ferine: (Default)
Skipping ahead to photos from last Saturday: The boys and my folks took me to my beloved sanctuary, which I hadn't visited in three years. My parents had purchased a plaque for me as a Yule gift and donation to help construct their 30 ft. high/mile long walkway. Finally the walkway is up and mostly finished!

To begin, here's my plaque followed by me beside it. And the staff were thoughtful enough to place it overlooking the Eurasian Lynx and Bobcat habitat!
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ferine: (Nature)
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What a beautiful--if chilly--day that was!
ferine: (Default)
There's such a presence to the area; drama, mood...

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Holy... er, holey trees:
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There was a beaver hard at work here:
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And the path rounds a bend:
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ferine: (Default)
Wow... Big-time wow.

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Hair-standing-on-the-back-of-my-neck time, looking at these while listening to Rain by Tones On Tail. Eerie perfection, tranquil bliss. Right on!
ferine: (Default)
Heh, I almost forgot about the rest of this batch. When I left off last time, it was with both group photos and personal shots of me, the boys, and Erik. All of the pictures were uploaded out of order, so I'm grouping them by subject matter. First up, waterbirds galore!

Yes! My first American Coot sightings of the year. I love my coots. The second sequence with the coot turning around in the slushy water and taking off is neat.
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Chilly gulls and vibrant duckies:
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So pretty; such electric colors! Nature's cool. >:-D
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ferine: (Wolfman)
Last November I ordered this great sketch for Antonio's b-day from werewolf-news.com and felt compelled to share it before the photogasm:

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Suh-WEET!

May. 10th, 2012 02:01 pm
ferine: (caffeine)
Rose early this morning for my appointment at University Hospital, though I stayed up late listening to Roy Dotrice's reading of George R. R. Martin's A Feast for Crows. Just finished download three of it (the 4th book in the series), and start download four tonight. This segment is eight hours and twelve minutes. I'm so happy the books are lengthy and grateful the audiobooks are unabridged. Damn they're great books. *bounces enthusiastically*

Amazing sightings on Tower Road, nearing University Hospital yet still in open prairie: an adult coyote chillin' by the roadside, standing still and eyeing me postcard-perfect; and, a few fields over, a grazing lone white-tailed doe (noteworthy as normally only mule deer inhabit this area.)

The appointment wasn't as detailed or long as mom had warned me it would be. Dr. Ringle, who's been my neurologist for--jeepers!--26 years now, went over my rather dramatic looking X-rays and downplayed our concern (not in a patronizing way, simply in a realistic way). Here's what came of the X-rays, followed by his advice:

PELVIS AND BILATERAL HIP RADIOGRAPHS, 3 VIEWS, 04/26/2012
FINDINGS: There appears to be some bony callus about both femoral necks suggesting healing stress fractures.
THORACIC SPINE RADIOGRAPHS, TWO VIEWS
FINDINGS: There is compound scoliosis of the thoracolumbar spine. Levoscoliosis of the mid and lower thoracic spine is centered around T9-10. There is degenerative arthritic lipping of the thoracic spine.
AP AND LATERAL LUMBAR SPINE RADIOGRAPHS, TWO VIEWS
FINDINGS: There is moderate dextroscoliosis of the lumbar spine centered at L2-3. There is asymmetric disc space narrowing on the left at L1-2, L2-3, and L3-4. There is degenerative arthritic lipping.

Sounds, looks, and feels pretty serious. At this point in my life, with my chronic health issues, the focus of my care is actually reminiscent of someone on hospice: comfort. Ringle recommended I get another cortisone shot where the old fractures occurred, which helped a lot last time (for five months.) Take Vicodin and Xanax as needed. Luckily I'm not prone to addiction issues, which is a good thing. >;-)

Now to get cracking on editing a smorgasbord o' photo goodness!

May. 9th, 2012 08:23 pm
ferine: (affection)
Wow, goodness, thanks for all the birthday well-wishes, guys!

Tomorrow I've got a day-long hospital appointment to deal with problems that showed up in a recent spinal/pelvis/knee series of X-rays. Afterward, though, I'll finish editing those photos from Ostara, then the following Saturday, then a breathtaking bunch from the Denver Zoo.
ferine: (ritual)
I clung to my need for ritual, pomp, ceremony, and had the most meaningful, hair-standing-up-on-the-back-of-my-neck experiences during the spring equinox (Ostara) and Beltane this year. Both were... exhilarating.

The spring, or vernal, equinox proved warm enough for a comfortable afternoon outing. It was bright and sunny, and we opted to make the trek to what I've referred to as my "magic tree" over the years, a cottonwood in the nature preserve by the Adams County Fairgrounds. The tree is a good distance from any trail, past what used to be a prairie dog colony, and near a cluster of other old cottonwoods and overgrowth. The tree that calls to me has five separate trunks snaking from one slightly elevated base of hard-packed dirt, forming a perfect natural altar. We discovered this tree in 2004, and have visited it many times since to leave offerings, give thanks, and to recharge/safeguard the area. We hadn't been there in a long spell this time, perhaps two years? I was flabbergasted and excited that the non-biodegradable offerings I'd left there all of these years were still there. Most touching of all to me was the presence of the silver necklace and pendant which I'd wrapped around and suspended from a branch in 2007, now coated in webs that looked like lace, yet still able sparkle when hit by shafts of sunlight. The ritual I performed was simple, soulful, and so aesthetically pleasing it made me tremble. It included five brown-shelled local farm-fresh organic eggs, local organic unprocessed honey, and five lovely organic sunflowers with long, fuzzy stalks. Photographing the results would have felt wrong, somehow. My mind's eye will forever retain the postcard-perfect scene of the lowering sunlight glinting off the honey decorating the earthy-brown egg, a big sunflower face turned to the egg in a circle, each flower's stem placed between each trunk branching off of the "altar".

We did take photos of the area and the tree, though, which I need to edit and post. That project's currently underway. ☺

Beltane we celebrated May 5th, in conjunction with the full moon (the so-called Super Moon, which was the closest to the Earth for quite some time.) It was overcast and rained off and on, yet the sheer power in the air was immense. Despite the rain, the bonfire lit and remained strong for the duration. Many offerings fed the flames, I was cleansed by Jay's astute smudging (thanks, that really helped me out!), and we observed the flames and nature's fireworks, which were truly stunning. Great, rapid bolts of lightning danced in all directions. Not a minute went by without a bright flash in the darkness. At one point an eerie, unexpected sound reached us--to me, it sounded like a group of young girls wailing and moaning nearby! It was a gathering of coyotes down the hill, the boys assured me. Too cool. ☺

Since Beltane I've felt particularly changed. Profoundly changed. The rituals, the time spent by myself, deep in thought... it's all led to this point. ♡
ferine: (Default)
... as Depeche Mode say in the delightful '80's ditty, But Not Tonight.

After a lengthy wallow in self-pity, navigating the depths of angst both self-inflicted and circumstantial, and feasting on my own bitter marrow, I've finally, albeit ever-so-slowly, emerged anew and somehow changed. Changed for the better, stronger and confident in my being.

Since March I've been obsessively devouring George R. R. Martin's Ice and Fire series on audiobooks, which are masterfully read by Shakespearean actor Roy Dotrice (who also played the beloved character Father from the '80's show Beauty & The Beast.) An amusing side note: I was a fan of George R. R. Martin because of his work on said Beauty & The Beast TV series and his excellent werewolf novella, Skin Trade. His work beyond those efforts never raised a blip on my readar until last year's first season of the show Game Of Thrones aired on HBO. I quite liked the show, and when I searched for the books on audiobooks and noticed they were read by Mr. Dotrice, I knew I had to covet them. It's curious; when I was young, eight until fourteen, I adored fantasy books. Then, inexplicably, they no longer held my interest. So, indeed, it's interesting that these books have captured me so intensely. It probably has more to do with the fully realized characters, the animal spirituality (more developed and discussed in the books), the many nods to nature-based paganism, and the physical challenges of several characters that has me ensorcelled rather than purely the fantasy element (dragons, mammoths, giants, great battles, courtly intrigue, political espionage, and such--though it's all grown on me as well). Such amazing, life-expanding books. And being read to nightly by Roy Dotrice--heaven! I'm currently more than halfway through the fourth book, A Feast for Crows, and then it's onto A Dance With Dragons. I don't want this to end! This has been my magic journey since March most nights. I can't wait to see how it unfolds, though. ❤

Tomorrow I'll be 40. Yikes! I have much more to write, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow. Until then, thank you all for being so patient with me. Thank you for your support and selfless encouragement. I love you, and thank you each.
ferine: (Default)
Underneath ~by Tarja Turenen

Even in my darkest times
Overcome with worry
Find the comfort in the storm
No reason to be sorry
Look inside for a place to hide
All around the faithless wait full of expectations
They will never see the beauty in the imperfections
The more I show
The less they know

Out of reach
Underneath
Learned to breathe
Underneath
Something inside of me
Invisible turning the fragile
Unbreakable
But they cannot take away
They cannot take away
What I believe
You cannot take away
Cannot take away
What's underneath

Every little cut runs deep
Masked in my tomorrow
Bringing wisdom that I need for all the time I borrow
My other side is left behind

Out of reach
Underneath
Learned to breathe
Underneath
Something inside of me
Invisible turning the fragile
Unbreakable
But they cannot take away
They cannot take away
What I believe
You cannot take away
Cannot take away
What's underneath

☥☥☥


I faced and didn't succumb to death's hunger three times over a span of seven years. Two of those times within the last two years alone. I never truly digested the weight of that before, the actuality, what could have so easily become final. Can anyone understand how deeply such experiences effect the psyche? It's not romantic, discussing it is not attention- or sympathy-seeking, it's not even a life-altering thing in a positive sense. It's depressing and crazy-making. It is to peer beyond the veil and realize, with abrupt certainty, that you and your existence mean nothing: nothing loses course or changes depending on whether you live or die. Life goes on as it always did without acknowledging your struggle or your passing.

That's heavy. A bitter and sobering pill to swallow; our smallness, our futility. Knowing we don't matter, and we won't leave a ripple in our wake.

Having teetered on the edge for years until finally allowing the weight of the world to drag me down, down, down into an isolated abyss. A quiet underneath to coil within, to process, to nurse my ragged wounds, to, for once and for all, allow myself to unleash deafening rage at the universe for dealing me such a shitty hand over and over...

Slowly dawn has bled through the shadows and a solitary lily has sprung from my chest. A crazy, lonely, well-earned wisdom has unfurled to reveal a gem upon my brow. I don't feel my existence is futile... there is some reason I'm here. Otherwise I simply wouldn't be here. I would not have survived three times--once from Deep Vein Thrombosis, twice from advanced sepsis. I would not continue even as my body continues to fail.

We all have a reason and a right to be here, right now. Otherwise we wouldn't be. Simple truth, yet easy to turn a blind eye to.

♥☾♥
ferine: (tunes)
It's astounding how little I knew before, and it's actually fun learning simple stuff like text formatting and making special characters/symbols. All sorts of ideas are popping into my head about how to redesign my webpage.

Anyone else who's lacking HTML savvy, my favorite tutorial site is: http://www.yourhtmlsource.com
ferine: (Default)
Cultivating a Positive Mindset

"Think in a calm, pacified, and reflective manner instead of being disturbed, agitated, and impulsive in one's reactions.
Put ideas together rationally and arrive at the right judgment even in the absence of obvious evidence or proof.
Decide, plan, and execute a course of action in a patient, persistent, and disciplined manner.
Recognize the changes and be flexible in adapting to them.
Observe and perceive things with a sense of humor instead of outrage, indignation, and anger.
Let go of useless and counterproductive thoughts, desires, and ambitions instead of being preoccupied with them.
Relax and meditate or rest.
Resist temptation and coercion."

- Michael Fekete


Desiderata
By Max Ehrmann, 1952

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy. ”

- Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, 1927. Max Ehrmann (1872–1945), a poet and lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana.


Ten Positive Energy Prescriptions

"1. Awaken intuition and rejuvenate yourself.
2. Find a nurturing spiritual path.
3. Design an energy-aware approach to diet, fitness and health.
4. Generate positive emotional energy to counter negativity.
5. Develop a heart-centered sexuality.
6. Open yourself to the flow of inspiration and creativity.
7. Celebrate the sacredness of laughter, pampering, and the replenishment of retreat.
8. Attract positive people and situations.
9. Protect yourself from energy vampires.
10. Create abundance."

- Judith Orloff, M.D..
Positive Energy, 2004




The Ten Grave Precepts

"1. Affirm life; Do not kill.
2. Be giving; Do not steal.
3. Honor the body; Do not misuse sexuality.
4. Manifest truth; Do not lie.
5. Proceed clearly; Do not cloud the mind.
6. See the perfection; Do not speak of others errors and faults.
7. Realize self and other as one; Do not elevate the self and blame others.
8. Give generously; do not be withholding.
9. Actualize harmony; Do not be angry.
10. Experience the intimacy of things; Do not defile the Eight Treasures."

- John Daido Loori, The Eight Gates of Zen, 2002
ferine: (photography)
The first one's inadvertently awesome because of Antonio's shirt. It looks like a slavering wolf's behind me!
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I thought these turned out cool. The first is Cartoonized, the second is Color Splashed, and the third is Blueprinted:
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Wearing Shewolf's scarf from Bahrain:
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Various moods:
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Erik, me, Antonio, and Jay (LJ user ndn_2spirit_den, the other half of "the boys"):
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Antonio, Erik, and I feelin' the love:
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ferine: (photography)
Since all of the shots from last week uploaded out of order, I thought I'd kick this series off with our playful mugs. First off is Antonio (LJ user cyberwolf007) who is half of my oft referred to "the boys". Following him is Erik (LJ user spiritcougar).

Oh, an explanation for the first two: as we set off on our jaunt, I noticed an oddly placed bright orange sticker in a drainage ditch. Antonio hunkered down to investigate, and the result was... what exactly is a Bush Hog Eaton?
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Oh my, you cheeky thing!
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Awww. >:-)
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A few of Antonio pushing me:
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Erik, avid outdoorscougarman!
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Woo hoo! GQ shots!
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Gazing into the Bole of Truth!
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King of the Steppes:
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ferine: (photography)
As we pressed on through the softly falling snow, we noticed many Red-tailed Hawks all around us. None of the pictures came out very well due to the multitude of tree branches camouflaging them. The poor camera would focus on the foliage, and not the fowl. D'oh! Farther along, we spied what had to be two enormous birds in a tree in the distance. We moved forward as cautiously as possible to keep from spooking the birds. One did fly off to an adjacent tree--we couldn't tell if it was a Red-tailed or a Cooper's Hawk. The other bird, to our excitement, was a Bald Eagle! We weren't able to get very close to take pictures, as the area was private property and fenced off. Still, it was a neat surprise:
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A jarring patch of color:
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Seed pods:
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We had to photograph the amount of mud that caked my wheels for posterity's sake:
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ferine: (photography)
These shots of the drainage ditch epitomized the cold of the day to my mind's eye:
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Nearby in the mud lay several prints, smaller than the average dog. Fox, maybe? There are plenty in the area, and not far away was coyote scat:
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Antonio left the path to check out some shrubs before...
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... we reached the owl bridge:
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Something odd in a tree at the base of the overpass pillars made me do a double take. Since the pillars are off the trail in a ditch, the boys investigated the scene. A piece of rabbit was tucked into the branches! Since it was near a white-washed concrete pillar where the owls roost, I'm pretty sure an owl either dropped it there from its perch, or it cached it there for later.
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Nearly every time we've visited the owl bridge we've found at least one owl feather. I assume they're Great Horned Owl feathers, as they're the most common owl in these parts. Some might be Barn Owl; their feathers are difficult to differentiate.
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Close to the owl feather was this severed duck wing, and we found a great mess of duck fluff just outside the bridge where it must have been dispatched in the first place:
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ferine: (Herne)
A few weeks ago bloody-disgusting.com brought news of a Norwegian horror film arriving later in 2012 that will tell the tale of the "huldra". Aleksander Nordaas' Thale follows a creepy chick with a cow's tale that appears normal from the front, but will appear "hollowed out" from behind (like a tree trunk).

Here's what Wiki says about the lore: "In some traditions, the huldra lures men into the forest to have sexual intercourse with her, rewarding those who satisfy her and often killing those who do not. The Norwegian huldra is a lot less bloodthirsty and may simply kidnap a man or lure him into the underworld. She sometimes steals human infants and replaces them with her own ugly huldrebarn (changeling huldre children). In some cases, the intercourse resulted in a child, being presented to the unknowing father. In some cases, she forces him to marry her."

I can't wait to see this!! >:-D

ferine: (photography)
Across Riverdale Road, where we access the path that leads to the owl bridge, are a veritable sled dog team. Here's a good shot of two of them:
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The sky was oppressively stark:
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I spied this uprooted root beside the trail. It appears large in the pictures, but it wasn't much bigger than my hand. Still fascinating to me, though:
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We were excited that someones been landscaping the area, planting all manner of young trees and shrubs along the path. Looking forward to seeing it in the spring and summer!
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Canada geese comin' in for a landing:
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The colors! Divine:
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ferine: (Rwar)
I first mentioned this film here on November 3rd, 2010. Then I received a FEARnet email about the movie today, along with its trailer. This looks freakin' fantastic! >:-D

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Sarah B. Chamberlain

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