Poem: 4:53 Sunrise in Surry

Here is poem #2 of a 3 poem series from my grad school residency trip to Surry, Maine.

4:53 Sunrise in Surry

IMG_8765.JPG

Every morning my body woke me

At 4:50 am

Same time.

Every day.

My body was waking me on purpose

It knew I had never seen the sunrise

That I really wanted this experience

But I did not know what time it was at

With some prying

I discovered my body was already aware

4:53 sunrise in Surry

It was time to witness

The beautiful reflection of the sun

Coming up

And making an impression on the clouds and me

Alone, by the ocean

As I walked through the forest path

That led to the shore

I was apprehensive of my solitude

But when I arrived, I saw the horizon

The gradual lightening of the sky

The sun was blocked from my view

From the tallest, greenest trees

Yet that did not matter to me

I still saw the pink, purple and orange

Wisps of sky

The clouds reflected the colors back at me

When I looked down into the water

On the rocky shore

This mirror effect was telling me:

You were meant to be here, right now

In the quiet, calm, beautiful world

Something

You never allow yourself to have

And you deserve it.

IMG_8780

IMG_8767

 

 

NaPoWriMo Day 26: Exploiting Water Haiku

Exploiting Water

Water is taken

In severe drought conditions

By corporations

I wasn’t sure if this poem would remain a haiku at first. I kept adding to it but then I thought I was over explaining the issue, or it just wasn’t that poetic. I had a hard time articulating the issue. But I think it is messed up that bottled water companies are taking water from communities that need to limit their tap water usage while they make a huge profit over bottling and using what little water is left for their products. We need to be okay with drinking more tap water and stop buying bottled water. The tap water is more regulated, more regularly tested, and more protected than bottled water, believe it or not. And bottled water comes from the same source as the tap most of the time! And then put into plastic containers that leech harmful chemicals when they sit too long. Don’t believe the hype that the bottled water companies try to sell you. If your local water source has problems or doesn’t taste good, it is worth fighting to improve. If we all switch to having to buy our water, or drinking more liquids that aren’t water (like soda, juice, etc), we will pay a big price for it (health wise, financially, etc). 

NaPoWriMo Day 8: Cooler, Warmer

Okay, so this poem is sort of inspired by something that has very little to do with climate change or environmental ethics. It is inspired by the horrible slogan for Rhode Island tourism (“cooler, warmer”) that we Rhode Islanders were revolted by and demanded they do not use (after spending millions of tax dollars on the campaign, of course). Here is a link to a news article on the subject. While I am not interested in coming up with a new slogan for my state, I am interested in repurposing the slogan for raising awareness of environmental issues, and it works pretty well I think! 😉

Once Cooler, now Warmer

Rising temperatures in the oceans cause problems for sea creatures as bone crushing predators migrate (for more information on the subject and my inspiration, go here)

The south

Once warmer

Is now hotter

The north

Once cooler

Is now warmer

 

Predators like sharks and rays

Were absent in the waters

Of the poles

If the water gets warmer

They move where it’s cooler

 

Suddenly, the soft sea creatures

Who live

In the farthest points of the planet

Will be consumed by bone crushing predators

The balance will be disturbed

When the waters get warmer

 

Field Trip #4, Tuesday March 8, 2016 Norman Bird Sanctuary

On Tuesday I met my friend Rachel at her house in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. We planned to go to the Norman Bird Sanctuary, in Middletown, which she lives close to.

First I got to meet her dog, Stella who is adorable and so sweet! She also has one beautiful blue eye, and one darker brownish color eye! I was really excited to interact with a dog, since my parents are not dog people…which means I don’t have much experience with dogs, but I do love them when I get to meet them.

Anyways, the Norman Bird Sanctuary is also an educational center. Here is their website for more information: http://normanbirdsanctuary.org/

It has many trails. The welcome center guide said that the trail we chose to take would take us about an hour and a half round trip. Somehow we did it in less than an hour, but I think we are fast walkers. Or maybe we didn’t follow the map correctly, who knows. But it was beautiful and a lot of fun!

This was the first time I went with a friend, and I really enjoyed having company to discuss what we were seeing and other random ideas related to nature, art, music, education, life, etc.

My favorite part of the hike was climbing some steep areas and getting to this rock! (It’s also a perk to have a friend with you so you can take pictures of yourself when you climb tall things! haha)

IMG_7391

Anyways.

The journey through the grounds started here with nothing much to see.

IMG_7357

However, far off into the distance, you can see the coastal area.

We obviously headed down the path in that direction. There were two choices though, one led away from the water.

Shortly after making that decision, we stopped to admire this pond. I asked my friend what one of the emerging buds of a plant might be. We decided it was probably skunk cabbage, which I remembered from an assignment in my Environmental Ethics course, was one of the first plants to come out in Rhode Island towards the spring season here.

IMG_7359

IMG_7375

This is a picture of the plant in question. It’s in the middle of the frame.

I was curious about these trees. I wasn’t sure if they were Birch trees or if something happened to them and the bark fell off or something. It looked peculiar.

These curly vines fascinated me.

IMG_7369

We started to get towards a higher elevation:

And ended up here:

IMG_7387

This is where we took the picture of me on top of the rock with my arms outstretched further up on the page.

We made our way down, and came across a big pond with geese screeching quite loudly. I never realized how big the geese were seeing them swimming in the water. Something felt out of place…I have probably been quite close to geese before as a child, but suddenly they looked even bigger than I remembered…usually it’s the other way around with memories of animals as a kid. I was confused by that–maybe I had never seen a goose in the water and that was why.

IMG_7395

I had a hard time capturing the geese, but they are there way in the back if you look closely.

As we made our way back to the Welcome Center, we observed these chickens. I was enamored with the one that has speckled type feathers and fluffy feathery feet (which you can’t see in the photo). The hen was curious about us too.

This was a beautiful day, the first real warm day of the pre-spring season. It was at least 60 degrees! I was hot in my cardigan and lightweight fleece jacket! I took off my sweater and just wore the fleece and was still hot!

I want to come back to this site again soon when more plants are blooming. Hopefully I can also see more birds, as we didn’t see many…it was said that we might somehow see some owls (although they’re nocturnal, and we were there in the middle of the day, so I’m not sure how…I kept looking in some of the trees to see if I would spot one hiding/sleeping).

I asked about volunteer opportunities, but I’m not 100% sure I will follow through because of various reasons. I’d love to though if I could.

This is technically my last field trip required for the class, but look out for more photos and posts about my adventures, as I think I’m going to start being out and exploring nature places more often this Spring and Summer. I am going to aim to do so at least twice a month. Whether I’ll blog about it always is another story.

 

 

Nature Field Trip #2 Saturday February 27

Nature Field Trip #2 Saturday February 27

On Saturday, February 27th, I planned to go to a Yoga for Athletes workshop by a vegan couple called Yogi Triathlete. Since it was a bit out of the way from where I live, I decided to go exploring in that area. I don’t know North Kingstown, Rhode Island well at all, so I googled some stuff and decided upon a nature trail I could explore that was convenient to the yoga studio. I arrived at Wilson Park, and at first was a bit nervous because it didn’t seem very natural at all. It had a grassy field, lots of parking lots, a softball field, playground equipment, etc. I gave it the benefit of the doubt though, and after I parked, started walking to the wooded area visible to my eyes.

This led to a bike path, which led to a path through the woods. I saw another path through brush and vines and started following it, but it became too thick and I wasn’t sure where it’d even lead to. I kept getting stuck in thorny vines too and it wasn’t pleasant.

I turned back…and followed the paved path for a bit. It looked like this:

IMG_7238

Eventually I found another path, which took me here:

IMG_7241

I stood here for awhile, taking it all in. It was windy and I could hear birds and the rustling of the grass and trees. There were also wind chimes and other human-caused noises I could hear. It’s not pictured but I could see several buildings and boats from where I was standing if I turned around a bit.

After awhile of being there, I went back out to the path and eventually came to a place where there was another big parking lot. It led to the shore and quite nice:

I explored a bit more, there were some boats turned over and a boat filled with ice that I saw. The only other people there were a father and his boys exploring as well.

After staying for a few minutes, I turned around and took the walk through the path back to my car. I was a little fearful I would forget the path I took like I did with my last field trip, but I was paying more attention this time.

I only documented one blatant piece of litter…

IMG_7240

Overall, this area seemed pretty well kept. I even saw this sign by the water:

IMG_7242

There weren’t many people here, but I became a little nervous that I was so far away from my car and all alone. I started wishing  I was at least with a dog like most of the other people I encountered, if not another human. In fact, I let myself daydream a bit too much about one day having a dog. But, I tried to calm myself and enjoy the nature. Maybe I had difficulty with being present because it wasn’t as beautiful and interesting as my first field trip and I was sort of disappointed. I certainly got plenty of time to be mindful in the yoga class later on that day though!