Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Jungle

I was concentrating on a digital course that I purchased about well being and meditation --- trying to take my life more seriously. Meditation is not something I can easily apply to my scattered personality. I had my earphones from my laptop on while listening to some 30-something with a very compact body tell me to breathe from my belly and count to 10 on the inhale and 10 on the exhale. She suggested that I place my hands on my belly which was a distraction as I wondered about how ample that part of my body had become. It was at this moment of mixed concentration that I heard a loud thump coming from the the kitchen. I used to have children at home and loud thumps are something I do not instinctively screen out while trying to meditate. I walked to the kitchen and saw a small cloud of gray and white feathers embedded in the outside window screen.

I hurried outside to see if a bird was lying in the lawn, and instead saw what I guess was a Cooper's hawk (could have been a Sharp-shinned) with something small in its claws flying into the high tulip poplars.  To my right I saw another Cooper's hawk flying to another tree.  By the time I had run inside to get binoculars and back outside again, they were both gone.

Working together they had captured a titmouse that was hanging about my bird feeders.  Titmice are erratic birds that seem to easily fly in distraction with their fellow birds.  An easier prey for this excellent flying hawk.  The Cooper's hawk kills its food by squeezing it to death rather than tearing it with its beak!

Life in the jungle once again reared it's honest head and some baby Cooper's hawks will be fed tonight or perhaps this was a courting of a male to feed his female on this pre-spring week.


  1. Meditation is so good.
    Here's the deal...Breath with your diaphragm, stomach Muscles push out as lungs fill with air, and stomach in as air is exhaled. Concentrate on your breath, no hands, no this or that, just your breathing, that one thing your are doing. If other thoughts enter, then push them away. You can sit on a chair, the floor, or stand at the kitchen sink. Meditating is easier the more basic it is, IMHO.
    After a meditation, a good slow and easy stretch can be refreshing as well. I like 5 minutes to start for the main meditation of the day. And when I don't laugh, I go to 10 minutes, then 20 or when I start laughing or doze off.

  2. Reality often intrudes when I attempt to meditate as well. I haven't mastered it for sure! Good luck with it.

    Hawk are such efficient hunters!

  3. My chickens are gone so I do not see as many predators. The hawks preyed on my chickens as did coyotes, etc. My guinea fowl are contending with the neighbor's dogs and these dogs have already killed three birds over this past year. Bald eagles also go after my guineas. I do not mind the natural predators who kill for food but I cannot stand the dogs killing just for the sport of it.

  4. I had better luck meditating after I was taught a walking meditation. The woman teaching it said it was begun for children and their attention spans. Works much better with my flit about brain. Begins with the same kind of breath work. Just be sure you have a safe place to walk. It works for me on a treadmill or recumbent bike as well.

  5. I find these situations exciting. It's what the hawks do and the titmouse is part of the overall plan whether we like it or not.

  6. Meditation is not easy; like you i can be distracted by every noise, wondering what the children or pets are up to this time.

    All creatures have to eat, but it's still sad that one has to die for the other to survive. Maybe that's why i kept being drawn back to being vegan.

  7. I've had occasion to work with people with various needs involving the respiratory system -- some of what we do readily evolves into meditation for some people.
    --One of the first assessments would be to determine whether the person was a shallow/chest breather or breathed from the diaphragm.
    --You can determine that yourself by laying flat on the bed, placing a book just below your rib cage.
    --Slowly breathe in deeply, then breathe out -- do this sequence repeatedly as you observe the book.
    --If you are breathing from your diaphragm you will see the book rise and lower with your breathing.
    -- Shallow/chest breathers chests move up and down instead of their diaphragm.
    --If you need to develop diaphragm breathing for 24/7, then you can practice doing so with the book as described above. Your hand resting on your diaphragm (above your belly) allows you to feel what you see with the book -- so, either will give you the information you want to know. You'll want to self-monitor to gradually have such breathing become a habit you use in all your daily activities, whatever body position you're in.

    Impt: If at any time, the deep breathing causes you to begin to feel light-headed, stop immediately and just breathe slowly, naturally -- you're simply hyperventilating but could pass out if you keep breathing deeply. Your body just hasn't become accustomed to your new increased oxygen intake, but will build up to it over time.

    I like a relaxation exercise in a prone position or sitting in a chair gradually relaxing the body, bit by bit, from top of head to bottom of feet -- probably directions on internet somewhere. I learned it in drama class many years ago.

    Either of above, for me, can evolve into a state of mind-clearing and/or then progress into visualization with a beautiful scene -- mine is a lake, surrounded by forest, boat in center of calm lake waters -- a real scene I experienced years ago.

  8. There is such a calmness to this piece of writing, even as it describes life and death. I think your meditation worked.

  9. Oh, that sounds bad. Squeezing to death. But as you suggest, they can't really go to bird supermarket and buy their babies special baby food can they! :D

  10. Awww, poor bird! Yeah I think you are supposed to tune out the outside stuff n find nothing inside with meditation. Breathing count is a key focus too. I count more in than out to increase oxegen level while walking or getting excercise.

  11. I had a similar experience this fall working out in the garage I heard a loud flapping and a squawk. went out to see a red shouldered hawk clutching a black bird high up in the oak. as I moved around to get a better look, the hawk took wing with it's prize and flew off. we humans tend to characterize nature as cruel but everything has to eat and what we eat is each other. is a hawk honestly catching its meal worse than humans who raise animals, denying them a natural life, solely for food?


Glad to hear from you once again. I really like these visits. Come sit on this log and tell me what you are thinking.