We gathered
Saturday
to learn about
and practice
Living Mindfully in the Presence.
Gathered in a circle,
inside the pond house,
the morning growing bright
through the plate glass windows
that look out onto the patio,
the Big Pond,
the prairie beyond…..

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Many of us strangers,
we were introducing ourselves
to each other
when a Road Runner
hopped up on a table on the patio.

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We were all excited.
It sat there,
looking around
for a long time.
And we began to wonder
if
this Road Runner
had something to teach
us.

Once, long ago,
a Road Runner came to the bathroom window
at the farmhouse
and stared at me for a long time.
It was a time of great movement
in my life.

But for this group
on this day
in this context—
Living in the Moment—
what were we to make
of Road Runner’s dramatic
appearance?
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By morning,
there was some insight:
perhaps Road Runner
shows us ourselves,
running.
Yet,
even Road Runner

pauses.

Honey harvest
started shortly after
the sun appeared,
before the heat settled.

A WOOFER—Leslie Harrison—
came to help,
and Frank’s son, Will.

The bees’ efforts
were substantial.
We harvested honey
early enough that they can replenish
and left plenty of honey for their
winter (Too, Ann will keep an eye
on their supply, feeding them
if they need more.)

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Some of the boxes
weighed 50 pounds.
We uncapped the comb,
honey oozing. Spun
the frames to extract
every drop, filled
six five gallon buckets
with the sweet, liquid, gold
of a delicious mix of flowers.

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By bottling time,
we were in a festive mood.
And grateful for a
wondrous gift of nature—
the dedicated life
of honey bees.


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Two weeks
away,
without posting on the blog.
Now that’s walking
my talk—finally,
after almost seven years!

Life observed…

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Three new members of our family.

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Art and Nature: Dale Chihuly at the Denver Botanical Gardens

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The Rockies in Colorado

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Hot Days Back Home

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The second in Oklahoma City Urban Ag Coalition’s
film series is this Friday, August 22.
Symphony of the Soil is beautifully filmed,
globally, showing the intricate connections
between soil, water, the atmosphere,
plants, animals, people.

The New York Times:
Unfolding with gentle joy and an unexpected beauty, this ode to the miracle of the Earth’s topmost layer gives us a new-found respect for the ground beneath our feet.
The film is sponsored by TLC Garden Centers
and Transition OKC. Green Connections
sponsors the free reception
following the film. Kam’s Kookery
Chef Barb, of our Prairie Dinner fame,
will dish up treats
that make those intricate connections
delicious.
Doors to the Terrace Room
(follow the signs)
at Myriad Botanical Gardens
open at 6:30 p.m. Film starts
at 7. (All seats were taken at thefirst film.)
Reception follows.
Reserve tickets here.
Join us!

In the cool days
of mid-May
I was sitting on the front porch
when a couple of Barn Swallows
flew up next to me
and tried to land on a piece of wire
hanging from the porch wall.
I was surprised
my presence didn’t startle them.
But they flew back and forth
for awhile.
Days later, I noticed them again
and eventually they began bringing
little balls of mud
and attaching it to the wire
and the wall.

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Despite my frequent presence
they continued making trips,
bringing mud
and finished building the nest.
But it seemed very small.
And though they visited it
from time to time,
they never used it.

A couple of weeks ago
a little Wren
visited it. She has returned
now and then,
seemingly cleaning it.

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She seems to fit better.
Maybe
there will be baby birds
on the porch.

During an evening walk
I have to keep my mind clear,
my eyes scanning
the landscape
or I’d miss
the Great Blue Heron
fishing
silently.

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Stepping onto the front porch
in the golden hour,
I have to be going out
to look,
or I’d miss the three Cottontails
seemingly in a stand-down.
It’s a wonder I didn’t scare them off
when I let the screen door
slam.

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Sitting
facing east
I am watching
for Super Moon Rise.
There is a bank of clouds
along the horizon,
so it is late
showing.
Instead, I am surprised
by two flocks of white cranes
flying overhead,
silently,
on their way
to roost for the night in the Cypress trees
on the islands in the Big Pond.
They glow against the
blue and pink sky.

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I stand up to check on the colors
developing in the western sky
and when I turn back East
there is moon.
Turns out,
I had positioned myself
so that a tree blocked my view
and Super Moon rises
above the clouds
silently,
unnoticed.

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And we thought
we were the center
of the universe.

I say it every time a group of children
come to Turtle Rock Farm:
The moments we stand watching
children freely explore in the natural world
are the most joyous.
Everything we do matters
if it leads to children
getting comfortable in,
getting to know
their home.
Words fail to describe
the deep satisfaction
of watching them pick tomatoes,
catch frogs,
find a turtle,
discover sticky green Hedge Apples,
get spat upon by an alpaca,
watch an Orb Weaver (“It looks like a spider
with high heels.”)

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Words fail to express
the profound, fervent, tremulous hope
that they will fall in love,
remember,
connect again and again and again
with a jillion points of life,
and care deeply about all
life on the planet.

Thank you Rev. Diana Pruitt
and thank you Oklahoma Disciples of Christ Foundation
for the grant that allows groups like
the families of New Hope United Methodist Church
to spend a day in nature at Turtle Rock Farm.
If you would like to bring children and teens
for a day in nature, let us know!

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