Posted in Birders, child death, Colombia, Colombian life, country living, Entreprenuer, expat life, freedom, happiness, hotel, hummingbirds, mother nature, nature, Perfection and Peace, strength, Uncategorized

The Sounds of Silence

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I have avoided silence since January 31, 2010. The day my daughter was murdered. I have learned lessons, and I have worked hard to get to the place I am in right now. I feel free. I am free of abuse, I am free of negative energy in my home, I am free of judgmental people, free of machismo men who thought they could control me, I am free of everything that was keeping me confined to thought processes that were obsessively full of fear and sadness. When you lose someone suddenly this is normal. But what I did was not normal, I left my own country and changed my life completely. I will never regret my decision to do what I have done, I have evolved and I know another language.

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New orchids that bloom overnight

I wake up to silence, not my iPad on a news station saying the same things over and over. This is how I would go to sleep since Misha died, almost 8 years now: cable news blah,blah, the same noise said again and again. Sad isn’t it? To think it took me 8 years to get to silence when I live in Paradise. The only sounds I should want to hear are the birds singing, the rain falling, the sound of music I put on when I make my coffee in the morning.

 

 

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Villa Migelita Ecolodge

I could lay in bed on many days and not get up. I don’t allow myself this luxury. I know I need to get going and function. I have known this since the shock from the death of my daughter left me. I would not allow myself to fall off a cliff in despair. I would not allow myself to use as an excuse her death to become a sad human being, or to become filled with anger at her murderer. I used her death to better myself. But still I lacked silence. My brain would not quit.

I started this blog, I learned to take photos and use them to share the beauty I live in. To show my hummingbirds to the world, to show my flowers and a different way of life to all. It has not been easy but I have found the silence I crave inside my brain. With that all the photos and videos I take enrich me more than ever. They bring me to a place that I have been striving to find. Quiet. Pure and complete stillness of being, and sometimes that elusive happiness.Hummingbirds and rainstorm 017

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My birds in Paradise

 

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The Colombian and American flag represent who I am now
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Posted in Colombia, Colombian life, nature, Nature Symbolism, Uncategorized

The Brilliance of Nature

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My cover image is an iguana that looks like it is an extension of a leaf from a plant. I believe it personifies how easily the light can change the way we see things. I only saw this iguana because my dog was barking. I went to look and there was this beautiful iguana.

When I hike the butterflies are everywhere. Sometimes you can miss them because they blend in with the nature around them.

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This butterfly blends in with the rocks

A tree stump with the beautiful Blue Tanager of Colombia. The sun was setting and the flowers of Colombia are so brilliant, I could easily think this gorgeous bird was a bloom of a plant.

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Azules pajaro de Colombia

Then there are the actual flowers on my farm and bed and breakfast  Villa Migelita. The way they grow so beautifully reaching towards the sun.

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A new sunflower opening to the sun

This photo of my dog Orion stretching is wonderful, you might focus on him and miss the landscape that is in the background, highlighted by the late afternoon sun.

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The sun going down in the background highlights the foliage

Finally as the sun goes down at Villa Migelita itshines upon the ducklings, you have to look carefully or you could miss them in this picture of activity.

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those ducklings!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

I Can See His Eyelashes

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Maybe he will live, maybe his wing will heal, maybe I will find redemption in his perfect little being. Maybe none of the above will happen. But I do know he wants to live. I have never cared so long for a hummingbird, except for one that was a tiny baby and you can read about that experience here.

This is Grigio and I am obsessed with his eyelashes. I never realized hummingbirds have them. He does. They make me melt with love. They move my soul. They are why I didn’t listen to the ‘experts’ and did what I wanted to do to help this young hummingbird. His eyes with those tiny eyelashes.

He was dead yesterday when I went to his cage in the morning. I am serious. He was dead. I pulled his lifeless body out from behind his little nest. He was on his back, legs in the air. He was not living anymore. I stroked his head. I told him he was a fighter, and then I detected a small movement. I was sure I was imagining it. I put his tiny beak to the feeder and he moved again. I knew he was coming back to life. One minute more and he would be gone, along with the hope that I attached to him. I will admit he means more to me than I can explain: but I will try.

To me Grigio represents a part of me that will never give up. He is me, I am him. He continues to live despite all the odds. I am like that myself. I am thriving despite the obstacles that are in my way.

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Grigio in his cage until I can release him

I thrive despite the sadness of my past, I thrive from the lessons I have learned from life, I thrive from the delicate balance of life I have lived and the life of my future. I thrive despite all that is thrown at me. Just as Grigio continues to flourish. I do too. It is not something I think about, nor does he. It just is who I am. I am a fighter, so is he. Perhaps, this is a message to me from beyond. I believe in signs.

Grigio is pervasive, he is right there by me in the morning..he is my sign to fight for what I want to achieve. He is my symbol of life and perseverance. He is my light at the end of the tunnel, he is what I believe to be real. He is a miracle. I want to be a miracle to myself. Maybe, just maybe he will be that for me.

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The angel that sits where my daughter is buried

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Colombian life

I Will Always Look Up

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/look-up/

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This photo is not perfect but I love the hummingbird coming in from the top
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Look at the hummingbird coming up to take over!
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When looking up while laying on my back taking photos the perspective is different
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Mango striped hummingbird

Looking up can bring you many images of beauty. Especially in my little pueblo in Colombia. I look up all the time because of all the bird calls. I always try to have my camera nearby to catch a video or photo of the many birds I see. Colombia has the most species of birds in the world. I see so many but I can’t always get them on film. The series above was taken while lying on the ground below the feeders…the images are not perfect but I like the way they show the spirit and spunk of hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are fierce little fighters!

Then there are the animals I always see on my hikes around my Villa. I am always photographing cows, goats, chickens and horses. They wander the mountains and streets grazing in complete freedom. It is truly delightful to see this when you visit Colombia.

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Taken from below
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Looking up while he looks down
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Goats checking us out as we ride by

Flowers and plants are always abundant here in Colombia. We have over 50,000 different varieties of plants and flowers. The colors are wonderful, and I don’t have to put any effort into any plant or flower to have them grow as the climate and soil allow flowers to thrive.

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Heliconia plants
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Roses on my balcony
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Then the sun started to fall

Most importantly I like the two words ‘looking up’, because that phrase brings good images to mind. In this world that is so full of suffering and random violence, looking up to see the sky, clouds, a sunset, nature and beauty can relieve us of anxiety; if only for a moment. So tonight when you read this take a moment to look up and see your sunset, or your stars overlooking the world and think positively. We must always save a little hope inside of us for humanity. Even when all we see is rampage and unresolved anger everywhere. Just look up and find the beauty around you, and let yourself feel the peace in that moment in time.

 

Posted in Colombian life, Perfection and Peace

Perfection

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I have come to realize that spending time alone is my idea of perfection. Time doing what I want when I want to. Realizing I am comfortable without anyone talking, just listening to the sounds of nature that surround me. Reading, writing, studying, and accepting the simple life I have chosen as a very different alternative to my past life as a flight attendant, when I would be surrounded by over a thousand people a day when I worked domestic flights. Perfection to me is being alone and in harmony with myself.

Perfection is this photo of a simple home along a walk . A cat resting, a dog sleeping, and everything is so simple. The bamboo trees, the color of the house, the simple stables. The curtained window with the flower baskets hanging. Perfection.

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Perfection is the beauty of the country with a river flowing, listening to the sounds of water rushing with my dogs next to my side. The rainforest sounds of birds and insects. Perfection.

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Perfection is sharing part of my day with any of the horses or cows that greet me on my hikes. The life of a true minimalist. Perfection.

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Perfection is quiet solitude when I study Spanish in the evening, or read a book that grips me immediately and I can’t put it down. While looking at the sunset, the mountains, and the home I have created here in Colombia. Perfection.Franchesca

Perfection is seeing many flowers blooming at once. Something I never enjoyed in Florida. Exotic flowers, flowers that I would see for sale in the store but never live on a real plant. Perfection.

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Perfection is a hummingbird sitting on a branch while I do Yoga looking out at the mountains and watching them flit right next to me. Perfection.

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Perfection is a perfect sunset as a rainstorm approaches. Perfection.rainstorm sunset

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Perfection is living my life as I see fit, not caring if others approve or disapprove, living my adventure one day at a time. In peace and happiness with my animals on my beautiful farm in the mountains of Colombia. Perfection.

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The view from the top
Posted in Uncategorized

One Purple Flower

Butterfly and hike 014In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up.”

I take many photos while I explore my ‘adopted’ country Colombia. This photo shows the beauty of a flower in-depth. The little hairs around the edge of the petals delight me. This flower is one of many at my Villa. I delight in the color of this simple photograph. Color to me is everything. The colors of Colombia make me happy. Purple is so beautiful when seen in a natural setting.