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Tatiana Schatten

A Wren's Wonderful World

Based on true events

Finding food is a monotonous business. Yet it is pleasant, and in the end, wonderfully satisfying, but we must spend most of our short lives in this almost never-ending search. I, being a House Wren, have not a large body to sustain, yet the other day, in the bright, cheerful summer sun, I was toiling greatly for that very reason. Having a taste for insects might not sound too appetizing to you yet it is something which causes my bill to water whenever I see an invertebrate. It was a perfect day for a hunting such beings, a day of glowing grasses, smiling sunflowers, warmth all about, and insects a-plenty. I was doing my scouting in a lush garden, beneath wide lettuce leaves, and experiencing one of the most pleasant moments of my life. There were crawlers and creepers everywhere! I picked at beetles, their young, and worms, caterpillars and lacewings. There was no need to search far for I was surrounded wholly by a most appetizing meal. Yet I sensed that it was not the safest area for partaking of my feast, not at all! Why, only the day before had I spotted a orange puss venture through the rows of plants, and I did not wish to be caught if it so passed once more. Therefore, I exercised my wings after each catch, launching myself from the soily debris and onto the fence with my catch in my beak. Then, restricting my stay upon such a revealing perch, I dropped to the opposite side where, in the protective shield of bush and bramble, I partook of my meal in peace. Perhaps it was slightly laborious to perform such a routine for every insect, but I am quite sure it was well rewarded, for the puff-tailed puss never did find, or even behold my comings and goings in the garden. If he had, would I be recounting this tale? Surely not! 

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A Marvelous Matron and Hasty Hunter

Not based on true events

Mrs. American Kestrel, a lovely female falcon, was a surprisingly unsuccessful huntress. Yes, she could support herself and yes, she did have a catch once in a while, but her dinners did not occur often. Many times she would be forced to go without a meal, to remain hungry for a day all because she was unable to grab a bite. Why she could never snatch up the mouse which had burrowed a den below her favourite perch, or grab a crunchy grasshopper which bounced before her, she and we shall never discover. But matters were greatly complicated when the one gaping mouth was joined by four others nestled deep within a dim tree cavity. Though she had not donned names upon them, we shall call them Nate, Willy, Puss, and Goldie, and it was now top priority to have them fed. Therefore Mrs. Kestrel along with her husband set off their separate ways in search of breakfast for their yammering brood. Mrs. Kestrel felt extraordinarily nervous uneasy and fidgety during this first expedition, and could hardly remain aloft, so full was she with emotion. With rapid, unsteady wing beats she fluttered low over the ground, her keen eyes searching the land. She had not been long upon her excursion when she caught sight of a spindly web strung long and lean between two tangled bushes. Ah, thought Mrs. Kestrel, silk and spiders go together! And dipping slightly, she flew directly towards her intended victim who was straddled in the centre of the sticky net. But lo! As soon as her shadow was near the silky ropes, the spider scrambled, panic-stricken, into the thick foliage and there remained for the rest of the day. Mrs. Kestrel, beholding this discouraging scene, arose sharply once more in the air, complaining loudly of her ill-luck. Hardly had she clacked her bill once in frustration when she spied a slithering serpent among the bending grasses just beyond, and she immediately pulled her wings near her feathered breast, stooped, and again she missed, for the snake disappeared in a hole as soon as her talons were near.

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Little Johnny Three-toes

Not based on true events

A porcupine wandered once freely in our woods, snuffing the cushioned ground and shambling among the ragged old Jack Pines. He had but a trio of toes on his one foot, and therefore was appropriately named Little Johnny Three-toes. This is an event in his slowly-rolling story, an escape from starvation, and it all began on a winter day, when his waddling track was seen in the snow, lined by the marks of his quills. It was a day upon which Jack Frost played an icy game among the Jack Pines and had quited their presence, leaving them garbed in crystal white. Yet, though the day was beautiful, the sun shining and leaves dancing, Little Johnny Three-toes could not enjoy one second of his steady march. After all, who could enjoy anything when a parasitic hunger gnawing their insides? But wishes most often come true, at least not easily, and Little Johnny could not even find a fallen aspen upon which to exercise his rodent teeth. And how his stomach rumbled as he swayed to and fro, to and fro on his agonizing trek for food. Soon he let his head fall in despair, not minding where he went, or how he went. In this way, Little Johnny Three-toes soon found himself swiftly slipping down a steep decline and before he could save himself fell bop! on a smooth sheet of ice. But it was no great matter for the hungry rodent, so he simply picked himself up and continued across the frozen waters with downcast eyes. Therefore, he did not notice what stood directly before him until he bumped his velvety head directly upon its smooth side. He glanced up and saw in astonishment a lofty Paper Birch like an angelic being, white, innocent and pure. A renewed vigour coursed through his veins at the wondrous sight, and with the gusto of a starving giant, the porcupine began his feast. At first, he only gnawed the bark here and there, but then he discovered an especially delectable area and began to gnaw in earnest. For more than even several minutes he ate, moving from one spot to another as the bark was consumed until, finally content with his work and his full stomach, he gave a last look at the marvellous tree before waddling away into the woods. Little Johnny Three-toes never found that tree again, no matter how long he searched for its whereabouts but he always remembered it to be the tree which saved his life.

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The Nature of Things Part 3

Another manner with which you may make better acquaintance of Miss Nature is using her properties  as a healing tool. To experience this healing power, one just needs to venture into the wilderness, or hear the whisper of deceased vegetation in winter, or watch  in silence a creature you have come across.

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The Nature of Things Part 2

Besides Nature Journaling, there are other ways to connect to the world around you. One of these is to use music to hear the melody of the outside.

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Wednesday November 17, 2021