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After the rain…

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The kingdom of the father is spread out over the earth, and people do not see it.”

The Gospel of Thomas, Saying 113

When I rode to work this morning it was raining. I didn’t get soaked but I was rather wet. Thankfully I brought extra clothes in a plastic bag. I stopped home during lunch break and it was just after the rain. Steam rose from the pavement and there was dew everywhere. I snapped these photos from a tiger lily plant in my front yard, the words I wrote later this evening.

After the Rain

after the rain things are different

if not just for a short time

everything is lush

green

steam rises

droplets glisten

for just a few moments

maybe more

the veil is lifted

ever so slightly

A few things I saw while riding my bike today…

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I rode my bike to Tift Nature Preserve this morning. And it is really interesting on a few levels. One is that the nature preserve is located within the city limits but when there you have the feeling of being in the country. And to get to it (by bike) one has to ride through an industrial section (which is also teeming with wildlife) and past the Outer Harbor. Anyhow, I took a bunch of photos, here’s a few of my favorites.

Urban Simplicity.

Stalking Lucille…

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Okay. So first a couple of things. Lucille is not a person, it is this bird…a great blue heron. I posted about her somewhat recently here. And to be honest I am not sure if Lucille is even a female bird, I just named her that because she (it) looks so incredibly graceful. She nests somewhere on Bird Island Pier (click here to see a map). I first got a glimpse of her last year when I was out taking these photos of the Peace Bridge at night. I was riding my bike back up the breakwall and as I passed her she flew in front of me and I almost fell of my bike (its a bit creepy being out there by yourself at night). Anyhow, I went out there again today in search of her…and yes she was there. And she toyed with me (I really believe this). She would let me get about (I’m guessing) 50 feet from her, close enough to snap her photo, then fly off and land down the wall. And then the same scenario would take place. To get a clearer picture of this breakwall (if you haven’t been here), there is about a two mile “public” section that is somewhat maintained that runs parallel with the Niagara River and the Black Rock Channel and it juts out into Lake Erie. But where the public area ends it keeps going for another mile or so. And this is where it gets really interesting…sort of feral. I ride my bike to the end of the public area, lock it to a railing, and walk the rest of the way out. It’s un-maintained, crumbling, and full of birds (hence it’s name). It is narrow for most of the way (as seen in some of the photos), and you have to descend and ascend broken areas, but it widens out at the end (as pictured in the first image below). The photo below is taken at the very end of the pier looking back. Even though it is only about 1/4 mile off shore it is quite literally another world; it is quite breathtaking. I was so overwhelmed at its beauty all I could do was sit down and pray, mediate, and give thanks. When I opened my eyes after meditation I half-expected Lucille to be sitting next to me, but she remained elusive. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Urban Simplicity.

After the rain…

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Urban Simplicity.

A Great Blue Heron and a Brace of Ducks…

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This morning was so beautiful (as was/is the rest of the day. I had to work for just a few hours in the afternoon and evening and really didn’t feel like going in. To wash away the “work blues” I rode my bike over to Bird Island Pier to take a few photos. If you are reading this post from another area of the world, I have to describe this “pier” to you. It’s a break-wall more than a pier really, and it just out into Lake Erie. And if you hop the railing and continue walking out to where you are not supposed to (as I did this morning) it goes out even further (a total of two miles I am told) to the intersection of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Buffalo Harbor, and the Black Rock Channel (click here to see the map). It really is quite breathtaking when your out there. Anyhow, along the way I saw so many ducks, but also the great blue heron that is pictured. It would only let me get a hundred feet from it before it would fly away. But I did manage to get a few shots of it. It was quite magnificent to watch. Any how, I thought I’d share a few photos.

Urban Simplicity.

Cinq Fleurs…

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Urban Simplicity.

Plus de fleurs…

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Urban Simplicity.

A few things I saw while riding my bike today…

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After rushing around a hot kitchen today cooking and serving a Mother’s Day brunch I needed a little relaxation time so I went for a ride with my camera. I went to Forest Lawn Cemetery, and I know this may sound odd but it is really beautiful…and it is also an unofficial bird sanctuary. The image above, and the last one below, are of Mirror Lake. Those of the geese are pretty self explanatory. I also thought it was interesting in that while I saw a lot of geese walking around with their little goslin, there were also a fair amount of birds of prey hovering overhead (not sure what they were but they were large and looked menacing). The only grave I photographed is the one pictured below…and I chose this one because it made me think of a Hobbit grave. Anyhow, it was a pleasant ride and just what I needed. To see previous images from this cemetery click here or here.


Urban Simplicity.

After the Rain…

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Urban Simplicity.

Majestic…

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So I met some family in Cowlesville, NY this evening. No I did not ride a bike, and yes I actually drove a car. Anyhow, I had stopped to take a few photos of the countryside when these beautiful animals came into view. They, of course, knew that I was there before I saw them, you can see them watching me. And this was as close as they would let me get (even with a medium zoom lens). Majestic. That’s word that came to mind when I saw them. They were so graceful. And as I stood there I also thought how I really cannot believe that people actually shoot these beauties for sport. And while I am not a vegetarian, and have indeed eaten venison on more than one occasion, as I stood there watching them I wondered how I could. It really is for this reason–not the environment or health reasons–that I find myself eating less and less meat these days…because I see the beauty in the animal, and the fact that I don’t need to consume meat for my own survival. Not to mention there are so many meatless dishes that I truly enjoy. Anyhow, I’m rambling. I’ll stop. I hope you enjoy the photos. Click any for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

The cardinal is back, and also a quick note…

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Well, the cardinal is back…or at least he’s showing himself to me again. And he’s letting me get closer to him…I really think he knows or remembers me and knows that I mean no harm. I’m not sure where his mate has been though. Maybe she’s sitting on a nest of eggs. I also didn’t realize there was a spiritual significance to cardinals until someone mentioned this to me (but isn’t there a spiritual significance to everything). Anyhow, if you’re interested in seeing some of the info about them, click here or here.

I also wanted to mention that I will be away from my computer for the next four or five days so it will be a few days before I post again. Until then, Peace.

Urban Simplicity.

More Birds…

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So you may be getting tired of pictures of birds that I post on this blog. Sorry. But, I enjoy them. And what I think is pretty incredible is that they are all taken in the city center…nature in the city. Anyhow, I shot these today while out running errands on my bike.

Urban Simplicity.