Dog Camp: Creating Family

This weekend would normally have seen me traveling with my dogs from my home in central Idaho to the central part of Washington state. It’s a long drive, eight or nine hours each way, a trip I would only undertake for a special reason. Dog camp. My dog camp is why I make that taxing… Continue reading Dog Camp: Creating Family

Altruism

Animal sentience is generally defined as the ability to feel, perceive, be conscious, or to experience subjectivity. The word “sentience” comes from the Latin verb sentire, which means “to feel.” The RSPCA Australia (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Knowledge Base website has a good definition that’s easily understood: Animal sentience is… Continue reading Altruism

Ladybugs

A few days ago, I was pulling weeds from my gravel driveway. The night before, I had used the sprinkler to dampen the ground, making it possible to pull roots along with the plant from the otherwise sun-baked, hard ground. As I removed plants that morning, I discovered several ladybugs moving among the stems, apparently… Continue reading Ladybugs

Counting the Pack

During a recent trail run I watched Conall do something I’ve seen him do before, but this time, in a flash of insight, it took on greater meaning. I had an “Aha!” moment. Suddenly, a behavior I’d observed without much thought was shown in a much broader and important context. Reflecting on memories of similar… Continue reading Counting the Pack

Photographic Memories

I tend to flow with the technology tide, embracing what I find useful and helpful while ignoring what seems negative or destructive. On the positive side, I love the camera in my smart phone (a Pixel 3a). It takes amazing photos, and I’ve taken thousands of them in the two years I’ve had this phone.… Continue reading Photographic Memories

The Day I Lost – and Found – Conall

Friday, July 10, 2020. I awoke at 6:30 am to the sound of birds singing, ushering in the day along with the rising sun. I looked outside. Clear skies. A thunderstorm had moved through overnight, waking me up, dropping a bit of rain, but by daybreak the weather was perfect. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday,… Continue reading The Day I Lost – and Found – Conall

Memory Cues on a Father’s Day Walk

This morning, a Sunday that is also Father’s Day, my dogs and I did what we do most Sunday mornings: we went for a walk in the valley. Our walk was followed by another typical weekend activity, taking household garbage to the nearby transfer station. Much about the morning sparked memories of my father, who… Continue reading Memory Cues on a Father’s Day Walk

Pollen: Strong Reactions

I have a love-hate relationship with pollen. It’s been that way most of my life. I love pollen because of its crucial role in propagating a vast array of plants, including many of the fruits, nuts and grains we rely upon for food. Plus, lots of pollen is produced by the beautiful forest trees and… Continue reading Pollen: Strong Reactions

Bumbling Bumble Bees

One afternoon last March, one of those early “false spring” days when the sun warms the air up to the low 60s F while there’s still snow on the ground, I hauled the deck furniture out of the garage. Several days of unseasonable warmth had already melted the snow off the deck, so why not?… Continue reading Bumbling Bumble Bees

Tree Swallows: Nature’s Fighter Pilots

I’m not a “birder.” Haven’t been in the past, am not now, and…well, maybe at some point in the future I will be. I do like birds, but I’m not patient enough to be a birder. A birder is, by definition, a bird watcher. Someone dedicated to bird watching. I’m an observer. Amused by birds,… Continue reading Tree Swallows: Nature’s Fighter Pilots