Archive for May, 2017

on fish and humming birds

May 24, 2017

28 Iyar 5777 Scottsdale

Funny sometimes how Man and animals interact. I noticed at the piling of Chaparral Road Bridge, in the canal, some large fish. They are big fish, over 30 inches long, if you threw one at your friend, it would likely knock him over. At first I thought they were spawning there, but having checked on them regularly for many weeks, I see that they are just always there. It protects them from the current, and in this man-made canal, there is not much else to hide behind. It is a really artificial situation; a man-made canal, and then these poor fish are “stocked” into it, and then they have no place to hang out except behind a piling.

On a more positive nature note, I made a discovery (for me, not science) about hummingbirds. Since I always see them sticking their beaks into the honeysuckle flowers in the backyard, I thought they must only eat nectar. But no. It turns out they mostly eat bugs. How did I discover this? I was sitting under some trees near a small pond in Chaparral Park, and the hummingbirds come there and keep going near leaves. I am thinking, what are these hummingbirds dumb? There are no flowers here! But then watching carefully I see they are stirring up little insects, which they then catch. Then I checked online and saw that indeed it is a common misconception that they eat only nectar. They eat both insects and nectar. Now you know!

By the way, standing under that tree, one flew about a foot from my face! They are a lot of fun to watch, and don’t mind you hanging around.

Image result for hummingbirdsphoto: national zoo

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Bald Eagle

May 14, 2017

15 Iyar 5777, Hanoch Ne’eman, Scottsdale

Some nights ago, without me hearing it, it rained here. Let me tell you, there were a lot of happi cacti out there on the morrow. The Saguaros were simply swelling with joy. The air smelled beautiful too. Had to clean the dust marks of the car, but that was a small price to pay.

Two Shabboses before today, I took a walk down to Hayden Road in the late afternoon.

Image result for rain on cactus

Elizabeth Rose – photo

I walked along Hayden Road, with its heavy traffic, up to Jackrabbit Road, then turned back. As I get closer to Chaparral Road, I see, atop a tall wooden electric pole, a very large bird. “What might that be?”, I think, “a turkey vulture or a heron, looking for fish in Chaparral Pond which is just on the other side of the street?” Getting closer, slowly, I see it is a bald eagle! And I know what they look like, because I saw them and photographed them years ago on my Aunt’s property in Vermont.

Before long the eagle got uneasy and took off. It circled high over the lake a few passes, not diving for anything, and then kept flying off. It was about 24 inches from head to toe. He kept flying off, heading north, sort of veering back and forth. I could easily still see him over a mile away.

Rav Kook wrote in 5668 (1908) in Jaffa:

The longing for freedom will reach its peak, and Man will realize that he is entitled to live in his spirit (inside) as he actually is, according to the desire of the mighty nature of his living soul – and this soul lives only in G-d. Without deep, vibrant faith, this soul has no life or light. It is fleeting as a shadow, oppressed by a terrible suffering, and parched with cruel thirst. Who would prevent her? Who would not allow her to live in G-d? Who would drive this sky bird from her nest? Who would put her in prison? Who would stop her from cruising the full expanses of heaven, the place of splendor and fresh air, full of light and life?   (Orot, pg. 218)

Yes, we should be privileged to see the eagles soaring every shabbos, wherever we are!