Today is The Day

Today is the day children wake up pink-cheeked, warm-toed and sparkle-eyed, as the sky wakes from behind the mountain, lazily, then with an urgent rush, color, running, movement, the voices come from all six directions, kids and birds alike: “I am hungry!”


Apache Plume in the wind, Fain park Trails, Prescott Valley


A different type of of plume, Fairy Duster, Phoenix. Arizona

Drink-your-tea! Drink-your-tea!, insists the spotted towhee from the pinon pine. She gets frustrated with me. I sit at the foot of the flaming Apache plume, coffee in hand, while towhee ramps up her instruction: Quick-ly-drink-your-tea! I’ll whistle back sometimes, teasing her: I-don’t-want-the-tea!, and we get into a melodious argument over tea, pine cones and sun. Her beak is upturned, her throat dances in fresh light with the confidence of the day.

Today is the day wildflowers know exactly what to do. They had been playing ‘pass on a baton‘. In March, the hills looked snowy with Mountain Balm, and the bees got drunk on the first nectar. Then Cliffrose, and Apache Plume, Evening Primrose, and Desert Marigold, Indian Paintbrush, and every type of Penstemon, California Poppy and Golden Columbine, Prickly Poppy and thickets of Desert Globemallow took turns. Today is a wild awakening unfolding.


Western Bluebird perched on a Ponderosa pine, Goldwater lake, Prescott


A stout Ponderosa pine holding pounds of acorns buried by acorn woodpeckers, nuts top to bottom


Safe high in the cactus home, waiting for mom, Phoenix, Arizona

Today is the day my mango will sprout!, sings the boy. And a new strawberry will be there waiting for him. Three lizards on the wall will show off their sun-catcher scales and muscles: push up, jog, push up, jog, flip the tail… And the yucca on the quail trail, it was merely a bundle of conspicuous spikes last night, today the yucca will suddenly shoot out a two foot flower stalk, as only agaves and yuccas do, just like that, overnight, because they can, because they are as magic as magic beans.

Today the child will say: Let’s keep jumping until we hear water splash in our bellies! Did you try that? It is a perfectly good day to listen to the child’s whispers. To roll the blue blanket up into a jumping rope, and jump.


Lupine blooms under the pines, Prescott National forest…


…while hedgehog cactus blooms in lower elevations, Black Canyon City trails

Today is the day for hiding in the canyon. And for skipping rocks. Counting herons, butterflies and wild poppies, and then forgetting the numbers. But we’ll never forget the tips of the wings, the brush of the petals brushing on our skin. Today the gardener will count her tomatoes, and the homesteader will count his chickens. Today we will quietly or loudly acknowledge again, that waters are low, radiation is wide, prices are high, species are fewer and the poor are more, that cities keep creeping and forests shrinking at a much faster pace than traffic on the highway. Today we will find an expression for our grief.  The way damned rivers find the herons and the cormorants. Today we will also hold the door for someone just a little bit longer and smile just a little bit wider and we will place out faith in the faces of these rocks.


Live walls of Oak Creek Canyon, West Fork, Sedona


Wild Pary’s Penstemon and Cliffrose bloom side to side, Prescott Valley

Birds ate all corn seeds and sunflowers, and pack rats scurried away with some fresh seedlings, but kids kept watering that lifeless corn spot, morning after morning, when it seemed hope was all but lost. Today is the day I spotted one fresh green spiral reaching into the sun, with a rare dew drop on its lips. Last man standing.

Today I walk the creek carrying in two hands, wild mint in one, and a bag of trash in another: crushed beer cans, plastic bottles left behind by hopeful prospectors. I smell like a cat who just rolled in a mint patch, happy, squinting in the bright morning sun, accompanied by hummingbirds, and glad we were given two hands.


Scrub oak in golden yellow drops its leaves in April/May as new pink growth emerges…


…while teddybear cholla guard their own golden carpets


Today is the day of the oak. Boy carries a tiny Gambel oak in his little hands with muddy fingernails, and we will plant it in these burning rocks, praying for its roots to take. We will not be here, and will not see it grow, but I am sure my spotted towhee friend will carry the news far and wide. And acorn woodpeckers will hoard the seeds, their pirate faces buried in perfectly carved out Ponderosa granaries.  I close my eyes, and in the dry wind, the aspens sing the rain. Today the air fills with moisture, and swells up with possibility. There should be a word for that. For that feeling: No matter what, anything can happen today!, because it is wider than Southwest skies. Or maybe we do have a word for that feeling — it is the sound of water in jumpy bellies.




About BeeHappee

Where have all the bees gone? Where have all the flowers gone?
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Nature, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Today is The Day

  1. And I am so so happy that today is the day you posted this wonderful post and all those wonderful photo’s.. What a joy to read and I breathed it all in as Nature reached out to me via the screen.. Happy May to you and yours .. So enjoyed this.. Much Love.. Sue xxx

  2. barnraised says:

    Yay! So happy to see you were inspired. This is SO beautiful!

  3. DM says:

    Lots of beautiful pictures… teaming with life!

    • BeeHappee says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, thank you, Doug. I always pictured desert lands as desolate, but I am finding out there is just as much life in the desert as there is in a rain forest. Well, almost. 🙂

  4. Awesome 🙂 there are Mexican doves here and they have one call which sounds like “give up control”. I never tried chirping back 😉 –Paul

    • BeeHappee says:

      “Give up control”!! That is even more challenging for me to implement than “dink your tea”. 🙂 It is cool that you mentioned that right as we were walking through Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. In those huge gardens, I was able identify 3 types of doves: mourning doves, collared doves, and white-winged doves. It is the white-winged doves that sit on top of 30 foot saguaro and coo to all us little people down here: “give up control!”. Really neat. I did talk back to them. 🙂

  5. Like it, Bee. Great photos!

  6. The energy of your words carries your day all the way into my day. Thank you.

    • BeeHappee says:

      🙂 Thank you for saying that!! Some comments, including yours were thrown into spam bucket by WP for some reason, just found them now, which is such a treat to find, like the good things you leave in a coat pocket and discover later. 🙂

  7. Arizona agrees with you. I’m glad you moved to Arizona because this is beautiful writing.

  8. Hariod Brawn says:

    Absolutely delightful, Kristina, as your imaginative articles unfailingly are. I love the way you keep such a buoyant and playful tone running throughout, whilst at the same time offering insights into the natural world you know and so obviously love. Many congratulations, and as many thanks. Hariod

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Hariod.
      My apologies, I am not able to click “Like” on your comment – WordPress is not agreeing with me much these days.
      Wishing you a buoyant spring!

  9. shoreacres says:

    It’s the quickness of it all that you capture and communicate: the quickness of the dawn rising, the quickness of kidsong and birdsong to rise, the quickness of growth and the movement of the season. I’ve been feeling it here, and hardly know how to keep up with it all. I was going to post about the bluebonnets this year — and now the bluebonnets are gone! I was going to post about the delicate anemones, but they’ve already given way to the early summer flowers.

    How to slow things down? I wonder. How to see everything and hear everything? There’s no way. So, perhaps the children have the best answer: just be ready, and take in what you can.

    The photos are wonderful. So many people I know are either living in or visiting the U.S. deserts now, and they seem infinitely fascinating. I think life there certainly must be as rich and varied as in the rainforest: but different. Very, very different. Thanks for letting us experience some of that difference!

    • BeeHappee says:

      Ha, yes, Linda, you picked up very well on that quickness! It has been like that indeed. I meant to post something late March, when Mountain Balm was blooming, because it was just so beautiful and the scent of it is incredible. Then suddenly there were many things to do, to settle here for a bit, to plant some things, to explore some canyons and streams, then all the flowers exploded, the blooming bushes, one after another. Another thing that makes things seem more “on the go” here is the sun. Since most days are 75F and sunny, it feels like a lot of energy. Very good, and almost too overwhelming at times, since you do not get your rainy days to just slow down and read a book. 🙂 And the birds!!! My goodness, such an abundance of species here, hopefully we can overcome the sad predictions for their reduced populations due to climate change and human development. Population explosion is not at all sustainable here in my opinion, many years back, before it really got as huge as it is now, Edward Abbey talked about Tucson creeping closer and closer to his little cabin… Pronghorn antelope is in huge decline here due to both, climate and humans. Some good developments though at both native reservations and federal land, which comprise the largest part of the state.
      Arizona does include pieces of each of the four USA deserts. It also has such a variety of elevations, ranging from 100 feet to 12,000 + feet above sea level thus encompassing flora and fauna from desert to tundra zones. We had snow on May 9th, and nights are still too chilly for tomatoes.

  10. Wonderful writing there again.
    I really love how you weave it all together; the insights, the poetry, kids and colours.
    Buoyant and playful… Yes, I like that. Colourful and energetic too. But what I like most is the almost childlike view you describe things with. That always makes me smile.

    Thanks Bee

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Ron. Indeed, many had told me I could grow up a bit more. 🙂 But kids are so cool! We play duck-duck-goose, and six-year-old stretches his arms and runs around shouting: I am not a duck, I am a rocket, I am an airplane, I am dizzy!, and he falls and rolls. There is so much magic in that spontaneity.
      Best of luck to you, soak up the woods. I am so ready to go camping. 🙂

      • Whatever you do, don’t grow up!! It’s a trap!!
        I am not all that much into the kids-thing. Love my own! But have a hard time being around more. I think it is their hyperactivity that makes me uneasy.
        But I have quite recently rediscovered one of my own childlike traits; a renewed interest, awe and wonder when discovering new things, especially concerning wildlife and nature. The fabulous detail and complexity of plant and animal is simply stunning! Almost magical.

        • BeeHappee says:

          Awesome, Ron. I would say, not almost magical, but undoubtedly, incredibly, beyond any human understanding magical. 🙂 I recently attended a Seed School taught by one very passionate seed enthusiast in the U.S.A. Someone asked him what to do in a certain situation when growing corn. He answered: “Pray more!”. Not the type of church pray. But PRAY. There is maybe science and explanation in much of it: how Hopi people can grow corn on a high land mesa, without irrigation, without soil, without crop rotation, without resting the soil, without selecting the seed for best producing ones, there is a speculation that perhaps the seed has been selected and adapted over a thousand years that corn grew in that very same field and that it is indeed nitrogen fixing corn at this point living in a perfect relationship with the soil and the people. Perhaps someone will go in and dissect, extract the special genes of that corn in order to replicate the magic… Or perhaps we just need to pray more and gather its seeds while our hands are still warm with prayer and love.

  11. smilecalm says:

    quite a feast
    being offered here
    for the tummies,
    hearts & minds, Kristina!
    makes me happy experiencing
    your magical presentation
    of the natural world there,
    through child-like eyes 🙂

  12. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    What a wonderful way to start THIS day, Kristina! Happy Mother’s Day! You are such a shining example with your parenting. You give the Mother such a gift, showing your children Her gifts. I find such hope in children who grow up loving Nature. It’s rare these days with all the gadgets and distractions. Who will march to protect Her without growing up in awareness and attunement of Her gifts, her beauty and our need for Her? Thank you, Kristina, for spreading such Magic and Love around. I always love hearing about your adventures and seeing your beautiful photos. ❤

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Mary. ❤ Yesterday was the day we planted some sycamore seeds after "overwintering" them in the fridge. Today, is the watering, the patience, the hope, the vision. The subject today is a child placing a seed in the dirt, a child admiring a lizard.
      As Hafiz wrote some moons back,
      "The subject tonight is Love,
      And for tomorrow night as well.
      As a matter of fact,
      I know of no better topic
      For us to discuss
      Until we all

      Thank you, Mary, for the work you do!

  13. I love the way you write, the way you string words together, the way you capture the feeling. I was on this walk with you and loved every minute of it.

  14. Such inspiring words and the photos help me visit such beautiful places a long way away from me. Superb photography.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you! I only wished I could share a tenth of the feeling one gets standing here under these skies that go forever and the light that falls to the surface in a brilliant manner. Every place has its own special magic that can sing to us.

  15. I have such lovely memories of Oak Creek Canyon as a very young girl! These photos and writing bring all that back. Lovely!

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Brett!! It is so interesting that you mention Oak Creek Canyon, because I just spent a good 4 hours hiking through the West Fork of Oak Creek among the ferns and moss of Arizona. 🙂 Felt almost like Vermont for a few hours. 🙂 And the red and orange canyon walls, 40 feet into the blue Arizona sky, eagles and hawks circling above, creek running on red rocks, red stems of pines. Sometimes it feels like the intensity of the sun paints everything red here.
      Thank you for stopping by, I am happy to see you here.

  16. badgerkin says:

    Kristina, your words and images are just fantastic. I’m in awe of how you put all these experiences together for us so naturally, as though they just flowed from you into our lives! Thank-you for your insights and your posts.

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