Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 15, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 15, 2017 



Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


During a recent walk with one of my canine clients, 
I heard what I thought was a bumble bee buzzing 
nearby, behind me. It was quite loud and sounded 
really close, startling me enough to turn and look 
to see what was making that noise.

 When I turned around, I found myself eye-to-
eye with a tiny hummingbird suspended in the air, 
right where a ray of sun was shining through the 
tree canopies. Its brilliant iridescent wings were 
winding and working vigorously to keep it hanging 
there at eye-level for what seemed to me like an 
eternity. Then it suddenly dove down slightly and 
flew up-and-away as quickly as it had come.

 I see hummingbirds in our area all the time, 
but for some reason that close encounter with 
such an amazing little creature levitating just a 
couple of feet from my face left me feeling blessed 
by nature, as if it was a meeting meant to be, just 
for me. I couldn’t help thinking, “Imagine being 
able to fly and flit about in the air and up over the 
treetops, like that tiny little bird?”. God’s creations 
never cease to amaze me and hummingbirds have 
got to be among the most remarkable creatures 
on earth.

 The hummingbird’s brain is larger in 
comparison to it’s body size than any other bird 
species. They are extremely smart and have a 
terrific memory, allowing them to keep tabs on 
the whereabouts of their favorite feeders and 
flowers. They even remember when each type 
of their preferred flowers will have refilled and 
be ready for them to revisit. Amazing? Yes, and 
good for them, but hummers are not strictly self-
serving birds.

 They play a very important and harmonious 
role in nature‘s ‘big picture‘, making them excellent 
team players alongside all the other creatures with 
whom they cohabitate, including us humans. 
Hummingbirds are prolific pollinators, willing to 
work fervently for hours moving pollen from one 
location to another, as long as they have access to a 
sufficient amount of nectar to replenish their little 

 The three most common hummingbirds found 
in California are Anna’s (Calypte anna), Black-
chinned (Archilochus alexandri), and Allen’s 
(Selasphorus sasin), with the largest population 
being that of Anna’s. As if playing a 
major role in nature wasn’t enough 
to make the heavenly, harmonious 
hummer a valuable asset to earth, 
it also adds bountiful beauty and 
uniquely subtle music to the 
backdrop of our daily lives.

 The adult male Anna’s 
hummingbird boasts the most 
gorgeous plume of feathers, with 
a combination of colors that is 
sure to make other “aviarians” in 
our area envious. Their brilliant 
iridescent glow of metallic green, 
rose-red and silvery-grey come to life in the 
sunlight, bringing a sense of awe to the on-looker.

 During mating season, the male Anna’s begins his 
rowdy routine of fluffing his feathers and flitting his 
wings in a dance designed to catch the attention of 
his female counterparts. I have seen this puffed-up 
plumage dance performed numerous times, and I 
always find myself completely captivated by the ordeal.

 Hummingbirds are not much for socializing, the 
way most birds are. They do not migrate together in 
flocks, nor do they maintain familial relationships. 
In fact, the only times you are apt to see hummers 
together is during mating season and on those 
occasions when they are forced to share a common 
feeder for a quick snack before buzzing off to yet 
another isolated destination.

 Hummers are very independent little beings, 
each staying individually focused on what they 
plan to do next. They tend to work alone, but 
because they each stay busy performing their 
personal duties as pollinators, the overall mission 
is successfully accomplished.

 They are like team players, each carrying out 
the tasks assigned to their particular position 
on the team. I can relate to this aspect of the 
hummingbird’s behavior somewhat. I like being 
part of the team, but I prefer being left alone to 
perform the duties expected of me.

 In this way, the hummer and I may have a little 
something in common, but I still wish I could fly 
and flit about in the sky the way they do. I really 
don’t foresee that happening to me, so I’ll continue 
to watch them from ground level and appreciate 
their instinctual intelligence and beauty, the 
subtle song they sing and the comfort they bring, 
reminding me each day that nature is taking it’s 
course in a healthy, balanced way. 

 I encourage my fellow humans to pause and 
ponder the wonders of nature. Take a few moments 
each day to observe and appreciate nature and all 
it’s beauty. The human’s world is so full of seemingly 
meaningless activity, and it’s easy to get caught up 
in it all. I find that when I take the time to look 
around at God’s amazing creations and consider 
the wonderful way it all works together, I’m able 
to accept the constant chaos with much more ease. 
Love and let live.


Who has time for 
all this self-care? 
When we are 
busy living life, it 
feels like there’s 
no time. Only 
when we become sick or face a health condition 
do we evaluate self-care more closely. Disease is 
the body’s way of placing a limitation. If we don’t 
create limitations or a framework for wellness, 
the body will do it for us. The path to healthy 
living becomes the only one that makes sense. 
Still, there are barriers to overcome. 

 Does your schedule feel too busy to cook food 
or do a yoga practice? Often I’ll hear: “I don’t 
have a free moment to meditate.” Is it really not 
having the free moment or is the opposition to the 
quietude and stillness? It is possible that life may 
need to be simplified. To incorporate meditation 
or exercise as a regular habit, we first need the 
motivation and, second, the time! If the plan is 
to eat healthier to get nutrients from our food, 
then we need time to cook. Ultimately, creating 
simplicity and spending more time in acts of 
self-care will make us more efficient and more 
effective in our lives. It gives the vital energy that 
we crave. 

 It’s important to take a look at one’s priorities. 
If we are care-taking for others, how helpful 
will we be if we neglect ourselves? How is stress 
relieved without considered actions that move us 
toward relaxation and nourishment? It is often 
the case that we add more caffeine to get by or 
take a pill to relieve pain. Of course, that’s real 
life, but what would we do less often if we placed 
our own health above all else? 

 Yoga is there to help us build awareness. This 
awareness can provide stillness inside, help us 
evaluate priorities, encourage simplicity, and get 
us on the path to healthy living. Make time for 
yourself, it can make all the difference! 

Namaste and see you in class! 

Keely Totten

E-RYT 500, Teaching at Yoga Madre in beautiful, 
Sierra Madre, CA. 


Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual

On Walden Pond 

I have studied personal development for over 25 years. I began when I was 17 
years old, and I won 
a scholarship to learn 
the strategies of Dale 
Carnegie. Since then I 
have had many mentors and teachers, and 
in 2012 I attended a workshop that changed 
everything for me. My friend Adam decided 
to start a new business venture, and I signed 
up only to be supportive of my friend. He 
taught the attendees his secret for getting 
things done and he is the most productive 
person that I know; so his instruction was 
priceless. I found his workshop deeply 
troubling and I couldn’t figure out why.

Adam posed a simple question, “What do you 
want to do or accomplish?” All of the other 
folks in the room had ideas. I had nothing. I 
realized that I had become complacent about 
my life and I had been reduced to merely 
existing. A low-grade fever of fear was 
simmering inside me.

As people around the room shared dreams and aspirations, I beat myself up and recounted the many 
ways that I was a looser. The fever didn’t go away, and I continued to contemplate Adam’s question.

Two years later, I discovered the source of my distress and discomfort while walking on Walden 
Pond. I followed the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau and realized the source of the fear; I don’t 
want to come to the end of my life and discover that I had never lived at all.

Since that time I have a new relationship, I have visited over 20 countries, including an epic adventure 
that touched three continents. I have started a new business, built a website and an app!

That one workshop taught me so many things:

1. Whenever I aspire to help someone else with pure intentions, I receive the greatest benefit.

2. The power of a question.

3. Beating myself up only served to delay an answer to the question.

4. Getting information is good, implementation is better.

I remember Adam saying, “when you don’t know what to do, go to the end of the horizon when you 
get there you be able to see further.”

You can learn more about Adam and his services at his website

Do you have a low-grade fever of fear? What have you done to discover the source?

What have you done to discover the source?

This is a photo of me on Walden Pond.

Meet sweet, beautiful, calm, NAOMI, age 6. Naomi 
is all about love 
and cuddles. She 
has so much love 
to give! She lost 
her home earlier 
this year when 
her loving owner 
suddenly passed 
away, leaving 
Naomi with no 
other place to go. 
She’s “the purr-rect kitty,” and is a favorite with 
all of our volunteers; yet, she deserves a forever 
home. Naomi is healthy and loves to be cuddled 
and petted. Won’t someone please adopt this 
wonderful, amazing feline, who will bring you 
nothing but love and joy. See more pictures, videos, 
adoption info & application on our website, www. Call to arrange a Meet & 
Greet, 626-676-9505. Adoption fee is $100, which 
includes spay, microchip, exam & vaccines. A great 
savings! Our cats are negative FELV/FIV unless 
otherwise indicated. Can’t adopt? See our website 
for how to sponsor a kitty.

Good news: Casey has been adopted.


Brownie is a male Chihuahua mix, 
around 8 years old, weighing about 
10 pounds. Brownie is a sweet, 
gentle dog, found as a stray during 
a heavy rainstorm by a Good 
Samaritan who brought Brownie to 
the shelter. He is now available for 
adoption and is waiting patiently for 
a forever home where he is safe and 
secure, and warm and dry during 
the next big storm. Brownie was a 
little shy at first, but he has learned 
that he is in a safe place with staff 
and volunteers who care about his 
welfare, and he is becoming more 
comfortable each day. Brownie 
seems to prefer the company of people to being 
with other dogs, and will settle in a lap for some 
pets and attention. He is easy to harness and walks 
well on leash and seems to enjoy exploring new 
surroundings. Brownie has a calm disposition and 
would probably do best in a quiet home where he 
can feel secure and loved. Brownie 
qualifies for our Senior for Senior 
discount, and he would be a lovely 
companion for a senior person or 
couple. Come and meet this special 
little dog - he is sure to touch your 
heart. Her adoption fee is $130 which 
includes neuter surgery, a microchip, 
first vaccinations and a free 
wellness check-up at a participating 
veterinarian. Brownie also qualifies 
for the “Senior for Senior” adoption 
discount. Feel free to call us at (626) 
286-1159 for more information on 
Brownie. ID#28176. He currently 
resides at the San Gabriel Valley 
Humane Society located at 851 E. Grand Avenue in 
San Gabriel which is located off San Gabriel Blvd, 
north of Mission and south of Las Tunas Drive. To 
arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’ with Brownie, please 
stop by any time from 10:30am to 4:30pm Tuesday 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: