# Wind Energy

On our drive across and back Washington state for a speaking engagement at Write on the Sound, in Edmonds, WA, we passed zillions of hop yards, apple orchards, bing cherry orchards, and vineyards.

We also passed wind turbine farms, galore!

At one point, we had the opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal look at one of these giants and learned that:

• Each individual, joint-free, seamless blade is 148 feet long, 11.2 feet wide, and weighs 23,098 pounds!
• Standing over 400 feet tall, each complete wind turbine has three blades, with a rotor diameter of more than 300 feet — nearly the same length as a football field.
• One wind turbine can power up to 700 residential homes with environmentally friendly, carbon-free electricity.
• A single wind turbine needs approximately one-half acre of land and uses 40 acres of wind space.
• Blades sweep an area of 75,000 square feet with each rotation.

What energizes you?

# As Above, So Below

I live a somewhat Dr. Doolittle life. It seems that no matter where I go, I encounter all types of critters doing interesting things. The most recent example occurred just before the trip we’re currently on.

No sooner had I stepped into the driveway, then two geese landed on the pitch of the garage.

Immediately followed by two more geese landing on the pitch of the house next door.

This two-roofed-goose-incident immediately brought to mind the phrase, “As above, so below.” I have to admit that a quick bit of research was necessary. It revealed:

“As above, so below” is a phrase used most appropriately to discuss the principle of correspondence. This principle embodies the truth that there always exists a correspondence between laws and phenomena on every plane of existence.”

Most recently, my law and corresponding phenomena have been:

• Law—Laurie goes outside
• Corresponding Phenomena—A rooster in a tree crows at me, ducks line up in a row, and now geese act out the “As above” part of an old adage.

I’m currently traveling home from a speaking engagement at the Write on the Sound writing conference in Edmonds, WA, so I’ve turned comments off for this post. But if I were available to interact, this week’s internal inventory question would be:

What’s your “As above, so below?”

# Ducks in a Row

We’re fortunate to live within a stone’s throw of the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center. We walk through their peaceful grounds at least once a week. This week I photographed a few ducks lined up on a tree branch in the water. I love the way it turned out. To me it looks like a watercolor painting.

When researching the saying, “Ducks in a row,” I learned something new. I learned that it comes from from ship building. Who knew?!

It turns out that a “duck” is a device that holds the keel in place while building a ship. The first step in building a ship is to get the ducks in straight row thus ensuring a straight keel.

Conversationally speaking, getting one’s ducks in a row means to ensure that all of the small details or elements are accounted for and in their proper positions before embarking on a new project.

Are your ducks in a row?

# Plight of the Pollinators

One of my daily treks along the Boise Greenbelt revealed a new addition—a native plant and pollinator garden.

A posted sign explains:

“As the human population grows, so does our impact on the natural world. Buildings, roadways, and crops crowd out or completely eliminate the natural habitat needed by some species to survive. Pollinators are among those whose numbers are in decline.

“The City of Boise has installed an ‘insect hotel‘ at this location to provide a safe nesting site for insect pollinators. Its proximity to flowering plants ensures an adequate supply of nectar for feeding, and the hotel’s nooks and crevices offer a safe place for rearing offspring.”

In 2017, my sister gave me 1,500 ladybugs for my birthday. They arrived via special delivery with a “hotel.” And while the ladybugs didn’t take up residence in it (they were having too much fun eliminating aphids in the rose bushes), lots of other insects did. We have it located against the carport wall, underneath one of the rosebushes. It looks like a miniature version of the one in the native plant and pollinator garden along the Boise Greenbelt.

Do you, or does your city, take steps to promote native plants and pollinators?

# We Witnessed a Murder!

While Len and I were standing in our driveway, our attention was caught by a murder of crows.

“A group of crows is called a ‘murder.’ There are several different explanations for the origin of this term, mostly based on old folk tales and superstitions. For instance, there is a folktale that rows will gather and decide the capital fate of another crow.”

It was pretty cool to watch them land in the bare tree branches and listen to the cacophony of cawing.

Click the “play” button on the video below to hear the murder.

Have you ever seen a/an:

• SHREWDNESS of apes
• OBSTINACY of buffalo
• POUNCE of cats
• COALITION of cheetahs
• GULP of cormorants
• CONVOCATION of eagles
• TROUBLING of goldfish
• HEDGE of herons
• BLOAT of hippos
• EXALTATION of larks
• LOUNGE of lizards
• PARLIAMENT of owls
• OSTENTATION of peacocks
• TOWER of giraffes

What’s the most recent grouping of animals you’ve seen?

# Life is Sweet

Tick-tock, tick-tock… I can choose to let the demands on my time and attention overwhelm me. Or I can decide to slow down and take a break.

In the midst of my daily calendar, I schedule times for me to stop throughout the day. I have a mindfulness bell on my phone that’s set for specific intervals of my choice. Thank you Sheila Glazov for recommending this App to me. The sound of the singing bowl is my signal that It’s Time.

Time to put my shoulders down and take a deep breath. Time to take Willa for a walk. Time to eat. Time to stretch. Time to be grateful. And time to watch the bees on the hummingbird feeder enjoying the sweetness of life. They teach me how to fully be in a moment without a care about anything else in the world. They teach me that sometimes the greatest joys come in the smallest things. They remind me that life is sweet. It’s especially sweet when I’m fully present, fully aware, fully engaged, and fully enjoying it—joie de vivre!

What’s your signal that it’s time for a break?

Len and I live in a carriage house (circa 1865) in the Warm Springs historic district of Boise. The main house and carriage house are separated by beautifully landscaped grounds that are lush with flowers, foliage, and trees.

This year, one of the trees enjoyed a pair of peregrine falcons as residents. They subsequently had babies. It was fun to listen to their screams for “food, Food, MORE FOOD!”

All of the human observation to potentially catch “flying lessons” and other fledgling antics, caused the owners of the main house to notice some dead branches and decide to have the deadwood removed. But not until after the feathered family had safely flown the coop.

Deadwood — before and after. In the top photo (before), notice one of the peregrine parents perched on an upper-most limb.

Deadwood is a threat to tree health. Infestations thrive in the decaying wood, which can ultimately lead to the death of the tree—not to mention, it can make a tree structurally unsound.

Deadwood pruning is the removal from the tree of the dead, dying, or broken branches and diseased branch wood. This can be significant for the health of a tree—allowing the tree to flourish.

Certain people, places, things, events, and opportunities can drag individuals down—deadwood. Maybe they’re time or energy thieves, or perhaps they’re a financial drain. Regardless, they can weaken an otherwise sound structure.

What deadwood needs to be removed from your life so you can flourish?

# Banana Belt In the Pacific Northwest

We live in Idaho’s Treasure Valley, more specifically, Boise. Len flies out of the Nampa Municipal Airport—just a hop, skip, and a jump from home. So it was with eye-popping interest that I read an article stating the following:

The Treasure Valley area around Nampa is known as Idaho’s Banana Belt.

The article defined a banana belt as, “Any segment of a larger geographic region that enjoys warmer weather conditions than the region as a whole, especially in the wintertime.” That’s certainly true for the area we live in.

Kari Prassack, a paleontologist at Hagerman Fossil Beds, elaborated: “It’s called a “banana belt” because it is an area that receives warmer weather and less snowfall than the areas surrounding it—like a belt of the ‘tropics’ in Idaho.

“This happens because warm air lifts upwards over the mountains, expands and cools, producing rain. And then, as drier air, it descends along the other side—in this case into the valley here where the air compresses and warms.”

I was surprised to learn that we live in the banana belt of the Pacific Northwest. Furthering my flummox, I learned that we live relatively close to a fossiliferous Pliocene-aged site!

# Community

During our most recent trip to Montana, we were gifted with seeing several herds of elk. Watching the large herds move in harmony brought to mind their innate sense of community.

I belong to several communities—family, friends, writing, online, coaching, health and wellness—to name but a few.

Click photo to enlarge

The communities we belong to have vital qualities including experiential knowledge, resources, teamwork, strength, influence, service, engagement, connection, emotional support (upliftment), inspiration, and solutions.

To which community did you most recently contribute?