A cardinal christmas

Ginger was released at my house after being rehabbed at a wild life center after being hit by a car. We named her Ginger. She has been with us a week now. She does not know how to find food on her own or even get water from the bird bath so I had to put water and food for her on the ground . She also has our bird feeder. But Red Velvet, named by my daughter, has been showing her how to use the bird bath and he hops around next to her on the ground then flies up to the feeder. I am hoping she will learn by it being modeled but she is very young. Too young for a mate and barely should be on her own.

Me being me I worry. I worry she is cold and lonely and scared. She kind of taps into my childhood fears. Yet, she was placed here where I have watched her every day. She used to sit on the chair on the deck and fly very little the first two days and then I decided to move the chair into the yard. Now she is flying further. I moved it further. She is flying further. Her wings are weak but she is getting stronger. The second day she was here I had set this up for the squirrels to make a christmas card and both of the cardinals landed next to it to check it out so they get to have a christmas card too!

I pray she gets stronger and lives a happy life! But again, me being me, I had to tell my husband “If anything happens to me, make sure you feed ginger every day!” I don’t have the strength to get a dog and yet somehow I now have a bird!

The endangered snail kite

I was deeply blessed to be able to have this many close encounters with snail kites that are endangered. I went to Payne’s Prairie where they have come to eat the invasive apple snails. Invasive to one, saving a species to another! I thought in my wheelchair it would be impossible. Infact I was at first disappointed when I saw all of the men with their huge cameras holding them up knowing I had no strength in my arms for anything but resting my camera on the monopod on the seat of my wheelchair. Then the snail kites just started landing near me and I had the perfect shots and not only that I got to look them in the eyes. It was breathtaking, awe inspiring, I had no words. My husband and I just sat there listening to their screeches and watching them dive for the snails floating on the water. I’m thrilled I was able to get these photographs to share.

Photo of me by me demonstrating PTSD

It took me hours to create what I wanted to get in this photo. I knew what I wanted but not how to get there. I took this of myself in the mirror with a black wig on. I actually did an entire series with different wigs for some poetry but this photo in particular I did to submit for the survivors wall at the harn museum in our town in florida that allows victims of abuse to submit any art that helps the deal with the affects of PTSD. There are usually amazing photos, sculptures, poetry, some of it is hard to look at but shouldn’t it be! It’s how we really feel. This photo I did for me I wanted to show how it felt to be backed into a corner, vulnerable…but is the hand reaching or grabbing…can you only see one of my eyes because that is all I am allowing? How much of ourselves to we truly let others see? How much can we reveal of our suffering and perseverance without then also dealing with secondary victimization, blame, and judgment.

I cannot always explain how I feel but I can create an image that tells it and write poetry that does too. Here is my photo