen years. Welcome to a world of roller-coaster learning.

I always wanted a daughter.  So I prayed, Oh God, please give me a girl!  Be very careful of what you ask, it could be exactly not what you expect to get.  When my daughter was in her clingy toddler stage I certainly knew that I got more than I bargained for.  I found myself empty.  No idea what to do.  She was moody and wanting her mommy.  Of course I was a first time mother and dumb as hell at it.  So I learned the hard way, nothing has changed even today.

My story. This beautiful toddler cried and cried for the longest time.  She was irritated and quite irritating too.  I suddenly felt out of my depth (of course I never traveled this road before).  She had brought me to shame.  I got my first opportunity to break away from her and hid myself in the first closet that I could find.  Would you believe me when I tell you, she found me too quickly! I laughed at her brilliance until the tears streamed down my eyes only to end up crying with her.  Needless to say, we both felt better afterwards.  Wicked good stuff!

On that day my daughter gave me an unforgettable lesson. It was the first time I truly learned that there isn’t always a quick fix to a parenting problem.  She clung to me and marveled at my peculiar behavior i.e. hiding myself in the bedroom closet.  I in turn felt foolish for hiding cowardly, but relieved that our tears ended in that closet.  We came out with bright smiles!  She was happy having found me and I that her tears had finally stopped.

Lesson learned:  Admit to yourself when you are defeated.   (It isn’t so bad as you think.)


Marcia Verleta and Livvy Catherine


Stanley Kunitz

End of Summer

By Stanley Kunitz

An agitation of the air,

A perturbation of the light

Admonished me the unloved year

Would turn on its hinge that night.

I stood in the disenchanted field

Amid the stubble and the stones,

Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me

The song of my marrow-bones.

Blue poured into summer blue,

A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,

The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew

That part of my life was over.

Already the iron door of the north

Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows

Order their populations forth,

And a cruel wind blows.

Poetry Foundation

Es tut uns leid (Sorry)


This week is at an end.  The local atmosphere is filled with suppressed dread.  There is no sure footing amidst a formidable hurricane season. Last year, Hurricane Matthew was my introduction to a flooded home. Approximately one and a half inches of water poured in along with a sliver of sunshine through a poorly shut sliding door.  Three feet plus water hid my yard from view. The lower street brimmed over with more than four feet of sea water.  Some of my pear and coconut trees were completely destroyed, but honestly, my yard looks much better now.  Except for the first hand view of my home filling with water, loss of power and home alone stance I stubbornly embraced to care for my pets, I slept through most of Hurricane Matthew.   Not a good practice if you want to survive the unexpected. However, sleep gave me great comfort.

2017 is comprised of horn-mad hurricanes.  This is new for this 49 year old and others almost twice my age.  What a price to pay for the privilege of living in the Caribbean.  Yet this is home sweet home.  Hurricane Maria might continue to pass nearby, or who knows what. In time we will all see.  We now watch waiting patiently, but more readied.

Don’t Allow Fear to Become Your Profession

Quite easy for me to say.  However, it is exceptionally difficult to put into practice.Let us first familiarize ourselves with fear.

How do you know when it is fear you are facing? Here is my short list.

  1. Fear is a two-faced friend.
  2. Fear provides the best arguments.
  3. Fear steals precious time.
  4. Fear makes excuses.
  5. Fear consumes the mind.
  6. Fear makes you sick.
  7. Fear is stifling.
  8. Fear makes you complacent.
  9. Fear is overpowering.
  10. Fear ends once in a lifetime opportunities.


And I can go on….  Please make your list.  It is therapeutic to actually think about what power fear has over you.


What you can do to overcome your fears?


  1. Be honest about everything you have given up on.
  2. Ask yourself the tough questions you might have previously avoided, to get to the answers you need.
  3. Take time to establish your own personal thoughts and opinions.
  4. Establish your belief system (i.e. who and what you truly want to become.)
  5. Recognize each problem by making a list.
  6. Take your own advice.
  7. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  8. Forgive yourself.
  9. Begin again.
  10. Keep trying.


My mother passed this year after many years of pain and suffering.  Mum lived her life fiercely and unapologetically. It comes naturally for some of us.












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Eternal Joy

Motivation comes in some form.  This picture is my one thousand words.  Learning how to fly isn’t easy without motivation.  Here’s mine.


Thanksgiving 2014 110.M&O
Thanksgiving 2014



How to Continue

Oh there once was a woman
and she kept a shop
selling trinkets to tourists
not far from a dock
who came to see what life could be
far back on the island.
And it was always a party there
always different but very nice
New friends to give you advice
or fall in love with you which is nice
and each grew so perfectly from the other
it was a marvel of poetry
and irony
And in this unsafe quarter
much was scary and dirty
but no one seemed to mind
very much
the parties went on from house to house
There were friends and lovers galore
all around the store
There was moonshine in winter
and starshine in summer
and everybody was happy to have discovered
what they discovered
And then one day the ship sailed away
There were no more dreamers just sleepers
in heavy attitudes on the dock
moving as if they knew how
among the trinkets and the souvenirs
the random shops of modern furniture
and a gale came and said
it is time to take all of you away
from the tops of the trees to the little houses
on little paths so startled
And when it became time to go
they none of them would leave without the other
for they said we are all one here
and if one of us goes the other will not go
and the wind whispered it to the stars
the people all got up to go
and looked back on love
Poetry Foundation
Island Life

Ride the Wild Horse

What do you feel?
What do you want?
What do you need?
Do what you do, and grow strong.

No judging,
no numbing,
no dreading,
or punishing, now grow free.

Quiet rage,
quiet grief,
quiet pain,
quiet fear, and grow wise.

This helps you,
teaches you
opens you,
to be, and be renewed.

Take up the reins, it’s time to ride.


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