Dead Tree Breathing

Sound of Dead Tree Breathing

Wind-driven bellows
empty and fill
cavity vibrates with rasping breath
wistful music of standing death

breathing tree-1

On the DeLacy Creek trail to Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park, we heard this tree filling its tree lungs.  You could see and feel the tree moving in and out.

Posted in music, national parks, Poems, wilderness, Yellowstone | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

A Different Kind of Space Shot

from The Washington Post, September 8, 2015, by Rachel Feltman

After three years maturing in space, Ardbeg Distillery’s malt whiskey space shotshas returned to earth. 

The BBC reports significant differences in taste between earth whiskey and the International Space Station’s aged variety. Space whiskey’s intense and “unique flavor profile” contains “hints of antiseptic smoke, rubber, and smoked fish … a meaty aroma … focused with smoked fruits … earthy peat smoke … and ham. The long aftertaste “hints of … antiseptic lozenges and rubbery smoke”. (Gargle 1 oz. for a sore throat before swallowing.)

Earth-matured whiskey is somewhat more palatable, with distant fruit shining through, “charcoal and antiseptic notes” with a “lingering aftertaste … of gentle … tar.”

Read the entire inebriatingly-delicious description here.

photo compliments of jarmoluk at Pixabay


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Highlights of Yellowstone in August, front and backcountry

Lone Star Geyser erupting just as we approached

Lone Star Geysera hot bath in Shoshone Creek
having a warm bath in Shoshone Creek near a hot spring

seeing Shoshone Lake, one of my favorite places on earth, from many perspectives and in many different lights, and waking up our first morning on its south shore to two sets of bear prints, one large, with long claws, and the other small

south shore Shoshone Lake

watching bald eagles and pelicans by the lakebald eagle

touring the Shoshone Geyser Basin, Shoshone Geyser Basinwhich we haven’t seen since we skied there years ago

cooking lunchcooking lunch on a thermal feature when our fuel ran out the last day (not my idea!)

the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

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is right off one of the main roads through the park –
and more


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Backpacking in Yellowstone/The Merger

Backpacking in Yellowstone

Hoped-for submersion
auspicious inversion
civilizing subversion
total immersion

The Merger

Speak not of boardrooms
of quick-voiced chaos
and closed-in spaces

rather, into quiet ease –
the lullaby of birdsong
wind’s dance with the trees
refrain of rivers rushing free –
wildness’ summons heed

Yes, this is the Tetons, but considered part of the “Greater Yellowstone” ecosystem.
Sandhill crane calls begin at 3:43.
(Bluebee, I didn’t make an audio tape, so you could hear it.)
Posted in Birds, Department of the Interior, Grand Tetons, music, national parks, Nature, Poems, Yellowstone | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Alien Life

Alien Life

Alien life is not like us
no English-speaking cousins, thus
a biped form we may not find
nor water-based with carbon bind
Surprise and shock a likely boon
when searchers life forms locate soon

PlutoPluto Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
We’re looking for ourselves out there. I’m hoping for life forms that do better.
Posted in Nature, planets, Poems, science, solar system | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Yoke

wildrose-1Yoga Breath

 Breathing in joy
breathing out pain
love’s two sides
life’s double portion
each other’s measure
yoked togethercolumbine-1

Posted in Dogs, Poems | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Bella – The Dog Who Smiled and Laughed

The Dog Who Smiled and Laughed

 Heart burned by double abandonment
Soul singed by scorching neglect
Yet laughing out loud at day’s delight
Smiling at ease in calm content

Bella smilingResilient spirit, failing body
turns now to dust
a cosmic cloud of gentle warmth
flowing by the rings of Saturn
Beauty’s sweet breeze wafting toward source
a passing caress bears love’s many lessons

rings of Saturn

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Cranky Baby or Yellow-Headed Blackbird?

yellow-headed blackbird yellow-headed blackbird-1 yellow-headed blackbird-2

Posted in Birds, Yellowstone | Tagged , , | 32 Comments

Spring in Canyonlands and Green River, Utah

Last week we rented an RV and took our dogs to Utah. RV campingdogs come alongWe love going there in the spring. But dogs are not permitted on trails in the national parks, and it’s generally too hot – or too uncomfortable – to leave them in the car. So on previous trips, we have looked longingly at the trails but have not been able to hike. This year we did.Canyonlands-1Big Spring Canyon-4Getting to Lost CanyonBig Spring Canyon-3Squaw Canyon-1star flowersBig Spring Canyon-1Big Spring Canyon-2I’m not sure what the dogs thought about this trip.

Canyonlands is Edward Abbey territory. I keep expecting to see him flitting around the corner – or at least some visible evidence of his presence hovering. We did meet an amazing campground host named Ed, who looked and sounded somewhat like Abbee. A kindred spirit.

After our last hike – in the San Rafael Swell near Green River – we showered, fed the dogs, and cooked dinner at the trailhead before driving back to the campground. That’s living.
Bell Canyon          Bell Canyon-1slot canyon
slot canyon-1slot canyon-2large insectwhat is thisyellow profusionyellow profusion-1prickly pearprickly pear-1pistachio ice cream rocksiclepistachio ice cream rocksicle

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Jewels of the Queen Mother/Earth Day 2015

night sky nps-2night sky nps-1Public domain photos courtesy of National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

Jewels of the Queen Mother

Brilliant beyond Cartier’s imagining
fitting crown for a queenly brow
jeweled geometry of shape and pattern
sprinkled with diamonds
sown with platinum
dusted with silver
dotted with rubies

gleaming treasure veiled in light
uncloaks in shadow of the night

Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century was a world-exclusive-to-Denver-Colorado exhibit of Cartier creations which closed last month. As otherworldly and exquisite as human work can be.  Here are some examples:Cartier-1jpgCartier-2


The actual diamonds from photos above are bright white; the colors you see in the photographs are from my cell phone camera and reflected light in the exhibit.  However, the jeweled cherry trees and bracelet with cherry tree motif below do have colored jewels.jeweled cherry trees and bracelet





Cartier cherry tree bracelet-1Cartier sapphire pendantthe Jupiter of sapphire pendants


Cartier sky clock Cartier lunar modulelunar landing module
Posted in Art, earth, Poems | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments