Naturalist/Sky lover’s quiz: Can you tell in what month I took this photo?

​​​Each bird merging in a collective flight over marsh and dunes… Alighting and eating bayberries… And then back into the air in a cloud of kind… Preparing to fly long distances as one… Soon comes migration. We will miss you during the cold mosquitoless months.​


​I saw flashes of fins and swirls of water… Yellow fins poking out of the midtide marsh creek… Individuals following what seemed one collective will… Following currents? Smaller fish? Escaping larger fish? Menhaden, pogies , filled the creek. I drew them… Painted them…filmed them…and then I saw a shadow from above…​


Eider duck sits by gulls. Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi

Eider duck sits by gulls. Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi

Black backed Gull eats remains of seal carcass

Black backed Gull eats remains of seal carcass

I went to photograph and paint seals. The sea was rough, and I got only quick glimpses of the seals.  I photographed gulls instead. Following the gulls, I saw an eider…Watching the Eider, it walked over to a Black-backed Gull eating the remains of a seal carcass.The tide came up and my art supplies, camera and I almost got washed away. On our way out,

eider walks among gulls, Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi

eider walks among gulls,
Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi

my dog led us to a leatherback turtle carcass. No photo; my camera battery ran out. But I do have something else to remember the turtle by…my dog got a quick roll in…we have a smell souvenir.

Brant in flight over water

Brant in flight over water. Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi

Movement is our Home: We animals differ from plants in our ability to move. Plants move, but most move very slowly. Animals can move quickly, at a whim. We not only can move, but our bodies need movement to function well. Good circulation and a healthy lymph system, good digestion and good lung capacity  is cultivated by movement.  When we stifle our innate need for movement, we can develop physical and emotional imbalances. And for those injured or ill, or not free to move at their own will, even when we are still, there is a continuous movement of fluids and breath inside of us. For us animals, movement is home…

nov 2, 2015 lila nose IMG_0972

Heel and Toe, Jolly Rumble-oh, We was up long before the day-oh
to welcome in the summertime, to welcome in the May-oh
Cause summer is a-coming in and winter’s gone away-oh!
(Thank you to my mother for giving me this song, and a tradition of honoring the earth on May Day)
A May wish for anyone seeking: May we all find truth, love, and purpose embodied in our cells, our actions, and the life that surrounds us.
Egret hunts

Egret hunts

IMG_0305IMG_0303IMG_0302Everyday could be earthday, just like everyday could be mother’s day. Since we don’t always remember to honor the essential, might as well have days set aside to come back to the biggest truths. Thank you earth, water, sky and  all living beings that make up this beautiful planet. Thank you earth for giving us life and supporting us every minute of every day.

DSCN4161 I would say no, a pigeon is no less beautiful than a thrush, or any other bird. Yet when I see a thrush, or other less common bird,  I might watch it more attentively, with more excitement. We are fascinated with the exotic. . Down South on the rivers of South Carolina and Georgia I watched the Brown Pelicans dive for fish, fascinated with what is for Southerners along the coast a common bird. They fly up, scan the water for fish, dive down into the water after after their prey, swallow, and float for a few moments, and repeat.When they dive, they remind me of a cartoon character.DSCN4138 It seemed courageous and skillful. I watched an adolescent pelican and indeed, it seemed that diving for fish does take  more than instinct… there were a lot of failed tries and the dives were not as spectacular.The adults were in breeding plumage, so attractive, I wondered if I was a pelican in a past lifeIMG_0193IMG_0197

IMG_0076DSCN3895 Away along the rivers and creeks I saw living beings I rarely see or  I’ve never seen before; I took a lot of photographs. IMG_0130 There is a feeling of “capturing” what is photographedDSCN3846 …at times it can feel as if what counts is the photo, more than the actual experience of what is seen. IMG_0303 IMG_0297My deepest and most memorable experiences have no photo, and I don’t think that is a coincidence. On an island surrounded by creeks I lay on the soft moss covered branch of a live oak tree. I felt my body and the tree meld. I could have stayed all day in that soft embrace, held by the tree, by the earth. IMG_0296I saw many bottlenose dolphins surface for air alongside the sailboat,IMG_0181 I tried to photograph them…there are some photos… but…one night I awoke, hearing dolphins breathing alongside the boat. I went out into the dark night sky,  the sleeping dolphin breath and gentle darkness filled me…..   Body and earth, sky and sea. We are we.