Archive for March, 2013


Titmouse by ambermae
Titmouse, a photo by ambermae on Flickr.

As for fowling, during the last years that I carried a gun my excuse was that I was studying ornithology, and sought only new or rare birds. But I confess that I am now inclined to think that there is a finer way of studying ornithology than this. It requires so much closer attention to the habits of birds that, if for that reason only, I have been willing to omit the gun. – Henry David Thoreau, “Walden”


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Portland by ambermae
Portland, a photo by ambermae on Flickr.

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Cardinals in the trees



Find one place you can get to know really, really well. This is the most important routine you can develop. Know it by day; know it by night; know it in the rain and in the snow, in the depth of winter and in the heat of summer. Know the stars and where the four directions are there; know the birds that live there, know the trees they live in. Get to know these things as if they were your relatives, for, in time, you will come to know that they are! That is the most important thing you can do in order to excel at any skill in nature. Nature and your own heart are the best teachers, but your body, mind and spirit all have to attend the class, and do the homework. There is no replacement for this experience! – Jon Young (What is a Sit Spot?)

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“She wished then with all her heart that she had the child’s faith. She had never extracted the smallest comfort from religion, thinking of it as she thought of institutions like royalty, or a piece of apparatus like the alphabet or the multiplication tables. Something that deserved occasional lip service, and possibly a passing thought or two, before being set aside in favor of something more amusing and tangible. She supposed she had been taught to look upon Roman Catholics in the way she regarded foreigners, misguided, unfortunate people, much given to rituals of a kind not far removed from those practiced by savages and heathens. She realized now how utterly stupid and bigoted this was on her part, for Deborah’s God was clearly of far more practical use to her now than the austere Jehovah she had half-accepted as the arbiter of the universe, or the more patrician deity who presided over the parish church at Twyforde Green. She would have liked to have asked Deborah to give her more explicit information about her communion with the Virgin, but it seemed an invasion of the child’s privacy so she said, ‘You’ll say more prayers for him? Special prayers, until he’s well again?’

“‘Why yes, of course, and I have written to Sister Sophie to help. I did that the first day. I gave Stillman the letter to post and I wrote again today, as soon as I heard about his leg. It’s important that as many people as possible should help.’

“Her simplicity was one of the most devastating forces Henrietta had ever encountered for, in a way, it seemed to embrace all the religions in the world, reducing their differences to insignificant proportions, and making nonsense of sect and schism. It was rooted and basic, part of the very structure of society once society was stripped of all its fads and fashions and prejudices. There were human beings, pulled this way and that by temperament and circumstance, and there was a majestic source of power that left them to flounder or to make the best of things. As long as things went smoothly, as they had for so long now, she had had no quarrel with the divine plan, but when something like this occurred one needed more than conventional belief in her kind of creator, who was altogether too remote and impersonal to be used as a buffer. One needed access to somebody near, warm, and sympathetic, of the kind Deborah enjoyed, and she supposed right of access to such a source could only be acquired by training, of the kind the child had received in that community of nuns, or possibly, by self-discipline, of a kind she was never likely to possess.”

R. F. Delderfield, “God is an Englishman”

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Finch in a Cherry Tree

Finch in a Cherry Tree by ambermae
Finch in a Cherry Tree, a photo by ambermae on Flickr.

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Pinterest Fail

Last night we hosted a little taco party. I prepared three kinds of taco fillings: chicken, beef, and fish. I bought both corn and flour tortillas, but no hard shells because I had seen an easy technique for making crispy taco shells on Pinterest. You can see it here: Hungry Hungry Hippie. You just drape the shells across the rungs of your oven rack and bake until crispy. Sounds simple, right?

This is how mine turned out:


My husband used them like chips.

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