Nature filled with incredible forces

wooly bear

“When you do something beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle, yet most of the audience still sleeps.” 

— John Lennon

The most beautiful bird came calling, drawn to my front porch, perching high on the old hand-crafted gingerbread trim. I held my breath, wanting a closer look. In just a moment, I got my wish, as the bird made a tricky little flip and landed right on the window. 

Defying gravity, it sat there for a bit, peering into the house. It was as interested in me as I was in it. 

I later searched through pictures, trying to match this bird with a name, and I believe it might have been a snow bunting. 


Nature is so filled with amazing, incredible forces that we so often barely notice. My dad once pointed out to me that when it comes to nature, we have much to learn that we can apply in our own little lives. 

For one thing, the most confident of all beings tend to be very quiet, while those who are insecure are loud and full of bluster and bluff and sometimes possessed of downright meanness. We learned over the course of many proven examples. 

The calm calf became a sweet, endearing cow. The loud pup that was quick to snap, then run and hide, is the one to avoid. The confident one who watched and took everything in, tail wagging, is the one who will carry that same temperament through its lifetime. 

A sow with piglets is not to be trusted, I was told many times. As the youngest and most trusting of his four daughters, Dad once banished me from even walking near the farrowing pens. 


The same day that lovely bird came calling, I found a woolly bear caterpillar making its way across the north-facing porch. Our pup, Kip, who came running from the barn to greet me, was suddenly mesmerized by the little brown and black fuzzy worm. 

The dog began bumping it ever so softly with his nose, then backed up, taking a second look at this new thing on his turf. 

Using a newspaper, I helped move it safely away from harm. Otherwise, curiosity would have killed the caterpillar. I have been treating Kip for a nasty welt on his snout, earned in an innocent encounter with a barn cat. 

Just after it happened, Kip looked at me with sad eyes as if to say, “Why would that chap want to hurt me?” 

It had landed with a loud snarl and an impressive showing of feline teeth, the claws coming out in every sense of the phrase. 

Natural world

This young pup is another wonder of nature. He is drawn to the sheep like moth to a flame, wishing to hold the flock in a tight configuration. If they scatter in to a couple of different groups, he must drive them back together. 

The knowledge — as well as the drive — for working livestock runs deep in his bones. No matter how many times I have witnessed this over my life, it still astonishes. 

The world is churning along without any help from us mere humans.


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.



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