Beautiful short film

This one is worth making big on your screen. I wish the film maker would win an award for this.

fredburks's picture

Beautiful, Wendy! He must have had those animals trained somehow. Thanks so much for posting that. Much love, Fred

tscout's picture

    I really liked that one. I hope you don't mind if I tell a squirrel story.I have many, as I seemed to have encounter after encounter with injured squirrels over a period of about 15 years. But this one still baffles me.

    In 95-96 I was working in New Orleans,and would do my taiji every morning in Audobon Park,which is right by the Mississippi river, and adjoined by the Audobon zoo. The park is full of very old spanish oak trees, very beautiful with sprawling branches that can almost reach the ground, and draped with Spanish moss. Obviously, with all the acorns, it is squirrel heaven. They quickly become accustomed to me being there and basically ignore me, scrounging acorns within a few feet of me. Every day there was a group of 5-10 squirrels in my immediate vicinity. There was also a pair of red-tail hawks that slept on the same branch every night. I would see them awaken every morning as the sunlight hit them once it got above the tree level.They would stretch their wings for a couple of minutes, then swoop off into the day.

    I had read that the red-tail hawks feed almost entirely on other birds, but couldn't believe that they wouldn't feed on all these squirrels around. At the same time, I wondered if all these squirrels hung so close to me everyday to discourage the hawks from pouncing on them.

   One day in particular, there were 6 or 7 squirrels within ten feet of me, all upon their back feet, chomping acorns and ,,,,,gossiping I guess. I saw the hawk swoop in below the canopy, coming right towards us, but instead of pouncing on one of them, he landed right there in front of me, facing the semi-circle of squirrels. He stood up tall and opened his wings, flapping them softly and moving his head in an odd way, but not screeching or anything. The squirrels didn't even flinch, they all just stood there and chomped on their acorns. This hawk was on the ground there for practically a minute, then turned and launched off into a glide right above the ground until he cleared the canopy and could swoop upward.....The squirrels went about their business like nothing had happened, but I was in awe.

    A few months later, as I did the long form, I noticed that the hawks were still roosted on that branch. It was overcast that morning, so the sun hadn't touched them. A few minutes later, I noticed a squirrel going up the trunk of their tree. This squirrel made his way up to, and out onto the big dead branch they roosted on. He walked right up to the hawk, stood up and put both of his front feet on the hawk's back and shook him ! The hawk stirred, which woke up his partner, and they stretched, then swooped off as usual. The squirrel scurried back down the tree as soon as the hawk had moved. That blew me away, and I'm sure that video would have won the money on that goofy video show that used to be on tv! Now I was sure that these hawks must not eat squirrels here. The last morning i practiced there before heading to the southwest, one of the hawks went after a big bluejay in the tree right above me.I heard the crashing of small branches, but couldn.t see above me, so just continued on doing the form. A few seconds later, a big beautiful hawk feather floated down and landed on my left foot! super cool! I still have it!

   Over the years I was back there several times. I had seen a couple generations of baby hawks raised there over the years. Their nest was across the water from my usual spot. About 17 years later, I was back there working for several months, and had adopted the spot across the water to practice, right below their nest. One day ,as I sat against the trunk of that tree, eating my breakfast, I saw a squirrel about 30  feet away scrounging around for acorns in a wet spot. Just as I fixed my eyes on him, a red-tail softly swooped in behind him, picked him up, and landed on a branch about six feet off of the ground. A second later, the squirrel was dead, and the hawk was devouring him, eating the entire squirrel in about 5 minutes! The squirrel hadn't so much as squirmed to get away, as if it was set-up. I couldn't believe it, after all these years, but there it was....There were so many weird,exotic birds around that had escaped from the zoo, they far out numbered the squirrels, the trees were sagging with them in some areas, but he took the squirrel. So,,,is there some agreement playing out here? or,,,,did the hawk just feel like having squirrel that day?

Wendy's picture

Thanks Tod, That's a neat story. Ever read a book called Penterra? It's about a future where a bunch of Quakers set off in a spaceship to make a colony on another planet. This planet has an ecology that is similar to what you described, where the animals consentually agree to be eaten by another animal when they are ready to die. It's a good book, I recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it if you like Sci Fi.

Brian's picture

What the hell? I really am confused by these stories. The only thing that makes sense to me is that prey can understand when a predator doesn't desire them but otherwise sometimes fail to be vigilant enough or simply can't detect the danger. Do prey commit suicide? I do like the more spiritual explanations.

Wendy's picture

Hi Brian,

The idea portreyed in Perterra as I understood it was that the prey knew when it was their time to die and would give themselved up to the nearby preditor at the time. I think it's a little different than committing suicide. I think it's more like how people in hospices will sometimes hang on until a loved one comes to visit before they die. The fictional world of Penterra was supposedly very old and more spiritually advanced than earth. Apparently, the preditors also knew when it was an animals time and wouldn't kill anything unless it was the right time for them to go.

I don't think this might be all that far from what actually happens on earth. One thing that I've observed to be true and gardening books will also say is that a healthy plant rarely gets attacked by bugs. Some amount of unhappiness in the plant seems to be the beginning of the process - maybe it was exposed to a freeze or a drought condition that weakened it first, then the bugs attack.

tscout's picture

        I wouldn't claim to understand the true meaning of what I saw in the park. I can only guess what it appears to be. I am more fascinated by the thought that, we miss so much of this interaction,,,not only with animals, but with other people, on a daily basis. But,,,early in the morning, when I practice, is a strong time for me,,,quiet, nothing to focus on, just slow movement , so when using the "gaze" , not looking at anything in particular, I notice things that I would normally miss. That park is full of people every morning, but they are busy running,,,watching their heart rate on their little monitors, or talking with friends while walking the track,,etc. ....If I think about that, in relation to the rest of my day, I realize how much I miss every day, opportunities, chances to interact with new people, things that might help me take a different path, or make a different decision. I believe that the inability to stay in the present is why we have such a hard time finding our paths, because we miss so much that is put before us,,,every day. So, I am not trying to figure out why they did what they did, just marvelling at how amazing the web is, and trying to have more moments where I slow down enough to see them....

esrw02's picture

   I am grateful for you and sharing these stories with us . I read your profile and you are pretty amazing and done a lot of stuff more power to you .   I am sending good energy your way my friend . I truly apreciate the squirrel story by the way pretty amazing. I was watching this story about a Shaman and he said exactly what you did slow down and take a look around every once in a while and see what you are missing .  Beautiful words if you understand properly .





       I love all.

Noa's picture

How did that videographer get those shots?  He must've had cameras everywhere!  That's a keeper.  I've downloaded it to share with friends.  I like the Sweden film, too.

And Todd, what amazing squirrel experiences you've had!  Maybe you changed the immediate environment with your peaceful energy.


tscout's picture

      It is so cool to see any evidence of effect we have on the world around us. It seems that a lotof animals "trust" taiji. Although it changes speeds at times, they seem to be comfortable with the slow movement,,,birds, raccoons, big blue herons, they have all approached me within a couple of feet over the years. Here in China,,it's the cats! haha! These wild cats in the cities come around mein the early morning, and fight viciously with each other,,but never seem to mind me. But,since I was a teenager, I had this thing for finding hurt squirrels. I would takethem to this woman wholived backed up to a forest.She would raise them, teaching the babies to build nests in those plastic laundry baskets,then release them out in back of her house. She would take me out back and do this  little call she had made up,,and they would omepouring out of the woods,,,,haha! It was a little scary!! They all knew her and would be there in a flash!

   Another thought about that peaceful energy,,,,it seems to be diminishing here in these cities in china. Try as I may, it seems to get harder everyday. This might be it for me here,,,this year, as I haven't found the solution, I just feel that power slipping away.

    Eric,,,thanks for bringing up the Shaman's story,,it's funny,,I was taught that long ago, but never really accomplished it until I had a stable practice, you know,making that time for myself every day. When i lived on theeast coast, I would hike to this rattlesnake den at least once a week,and have an amazing experience every time. I had to be so aware on that hike,as rattlers were everywhere,that I encountered this whole other world. It's great to have some way to bring yourself into that state,I see it more clearly now, as I don't have those great places to escape too! I guess I was really lucky to have those places so close to me .........L,,,T



Noa's picture

So sad to hear about your experience with diminishing energy, Todd.  Don't give up.  I believe that mankind needs to find a way to reconnect and amplify that life source energy if we are going to survive the technological age.

Starmonkey's picture

don't have any logical explanation for it, but in the whole world the only thing that seems to strike unfounded terror in me is the great white shark.  something about the way it looks.  other sharks don't scare me, but being born in iowa, i have a healthy fear of the deep unknown.  mainly when i can't see into it.  swimming beneath the surface i am less afraid because i'm not just a triscuit bobbing on top with no view of what's beneath.  but when i watched "of sharks and men" and saw someone swimming with that big fish and even touching and riding on them, i was a bit less apprehensive.  nature isn't always the same.  conditions affect the outcome.  that's why, on a nice peaceful day, the lion may just lay down with the lamb.  and even snuggle a bit (for you, fred).

a picture that terrifies me even more is the bow shot of the sunken titanic.   brrrrrr.  oooo.  maybe i was on that ride to the bottom...

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