The Hooded Orioles (Icterus cucullatus) have arrived in Southern California, which is in their breeding range. We’ve heard their chatty sounds for a week or two around our backyard now and on Friday, I finally managed to get a good picture of the couple (albeit individually) as it was coming through for some nectar snacks. 🙂
“What you dislike in another may be something you cannot see in yourself. If you are honest, no longer deceiving yourself, you may see that you also suffer, and cause others suffering. Then there is humility. Then compassion. Then calm. The aversion, anger, hate and ranting ceases.” (Unknown)
The Robins are still coming to visit our backyard. They seem to particularly like the berries of the huge Brazilian Pepper that grows on the slope towards our neighbor at the back.
No Longer Happy
“We are no longer happy as soon as we wish to be happier.” (Walter Savage Landor, 1775-1864)
Mysterious Memorial Stone at Garnet Peak
During one of my monsoon visits to the Laguna Crest, I noticed an out-of-place looking blue rock a short distance away from the summit of Garnet Peak. No other rock in the area has this color or texture. The rock has an inscription on it and is probably 18-20″ long (~50cm), maybe more. It must have been considerable effort to get the rock up there and place it!
California Quails in Our Back Yard
While working in the back yard two days ago, I heard the call of California Quails — a first in our residential area; it was rather unexpected. Normally, we briefly see them on our local trails, where the sound of their fast wing beats are the most notable thing (“PRRRRRRRR”) as they fly away… they are very shy and skittish.
Gulf Fritillary (Dione vanillae)
Having a Passion Fruit vine in our backyard inevitably attracted the Passion Butterfly or Gulf Fritillary (Doine vanillae). The caterpillars do munch on the leaves, but it didn’t seem to affect the plant very much — it was very productive, especially considering that it is potted and a couple of years old already.
“See if you can catch yourself complaining in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.” (Eckhart Tolle)
“Conquer the angry man by love. Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness. Conquer the liar with truth.” (Dhammapada)
Understanding is crucial in all human communication. When faced with people who are inflexible in their views, that is the time for you to be at your most flexible and accomodating, and to bring all your wisdom and compassion to bear.
(17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje)