Sunday mid-afternoon,
temperature dropped from 83
to 65
and storm clouds darkened
as I drove west,
towards home.
Rain and hail pummeled
all for miles.
At home,
I emptied only three drops
from the gauge.
Monday morning,
snow blew almost horizontally
from the north
for a couple of hours.

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A sunny close to the day that began with two hours of snow, falling almost horizontally

Early Monday evening,
we covered all blossoms
and tender plants
that we could
and set an alarm for 2 a.m.
to watch the lunar eclipse.

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The full moon rose pink
just as sun was disappearing
in the west.
In the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday,
it turned orange
as it moved in
and out
of Earth’s shadow
during a complete eclipse.

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DSCN3461Temperature dropped to 26
Tuesday morning,
as Robin sang atop the pecan tree,
and Yellow-Headed Blackbirds
had breakfast in the sun.
Busy days,
these,
simply observing!

 

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It’s this Saturday—
the day each year
we spend the day together
learning more about the planet,
more ways to live sustainably;
saying thank you
and celebrating
our amazing home
at the Green Connections Earth Day Festival.
This Saturday,
April 19,
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Earth Drum Circle with Dave Conrad
Cherokee Weaving with Renee Hoover
Alpaca wool Spinning and Felting with Lisa Piccolo
Solar Demonstration with Bruce Johnson
Seed Bombs with Transition OKC
Swing Music with George Davis and Friends
Cosmic Walk
Tour of Straw Bale Hermitage
Tour of High Tunnel Garden
Labyrinth
Meet the Alpaca and Goats
Thanking the Earth Ceremony

It’s all free.
Let us know you’re coming so we have a buffalo hot dog
and corn on the cob at the grill for you for lunch! — and
so we can send driving directions.
Email us at annbdenney@gmail.com
or pathoerth@gmail.com

 

 

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Fossilized mud flats, from the last time the prairie at Turtle Rock Farm was an ocean.

…We’re really conservative as a species. We don’t like change. This is true at the level of self, relationships and social systems. If we can avoid evolving, we will. And it’s killing us, quite literally. We’re on the brink of another economic crisis, and yet we refuse, because of ideology, to allow our economic system to evolve. We’re on the brink of ecological destruction, and yet we refuse to make the shift to a green economy, fund research and development for new technology, consider alternative manufacturing models, and then, as consumers, actually take a chance, for example, on an electric car…The crisis we are facing is nature’s way of helping us step outside of how embedded we are in the social, political, economic and self-systems that do not have sufficient complexity to help us take our next evolutionary step…

..Everything in the universe is caught up in an impulse to transcend itself. This is simply a condition of the universe, and since you are the universe having a human experience, you are the part of the universe that is able to consciously engage in the project of self-transcendence. That’s what your freedom is for. That’s what God wants of you. Become a better, fuller, freer, more loving expression of yourself (in community with others) and thereby serve the evolution of the universe…

—Bruce Sanguin
The Advance of Love. Reading the Bible
with an Evolutionary Heart

After winter’s confinement
in the barn,
safe from predators,
chickens and guineas
are now free-ranging
across the Home Place—
scratching and pecking
in grass,
treating themselves
to the wild bird food,
digging in the dirt
to settle themselves.
Evening’s guinea roundups
have begun again.
The lone cat on the place
is the one that runs with chickens.
She’s lived with them all winter,
climbing in and out of the barn
at her pleasure.
Now she runs alongside them,
rubbing up against the hens
when they stand still.

Chickens out from winter confinement

Chickens out from winter confinement

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Cat still runs with chickens

Cat still runs with chickens

Hen helping herself to birds' food

Hen helping herself to birds’ food

Red-winged Blackbird taking to higher ground now that chickens our out

Red-winged Blackbird taking to higher ground now that chickens are out

DSCN3299Hens nestled into the cool soil

Hen Tail Feathers

Hen Tail Feathers

Rooster Tail Feathers

Rooster Tail Feathers

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The shy ones,
the Cochin couple,
have finally ventured
out of their small pen
and into the larger fowl community
in the barn.
Ann and Frank
have done spring cleaning in the barn,
distributing cartloads of chicken droppings
and straw to the gardens;
lifting winter’s curtains
and opening up the barn to spring air.
The Cochins have yet to find their way
outdoors. We expect they will,
eventually.
She’s laying eggs now,
he’s making them fertile.
All grown up
and beautiful.

Cochins in the barn

Cochins in the barn

Cochin Rooster

Cochin Rooster

Cochin Hen

Cochin Hen

 

Two Oikos scholars
and their faculty sponsor
spent Sunday afternoon
with us.
Oikos (the Greek word for house)
is a program at Oklahoma City University
that aspires to prepare students
to engage in lives of social
and ecological responsibility.
Joe Meinhart brought
Collin and Zander,
amazing young men
well on their way
to living lives,
doing work,
that engenders care
and sustainability.
Exploring the prairie
on a cloudy, almost-chilly
April afternoon,
they discovered a couple of Baltimore Oriole’s nests,
a wasp nest with a wasp larva (though dead)
still in one of the cells.

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Standing at a buffalo wallow,
they reflected on the great prairie hydrology system
that existed when 60 million buffalo
existed on the prairie
(plus nature’s other prairie hydrologists:
prairie dogs, and beavers.)
They were enthralled watching bees
at the apiary,
where they wondered why a pollen-laden bee
was walking in the grass
and observed the clever placement
of a spider web between two hive boxes.

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They met the alpaca boys
and the goats;
toured the straw bale hermitage,
the high tunnel’s year-round garden.
And finally, they made the cosmic walk.

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Eyes asparkle,
they tried to grasp more deeply
that they are made of stardust.
Not hard for us to see!

 

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On retreat at a conference center
connected to the cathedral grounds
in Oklahoma City,
a group of spiritual directors
paired up
to make the Mirror Walk.
There were tree blossoms,
flower blossoms.
Tiny seeds had sprouted
two opposing green leaves
poking up through the tiny holes of a grate
around the base of a budding tree.
Robins were making nests.
A pigeon couple
was watching over their new babes
tucked high inside a gazebo.

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One person closes their eyes
and another guides them,
points their face in the direction
of something in nature,
as if focusing a camera,
then says to their partner:
“Open your eyes
and look in the mirror.”
The exercise,
created by Joanna Macy,
is designed to help humans
begin to get in touch with
the fact that humans
are part of the natural world.

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The moment when Nancy, focusing Steve’s face toward the pigeons and their nest full of babes,
tells him “Open your eyes and look in the mirror!”

Back home,
though we are only 80 miles north,
our springing is not as far along.
Two days ago
I saw the first Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
of the season.
This morning, for the first time this year,
Mockingbird was singing
his entire repertoire.
The Hackberry
leaves are unfurling.

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As I look in these “mirrors,”
I wonder if I’ll ever
unfurl enough
from my human-centeredness
to grasp
completely
the breadth and depth,
the exquisite beauty,
the incomprehensible myriad of details
in the life of which
I am a part;
the importance
of my job
as mere observer.

 

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April

I wanted to speak at length about
the happiness of my body and the
delight of my mind for it was
April, night, a
full moon, and—

but something in myself or maybe
from somewhere other said: not too
many words, please, in the
muddy shallows the

frogs are singing.

—Mary Oliver,
                                            Swan

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