Quite by accident, I caught this morning’s sunrise. It was lovely.
I woke about 5:55 with a searing pain in my left side. I’m not sure what it was but when I sat up, it went away. Since I was sitting up and my feet were on the floor and I was a bit afraid that if I laid back down the pain would start again, I decided to get up, grab my camera and catch the sunrise (#27).
On my way down the short drive to the edge of the field where I could get a better view of the spectacle, one of our outside cats – Marbles – ran to greet me. I was glad to have the company until I spotted a fat, baby Bluejay on the ground, apparently out learning to fly. Marbles pounced immediately, thinking that she had hit the jackpot, I’m sure. The poor little bird, who couldn’t fly yet, tried to hop away from her. She stayed hot on his track. I, being a person who does not handle these situations very well, even though I AM a Southern girl, began to scream and shriek and say “STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP!” as frantically and loudly as I could. Bear in mind that this all occurred at about 6:00 a.m. My poor Mother heard all of this commotion and almost killed herself trying to get off of the couch where she was sleeping to come see about me. According to her, she thought a coyote had me.
I ran back in and then we both went out and, by that time, the birdie parents, and what sounded like the rest of the birdie family, were squawking and swooping and doing all they possibly could to save the baby bird. It was truly an amazing display of how animal families stick together. However, Marbles didn’t move away from the birdie until my Mother got a long stick and “swooshed” it at her, screaming for her to get away from the birdie. Sadly though, the damage was done. The birdie didn’t make it as I think Marbles had bitten its neck.
I was very sad and cried and told the birdie that I was sorry for what the cat had done and I told the birdie parents that I was sorry for the baby and I truly was. How sad that the birdies were out of a beautiful early morning, learning to fly and one of them didn’t make it. My Mother, however, reminded me that this is just how nature works, how cats operate, how things sometimes happen. I know that. I know that Marbles acted out of instinct, that no matter how much good catfood we give her, she will still want birds. I know that but I am still sad for the bird, and for its parents, and for it never even learning to fly. My Mother also told me, however, that I probably saved the other three or four birdies who were learning to fly as I noticed what I was going on and I put Marbles in the storage room so that they could continue their flying lessons undisturbed. It doesn’t make me any less sad for the one little birdie that didn’t make it but I sure hope that the others made it and were able to fly as planned.
I must admit that this string of events put a bit of a damper on my sunrise watching but it was still stunning. Absolutely gorgeous. I’m continually amazed – even despite incidents with cats and birds – at the wonders of nature. Birds learning to fly, knowing to do it in the early morning, hopping from tree to tree, sibling and parent birds doing what they can to help the others, the sun always rising in the east and going down in the west. It all works together. It all knows what to do, in what order, and it all happens faithfully, without fail. Yes, it happens everyday but everyday it is a wonderful and wondrous miracle all the same. And, somehow, every day is a bit better than the one before. That is also a miracle.
So, enjoy my sunrise with me. Yes, it will hopefully happen again tomorrow but… isn’t today just the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen?
(Click thumbnails for larger images.)
Amazing… wouldn’t you agree?
I also worked on my 101/1,001 List #87… try new recipes. I didn’t stipulate in the list that I had to LIKE the new recipes that I tried but – as luck would have it – I DID like this one. I had some chard that was about to ruin so I Googled for a good chard recipe and came back with Chard Lasagna. Mmmmmm… so good! If I may say so myself, this is the best lasagna that I’ve ever had. I used whole wheat lasagna noodles and had to substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta and had to tweak the tomato sauce a bit to accommodate what I had on hand (the secret to good tomato / spaghetti sauce is a pinch of sugar and a dash of balsam vinegar… TRUST ME!)
Bottom line… this lasagna is AMAZING! And easy. Try it and you will see!
1 package (8 oz.) dried lasagna
1 pound red or green chard
1 cup ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper
1 onion (about 8 oz.), peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed or minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 3 quarts water to a boil. Add lasagna and cook, stirring occasionally to separate noodles, until barely tender to bite, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta, immerse in cold water until cool, and drain again. Cover loosely.2. Meanwhile, rinse and drain chard. Trim and discard discolored stem ends. Thinly slice stems crosswise and coarsely chop leaves. In a 4- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring about 1 cup water to a boil. Add chard, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until stems are tender-crisp to bite, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain, extracting as much water as possible with the back of a spoon. In a bowl, mix chard with ricotta; add salt and pepper to taste.
3. In the same pan over medium-high heat, stir onion and garlic in oil until limp, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and oregano; cover and simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Cover bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with a third of the noodles, then half the chard mixture, spreading it level to edges of dish. Spoon a third of the tomato sauce over chard mixture and sprinkle with a third of the parmesan. Repeat layers of noodles, chard mixture, sauce, and cheese. Cover with remaining noodles, then remaining tomato sauce and cheese.
5. Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until hot in the center and bubbling at edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Before I skeedaddle, a couple of other pics that I snapped today.
If you remember, just the other day, I posted this picture (directly below) of a garlic that resides in the front flowerbed. Just that short time ago, it was still closed up, barely blooming…
Well, today, only two days later, it is all bloomed out! The sun and a bit of rain will do that! ‘Tis the season, after all…
I also shot a picture of myself this morning as I was watching the sunrise. I call this “Post-Traumatic Self-Portrait“…
And, what would a Zazazu post be without a kitty picture? This is one of our outside cats – Pearl – during one of her many inside stints today, playing with the catnip toy that she adores so. She is a sweet girl… Pretty blue-eyes…
Before I leave, I’d like to solicit your help for my 101/1,001 List #95. What music would you recommend that I hear (one song from any artist) that I might not have heard before? I normally listen to jazz. I’m all about suggestions! Thanks lovelies!
Have a great one, everyone! xo…