Tag Archives: life

The Return of the Great Tit

Open-mouthed fledglings

Last I reported, our Great Tit squatters were building a home for their future chicks. Over the last two months, we followed their progress, watching the faithful parents come and go, at first to keep watch over the incubating eggs, and later with beaks full of scrumptious grub for the little hatchlings. Every now and then, we’d venture out onto the balcony armed with squinting eyes and a camera, and stealthily tiptoe over to the vase and snap a few shots. What we found was extraordinary! The vase was full of little hatchlings! Our approach and the flash of the camera triggered an automatic reaction: they would open their little beaks expecting them to be filled with worms and other delicacies. We disappointed on that end, but we did come out with a few snapshots of the little fledglings. Over time, we started hearing other “voices.” It soon became apparent that the little ones were chirping with vigor, harping for more food…more food…more food. Mama and Papa Tit could barely keep up with the pace, their rate of return was so high. It was clear that the fledglings were growing stronger and preparing for flight.

Some time past, and before we could imagine, the nest was empty. At the beginning of May, we took a peak in the vase and were astonished to find a single Great Tit. No eggs. No Fledglings. Just one Great Tit. Our immediate assumption was that this was the last hatchling and he or she was taking his time to leave the nest.

Today I’m not so sure that was case.

Over the last week, we’ve noticed Papa Tit making and his rounds on the porch, coming and going, chirping relentlessly. We thought that he just may be struggling with his newfound status as an empty-nester. But something just didn’t seem right. So, yesterday, we ventured out yet again with camera in tow to snap a shot into the depths of the vase.

And lo and behold! We were astonished to discover no less than 6 fresh Tit eggs! All the pieces came together, especially when we looked more carefully and noticed Papa Tit’s beak full of grub as he dove into the vase to feed his beloved and dedicated wife as she nurtures and protects her unborn fledglings until the next hatching.

Mama Tit incubating the bebes and smiling for the camera (actually, she was not thrilled by my intrusion in the least)

Half a Dozen Eggs

And the cycle begins again.
More updates to follow…

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A Tale of a Great Tit

This is a tale of a Great Tit.

In fact, not one Great Tit, but two Great Tits.

Indeed, this is a tale of two Great Tits. Continue reading

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Dawning of a New Day at Sunset

Our lives follow a natural ebb and flow that takes each and every one of us on an exciting and unpredictable journey. Each moment brings with it something new, despite the manifest shadow of monotony that life sometimes casts. With each experience come thoughts and emotions that reflect a spectrum of shades and colors. The more time we spend conscious on this planet, the more we are privileged to witness, to experience, and to create.

Unfortunately, unpredictability is the key word here. We are all on borrowed time, and this past month has been filled to the brim with death too close to home. Death happens everyday. I know. But when it happens to close for comfort, well, I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. Not when it’s close and not when it’s far. But when it’s close, you are privy to the pain of those left behind, and that makes the loss feel that much greater. Loss of a loved one. The loved one’s loss of time. Leaves us asking the universal existential question: Why?

I am in awe that no matter how many tears we shed, the well will never run dry for good. But I also marvel at the fact that tears know when to cease their flow. At a certain point, our hearts, minds, and tear ducts unfetter the shackles of mourning and let us open our eyes to a new day, one that is filled with gratitude for the past and the people who were a part of it, and hope for and anticipation of future adventures with new souls.

My challenge to you is to try to capture and hold onto those feelings of excitement and gratitude, hope and anticipation that are engendered by moments that remind us of the preciousness of every breath we take.

Do a little math

Just for fun, calculate how long you’ve been with your feet planted on this beautiful planet

I have been alive a quarter of a century. A whole quarter of a century. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a speck in time. But in the microcosmic history of  the universe that is my life, that’s an eternity.

25 years

305 months –>  Years x 12 = Months

1,326 weeks –>  Years x 52 = Weeks

9287 days –>  Years x 365 + 1 day for every leap year (every 4 years)

222,888 hours –>  Days x 24

13,373,280 minutes –> Hours x 60

802,396,800 Seconds –> Minutes x 60

…and counting.

How long have you been alive?


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Doing It All & Getting It All Done

I want to do it all.

Really. Everything. I’ve got a list of things I want to accomplish from here to the moon. My house is littered with new projects that find their way to vacant tabletops. My computer is on overload from new business ideas. My shelves are packed with books on random skills and other topics of personal interest that I want to become more well-versed in. My mind is floating in a sea of creativity and ambition. I really and truly want to do it all.

By the same token, and perhaps more importantly, I want to get it all done. Everything I want to do, I also want to complete. To check off accomplishments on that ever-growing list.

But that list only continues to grow (unless the moon is just getting closer…), while the check marks become fewer and farther between. And then there’ s the matter of prioritizing. I want to do everything, but which one should I do first?!??!?

Indeed, today’s post encapsulates all of the challenges of doing it all and getting it all done at the same time. Let’s contextualize: It’s been nine days since my previous post (which, incidentally, was about starting the year off on the right foot). What’s taken so long is a melange of indecision and procrastination: I was fickle about which topic I would write about, so I kept stalling the writing process. I devised some pretty trite excuses for the delay, most notably of which is the fact that I had more important things to do, that I had to focus on my top priorities. Next thing you know, 2011 is well underway and I’m finally picking up the proverbial pen. But not without a host of consequences: those top priorities are in dire need of my utmost attention and I’m now casting them aside (temporarily) as I compose an entry that’s fundamentally about casting things aside (temporarily). Not only that, but those same top priorities, which I considered such top priorities over the last nine days, were themselves cast to the back-burner in favor of other tasks on the list.

Basically, here I am procrastinating procrastination. Interesting.

So how can I not only do it all, but also get it all done?

  1. For starters, I am an advocate of lists. Umm… check. This should not be just a laundry list, but rather a list of goals. If you want to learn to play the piano, set a target: Is it to become the next Bach or, perhaps more realistically, to learn to play the Minuet in G major?
  2. Schedules are key. Let’s start with two. One is a general schedule – a calendar, I suppose – for mapping out your priorities (i.e. due dates, etc.). The other is a specific schedule – daily, weekly, take your pick – that transforms those top priorities, as well as those not-so-top priorities into tangible action items. The latter is a list that should scream check marks!
  3. My mom always says: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Read: keep your stuff in order and put things away when your done. It keeps your mental space just as clutter-free as physical space. (Also, if “organize room” was on your list, well, now it’s not.)
  4. Finally, periodically review your lists, schedules, and progress. Everything is flexible, so rewrite your lists as you see fit and alter those schedules if priorities shift.

My take-home message is this: I can do it all AND I can get it all done. But it won’t happen overnight. Things take time, but as long as I map out my objectives, I will reach my goals.

And so will you. Give it a shot.

What about you? How do you do it all and get it all done?


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Of Hot Spots and Little Things

It’s the little things in life, or so they say. It’s probably because little things have huge impacts. Impacts on us, the people in our lives, people beyond our circles, the environment. Really, the universe itself.

So, in the spirit of huge impacts, I thought I’d share with you some of my little things:

  • A decadent piece of chocolate.
  • A warm embrace.
  • A subtle breeze.
  • A breath of fresh air.
  • A liberating sneeze.
  • A heartwarming chat.
  • A glance at the sky.
  • An encounter with a bug.
  • A sip of cool water.
  • A good back-scratch.
  • An unexpected recycling bin.
  • A contemplation on a single blade of grass swaying in the wind.
  • A good snuggle.
  • A hot spot on heated floors.

The list goes on and on. And I’m sure yours does to.

But this is a little post about little things.

So, tell me, what are some of your little things?

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