Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday for Oct. 27, 2020: Teen’s Research to Fight Covid 19, Conservation Progress, Drones in the Rainforest, and a Teacher Saves Grandma

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Middle School Student Wins 25,000 for Research to Help Fight Covid-19

Anika Chebrolu, a 14-year-old from Texas, won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge, which has been described as “the nation’s premier middle school science competition.”  In her research, “….which included analyzing close to 700 million compounds,” Anika discovered a molecule that can bind to the spike protein of COVID-19. You can read more in this article from Good Morning America.

Conservation Efforts Have Made a Difference

Up to 48 species would have become extinct without reintroduction programs, zoo-based conservation, and legal protections enacted since 1993 when the UN Convention on Biological Diversity came into force. Here’s more from The Guardian

Drones Help Indigenous People Spot Illegal Logging in the Amazon Rainforest

With help from the World Wildlife Fund, indigenous Andean tribes are starting to use drones to help protect wildlife and collect evidence on illegal logging in the rainforest. This article from the Good News Network includes an informative video.

Teacher Saves Grandma

On September 22, first grade teacher Julia Koch was teaching her virtual class when she got a call from grandparent Cynthia Phillips about technical difficulties. Ms. Koch noticed Ms. Phillips was having trouble speaking and knew something was wrong. It turns out Ms. Phillips was having a stroke. You can read about how Ms. Koch got help for her student’s grandmother and also sign up for CNN’s Good Stuff here.

Plus, here’s a video!

Thank you to all the teachers on the front lines, virtually and in person!

Got good news?

Please share your good news in the comments or create your own Good News Post and link it back here!


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Thursday Tree Love: Mushroom Treehouse

David and I saw this tree on one of our after dinner walks around the block. You might wonder if the tree is alive.

Here’s the view overhead:

This tree lives in southeastern North Carolina

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit:


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Thursday Tree Love: Close Encounter with Tall Pine

“…there can be occasions when we suddenly and involuntarily find ourselves loving the natural world with a startling intensity, in a burst of emotion which we may not fully understand, and the only word that seems to me to be appropriate for this feeling is joy”
                                                                                       ― Michael McCarthy

The vast network of roots

covered in hummus

provided cushioned support

Strong yet giving

So that each step along the trail

reverberated a soft drum beat

To my heart

As the river played along.

Old granite offered security

when the trail narrowed

or became steep while

Trunks and branches gave balance.

A tree called to me

Not with words or sounds

But reaching out in the cool breeze.

I laid hands on the rough bark

Sharing energy, healing,

Knowing without words

The power, the stability

Of this old, but not so old

Sentinel of the river forest.

I leaned into the power,

Inhaling its gifted oxygen.

Then let my eyes

Travel up, up, up

to the crown in the sky

Blessed with golden light.

My spirit filled with new life

My heart wanted to to stay forever

In wild communion.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit:


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Thursday Tree Love: Live Oak with Resurrection Fern

This live oak lives in an old cemetery in the southern US. Its far reaching branches are covered in resurrection fern. This fern grows on trees and other surfaces but it does not steal nutrients. It reproduces from spores rather than seeds and can often survive droughts during which it seems to dry up and then come back to life when water is available.

In addition to the photos, I’m sharing a video below, because it’s hard to get the whole tree in a photo.

close up

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, and a beautiful quote from Parul, visit:


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Thursday Tree Love: Landmark

On the way to the mountains in December 2011.

It’s been very hot here in the southeastern US, and I thought it might be nice to see some snow. This evergreen tree is a landmark for me on the way to the mountains where the air is about 20 degrees cooler. Seeing my landmark tree means we’re almost there. It stands out because it stands by itself with no close neighbors. It has stood there for many years, so maybe its roots connect with others through the underground network.

I think it’s interesting that the large branch reaching up on the left is almost like another tree. In 2011, when I took this photo from the car, I didn’t realize there were deer on the horizon until later when I zoomed in and cropped the photo.

Below is the same tree on the left taken more recently from further back. Perhaps it is in late winter. I hope to take another photo soon in late summer or autumn.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-93/


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Blue Wave Dream

 
blue glass wave 2

Can you guess how I got this photo? I’ll tell you later.

 
 
 
We walked across rolling hills of rich earth.
One woman ran far ahead, the other still in sight.
I followed slowly
wiggling my toes into layers of red-brown soil
that turned into golden sand
then into a slope of lush green grass.
My friend Dorothy sat down on a piece of cardboard
And slid down the hill with a smile on her face.
Having no cardboard, I did not want to get grass stains on my white skirt.
So, I danced and skipped down the cool grass,
ran up the next rise, and stood on a hill.
 
The beach below was deserted
except for Dorothy wading
into the royal azure water.

A swell as big as a house

Rose slowly in front of her.

She started swimming up the blue wave
that crested and then stood still,
Huge, peaceful, translucent.
 
I waded into the water
and saw her way up near the top of the wave.
She pointed below her at a hound dog
swimming under the water
like a fish, or a dolphin dog,
completely comfortable paddling
through the liquid blue Jello,
The dog breached occasionally to say hello,
while the giant wave just hung there waiting.
As I swam up the swell, I saw the hound dog
turn into a statue and drift down
to become an underwater memorial
 
Dorothy and I swam in the luxurious blueness
as we watched out feet wave like kelp
And the dog statue, now far below,
faded from sight, though not from memory.
We did not want to see beyond the swell, wanting it to last forever.

But finally, we reached the crest

On the other side a bridge
led back to “civilization.”
We swam that way because we knew it was our destination.
A soft beach rose to meet my feet.
I must have been dawdling
Because my friends were way ahead.
I followed their trail into a building
But didn’t see them.
I  desperately wanted to talk about our experience in the water,
To hold on to it, and know that it had really happened.
 
Then I realized I was in a hospital
walking down a hallway.
Confused, I thought I saw a room with a pool.
but when I looked in I didn’t see a pool,
Just a couch.
It was like a waiting room.
Children with light brown skin
Sat in the corner.
I wanted to tell them a story about a big blue wave
That lifted us up in the air and held us
For a moment when time slowed
And gave us a glimpse of something deeper.
But that’s when my dream ended.
 
 
 
….
 
There have been many times in my life when I dreamed about giant waves that were frightening. This dream was very different. This giant, mysterious wave was patient and peaceful. I enjoyed seeing my friend Dorothy in my dream. The hound dog was Doodle who we lost several months ago. For a beautiful underwater video of  Christ in the Abyss, click here.
 
 
blue bottle (2)
 
 
I created the top photo by turning this bottle upside down and cropping the photo. Colored glass bottles are some of my favorite things. I collect mostly blue bottles, but also amber, green, yellow, and a couple red and purple ones. 


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Thursday Tree Love: Roots

“A tree’s beauty lies in its branches, but its strength lies in its roots.”
― Matshona Dhliwayo

Roots provide a glimpse into the vast support network in an underground world we are only beginning to understand. I find them fascinating.

Here are a few photos I’ve taken of tree roots:

Do you see a lemur face peeking out on the left?

Roots offer footholds like steps on twisting trails.

Roots make cool hide outs for little animals.

Some roots look like legs that could walk away at any moment.

Thursday tree love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more Tree Love, visit: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-92/


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Old Songs, Natural Highs, and my New Favorite Hiking Trail

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Linda says our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is a little complicated. Yes, but just a little which makes it interesting.

The prompt is: “song.” First, we find a picture–the closest one to us. Then we write about the “lyrics of the first song that comes to mind when we look at the picture.”    and as always, “Have fun!”

When I read the prompt, I was laying in bed after having driven the six hours from the mountains, though I think the trip took about seven hours because I stopped a lot to stretch the crinkles out of my old bones. The closest picture was a print I bought from Amanda Clark who is my favorite contemporary artist. She paints lots of earthy, whimsical, trees, bunnies, foxes, angels. The print I have made me think of the song, Blue Moon. But I just put that song in a post so I looked to my right and saw the painting I did in high school from a photo in National Geographic.

Rocky Mountain mist

I’m pretty sure the photo was taken of the rocky mountains. Though it might be somewhere like the Alps. I added the fairy mist coming over the ridge a few years ago.  In high school I had a dream of going to the Rocky Mountains, so naturally, I thought of John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” whenever I look at this painting.

I was kinda obsessed with this song when I was in high school and the whole ecology movement. I thought I was going to be born again when I went to the rocky mountains. I’ve never  been though. I’m not sure if I will ever go, though I hope to go to the Pacific Northwest if this virus ever makes interstate travel safe.

Still, I have a little house in the North Carolina Mountains and a little house near the Carolina Coast. The last song I heard coming back home to the coast on around 6pm on my oldies station was “O-o-h Child.”  This song came out in 1970 and has been a big part of my life, especially during hard times, ever since.  I would sing this song to myself when I was lonely and didn’t know if I’d ever find love again. I sang it to myself when my job was driving me crazy and during my darkest years when I wondered if life was worth living.  I sang it to my daughter during her difficult teenage years.

And you know what? It worked! Things did get easier. Hard times still came and went, and maybe they always will. But today, after many years, things are much better and easier than they were 20 years ago.  Dreams have come true. Maybe not exactly like I thought, but I have a man who loves me and supports me in so many ways. I’m retired, and I get to paint and write and putter in the yard.

I’ve never been to the Rocky Mountains, but on Wednesday I went on the most wonderful hike in the Appalachian Mountains. I got a Blue Ridge Mountain High for sure. There’s a river not far from our mountain house that I am falling in love with. I’ve just got to share some photos with you!

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large brown fungus on tree
Name that fungus!

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I love this river!
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Just enough challenge to make it interesting.

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… and worth the effort!

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Ferns growing on a rock
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Raccoon Tracks?
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Blooming Rhododendron

PS: I impulsively clicked to go to the new block editor while working on this so who knows how it will turn out. It’s like learning WP all over again! :/

I need to learn how to make one of those collages.

For more Streams of Consciousness and guidelines, visit Linda Hill at:


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Thursday Tree Love: Coupled

“For most of human history, we had no clue that trees were keeping the air on. Without trees, our life on earth would be impossible.”   Matthew Sleeth, MD, Author of Reforesting Faith,

I rarely share quotes with the word “impossible.” But I’m so thankful to trees for keeping the air on. I can’t imagine life without them.

Yesterday I had a wonderful hike in the gentle mountains of North Carolina. The system of  underground tree roots provided cushioned support as my footsteps seemed to reverberate with forest energy. The abundant oxygen and tree love gave me a natural high.

One tree that caught my attention might be two trees with a common base.

I see a lot of these in nature where humans have not interfered.
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Below is a closer look at the base with a spider web attached to one side. If this started as two trees, the root system must be so intertwined, they are like one tree.

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When trees are this dense, it’s not easy to separate them at the top. I think these sister trees could be maples.
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Here are some other close tree families I discovered on a nature trail at a rest area on the drive to the mountains. I sure needed that walk.

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Some trees live in close families, some stand alone. Either way, they adapt. I suspect the lone trees have long roots and find friends through an underground network. For all we know, they could have something like an organic internet dependent only on sun and rain.

Love-tree-with-heart-shaped-branches-and-birds

Thursday Tree Love is a photo feature hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit:

https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-91/


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Thursday Tree Love: Staying Strong

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”    A. A. Milne

 

I discovered this tree along the Blue Ridge Parkway in the gentle mountains of North Carolina in the eastern US.

Challenged tree # 2 on the BRParkway

 

It stands strong in spite of graffiti and being partially hollow.

 

Challenged tree #2 by Ayla on BRPW

An elderly couple was sitting in its shade having a snack.

 

This is the view to the left of the tree:

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Love-tree-with-heart-shaped-branches-and-birds

Thursday Tree Love is a photo feature hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more Tree Love, visit:

https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-90/