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Posts Tagged ‘rocks’

Whether experienced outdoors or seen through a window, fog’s softening effect brings a sense of cosiness to Nova Scotia in springtime.  Fog may be dense, accompanied by drizzle or thinning to a mist.  It may arrive in the morning and dissipate by noon, or still be seen rolling down the street in wafts of whiteness at midday.  

Foggy days with reduced visibility force us to look inward.  When the path that  lies ahead and the one that lies behind us are both blurred, it makes sense to rely on our intuition for direction.  

It also helps to listen carefully.  Fog consists of tiny water droplets, which allow sound to travel more quickly.  If we would slow down and listen to what is being whispered to us in the fog, we’d gain better insight into the path before us.

The fog is rolling over the hill
Winding twining rock and rill.
Softer and kinder than the light
Takes what’s sharp and wraps it white.

I will walk down by the foggy sea
Where the rocks are weeping silently.
That love that was once so bright and bold
Has turned itself to cold.

And so I love a foggy night
I walk and walk to my heart’s delight.
The fog’s cool kiss upon my face
All sorrow will erase.

The fog is rolling over the bay
It drifts my heart so far away.
Softer and kinder than the light
Takes what’s sharp and wraps it white.

~ Rose Vaughan, Song of the Fog

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Today’s guest post is by Wayne Bell.

When I look back on my many recreational involvements over the years, it seems that I always gravitated towards those that offered a “mental barrier to cross.”  Rock climbing led me to become a mountaineering instructor. I enjoyed being pushed to the limits of my endurance and welcomed the challenge of dealing with unknown factors such as avalanches and the weather.

The Mountain required something of me that many people today just don’t want to give. I don’t know if they think that they don’t have the time, or are just unwilling to make the commitment. Maybe they don’t think it’s worth the effort, or that comfort is more important. Maybe they just don’t realize how great the reward is that awaits those who can complete or even set out on the journey.

Yes, the Mountain demands more than what is expected on a day-to-day basis. The route to the summit must start within, through trails seldom, if ever used in the past. Physically you have to endure and push yourself past the preconceived limits that you have held to be true up until this point in your life. You feel discomfort and sometimes pain, but still, you keep going.   Overcoming preconceived limits is never comfortable, but possible if you don’t allow them to limit  you, regardless of what these obstacles may be. Regardless of their physical nature, your preconceptions are the real barrier preventing your advance.

While climbing, you mentally face the fear of cold high places and learn to perceive gravity differently. However, the greatest fear is when you look into your own soul and find it looking back at you. Your frailties provide an excuse for you to surrender, but the Mountain waits and watches. Will you surrender to yourself?  Or will you ignore the lie that you cannot do more than what you have done in the past?

During the climb, what you learn most about is yourself and the type of person you are. Commitment, fear and the unknown must become fellow travelers on the journey.  They are part of the what-is and must be accepted, or you will fail.

When you succeed, you are ready for life. The view from the summit is just a small gift the Mountain gives you for your willingness to listen to a voice greater than yourself.

Mountains don’t have to be physically large.  Sometimes hiking up a hill or just walking on a flat path may be enough of a challenge.  There are also many journeys in life that are similar to climbing the Mountain: dealing with a young family, an aging parent, or a personal sickness. Although the journey you choose to take may be difficult, be committed to it. At the summit, you will find peace and satisfaction.

Although there are hills and rocks in Cow Bay, the only mountains that truly exist are those we perceive in our minds.

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under stones

Turning over rocks and stones to see what’s living beneath them is a great outdoor activity to get children interested in nature.  Salamanders, ants, spiders, worms and slugs all like to snuggle down beneath stones.  Though each overturning will produce fairly similar results, once they start, children likely won’t be satisfied until they’ve overturned every stone in sight.

During one such session with my grandson last week, I was amazed at the large number of ant tunnels and ants to be found beneath the stones.  Their numbers seem far greater than they used to be.  Good thing there are lots of birds here too.  This spring I’ve already seen flickers and woodpeckers digging for ants in the lawn and woods.   Besides eating great amounts of these insects, flickers are known to keep feather parasites in check by preening themselves with crushed ants.

Salamanders found under stone in mint bed

Frogs and toads also eat their fair share of ants.  Homes can easily be made for these creatures among the stones.  Reptiles also like to dwell beneath stones.  According to my sons, snakes have frequently been found under the rocks at the end of the driveway near the ditch.

One evening years ago, I was startled to see flashlights suddenly brightening the living room window.  As I opened the door, I was relieved to see that it was only our friendly neighbors turning over stones along the flower bed in search of bait for the next morning’s fishing trip.   Besides humans, raccoons are other omnivores that are known to turn over stones in search of hidden treasure, especially in streams.

If you do turn over stones, be sure to put them back in the same place afterwards.  Children will quickly learn to do this if you make it a pre-requisite to turning over the next stone.

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