Thursday, July 26, 2007


By Associated Press Updated: 7/26/2007

Though the surfers, skaters and beachgoers might not notice the butterflies fluttering by, conservationists are celebrating the return of the endangered El Segundo blue to its native habitat along Santa Monica Bay.

The insects, with a wingspan of about an inch, are thriving in plain sight at beaches in Redondo Beach and Torrance after scientists nurtured their dwindling population in three fenced-in nature reserves for years. It had been decades since the critters had been seen in their native habitat.

But thanks to an effort to restore native vegetation to the area, buckwheat, source of the butterflies' preferred nectar, now blankets bluffs that had been overgrown with invasive nonnative ice plant.

Still, scientists were surprised the El Segundo blues, thought to be too lazy to travel long distances, returned home without the help of human hands.
They have been on the nation's endangered species list since 1976. They're everywhere.''

''No one figured that they would just do it on their own,'' said Ann Dalkey, co-chairwoman of the Beach Bluffs Restoration Project. ''You can see them like crazy. "
(This photo I took at Red Fish Lake/Sun Valley, Idaho on July 5 2007. I had not seen a real blue butterfly up to this point. I have seen them everywhere else. T-shirts, movies, billboards...etc. But not a real one. )

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


The lyrics for Sumiregusa were inspired by a Hokku, or Haiku, written by the Japanese poet, Bashō, while he was traveling to Ōtsu. He says that on his way through the mountain road the sight of a wild violet touched his heart. We have all been moved by the beauty of nature, so I am sure we can all relate to those seventeen syllables that Bashō wrote. We have all had a moment that pulls at our heartstrings. One such moment for me was when I was walking in the woodlands andÝI came across an old, broken, dying thistle. He was such a sad sight. There was a small history in him that would soon be lost. And yet he struggled on. I called him Don Quixote. I went every day to see him until he wasn't there any more. The following year his children bloomed, he did not return. Even today, although that place has been taken over by the ever vigorous bramble, and there are no signs of any thistles, I still pass by and remember him. Perhaps these moments are an epiphany. Perhaps it is our own acceptance of the world and the way it is. Perhaps it is a celebration of life, or just a moment that is ours alone. In Sumiregusa all of nature is equal in its power to inspire, to move, to touch - from a small pebble to a great mountain, from one green leaf to the many colours of autumn, from the song of birds to a purple flower.
~Roma Ryan (the lyricist for almost all of Enya's music)

~Sumiregusa-Wild Violet~

Mono no awarē
Murasaki iro no hana
To fuyu mo koyuki

Shizēn no bi kanaAh!
Midori no ha to
Aki no iro

Kaze no koe
Tori no saezuri
Kanashii umi
Yorokobino umi


"The poignancy of things
A purple flower
The blossom of springs
and the light snow of winter
How they fall

The beauty of nature
A green leaf andAutumn colours
The voice of the wind
The song of birds
A sad sea
A joyful sea
A wild iris"

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Some people don't believe in love at first sight...but I do. Some people don't believe you can be in love at age 16...but I was. Some people don't belive that there are good men on the earth...but I do. :) I believe all these things because of my first love.

My best friend at age 15 moved to California. I was heartbroken that she moved with her family and I missed her terribly. But little did I know at that time what blessings would come to me because of that move. My mom was kind enough to send me on a trip to visit her the following summer after she left. I loved it. She had the most amazing group of new friends I had ever met. They loved the gospel and they loved life.

One of the first nights of my trip...we decided to go hang out at Roller skating rink. Sounds nerdy...but nobody really went in to skate...they just hung outside and chatted. I was PAINFULLY shy and was doing my very best to not be totally awkward. It wasn't long after being there, that I saw two boys riding their skate boards towards us. When they came a little closer, one of them flipped his skateboard up into his hand and walked towards us. He started to talk to my best friend (Jenny) and immediatley his eyes turned to me. His smile made my heart skip and I became suddenly VERY nervous. Jenny introduced me as her friend from Utah and the twinkle in his eyes got brighter as we had a little talk. I think he became quickly aware how shy I was...but that did not stop the flirtation that soon began. He was bold and self confident in the most charming way. In a weeks time of hanging out with him, I was hooked. Never had I met a more kind, friendly, funny, pure hearted boy. I adored him and it was obvious to EVERYONE that he adored me...

The time came for me to go home, and you can imagine that I was heartbroken. He was three years older than me and preparing for his mission. He lived in California and I lived in Utah. How on earth would it work? The next few months were filled with many tears and MANY phone calls. We would spend hours on the phone. I never feared sharing who I was because I knew he loved me. He thought everything about me was beautiful. He loved my whole heart. He helped me through insecurities, taught me how to laugh at myself and not take things so seriously, and most importanly...he taught me to love myself. (Something I wasn't able to do on my own at that time) V

Very long story short...we went back and forth to see eachother until the time came for him to leave on his mission. I felt at that time...that I had met my soul mate and we would be together when he came home...The two years passed, and the love & letters never stopped. But sadly, when he had returned and we prayed about getting married, we both got a big fat NO. It was devistating. We could not understand it. But we could not doubt or go against the answer.

That was almost 18 years ago. We now undestand why we wern't suppose to be together, but it never stopped us from being dear friends. He is literally like a brother to me. (Crazy, I know) But the Lord blessed us in this way. It is a rare thing, and I am so grateful that he was never taken completely away from me. I thank Heavenly Father all the time for this.

This next month, he is getting married. He is marrying the most darling girl. I love her. We all love her. And we are soo happy for him. I feel not a drop of sadness, only gratitude for my special memories that I had with him. I was SO LUCKY.

I made a promise to myself that I would NEVER settle for less then a man like him. A man who made me feel loved. Who made me feel beautiful. And saw me as a daughter of God. He is the only person I have used the word "Sweetheart" with. That's a special word to me. And I have never been able to use it, think it, or say it to anyone else. He set the standard...he set the tone.

Most first loves are wonderful to remember...but mine was wonderful beyond power to truly express. :) "