Along the equator in Ecuador

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A view during a hike in the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve in Ecuador.

My husband, our guide Patricio, and I walked through the brush in the drizzle to reach this spot where the sky became blue, and the sun shined.  Right here we stood near the equator, between two hemispheres. Dark hills were in the foreground, with a snow capped mountain far behind. The earth that we stood on was full of grasses and green bushes. The air that we breathed was completely clean and fresh.

Elemental observations.

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The joy and advantages of being occasionally hidden

Hiding is so often regarded as a negative action, but throughout our lives many of us also see the joy and advantage in it. When I was a little child, small or rarely frequented spaces had great appeal. You could see me (or not) under the dining room table, looking up at its underside, fascinated by the architecture formed by the legs of the chairs on its sides. I might have also been found (or not) in my bedroom closet, a dark place near piles of shoes, with hanging clothes gently caressing my face and shoulders. Why do such hiding places appeal to many children? Well, I can’t speak for others, but for me it was a chance to own my own special space, and see things from very different perspectives. Continue reading

The love of gardening persists

Each spring, my father plants seeds in flats, placed by a full length window in his dining room. He does this sometime in early May, and then waits patiently for the seedlings to pop up. When they do, it’s like they grow an inch each day. The beauty of new life and growth erupts. Continue reading

The reopening of the swim hole

You can’t imagine how excited my husband and I are that it is Memorial Day weekend! Of course this holiday is quite significant in its meaning, but it is also the first long weekend after almost three months. What’s more, it marks the reopening of our beloved quarry swim club. Later today we will create a picnic lunch and drive 15 mins to this most idyllic place; a fully spring fed lake created from a quarry hole dating back to 1928. Actually, when I think of it, the swim club represents a lot of sweet memories for us, and obviously for many other people in the area. Continue reading

Honey bees are the bee’s knees. Act before there are none.

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Good little honey bee

Bees have been long-time feared or disliked insects because of their painful stings when feeling threatened, but some (not all), like honey bees and bumble bees, lose their lives after they sting. It’s kind of sad, I think, because these bees are really rather useful insects that provide many benefits to humans. Honey bees pollinate 80 percent of flowering crops. Those crops constitute one-third of everything we eat. Without honey bees, we would not have apples, strawberries, nuts, broccoli, cucumbers, blueberries, and many other favorite foods. Continue reading