Grasshoppers, Roses, and 12-point Bucks – Nature’s Good Luck Signs

IMG_20180817_075305_128 grasshopper copyr

Since last Saturday, I’ve been encountering glimpses of nature…things I consider good luck, even God things. The first sign occurred a week ago on a Saturday night.

A lime green grasshopper with fat lips attached himself to the outside of our glass storm door. Peering in to get a view of our big, wide world inside, he covered one of his bulbous eyes with a front feeler, (sort of like a human hand) to block out the bright light emanating from our hallway. His caramel-hued mouth was stuck in a ‘pucker’ position – like he was ready for a kiss.

The cats were mesmerized by this creature, and watched his movements cautiously. Six spindly legs, about as wide as a toothpick, secured him nicely to the glass.

Grasshoppers are keen to sounds and vibrations around them. I wonder what he was thinking about the cats chatting, the tv blaring in the background, and me talking to him through the glass?

The other natural phenomenon occurred while speaking with my friend Pat on the phone. As I peered out the bay window, I noticed a pop of red on my pink knockout rosebush. Upon closer investigation, a bright red rose was blooming near the back of the rosebush. How could this have happened? I felt so lucky. And the same thing happened again later in the week — another red rose blooming on the same rosebush!

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The third good luck sign occurred while traveling a country road near my house with friend Abby. Just minutes before a glorious pastel tangerine and violet sunset, we glanced to our right to eye a majestic 12-point buck whose antlers were in full velvet (covered with brushy hair and a waxy coating) resting in a field of tall, grassy-green hued soy beans. I had never seen a buck of such a sizable stature. He appeared confident, and when we turned to observe him, cocked his head slightly to the right, locking a gaze on us, unstartled by our vehicle. I wonder how tall this creature would be if he stood up?

I didn’t snap a photo of the buck; the moment went by so fast. I chose to treasure the memory in my mind.

The deer, a symbol of Chinese good luck, also means success, longevity and prosperity.

These three brushes with nature, gave me the energy to look forward with hope of good things to come. Sometimes, if we take the time to slow down and experience the small treasures in life, it slows our heart rate, fills our souls, and helps us stay positive.

“Each moment of the year, has its own beauty.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace, love and sand dollars,


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If you love nature reading about nature, oceans, and the beauty around us, my book Ocean Rhythms Kindred Spirits – An Emerson-Inspired Essay Collection on Travel, Nature, Family and Pets is due out in paperback September 25. It’s available on Kindle preorder here.

What We Need, When We Need it. Learning to Trust God

This morning, I awoke early, riddled with anxiety from a concern weighing heavy on my heart from last evening. I tried praying my favorite Bible verse, “Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything,” over and over in my mind, but the more I prayed, the more restless I became. After thirty minutes of tossing and turning in bed, I glanced at the alarm clock which read 7:01. I sat up in bed, stretched my legs, slipped on my tan wool slippers, and greeted Red Dog who was by my side, with a pat on a head.

As I pulled the cord to open the vertical blinds in our bedroom, I gazed up at the moon, still high in the cornflower sky, with hints of waking from a cold Midwestern night. The sky delighted in a canvas of cornflower blue, and silhouettes of barren trees painted the serene landscape.

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As I purveyed the entrance to our clearing, a single deer appeared. I moved quickly through the house to locate my Nikon camera in the dining room. As I moved back through each room, I glanced out windows as I passed, and spotted two more deer, for a total of three. Two does and one fawn meandered gracefully west to east along the back yard of our property. At the boundary of our neighbor facing directly east, I snapped several photos. The creatures were bending, sniffing the ground, and looking up on alert. They traveled at a leisurely pace, repeating their routine. Parts of the ground were frozen and snow-laden, while oaky-hued ground laid the foundation.

As I pushed back the sheer curtains in the dining room’s bay windows, the dogs quietly whined when they noticed the deer, and Momma cat kept a tune with a low growl, her sleek body all the while brushing the windowsill.

I watched as the deer entered our neighbor’s yard directly across the cul de sac, and disappeared in the wooded area behind their home.

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I had hoped they would come full circle, and perambulate our yard a second time, enabling me to capture a few more snapshots. So much for wishful thinking.

I prepared my breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon, pumpkin bread, and English Breakfast tea. Rather than follow my routine and turn on the Today Show, I opted to sit and ponder my ‘wake up call’ by appreciating the wonders of nature outside my kitchen door.

The exquisiteness of the deer, the moon, the snow, and the trees, was just enough inspiration to take my mind off my troubles and anxieties. It forced me to slow down, and funnel my energy in a positive manner.

And although I received thirty minutes less sleep than yesterday, what I received in return was even more valuable and rewarding. My concerns are still near, but I soon realized I needed to replace my worry with trust.

God gives us what we need, when we need it. We just need to figure out how to use it.

God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

Now go have a blessed day!

Peace out and Love,








I Won’t Back Down

A break in the weather found my beloved mini Aussie, Sabrina, and me on morning walk in our subdivision; most homes sit on three acres.

As we rounded the curve in the gravel road, I looked to my right.  There, camouflaged with the scenery, at the back of the neighbor’s yard, about ten feet from the wooded creek bed, stood a coyote.

At first glance, the coyote was easily mistaken for a fawn – same tan coloring with hints of gray.

Well, the coyote and I had a stand-off.  Sabrina didn’t even notice the animal as she was too busy, head buried in the brush, taking in all the interesting smells.

The coyote-standoff lasted for at east five minutes or so.  I have seen videos where coyotes can take down deer in minutes.  Amazing.

An abandoned dog house lay on our neighbor’s property adjacent to the creek.  I believe the coyote was using this wood lean-to for refuge – never straying more than five to fifteen feet away from the entrance to the structure.

Next time I’m out for a stroll, I’m bringing the Nikon with the zoom lens.

But for now, check out this video of a cat that stared down a coyote in California – and won.

KTLA: Cat Wins Coyote Standoff, Chris Wolfe Reports

Pleasant surprises, and thoughts of cooler days in the Midwest

I wrote this post back in March, and forgot to post on my blog.  Hopefully, this will help you all beat the heat with these three-digit temperatures we have been having lately.

Here you go –


Blog post, March 7, 2012

Sabrina, our Australian Shepherd, was super-hyper this morning, running throughout the house in anticipation of new sights, sounds and smells outdoors.

Donning my white down-filled coat over nightgown and robe, I slipped on my sandals and grabbed the dog’s lead.  We headed outside through the garage door that led to the back yard.

Stepping onto the concrete patio, Sabrina started whining.  I was puzzled.

Looking out across the far end of the yard, I spotted something in the break between the two trees.  The break was picturesque, and served as a gateway to the field.  Within the sunny opening, a beautiful doe presented itself broadside.

She was curious about Sabrina and me, so we moved into position behind the beige pampas grass attempting to camouflage ourselves.

Standing there for a few minutes, the doe locked a gaze on us.  As quickly as she appeared, she exited through the gateway sprinting across the neighbor’s wheat field.

After our usual morning walk around the yard, Sabrina and I decided to investigate the three small piles of whole walnuts I left on the weathered wood bench by the stone fire pit last evening. Several months old, the nuts tasted ‘woody’. While I found them inedible, I figured the squirrels might be interested.

They weren’t.

Upon my approach, I discovered an eight inch wet circular spot on the bench.  I remember my husband telling me that when a deer eats they sometimes grind dirt into their food.  Deer rely on their keen sense of smell for finding nutrients.  Tiny remnants of the walnuts remained on the wet bench with slight scrapes in the wood.  I smiled.

Sabrina and I ran quickly through the cold wet grass inside to tell hubby.

“Hey honey, I saw a doe, and it ate my walnuts!”

Russell, still fast asleep, was startled by the announcement.  In a semi-conscious state, he raised his upper body and asked, “Where, where?”

I grinned, holding back a chuckle.


Today I am thankful for –

The wisdom to repurpose stale nuts

A dog’s intuition

A beautiful deer

And a sleep-talking husband