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north cove

And he/she did. This scene reminds me of that old poem: Woodman, Spare That Tree! by George Pope Morris (1802-1864), which was made into a popular song in 1837, with music by Henry Russell (1812-1900). Here’s a version from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, for all us kids.

That’s the entrance to North Cove at the top of the photograph, with the CT River flowing under the Baldwin Bridge and I-95 beyond the dock.

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Bobcat, Old Saybrook, CT

August 7, 2017

Pretty relaxed all in all.

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I first saw this animal leisurely walking away from me, and based on its size, thought it was a fox. The profile (and the bobbed tail in another photo) positively ID’ed it as a bobcat, the first one I’ve ever seen. One like this was seen about 3 miles away recently; females are known to have a territory of about 5 square miles, males about 30. Rabbits are their main prey, and there happen to be a lot in the neighborhood this year. A cropped version of a shot taken a few seconds before follows above.

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“Human Beings – indeed, all sentient beings – have the right to pursue happiness and live in peace and freedom.”
— The XIVth Dalai Lama

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And meanwhile, despite Washington D.C. and the level of political discourse across the land, these neighborhood lilies burst into beautiful song, right on schedule, as they always have. Toxicity will (hopefully) always have its limits.

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Beautiful car to be sure, but there are a few other things I might like to do with an extra $80K or so.

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Spring, Old Saybrook, CT

April 16, 2017

The fire in the woodstove has given way to star magnolia, forsythia and other blossoms, as the sun says “I’ll take it from here…”

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Fraying, Old Saybrook, CT

February 5, 2017

This photo was taken a year ago, but the fraying flag seems to have a different resonance now, given the political winds blowing through our homes and neighborhoods, all across the land.

If there’s any upside to the recent election results here, it’s that many of us are working out new paradigms for being a citizen – and a human being – in these challenging times. Digging deeper for inspiration and information,* and at the same time reaching for the longer view, if you will.

Unfortunately (spoiler alert), we’ve been here before. History is replete with profoundly difficult circumstances, no matter the time or culture.

Perhaps not altogether unrelated, I’ve found myself back in the 13th century with Genghis Khan and the beginnings of the Mongol Empire. It started rather innocuously;** my eye catching a new title on display in a local library, “Genghis Khan and the Quest for God” by Jack Weatherford, which explores the remarkable notion that Genghis Khan allowed freedom of worship to all those he conquered, AND that this approach to governance found its way to Europe and eventually the American colonies.

Then it was off to the races with the first three of Conn Iggulden’s five volume work of historical fiction on Genghis and his empire.

And finally the historian Frank McLynn’s amazing biography, Genghis Khan: His Conquests, His Empire and His Legacy, a remarkably detailed and sometimes overwhelming account of the man, with over 100 pages (!!!) of bibliography and footnotes and a wonderful photo of present day Mongolian horsemen by Rick Sammon worked onto the front cover.

Yes there is a rise and fall of civilizations, with remarkably similar stories. Explore any one and you’ll probably understand them all.

* The New Yorker has some suggestions here.

** Actually it started in high school; our athletic teams were nicknamed the “ Golden Horde”. I knew then it had something to do with the Mongols, but only recently understood the specifics: the Golden Horde was the name given to the successors of Genghis that ruled the northwestern most regions of the Mongol empire after his death.

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And then, when the season is the coldest, a gentle snow falls, leaving behind a soft white blanket and a quiet stillness that reminds us – when we are most apt to forget – of the beauty of a New England winter.

The tree here I have not yet ID’ed, but I did see it had some soft tan catkins the other day. There were three (!!) bird nests visible in its branches last winter – a veritable condo complex.

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