The Watering Hole; Thursday July 24 2014; Soliloquy defines soliloquy as an utterance or discourse by a person who is talking to himself or herself or is disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present. I guess I have a quibble with the word “person” in the sense that there are a lot of other voices ‘out there’ in the natural world that are a whole lot more worth a listen than is your average ‘person’! William Cullen Bryant, in his poem Thanatopsis, put it quite well when he wrote,

“To him who, in the love of Nature, holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language …”

Lord Byron wrote of his enlightening “interviews” with nature:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods —
There is a rapture on the lonely shore —
There is society where none intrudes —
By the deep sea and music in its roar —
I love not man the less but nature more —
From those our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before —
To mingle with the universe and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot conceal.

Edmund Burke apparently agreed and, in the process, pretty much summed the issue’s essence with poetic brevity:

“Never, no never, did nature say one thing and wisdom say another.”

I couldn’t agree more, especially these days where the list of chattering fools is endless and never-ending, where “wisdom” has become a condition that’s largely alien to the human species. So each day of late, beginning at first light, my goal has been “To mingle with the universe and feel / What I can ne’er express, yet cannot conceal.” The photos below are ‘messages’ received in just the last week; since a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, I’ll let the natural world do all most of the ‘talking.’

Foggy Sunrise

Sunrise on a Foggy Morning

Sunflower, backlit

Sunflower, backlit

Water bird; Cormorant?

Water bird; Cormorant?



Garden Geranium

Garden Geranium

Those five photos represent, of course, only a tiny handful of the Voices ‘out there’ — voices that speak their soliloquy to each and all who dare listen. Unfortunately, the vast majority of human passers-by appear to be stone deaf to anything other than their own typical conversational dregs even as they’re blind to the beauties that surround them. And far too often, they’re also destructive as well, and clearly unaware of Henry David Thoreau’s thesis that “Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.”

Case in point — a roadside thistle in full bloom, duly knocked over and trampled by person or persons unknown.

Thistle photo pair

Why? “Cuz them’s noxious weeds.” 

 To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
William Wordsworth
from Lines Written in Early Spring


47 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday July 24 2014; Soliloquy

    • Jesus loves the legal children,
      All the legal children of the world.
      Red and yellow, black but mainly white,
      All are precious in His sight,
      Jesus loves the legal children of the world.

  1. Wonderful expressions frugalchariot, yours and those you’ve quoted!
    Nature has many voices, as many as there are pairs of ears to hear.
    Beyond our modern culture of a general oblivion to the patterns and voices of nature, there are those who “translate” the still small voices of the natural world into that which they WANT to hear.
    My experiences have brought the conclusion that the gods (my general term) rarely tell me what I want to hear, rather what I NEED to hear.
    Currently I live and work at the edge of near wilderness on a small farm with holistic/organic intent. I work constantly and do my best to fit the pattern of seasons, weather, subtle changes in climate and the constant variables of the natural order.
    My biggest challenge is the steady stream of starry-eyed pilgrims who wander up the road thinking they have found their paradise, and want to change the way things are done to fit THEIR vision of “life on the farm”. They have all the glib lingo from weekend seminars that’ve given them 2 dimensional (pieces of paper to frame and hang on the wall) degrees in organic farming, shamanism, every obscure religion under the sun and general cosmik debris. Most have a hard time getting their hands in the dirt. And chicken shit? Forget it, find someone else to do it for them…
    It is possible to live in harmony with Nature. The greatest task is to let go of the notion that humans know best.

    Nice sequence of photos that fit well, and not wanting to come off like I know everything; but that’s a female red-breasted merganser preening on the rock. I do know that one, I was hungry and ate one. Once.

    • I’m so glad that the only folks who come down my road are those wanting meat. How do you respond to the pilgrims?

      • Not well I’m afraid… -chuckle-
        Only through time and experience will folks understand the realities, nothing I say will change that.
        I know, because that’s how I learned. I try to have compassion, but not at the expense of listening to the messages.

        • I generally have to bite my tongue to avoid saying “That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard!”. If someone is lucky, they can acquire knowledge in school. Wisdom only comes from living.

          • This place is talked up like it’s a “special” place to connect with the Devas, etc. The ones who drive me crazy are the urbanites who go to Peru, find some guy in a poncho to do a little mumbo-jumbo on them, and poof, instant shamans.
            I love the blank look when I ask them if they have any potatoes in the medicine bags around their neck.

            • If you come across any capable of working, convince them that true enlightenment can be found fixing fences in Virginia.

            • Maybe that’s a quick way to separate shamans from teabaggers — shamans carry their potatoes in a bag around their neck while teabaggers stuff theirs into their shorts?

              As in, “No, no Gomer. You stuff the potato in the FRONT, not the back!” Something like that. 😯

            • That’s a good one Outstanding… I can see working that one in, something about ley lines needing to be better defined in their lives….-snicker-

            • This is a very peculiar neighborhood. Many of these late-in-life witchdoctors are (wealthy) retired health care professionals. Perhaps they feel unfulfilled after a career making a lot of money referring sick people to other specialists, then watching them die.They talk a lot of liberal/progressive ideals but act very differently. One group went off on a tour of ancient Druid sites in France, came back with a lot of selfies showing them in their Inca regalia hugging rocks. Some of their “medicine bags” could carry a weeks worth of groceries. Mostly they just talked about being gouged by the French cab drivers.

    • A merganser — yep, could indeed be. If so, it’s the first one I’ve seen here. When I snapped the shutter, I was a long long ways away and at almost full zoom, so the only shot I had at IDing the critter was on the screen, and I gave it my best shot. Typically, the only waterfowl we see here with any regularity at all are geese, ducks, and the occasional cormorant and/or blue heron. Now I’ll add mergansers to the list! Thanks!

      I knew someone back in MN who ate one (or at least took a bite of one) — ONCE, he said, then added, NEVER AGAIN! I take it they’re better left ‘out there’, 🙂

    • Didn’t the smell quell your appetite? I have downed a few mergansers because they are impossible to tell from a canvasback at some angles. I swear I could have tracked them down by the smell. But, since I hate to waste anything I have killed, I would give them to a friend who had a pet otter and they were much appreciated.

  2. I know many of you aren’t interested in baseball, but I wanted to put this somewhere I could find it later. It was 31 years ago today that George Brett lost his shit over the infamous Pine Tar Incident.

  3. How the Dutch grieve:

    “The Dutch are strikingly different from Americans in their gut reactions to things. When hit with a national shock, Americans will almost instinctively reach for ideology or ideals. People saw 9/11 as an assault on “freedom.” The Dutch have an innate distrust of ideology. You could relate that to World War II and their experience under Nazism, but it goes much farther back. It has something to do with being a small country surrounded by larger countries that have had long histories of asserting themselves.

    It also stems from the fact that Dutch society grew not out of war against a human foe but out of the struggle against nature. Living in low lands on a vast river delta, the Dutch came together to battle water. Building dams and dikes and canals was more practical than ideological. For better or worse, the Dutch are more comfortable with meetings and remembrances than with calls to arms.”

  4. Russians now firing artillery across the border at the Ukrainian army. US intelligence won’t say how it knows….. wonder why not? I learned it on Russian social media sites – the Russian soldiers were posting selfies next to their guns (before they had to delete the posts)….. what’s so secret about that?

    Putin is getting desperate for a causus belli now.

  5. Reading my book, in the waiting room, nasty white lady walked by an East Indian woman and said “nice dress mama’. The young woman sitting with the East Indian interpreted … then the nasty WASPY woman said “you need †o speak English”; “You need to learn English”.
    I couldn’t let that pass so said to WASPY: you need to learn some manners.

  6. • Native American tribe cancels Ted Nugent concert over his ‘racist views,’ ‘hate-filled remarks’

    • Ted Nugent ‏@TedNugent 14m
    American Indians have no greater BloodBrother than TedNugent

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