Botanist On A Bike Project

Greetings,

Welcome to my Botanist On A Bike (BOAB) page! Always Greener On This Side.


BOAB began as a small business: indoor plant maintenance, consulting and interior-scaping. It germinated as an enjoyable way to bring in casual income. Small and simple is the approach, not high volume. It has done a few little things and it has been a rewarding part of the whole adventure. It is at this point that I have decided to let it begin to evolve and begin to turn it into a page on this website instead of the plant maintenance on a bike. Here is the website as to what BOAB once was though, great fun! A fantastic part of the journey, one that I always cherish. It was very hard work and “straight up hill” :

I am still the BOAB-always, as a nickname, still ride often and sometimes nearly biff from not being able to take my eyes off the beautiful cultivated and wild plants and trees. Then there is the swerving in attempt to miss the snakes that dart out in front of me.

BOAB represents a time of truly pounding the pavement and hit the road on any combination of bus, bike and boots. The hardest push for BOAB took place in fall-winter of 2011-2012. Whether wise, or foolish, it brought richly rewarding, and profoundly unique experiences throughout my servicing plants and also converstations with people. It is some of these that I have decided to put into writing on this BOAB page, which I will add to overtime.

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This photo was of an early adventure, riding by the river path, through the forest on my way to talk to a local restaurant/gift shop about caring for their plants. I got caught in a lightning storm and quickly rode to the nearest park pavilion, deciding to let it pass before I continued on. The interesting thing was, from an hour ride, when only ten minutes away. It was from this and other experiences that I learned to really respect nature and not only listen to her, but also find shelter when she is roaring. I waited beneath the pavilion, crouched down away from torrential rain, lightning and thunder. There I met a man who happened to be the manager of the place I was riding to talk to and the two of us talked as we waited out the storm.

The BOAB concept is richly rewarding, joy rides now as the BOAB, observing is something that I absolutely love to do. It is sort of my own baby and I believe that one shows what he/she really loves if they continue to do it whether it makes money or not.

Stay tuned. More BOAB experiences written here. I am always the BOAB every time I ride my bike. Always the BOAP (Botanist On A Pillow) every night I go to sleep.
Thank you for reading and passing on the message.
Owen

8/15/15

This entry is by memory and not a recent ride. One thing I love about plants is their ability to bring people out of their shell as they are reminded of something that they love. In December, 2011 one clear but cold day while dead-heading some leaves of an Aglaonema in the mall, I was glad to be inside, dead-heading; and I was asked about the plant. A cashier of a nearby booth asked what I was doing. As we talked, the conversation flowed naturally. Her interest in plants was being reawakened with each passing word of her own plant at home.

This is exactly what I love about plants. People begin to remember…Sort of like dogs, plants bring people together and encourage conversation, often between two total strangers. Aglaonemas are indigenous to the Philippines and can tolerate low light quite well, a resilient species. The Beaucarnea recurvata Ponytail, from Mexico, arid, needs bright light. One could cover the world in a day while in the mall when plants are around. It was always rewarding to observe as the basically quiet plant guy.

There are people who know they love plants, and there are people who don’t yet know that they love plants… Plants offer a sense of connectedness to the earth, merely being in the presence of them. On many levels they are healing and therapeutic. Like animals, plants can reach places of one’s being that nothing else can… but differently. The exchange is very subtle, unlike interacting with an animal or another person. Sometimes the exchange on our part is conscious, other times, unconscious…

During the course of the conversation, she had said that she was from Nepal. She was then surprised that I knew where Nepal is. She and I talked about her Dracaena plant on the windowsill that was full of life, and it brought this to her day each morning.

The world is wide and diverse, so many plants, so many people, so many types. All are here for a reason.

We wished each other well on our journeys- in prosperity, abundance and harmony.

Tune in to life. Choose it.

Thank you for reading. Until next time, peace to you.

-The BOAB

6/8/15

Beautiful, clear, warm, bright ride today as the BOAB. I stopped at the usual spot, but explored a bit more there than I usually do. Much thought, much observed. Honestly though, my thoughts during today’s ride, I prefer to keep quiet this time. This fits the overall quietness of the entire ride, and for that matter, this particular time in my life…
I wish joy, prosperity, well-being and peace to all who read this entry. See you next time.

6/3/14
Greetings,

I took a nice, long bike ride this morning. It was a beautiful, sunny, clear morning with clean air and a few passing clouds. My bike rides as the BOAB always present new insights. There are few things like getting outside, feeling the fresh air, sunshine, hearing the birds and experiencing the soft greeting of passers by, on a river-path or trail. All of us have enjoyed this at one time or another. Some of us do this regularly.

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Thoughts on today’s ride. There is already too much exclusion in the world. There are far too many gaps. I think all 7 billion of you will agree. Please remember to acknowledge others when outside, hiking, biking on a community trail or pathway. We all must learn to share this earth, and community trails bring people together, while truly experiencing being outside like few things can.

It is easy to become carried away in the moment and out of momentary arrogance, ignore other passers by. I say it is time to step away from doing this. It’s time to show others that being outside among nature’s gifts is friendly, safe and welcoming. However, there is a certain amount of respect expected, in every way.

I am glad to be able say that most people are pleasant and acknowledge me as I pass by. Still, we have all seen and for that matter, we have, at one time or another, (been) the one who blatantly ignores another, even when they say hello. It’s time to move away from doing this. There is far too much exclusion, separation in the world. We live in a world where there is the illusion of separateness all around us; it is easy to want to be an island.

Zooming in on the details here for a second: Part of the beauty of community paths, recreational trails, parks etc. is how wonderfully healing and therapeutic these places can be for a variety of stresses that come from everyday life. Part of the standard of respect while on these trails, is also respecting the journey of another and where they are in their journey.

You may be on the trail, wanting time to yourself and are not in the mood to greet someone gregariously with a smile, or to stop and chat. That is okay. But at least acknowledge them. A simple nod doesn’t take that much energy.

Several months ago while taking a morning walk on a river trail, a young woman walked by me who was clearly distraught in the moment. I could see this and had my doubts about saying hi. Still, it is my general rule to greet everyone, but respect their needs of the moment also. I said good morning in a soft, non-intrusive voice. As she hurried by, she didn’t make eye contact, looked down and to the side, didn’t speak, but nodded. She walked quickly past me and I knew she was a good example of respect, but also honesty.

I think this is a good example of how we can all be. She acknowledged my acknowledgement of her out of mutual respect, of me simply another human being, but her actions made it clear that she had a lot on her plate and was not in a position to engage any more than she did; not even with her voice. She was honest and she was honest without even using her voice. That’s all it takes, my friends.

We both passed by with a mutual respect as people who know how it goes in life. Life is hard. All of us have things going on in life that are stressful. Fortunately, we have the wondrous natural world, the earth that we live on and that we are learning to live with, that we benefit from greatly as we learn to take care of her. Community trails, parks and remaining areas of wilderness allow us to learn to do this.
Remember to show others that these places are friendly, safe, welcoming, but respect is expected.

When you are ignored by someone, send them silent, positive wishes. Resist the urge to lash out, or lash back and send them negativity, whether aloud, or quietly. This only causes more separateness and exclusion in the world. Realize that all people are journeying. Respect where they are on the journey, as well as their own journey. There is the collective journey, and there is the individual journey. Also realize that the need to lash out or ignore, (whether coming from others, or yourself) is from insecurity and fear. There is no real security in the desire (that in fairness, we all feel at times,) to be an island. No one is an island.

Just like two bees, sisters that cooperate for the higher good, they would not sting another from the same hive. They might sting another from a different hive if there were threat, but they would do so only if they needed to. Bees don’t sting us unless they are threatened. Still, the one who stings, is also at risk and possibly at a greater risk than the one who is stung. do not send people negative energy in attempt to lash out from your own insecurity.

There is a person that I used to see see almost everyday by the river jogging. She always has ear pieces and sunglasses, and acknowledges with a nod any that acknowledge her with a gesture. She often waves to those she recognizes. Still, I have never heard her use her voice. Her actions, and steady, strong, fast jog says: “I acknowledge you in return, but it’s my workout time and don’t want to chat”. She is another good example of respect and honesty, while asserting her needs.

One more thing to keep in mind is that people who listen to ipod, or ipad while on these paths are sometimes really concentrating. Respect this, and realize that those with ear pieces, will usually not acknowledge. They are concentrating. This is okay too. Respect, honesty and freedom are of cooperation, a symphony where we are all learning to play an instrument. This doesn’t happen over night.

Still, we all have a part to play. It’s time to exit the persistent hate cycles, and enter the sweet, gentle flow of the mountain stream.

Thank you for reading.
The BOAB
plants and river 009


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6/26/14
Greetings,

Beautiful ride today as the BOAB. I stopped by a big grove of Box Elder trees, beautiful view. The photo was of another place from my friend just for effect. (see the bear?)

It is interesting how many times I have been approached asked about self reliance the past few months. It seems like it is on everyone’s mind. Typically, people say to me a lot of blah, blah about how the government is trying to take our freedom, food and power, etc. They proceed to complain in worry at how they don’t want them to do anything for themselves. While I think self-reliance, self-sufficiency, less dependence on 40-80 hour work weeks, is a good thing, I do feel that self-reliance seems to bring with it a “chip on one’s shoulder” mentality. I feel there is actually little alarm from officials, until we people come to the table with this chip on our shoulder, creating the very problem we are trying to overcome. That is how the human experience tends to go.

In some of the obnoxious, thoughtless behavior I see, especially when people go to the great outdoors, kind of like a dog let off the leash for the first time, frankly, I don’t blame officials for wanting to keep a watch on that behavior as throwing one’s rights around so obnoxiously.

Consider the intentions. Are the intentions and concerns of these officials really unfair? Have we shown that we are capable of the responsibility and trust upon which we insist so loudly? It is fair that no one, whether civilian, official, or otherwise wants problems and mayhem. Truly, the “Free as a bird, “I don’t care,” “nothing matters but me” mentality brings with it its own share of cause for alarm. That particular scream for freedom is based from a place of rebellion and has been the stuff problems have occurred on in the past. Further, with more freedom comes much, much responsibility.

So, the responsibility is ours to show that we are capable of handling a bit more trust. We should be able to grow and eat our own food, build our own homes, etc, make no mistake. But that does not mean we can do so instantly, expecting instantaneous results and throw this around with an obnoxious, even alarming sense of entitlement. Those who do this, please stop. Your actions may be doing more harm than good for the good message.

Again, consider the intentions of people, civilians or officials who are opposing more steps toward self-reliance. There is a valid concern that too much of it at once can and has gotten out of hand. If they are willing to see that people are respectful, peaceful, more mature and want everything straight through the front door as is, they are much more likely to listen. Are their intentions good, simply to protect and keep all secure? If so, this is fair.

However, if their intentions are obviously selfish to spread fear and control, then that is just wrong. Remember that long forgotten saying from the 80’s and 90’s? “That’s sick and wrong.” Part of the WD/LIC/BOAB concept is about considering all sides, all angles, approaches, seeing others’ viewpoint, the gradual approach doing so peacefully, always going well out of your way to meet others half way, but stating wants, needs and intentions clearly. I feel there is far too much of an obnoxious sense of entitlement, “chip on the shoulder” attitude that would alarm just about anyone in talking and preaching about being free. Be peaceful, kind, respectful, direct, clear and at the front door first. Negotiations come later.

Watch the intentions. Are they pure? Do they consider the overall good? Or, are they selfish, controlling and just “sick and wrong?”

Thank you for joining me on the thoughts of the day from the lens of the BOAB.

7/1/14

Greetings,

Short and sweet today. Remember to have fun! Today was strictly a joy ride, much needed. Part of balance and wellness is having some fun. After all the shifting taking place and preaching throughout the world, (not from me though,) it is essential to have some fun, creative outlet, some play time. Play is part of balance. Never forget that taking part in your own balance and happiness is a step toward global balance and a peaceful world. Choose to believe that until you believe it.

Today’s ride was spent weaving across the trail, and then trying to stay on the line right in the center, feeling the sunshine and the breeze as I rode fast. Each time some puncture vine Tribulus terrestis found my tires, I would simply ride off road into the gravel and let the gravel take the stickers out of my tires. (This works very well.) It was a goof off, exhilarating ride.

I stopped to pet a young cat that was resting in the shade of a tree and this was my turn around point, only about forty minutes each way of pure, free fun.

Go enjoy the sun!
Thank you for joining me for the thoughts from the BOAB

7/29/14
Greetings,

What a day! There was a rare July rainstorm here and it rained all day long! I love those days; especially in July when they are so rare. It was a nice bike ride today too. The air here has been in the yellow zone for about three weeks. During those times, I mostly keep my activity to a stroll in the evenings, or exercise inside as the yellow air is kind of yucky and feels like breathing sand particles.

Today though, the air was thoroughly cleansed. I thoroughly loved it. it was a perfect day for a ride. Even if it was pouring rain for part of it. Clear, clean and cool. It was the usual trail, which runs directly north and south for several miles that passes through the typical city traffic of industrial centers, supermarkets, schools, restaurants and medical buildings. It is without a doubt an interesting scene for a plant and natural kind of guy like myself. As all new sprawl of buildings and homes have popped up where they seem to make a distinct line; even a collision with old farmland and remaining fragments of natural habitat.

Today I was on a trail that I take often but today I saw something unusual. A young deer was right beside me on the trail, although she was on the other side of a small fence. (I sure see a lot of deer lately.)

The young deer was scared and running toward the road where there was traffic heading east. The deer was coming toward me and also toward the busy road that I had just crossed. It was running quickly toward the road and I thought for sure it was going to be hit. I called out to the driver of the nearest car with a hand gesture. It didn’t look like he could see the deer approaching. The driver stopped and luckily, so did the deer. It quickly turned around and began to run the other way. I was relieved and waved to the driver, in a split second daze, I suppose thanking him for not hitting my deer.

Then, there I was riding slowly in the same direction as the deer which was still on the other side of the fence. It was obviously confused and bewildered with no real place to go. It always reminds me how it is best in these situations with animals, to give them plenty of space and to stop. This shows them that you are not after them. She vanished into the nearby, very small patch of forest that is surrounded by a large area of farmland.

This is where I stopped and got off my bike to walk around for a few minutes. I was glad the deer was safe as I watched and pondered for a while. I looked at the few patches of beautiful wilderness still there, surrounded by several acres of farmland and pasture. Then I looked beyond, noticing the seemingly endless stretch of highways and concrete.

It was a stark reminder that this is the very issue all across the globe. As we continue to grow and expand, we people are forced to stop, look and reevaluate. It is then that we are also forced to redefine progress.

This very thing is going on here and now-everywhere. The question is asked by all people from individuals to communities to societies: Just what is progress? And just what constitutes real progress?

For old and new, industry, economy, health care, ecology, here’s to the worldwide collision. May we people learn to choose well-being of both people and planet. This is my hope. I submit that in doing so lies the answer.

As for our deer friend, she’s safe…at least for now, while there still exists the small patch of trees, farmland and open fields.

Then, my reptile buddy came by with a Bull snake (Pituophis) that he was planning to relocate to a safer location and asked me to join him. I was glad to go and it was definitely a beautiful snake.
Bullsnake
Yes, it was a full day!

Thank you for reading. Enjoy the rain.



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These photos are of different areas, and taken on a different day, but show where there is life and open fields, even fragments of remaining natural habitat.
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