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 , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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

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

Posted in national parks, Utah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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

Elusive and Unmistakeable…

Goldfinch! double goldfinch single goldfinch-1

goldfinch-3 goldfinch-4 goldfinch-5 Mr. goldfinch Mr. Goldfinch-2


It must be spring!

Posted in Birds, earth | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Essence of Approaching Rain – Sniff!

The Smell of Approaching Rain!

Australian scientists Isabel Joy Bear and Richard Thomas identified and named the smell of rain approaching: they called it “petrichor … the unique odor which can be regarded as an ‘ichor’ or ‘tenuous essence’ derived from rock or stone”.  This article from EarthSky news describes their discovery in the 1960’s. Petrichor is the scent the earth itself releases when humidity is present in the air, particularly after a dry spell. Humidity fills pores in the earth’s surface with minute amounts of water. The “oil” or essence is released from the surface into the air. Rain and wind accelerate the process. An Indian perfumery called this essence “matti ka attar” or “Earth perfume”.

Now scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have released a slow-motion video of this process in motion.

It is raining here, thank goodness, and that earth perfume sure smells good!!  I’d like a bottle of it.




Posted in earth, science | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Aloha Pihemanu!


More about albatross from Greg Joder, who spent four months on Midway Island with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. See albatross smile…

Originally posted on My Earth:

So, my four month term in the USFWS biological volunteer program came to an end and my flight off Midway Atoll was a few days ago.  I’m both ready to get back home and also already missing the birds, the ocean, solitude and geographic isolation.  There are a few people I will miss too and hope to work with again some day.  I’ll continue to post more interesting photos and video of Midway once I am home in Tucson, though I will also return to making posts of the desert life and other wildlife work.

Ipomoea (species of morning glory). Copyright: Greg Joder/USFWS

On Midway, the albatross are in full swing raising their chicks.  The nestlings are getting bigger and hungrier, so the adults are making lots of trips to sea to catch food.  Most of the chicks are too big for the adult to brood, though some still try…

View original 63 more words

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