birds in the morning

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When I woke up this morning I was feeling rather distracted. I didn’t want to get to work and my attempts to read fell apart when I realized words were passing by without getting into my head. So I sat and watched, looking outside for a while while letting my mind wander afield, trying to gain focus by letting go of time a little bit.

It turned out to be busy outside.

The mountain quails have returned for winter. Five of them.

mountain quails

The chickadees kept coming to the bird bath for a bit of water and some seed from the feeder. Black oil sunflower seeds keep them stopping by all the day.

mountain chickadee

The jays were mostly elsewhere, but a couple bounced in to see what the hubbub was about.

steller’s jay

Finally, things quieted down, and the quail group wandered off, leaving a straggler for a few minutes.

mountain quail


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For the last few months a family of acorn woodpeckers has visited each day, generally in the mid-afternoon. There are about four or five, each of them chattering with the others in between hopping down for a drink from the bird bath.

acorn woodpeckers

Bees and bombs

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Scientists have trained bees to sniff out explosives.

In the future, I’m sure, there will be specially trained police officers in their beehive cars.

“We have a situation here, possible explosives. We need the B Unit!”

Not noted in the article was one of the intrepid bees who underwent the training.

His name is Eric.


A one… two…. A one.. two.. three..four…

[piano intro]

Half a bee, philosophically, must, ipso facto, half not be.

But half the bee
has got to be,
vis a vis
its entity – do you see?

But can a bee
be said to be
or not to be
an entire bee
when half the bee
is not a bee
due to some ancient injury?


La dee dee, 1 2 3,
Eric the half a bee.
A B C D E F G,
Eric the half a bee.

Is this retched demi-bee,
half asleep upon my knee,
some freak from a menagerie?
No! It’s Eric the half a bee.

Fiddle dee dum,
Fiddle dee dee,
Eric the half bee.

Ho ho ho,
Tee hee hee,
Eric the half a bee.

waiting in fairyland

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The other day I took the dog to his groomers. Up here this means a trip to a rather magical place, seemingly out of a storybook land or fable from long ago. Those who stay near must realize this as they’ve highlighted the qualities, making waiting for my dog to be washed and trimmed a welcomed hour.

Pictures from fifteen feet away from the groomer’s front door, where large butterflies fill the trees One can almost, but not quite, hear a pan flute being played by a mischievous dryad and almost, but not quite, hear the laughter of wee fairies hiding behind the larger leaves, waiting for dusk to fall and for their dance to begin.

fairy groomer
fairy groomer
the bookstore of fairy land
fairy groomer


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I was standing outside, waiting for a moment to help carry down a new water heater into the basement, and noticed a curious form walking by along the top our sloping driveway, about forty feet from me.

Took me a second, but the size and the tail gave it away. Looked like a housecat. It wasn’t a housecat. Too big for that. The tail was too stubby.

Bobcat. At 12:30 in the afternoon. Out for a nice Autumn walk.

It stood and stared at me for a good many seconds, not real concerned about me. Then meandered up the hill back on his way.

It’s been a while since I saw a bobcat around here, a few years in fact. Restores my faith in this being a forest.

I wish that bobcat well.

On an Island in the Mountains

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Pics from the Rim of the World highway:

Rim of the World
Rim of the World
Rim of the World
Rim of the World

White-headed Woodpecker

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white headed woodpecker
white headed woodpecker

All Saints Eve

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In honor of the various celebrations that take place on this day I have a squirrel, some leaves and a tree with a tail.

Oak leaves in Autumn
new growth

mountain chickadee

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mountain chickadee


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Look deeply inside

“Specially created for Harvard biology students, this eight-minute computer-animated film reveals the beauty and hidden cycle of intricate organic mechanisms at work at the molecular level. The focus is on how white blood cells respond and react to external stimuli. Everything that you see in this clip, the unusual orchestra of Nuclei, proteins, and lipids, are actions that are taking place right now in your body, in every individual cell. This includes one of the most surprising sequences – the motor protein plodding along on two pod-like feet along a track, carrying behind it a sphere of lipids. As cartoonish as that sequence looks, biologists report it’s an accurate rendering.”