Thursday, June 12, 2014

A friend in Saudi Arabia

I can hear them say
how much everything has changed
over the years.
A friend of mine
just moved to Saudi Arabia;
she cannot leave her house
without her husband;

her gender encircles her life,
what she can do,
and what she can’t.

Windows close to the ceiling,
 heads wrapped in abayas,
cars with male drivers.

“I brought you your woman,” somebody
said to her husband,
announcing his belonging.

 The world is busy praying.

Justice does not fit in our mindsets.

Freedom is  a frail word
with fragile bones, 
 as a forsaken dream
whenever you believe
that every woman is ready to submit.

Julia Hones

In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to study or work without the permission of a male family member. They are not allowed to drive, and they cannot travel overseas unless they have the consent of a man.
I dedicate this poem to the women in Saudi Arabia who are silenced or beaten whenever they try to change their situation.
 I dedicate this poem to the victims of domestic violence in Saudi Arabia. The ones who don't belong to the statistics, the women and kids whose silent suffering is forgotten by the world...

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Marin Luther King

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


"In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and ... snap! The job is a game." 
Mary Poppins
I agree with Mary Poppins, and so do the robins that live in a our house.
Can you see one of the baby Robins staring at me? Every year  a new couple of robins choose our home to build their nest.
 This year their location –or I should say one of them, because we have multiple nests attached to our home- enabled us to watch the parents raising their offspring. No documentary would be better  than the experience of being so close to them... here is a very brief video of the babies.

Two years ago we had a nest built by the Say's Phoebe. 

 They do have a predilection for porch roofs near the door- and this is what they did in our house two years ago. 

 By the way, when I was writing this post on the deck I spotted a mother deer breastfeeding her baby. What a beautiful scene. A mother breastfeeding her baby.( Sorry, I couldn't take a picture of them.)

  I've always been impressed by the variety of birds that live here, in Western Wisconsin. On one of my recent visits to the ecopark I popped into the local library and borrowed this book to learn more about the birds that I see on a regular basis. 

The creeper's way of foraging always captivated me: starting at the base of a large tree, it spirals up the trunk, poking into bark crevices, until it reaches the first large branches, at which point it flies to the base of a nearby tree and starts over. You can watch the bird do this a few times before he disappears. They eat insects, larvae, spiders and their eggs from the bark crevices.

Two months ago I was delighted by the visit of a cardinal. He perched on our deck for a few seconds before he flew away. I know he was a male bird because the male is completely red except for a small black mask and  chin. 

The kind of hummingbird that we can find here is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. They have a feisty personality and aggressively defend their nectar source from others. You can find some astounding pictures of hummingbirds here.

 They feed on nectar, small insects and spiders. 

Have you been watching any birds lately?