Spring Is Teasing Us Again

Daffodil Macro
Daffodil Macro, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
snow melts into spring
and nature flaunts lavish costumes
flourishing blossoms
>>:::<<

It seems like spring has been postponed for us again…and again.  Just when we think spring has finally arrived, it quickly withdraws, acquiescing to  snow.  This past Monday morning, we woke up to snow and cold temperatures, which will continue into Wednesday.

I took this photo exactly one year ago on April 17, 2012.  At that time, all of the daffodils were in full bloom and the tulips were just starting to bloom.  Right now, none of the daffodils have bloomed, although a few are close, and the tulips probably won’t start until next week.  The trees are only showing small hints of green, which will eventually turn into lush, full leaves.

So…we wait for spring…still…and then we will celebrate its real arrival.

This is also for the “Tagged” letter challenge letter “P” by Frizztext
(“P” is for Postponed and flower Pistil).

Linking up with:
TEXTURE TUESDAY
MACRO MONDAY
TUESDAY MUSE
NATURE NOTES

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change and Clouds

Dramatic Clouds
Dramatic Clouds, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
unsettled waters
sailing in flying vessels
clouds of change
>>:::<<

The last line, “clouds of change” can be taken literally, or metaphorically.

These dark, threatening clouds rolled in so fast one afternoon that it rapidly turned a sunny day into a gloomy day.  In this photo, the clouds look ripe and ready to burst, which they did.  We got what felt like buckets of rain suddenly pouring down on us.  How quickly things can change.

 This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is to share a picture that says CHANGE.
The Wild Weekly Photo Challenge encourages us to point our lenses toward the CLOUDS. 

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Linking up with:
PHOTO ART FRIDAY

(border texture used is PDPA Serve Life)
WEEKLY TOP SHOT

Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Overlooked

Almost Overlooked
Almost Overlooked, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
hidden yet unconcealed
overlooked in plain view
camouflage
>>:::<<

This is a photo of a little crab spider camouflaging itself on a dried maple seed pod (or a “ballet slipper” as I call it).  This seed pod was only about 1.5 inches long (~4 cm).  At first I did not notice the spider, and my intent was to get some macro shots of the web of veins running through the seed pod.  I had recently gotten a new macro lens and was anxious to start learning how to use it.  Only when I got closer and picked it up did I noticed this little creature clinging to it.  So I decided to make it part of my photography subject.  During the whole photo session, it cooperated nicely, and held perfectly still for the camera.  I only wish I had a tripod at the time to hold the camera just as still.

Crab Spiders usually have short, wide, flat bodies with the first two pairs of legs being longer than the back legs.  They are typically colored to match their habitat, and some can even gradually change to match the color of the flowers on which they are hiding.  Crab spiders ambush their prey, sometimes holding still and relying on their camouflage to keep them from being seen by their prey.  Also, their main defense is this ability to camouflage and they will hide or drop away from predators if they can.

This image is for the Wild Weekly Photo Challenge theme of “Overlooked.”  The great outdoors is filled with things that are often overlooked by most people. People these days spend so much time hurrying through life, tied to their cell phones, that they often forget to look around and see the overlooked things in nature that make our world so special.”  This is a reminder that there is beauty everywhere — sometimes you just need to do a little searching for it.

This is also for the “Tagged” letter challenge (letter “O”) by Frizztext.

Love is in the Air at the Bird Refuge

Grebe Courtship 1
Grebe Courtship 1, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
dramatic performance

like a choreographed dance
instinctive courtship
>>:::<<

In my last posting, I mentioned that we had seen far fewer migratory birds at the local Bear River Bird Refuge than the same time last year.  We went for another visit this past Easter Sunday and I’m happy to report that the birds are gradually arriving, although, still not at the level we saw a year ago on March 24, 2012.  The birds that have arrived since our last visit (at least that we saw) were a few American Pelicans, about 10 to 15 cliff swallows and LOTS of Western Grebes.  The refuge is large, so I’m sure there are many more recent arrivals hiding in the marshes.

The focus of this post is the Western Grebe, which you see in the photos.  They are the largest of the North American grebes and are fish-eating water birds that winter along the west coast of North America and breed on inland lakes during the summer.  The bird is a common breeder in northern Utah, USA, where the refuge is located.  Their preferred habitats are lakes, marshes and coasts.  They are graceful with long flexible necks, and dive into the water, rather than fly away when approached.  They spend most of the time in water.  They are awkward walking on land as their feet are placed far back on the body.

What’s so unusual about the grebes is their courtship display, which is among the most elaborate breeding rituals of North American wildlife.  Their mating display is among the most complicated of all.  A long pair bond is formed and strengthened by elaborate courtship displays including neck-bobbing, flexing their necks backwards toward the water, ritualized preening, head shaking, diving, weed carrying, caressing each other with aquatic vegetation, etc.  The bond is reinforced by a dance, or “rushing” phase.  Each bird glances at one another before exploding into a synchronous sprint, side by side, across the water’s surface, with their bodies completely out of the water, like hydroplaning.  They stand high, their wings held back and their cobra-like head and neck rigid and curved gracefully forward until the race ends with a headfirst dive!!  Wow!  (This dance was the reason for my haiku above.)

If that doesn’t sound cute enough, when the young hatch, the babies ride on the backs of their parents, sometimes as many as four chicks at a time, while the other parent dives for fish and brings food to them.  (Click here to see photos.)

Grebes build floating nests on the water, constructed of reeds, weeds and other floating vegetation.  Both parents take turns sitting on a nest of two to six eggs that hatch in about 23 days.  After the chicks hatch, the nests are deserted and gradually dissolve into the lake.  This is a perfect example of “green” recycling.

Our last visit to the refuge must have been too early for us to see the “dance finale” of this fascinating courtship routine.  There were several pairs, and we only saw the head bobbing and preening, but that’s ok.  It was still fun to see.  Here are a few photos of the beginnings of a courtship:

Grebe Courtship 2
Grebe Courtship 2, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
Grebe Courtship 3
Grebe Courtship 3, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
Grebe Courtship 4
Grebe Courtship 4, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
Grebe Courtship 5
Grebe Courtship 5, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
Grebe Courtship 6
Grebe Courtship 6, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
Grebe Courtship 7
Grebe Courtship 7, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

Future BR Bird Refuge

>>:::<<
heartfelt invitation
excited for your return
spring migration
>>:::<<

Doesn’t this body of water look lonely, eagerly awaiting the return of migratory birds to fill it full of life, including the adorable playfulness of a whole new generation of baby birds?

It’s still phoneography month, and this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge encourages taking another photo with our camera phones.  I took this photo with my iPhone almost two weeks ago at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in northern Utah, USA.  The water was mostly covered in ice still, and was too early for the migratory birds to make their appearance.  We heard that the migration would occur a little later this year because the ice was taking longer to thaw, but we made the trip anyway hoping to see some year-round birds including bald eagles.

One year ago, this section of water was about like you see it (minus the ice), and full of various birds.  However, having one of the driest seasons on record left this area and other units of the refuge dry or drying up by mid-summer, when we made our previous trip.  It was sad to see this so dry, but the refuge was also keeping and diverting water only in priority nesting areas.  At least we were able to see a higher concentration of birds in the priority areas.

It is refreshing to see this refuge full of water again and I am anxious to return when the migratory birds start arriving.  According to information from the refuge, the birds have survived worst conditions than last year, but lets hope the future is better and brighter for them.

Here is another photo I took last weekend, on our second trip to the refuge this year.  The bird is a Great Blue Heron.  This photo was taken with my Pentax DSLR.

Heron Silhouette
Heron Silhouette, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

I’ve had several postings in the past related to this refuge.  The refuge is on a delta of the Bear River in the northeast arm of the Great Salt Lake, and is the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem.  It “offers some of the most phenomenal water bird watching in the Western United States.”  According to the US Fish & Wildlife Services, the refuge is “acclaimed as one of the world’s 10 best birding areas” and has “long been considered one of the most valuable wetlands in the intermountain west region.”  It is a 74,000 acre National Wildlife Refuge and is host to millions of migratory birds yearly.  Located the edge of two North American migration flyways, the Central and Pacific flyways, it is an important resting, feeding, and nesting area for birds in both flyways and is a habitat for more than 200 bird species.

The mountain range you see in the first photo is the beautiful Wasatch Range, home to many world class ski resorts and a host of other outdoor pursuits.  Further to the right (south) near Salt Lake City, and just into these mountains, is where I live. Continue reading

Spring Is Here!

Hungry!
Hungry!, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
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Launch!
Launch!, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
passionate wingsongs
carry loving nourishment
spring nesting
>>:::<<

Happy Spring to those in the Northern Hemisphere!

Today is officially the first day of spring here, yet it is a gloomy, rainy day, which will turn into snow for the next few days.   Snow is still on the ground, and the deer are still sporting their heavy winter coats, however, yesterday was a nice sunny day and the American Robins arrived with their beautiful songs.  A sure sign of spring!

The Western Scrub Jays are gathering food more frantically lately and we hear the constant flapping of their wings as they visit the feeders and beg for peanuts continually through the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  We also see the male feeding the female, which we learned is a way for the female to get used to the male feeding her while she sits on the nest for about three weeks straight, incubating their eggs.  Nesting should begin soon!

The photos above were taken yesterday and are of the same male scrub jay.  The second image is a combination of two different photos.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Moving Forward Through Storms
Moving Forward Through Storms, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
the snow will still fall
paths and journeys will shift
moving forward
>>:::<<

This is a combined photo and doodle image, which I worked on this morning in the warmth of my home and surrounded outside by one of a few snowstorms we are receiving this week.  Also, this blog, which includes my explorations and experiments with photography, digital manipulations, doodling, haiku, etc., was created in 2011 as a therapeutic way for me to move forward in the midst of many developing health issues and chronic pain.

Here is a larger version of the doodle.  I created it on my iPad using the Paper by 53 and ArtStudio apps.  Before moving forward with more doodling recently, my attempts consisted of very bad stick figure drawings.  🙂

Moving out the Negative

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This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge
is to share a picture that says FORWARD to you.

 Linking up with:
PHOTO ART FRIDAY
TEXTURE TUESDAY
(kk textures used: edith and sybil)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss

Scrub Jay Kiss
Scrub Jay Kiss, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
winter bling
enhances my allure
snow kisses
>>:::<<

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…and here’s also a KISS photo I took in Brugge (Bruges), Belgium:

Romance
Romance, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge
is to share a picture that means KISS to you.

Linking up with:
TEXTURE TUESDAY
PHOTO ART FRIDAY
CAMERA CRITTERS
BIRD D’POT

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

Home
Home, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
priceless journeys
in seas of euphoria
the sky is my home
>>:::<<

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge
is to share a picture that evokes home to you.

Linking up with:
PHOTO ART FRIDAY
CAMERA CRITTERS
THE BIRD D’POT
WEEKLY TOP SHOT
NATURE NOTES

“F” Tagged: Flicker of a Flicker

Flicker Flicker
Flicker Flicker, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  Click on photo to enlarge.

>>:::<<
a rare fiery flash
eager for a striking pic
hopefully next time
>>:::<<

The camera is set and ready to capture a bird in flight.
I anticipate its takeoff and start continuous shooting,
hopeful and excited that, finally, I got the shot I wanted!
Darn!  I cut it’s head off!

(Has this ever happened to you?)

This bird is a male Red-shafted Northern Flicker, which resides in western North America.  It is a member of the woodpecker family.  Their outer coloring is mostly neutral, but they are red under their tail and underwings.  The males have a red moustache.  They are stunning when they take off, with their vibrant flashes and flickers of red from their underwings.  Although I have been able to get some good bird flight shots, I’m still working on getting some of the Flicker.  They are quite skittish compared to most of the other birds around here.  Practice, practice, practice!

This image is a combination of two photos taken in sequence using continuous shooting.  I thought that the trees in the background in the original photos were distracting so I used a texture to soften them.

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After a long absence by me, this is for the “Tagged” letter challenge (Tagged “F” Challenge) by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.
Texture used is Kim Klassen’s “Havana”

 Linking up with:
TEXTURE TUESDAY
WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY
NATURE NOTES

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

Ladybug Handstand
Ladybug Handstand, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
have you ever seen
a ladybug in a handstand
dare to be different
>>:::<<

Glad to be participating in the Weekly Photo Challenge after being absent for a couple of months.
Post-processing done in Photoshop Elements 10.  Here is the original photo:

Ladybug Handstand photo

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is to share a photo
that says unique to you.

Linking up with:

PHOTO ART FRIDAY
THIS OR THAT THURSDAY
CAMERA CRITTERS
WEEKLY TOP SHOT

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Great Blue Heron Reflection
Great Blue Heron Reflection, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
drifting to unknowns
migrating towards new paths
past dreams vaporized
>>:::<<

Here is a literal and figurative interpretation of this week’s theme.

Thank you for the nice well wishes on my last posting!  I really appreciate your visits and kind comments.  Postings on both of my blogs and visits to your blogs will be sporadic and sparse for a little while.  Thanks again for your patience.  Time will tell what my new path will be, and it has been a long road.  But for now, there is still a lot of healing to do.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is to share a picture
that means reflections to you.

 

“T” Challenge: Threat Display

Finch Threatened
Finch Threatened, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  Click on photo to enlarge.

>>:::<<
why must one threaten
those who truly mean no harm
misconception
>>:::<<

This is a photo I took this past summer of a female house finch receiving a defensive threat display from a female ruby throated hummingbird.

Hummingbirds are aggressive and defensive around the feeders.  They even hover right in front of hubby and me with their tail feathers fanned out, which is the sign of a threat display.  We provide the feeders for them, and the finches won’t steal their food, but we all still get threatened.  However, it is certainly amusing and makes for good photo opportunities!

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This is for the letter “T” Story Challenge by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.

 Linking up with:
WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY
NATURE NOTES
CAMERA CRITTERS
RURAL THURSDAY

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

>>:::<<
petite cotton balls
blanketing as downy quilts
their journey accomplished
>>:::<<

It’s still the middle of autumn, but the last three days have made me feel like we’re in the middle of winter.  We received our second large snowstorm this season, and the biggest snowstorm in over a year, per our local evening news.  My eyes confirm that statement based on how deep the snow is in our yard.

It’s amazing how quickly the weather can change.  Thursday was a very nice, sunny, warm day with temperatures in the mid 60’sF (about 19 Celsius) and no snow on the ground.  On Friday morning, we woke up to about a foot of snow (30cm) and freezing temperatures, and it has been snowing almost nonstop since.  Saturday morning we woke up to a few more inches of snow, about 16 inches total (41cm).  Right now, Sunday afternoon, there is about 22 inches (55cm) of heavy, wet snow accumulated on our deck since Friday.  You can see the difference in those snow depths among the above images.  (I live at an elevation of about 5,500 ft/1,676 meters.  The elevation of nearby Salt Lake City is 4,226 ft/1,288 meters.)

I enjoy the beauty of living where we experience all four distinct seasons.  Freshly fallen snow blanketing the mountains and valleys is certainly beautiful in the winter, even if I don’t like driving in it.  However, last year was a dismal snowfall year here.  We live in a dry, desert climate, and my state’s (Utah, USA) water supply is dependent on the buildup of winter snowpack in the mountains and the resulting spring water runoffs into our reservoirs.  Also, the ski tourism industry here, with 14 world-class ski resorts and “The Greatest Snow on Earth®” is an important part of the regional economy and obviously dependent on snow levels.

Hopefully, this large snowstorm indicates a good start to a respite and renewing some of the snowfall totals we didn’t get last year.   However, the Utah State University Climate Center found that over the past 40 years, Utah has warmed twice as fast as the global average, and our annual snowpack is shrinking.  Time will tell, but it is a situation that cannot be ignored.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is to share a picture
that means renewal to you.

Linking up with:
YOUR SUNDAY BEST 

Continue reading

“S” Challenge: Survival

>>:::<<
avian banquet
abruptly evacuated
predator shadow
>>:::<<

Lately our birdseed feeders have been swarming with more feathered friends, moreso than this past summer.  There could be 30+ finches, chickadees, pine siskins and scrub jays monopolizing the four feeders at any one time, quickly depleting the food.  Then suddenly, it seems like one of the birds sounds an alarm and they disappear in a flash!  Yesterday, we saw why.  As the small birds evacuated, another larger bird flew across all the feeders and perched in a tree just outside our deck near those feeders…it was a stunning sight!

I believe this bird is a prairie falcon.  (Can anyone confirm its identification for me?)  With a length of up to 50 centimeters, their diet consists mainly of smaller birds caught in flight, and small mammals.  Recently, I found one of the feeders covered in fresh blood.  I thought some of the little birds got in a fight, but now I’m wondering if this hunter had anything to do with it.  Anyway, I would flee too, if I were in danger of being eaten!

(Although it has been snowing heavily these past two days, I was glad to be able to get some shots of this activity.)

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This is for the letter “S” Story Challenge by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.

 Linking up with:
CAMERA CRITTERS
BIRD D’POT
WILD WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

Frost
Frost, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
winter’s paintbrushes
create fascinating abstracts
frost on my window
>>:::<<

A photograph of fractal geometry (frost) creating a common geometric shape (triangle).

Fractal:  A geometric pattern that is repeated at ever smaller scales to produce irregular shapes and surfaces that cannot be represented by classical geometry.  Snowflakes and frost are examples of fractals in nature.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is to share a photo
that means geometry to you.

Linking up with:
PHOTO ART FRIDAY
WEEKLY TOP SHOT
WILD WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE
MACRO MONDAY

“R” Challenge: Residence (nature), Residents

Haunted House
Haunted House, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  Click on photo to enlarge.

>>:::<<
residence for spooks
sporting indelible costumes
haunted house
>>:::<<

Does this look spooky to you, even without seeing any of its residents?

This nest is a residence for the Bald Faced Hornet and was in my mother’s yard in her large Asian Pear tree.  It was about 3-feet off the ground and larger than a football in diameter.  When she told me about it last week while I was visiting her, curiosity motivated me to have a quick look and snap a couple of photos.  However, fear of having a painfully potent encounter with lots of small black spooky-looking things drove me away very quickly.  I have been stung before by yellowjackets and bees, and I’ve stepped on a bumble bee nest by accident – big owwwwwie for several days!!  So I decided to use Wikipedia’s photo below so you can see what the little critter looks like up close.

Bald Faced Hornet – Source: Wikipedia

Here is some information about the Bald Faced Hornet:

  • It belongs to a genus of wasps in North America called yellowjackets, but called a hornet because it builds paper nests.  It is not a true hornet.
  • Are large (greater than 15mm) with black and ivory coloring
  • Are common tree-nesting wasps
  • Are more aggressive than yellowjackets and other hornets
  • A nest can contain 400 to 700 workers
  • Will aggressively attack with little provocation, and anyone or anything that invades their space
  • Have smooth stingers, and will sting repeatedly if their nest is disturbed
  • Are known for their football-shaped paper nests
  • Nests are abandoned by winter and are not reused
  • Old nests provide good winter shelter for other insects and spiders since they are insulated from heat and cold
  • It is not considered safe to approach the nest for observation purposes
  • Their scary costumes and face masks are permanent!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 

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This is for the letter “R” Story Challenge by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.
Kim Klassen texture used – Providence

 Linking up with:
MACRO MONDAY
TEXTURE TUESDAY
OUR WORLD TUESDAY
NATURE NOTES
RURAL THURSDAY

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

Foreign Language
Foreign Language, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
peculiar symbols
meaningless and ignored
language barrier
>>:::<<

“Hey little bird!  Parking is allowed between the signs, not on top of the signs!”

This sign is obviously in a foreign language to the yellow-headed blackbird (or perhaps he’s just the parking enforcer to those who find this sign a foreign concept).  I was trying to come up with a different take on the “foreign” theme this week.

Photo taken at the Bear River Bird Migratory Refuge in northern Utah, USA.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is to share a picture
that means foreign to you!
While foreign (rightly so) often brings up images of things outside of your own nation, it can also apply to things outside of or different from your normal environment, or even something which is out of place in general.

 Linking up with:
CAMERA CRITTERS
BIRD D’POT

“Q” Challenge: Qigong

Scrub Jay Qigong
Scrub Jay Qigong, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  Click on photo to enlarge.

>>:::<<
focus…breathe…relax…
mastery of awareness
perfectly balanced
>>:::<<

Qi (or chi – pronounced “chee”) is frequently translated as life energy, life force, or energy flow.  Qi is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts.

Gong (or kung; gung – pronounced “gung”) is often translated as cultivation or work.

Qigong (pronounced “chee gung”) refers to the cultivation and balance of life energy, especially for health.  It focuses on breath, movement and awareness.

Qigong (and tai chi, with which you may be more familiar) is a traditional Chinese exercise.  It is a form of gentle exercise involving movements that are typically repeated, composed of strengthening and stretching the body, increasing fluid movement, enhancing balance and building awareness of how the body moves through space.  It is based on two ideas:

  • Qi flows through the body along “energy pathways” called meridians. If the flow of qi is blocked or unbalanced at any point along the pathway, it is thought that you may become ill. Doing qi gong (or tai chi) increases energy flow and improves health through gentle, graceful, repeated movements.
  • Nature, including the body, consists of opposing forces called yin and yang. Good health results when these forces are in balance. Qi gong (or tai chi) movements attempt to help restore the body’s balance of yin and yang.

Some believe that as a complement to Western medicine, qigong can help the body heal itself.

(Sources: WebMD and Wikipedia)

Notice the scrub jay in the photo above.  He is perfectly balanced at the top of a 35+ feet tall tree with his right leg, and is holding his left leg steady, as if he is doing a qigong movement!  He also has a deformed left foot, which doesn’t seem to hold him back much. (Click here to see another photo of this same bird.)

Also, seeing his pose reminded me of the original 1984 “Karate Kid” movie, when Daniel was learning an important life lesson about balance.  (See image at the Wikipedia link here.)  In reality, this bird was just waiting for me to put out some peanuts for his daily treat!

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Examples of qigong health benefits:

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Have you tried qigong (or tai chi)?  If so, what are your experiences?

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