Sunday, 31 May 2009

mice and birds

House Mice (Mus domesticus)

I've just been reading Michele Phillips' blog about mice and decided to post my comment to her on my own blog (plus a bit more)!

We've got mice here in Walpole (about 120kms west of Albany). Late autumn - winter is definitely mouse season in the south west of Western Australia! I trap them because poisoning often means stinky corpses behind the cupboards or the dog eating dead mice. I bury their little corpses in the garden so they are recycled! Living in the forest I worry that the animals I trap may be little marsupials but so far no pouches. Anyway, I use peanut butter or chocolate to bait the traps. I've discovered you actually have to feed the mice up to make them heavy enough to spring the trap (theory, not fact).

According to the website from which I took the picture, mice plagues have been occurring in Australia since 1917.
Mice breed in the southern hemisphere from August to May. They breed from 6-8 weeks of age and a female mouse is pregnant for 19 days then re-mates 1-3 days after giving birth. Litters contain 5-10 young and one breeding pair of mice and their offspring has the potential to produce 500 mice in just 21 weeks. The problems of mouse plagues are not simply economic. Swarms of mice can invade households, hospitals, livestock pens, food storage and other facilities causing significant damage to infrastructure. They also pose a major threat to health and welfare, inflicting stress on humans and livestock. Mice also carry a number of diseases which affect humans and livestock including Salmonella and swine encephalomyocarditis
All-in-all, it is not good to have the little vermin in the house. In our house there is a competition running on who catches the most mice - and so far I'm winning and my husband is way behind. However, he is the one who has to take the mice out of the trap because it makes me feel quite ill! It isn't very yogic trapping mice.

To move on to something more savoury ... fairly early this morning while I was doing my yoga practice on the verandah, a kookaburra swooped down and sat on the railing to watch. The little black dog was not impressed and the bird just looked at her, sharpened his beak on the railing and then flew away. I thought he may laugh but not today!

Monday, 25 May 2009

There is a crack in everything, that's where the light comes in

Sometimes this is a serendipitous way to approach the day - looking at the light through a forest giant. In this case, a Tingle tree. Leonard Cohen sings in Anthem, there is a crack in everything, that's where the light comes in ...

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

The secret is to move through and into the light! The Little Black Dog is checking out where the light is coming through, she knows more than me, that's for sure.

Many bloggers (should that be Bloggers?) are so good at blogging regularly. I follow a fair few and am often impressed at the amount of blogging that happens, the amazing issues that are discussed and the arguments that are put forward. Practice seems to be the name of the game. I guess that in my life I 'practice' yoga and I 'practice' gardening and a few other inconsequential things that make me happy. Having just read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell I'm thinking about his '10,000 hours of practice' theory. If that is accurate, then I have a long way to go to become a talented blogger! Of course, I am a talented Leonard Cohen fan!!

Anyway, the next book on my bedside table is Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald - the copy I've got, the cover portrait hasn't got sunnies but it is the same book. My daughter lent it to me. One thing about being retired is that you have heaps of time to read books that are not literary tomes. I had enough of that in the 7 years it took me to complete my PhD. It is difficult to break the habit of reading so critically that you miss the enjoyment of the story.

I do need to figure out how to make these darn pictures obey me. I sort of wanted the books to be next to each other but it isn't happening. Oh well, more practice - I suppose about another 9,500 hours going by Gladwell's theory!

All this writing and I've not really said anything of interest. To put it crudely, blogging really is a mind wank.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Getting ready to travel, again ...

Once again I'm on the road - well, I will be tomorrow. There is always a frisson of nerves before I go, it is a long way to drive and in some places it is quite isolated with no mobile reception. When the suitcase comes out from under the bed, the little black dog goes into a sulk. She won't eat her food and looks at me with a pitiful expression. Of course, that does not make it any easier for me! The polarity of longing to see my daughter and grand daughters, as against leaving husband, home and dog can be quite discombobulating (love that word ...). For someone who has never really enjoyed travel, this monthly trip can be quite trying. Falling asleep at the wheel is one great fear - it is so easy to doze off when driving through the forest. Hitting a 'roo is also something to think about and as for the log trucks, well, the less of them I come across the happier I am!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Yoga and ego

I am often surprised when my yoga students brave the elements and come to yoga on a cold, wet, wintery day or evening. I guess the adage, "First you drag your body along to yoga, and then your body drags you along to yoga" is about right!

I had to go to the hall today to fetch the blankets - they need a wash and there is no rain on the horizon so it seemed like a good idea. On the way I stopped in at the Telecentre to find out if there were any takers on the Yoga/Meditation Workshop that I am running (on behalf of the Telecentre) in a couple of weeks. Jenny asked me if I would take the Telecentre camera and get a photo of me in an asana to publish in the Walpole Weekly. Roland said he'd come and do the photography. Being in this situation is not so good for the ego because of the temptation to do something quite ... difficult. However, good sense prevailed and I sat in swastikasana (auspicious pose), took chin mudra, and lowered my eyes. If that photo is used I'll be pleased; otherwise one similar to the one here would be ok.

The point I'm making is that it is not a good idea to put people off by doing something complicated. The tendency is for them to think, "I'm too inflexible to do yoga, I couldn't do that pose!" so they avoid coming along. I believe you don't come to yoga because you're flexible, you come to yoga to become flexible! Swami Venkatasananda was known to say, "Whatever you can do today is perfect for you today" and I think that is about right!

Swami Venkatasananda