Friday Favorites: The Consolation of Nature

For me, as is the case with many people, nature is a great consolation when there are troubles big and small. Even in March in Maine, there are signs of spring, reasons to be glad and feel a little comforted.

At breakfast one morning this week, I looked out the window and spotted this chipmunk on the small wall Clif built to hide our garbage cans, which we use to store sticks and fallen branches. Chipmunks hibernate in the winter. Seeing the chipmunk out and about, even though the weather is brisk, even though there is mud aplenty, is a cheering sign of spring.

Tiny red buds have started appearing on the maples, and here they are silhouetted against a morning blue sky.

The fungi pictured below is not a sign of spring, but this time of year—when the snow is mostly gone and not much is growing—it really stands out.


Thoughtful Posts from Some of the Lovely Blogs I Follow

I’m guessing that for most of us, Ukraine is never far from our thoughts. How could it be any other way? Not only is the death and destruction in Ukraine horrible to behold even from afar, but it’s being wrought by a tyrant with an arsenal of nuclear weapons. In response, some of my blogging friends have, in their own way, added their voices in support of Ukraine as they chronicle this terrible time.

Donna, from Retirement Reflections, offers practical ways that people can help Ukrainians.

Tanja, from Tanja Britton, takes solace in memories from winters’ past and shares wonderful photos of animals that live in her area.

Xenia, from Tranature, wrote a simple, lovely haiku and lit a candle for peace.

Debbie, from Musings by an ND Domer’s Mom, has written a thoughtful post that asks “What’s Valuable to you?” I was particularly taken with this: “To grumble and complain that we donโ€™t have more โ€” when so many have far less โ€” feels like the gravest of sins to me.” Yes, yes!

Jane, from Robby Robin’s Journey, has reposted an old blog post about a trip through the Soviet Union 1970. Her observations and conclusions are illuminating and help provide an understanding of where Russia is today.

D. Wallace Peach, from Myths of the Mirror, has written a haunting poem about war and hope.


DakhaBrakha’s music is not the kind I usually listen to, but that’s one of the reasons why I love NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts so much. It exposes me to music and groups I have never heard of. Also, DakhaBrakha is from Ukraine, which is particularly relevant right now. The group’s music is wild, haunting, and arresting, yet another example of how music can be many things. And the costumes? Well, as one commenter put it, “Came for the hats. Stayed for the music.”

66 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: The Consolation of Nature”

  1. So lovely to see the chipmunk and the red buds on the maples appear Laurie! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful music and thank you for the mention too ๐ŸŒบ

  2. Laurie, you are so right about nature helping us feel better in troubled times. We don’t have chipmunks here, and we did where I grew up, in Ohio, so I miss them. I haven’t blogged lately because my husband had a bad fall and, after five days in the hospital, he’s now in a rehab facility. He’s expected to recover. But before that happened I also wrote a blog piece with thoughts on Ukraine. Please share it if you can.

    Will You Be on the Right Side of History?

    1. When you provided the link, it is shared right here. Thanks for reminding me that you wrote this. Generally, the links I share have been posted in the past week or so, which is why I missed yours, which was posted on March 11, a couple of weeks ago.

  3. Very interesting music, regional and tribal in its roots. One can feel it viscerally! Looks like the women are wearing thrift store wedding gowns. Pretty cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thanks for the shout out, Laurie! I love this tiny chipmunk. When my son was in high school and playing golf regularly, we used to see them scurry about on the course. That’s a happy memory! We, too, are seeing early early signs of Spring — if we can just get past the rain and mud!

    1. Chippers are such cute little rodents. And one of the things I really like about them is that they never try to come in the house. Yes, the mud is terrible this year. Worse than average, I think.

  5. Signs of Spring here too – very welcome! No chipmunks though but lots of birds. Love he music – thianks

  6. I can’t remember seeing a chipmunk in the wild — even a wild backyard. At least here in Texas, there’s a reason for that — our Gray-footed Chipmunk is our only native species, and it’s a forest-dwelling creature that occurs here only in the higher elevations of the Sierra Diablo and Guadalupe Mountains in the Trans-Pecos. I haven’t ever been there!

    I really enjoyed the music today. For me, music is as much a consolation as nature.

    1. Yes, music is a wonderful consolation. Perhaps chipmunks are more of a northern creature. They do hibernate, which is why seeing them out and about is a sign of spring. Lots and lots of chipmunks in our backyard. We enjoy watching them scurry here and there. And unlike other rodents, chipmunks do not try to get into the house.

  7. Dear Laurie,
    I’m glad you, too, are finding comfort in nature during these troubling times. Your chipmunk is very cute and fungi in their many different presentations are always fascinating.
    Thank you for linking to my post.

  8. Lovely to see the chipmunk heralding spring (hopefully!), and thanks for all the links, I’ll enjoy reading them. I enjoyed the music too, somehow those big furry hats made me think they would be strong singers, and so they are!

  9. We’ve often seen chipmunks during our US travels, and they always made us smile. Such lively, energetic critters. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed the music, Laurie. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I’m glad to see signs of spring in your area. The turkey tails (fungus) are beautiful. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You are very welcome. Listening to DakhaBrakha right now. I thought those fungus might be turkey tails, but I wasn’t sure. Thanks for the identification.

  11. Thanks again for linking to my poem, Laurie, and for sharing other blog posts that speak to the devastation and senseless death in Ukraine. The reasons for this war are unfathomable. And thanks for sharing your beautiful signs of spring. What a joy to see the world waking up from its slumber. Enjoy!

  12. I appreciate how you paired Ukraine’s suffering with the consolation of nature. The bird in flight, the chipmunk, and the stalwart fungi offer peace and hope and (this is why I love fungi) beauty in improbable places. Very nice post.

    1. Thanks so much! Like others, I have been so upset about the war in Ukraine and the wider implications. Not much I can do about it, of course, but I think that makes me feel even worse. Sigh. Still, spring is here, and that does make me feel better.

  13. Wonderful selection of favorites!๐Ÿ™‚ One of the things I love about spring is the return of the chipmunks and I never fail to smile every morning when I walk by my door and see him sitting on my deck.๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I have never seen a chipmunk irl so I have to guess they are the size of a European squirrel? Cute little creatures. I guess he senses the season changing more than we do. That green fungi looks amazing! What colour!

    1. I don’t know how big European squirrels are, but chipmunks are smaller than our gray squirrels and not too different in size than our red ones are.

  15. A beautiful little chipmunk, Laurie! We have a few around here, but they are rarely seen.

    I am listening to the music video now. It is fascinating!

Comments are closed.