National Geographic’s ‘The Splendor of Birds’ Is Simply Breathtaking [REVIEW]

Blue-Footed Booby

The blue-footed booby is only one of the many birds featured in National Geographic’s The Splendor of Birds. (Photo courtesy National Geographic)

Birds. There is something truly special about these creatures that captures the imaginations of all of us. Whether we’re feeding ducks at a park or hummingbirds nectar outside our window, watching predatory hawks soar high in the sky or an ominous flock of grackles loom overhead on power lines like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock film, or laughing at the antics of waddling penguins and precariously poised flamingoes, these winged animals are everywhere and yet each is stunning in its own way. Over the years, National Geographic has shared our fascination with them, and now they are revealing all their hard-won wisdom and stellar photographs and artistry in one incomparable volume, The Splendor of Birds: Art and Photographs from National Geographic.  Read more of this post

March 2011 newsletter

March 2011

Dear Friends,

March is finally here and with that comes a bit of warmer weather for many parts of the country. At our home in Ohio, green shoots from our perennial garden are already starting to peek through the dry winter-battered soil, crocuses and pansies are blooming, and the songbirds are slowly returning to the region.

Purple spring crocuses

These lovely crocuses bloom with the arrival of warmer weather.

By the end of the month, spring will have officially begun, and with that comes the beginning of daylight savings time. The longer days push the doldrums of winter into the recesses of our minds, and suddenly everything seems better, brighter, and increasingly verdant.

This is the time of year when we can throw open the windows on a clear, brisk day and air out the house. We also start spring cleaning, plowing through the clutter in our basement, tossing out forgotten items we no longer use or donating them to Goodwill, all the while clearing the spaces in our home for a new beginning.

We also discover that we have renewed energy, and are eager to face the world again with a new sense of purpose. For example, after our last gym closed a year ago we just never got around to purchasing a new gym membership. Finally, in the last week of February we joined Urban Active and we love the energy and smaller waistlines we’re getting from working out every day!

 We also started tutoring at our local elementary school, helping children develop their reading skills. It doesn’t take very much time, as little as an hour a week, and yet it is one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve undertaken in some time. The children are terrific, eager to learn and appreciative of the one-on-one attention they receive. In just a few lessons, we can already see improvement in their reading and vocabulary skills, and that brings us tremendous joy. We encourage you to look into tutoring in your community. Simply call your local schools and most likely they have a community involvement director that can help you get started.

On March 22, World Water Day will be celebrated around the globe. Started in 1993, this event focuses attention on the importance of freshwater and stresses the importance of protecting this valuable resource. Find out what your community is doing and how you can get involved by visiting the World Water Day website.

Whatever you find yourself doing this month, we hope you find yourself smiling more, getting out of the house and jump starting your life with the warmer weather, longer days and sunny skies!

All our love,
Jathan & Heather