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

Thrilled by Trillium

I first became acquainted with trillium wildflowers in the forests of western Washington. At the lower elevations of the Cascade foothills where I did so much trail running before moving to Idaho, they were the first wildflower of spring, adding bright splashes of white and green near the ground where they grew under the tall… Continue reading Thrilled by Trillium

Flax: A Mix of Beauty and History

My second summer here in Idaho, in 2006, I bought some wildflower seed meant for mountain climates and tossed it out along my driveway. I didn’t know what to expect. I hoped for the best, especially since it was ridiculously expensive and I was living on borrowed funds. I was disappointed. That first summer very… Continue reading Flax: A Mix of Beauty and History

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

Dog Photobombs III

Whenever I stop to photograph wildflowers, trees, streams, cairns or vistas in the forest, my dogs patiently wait nearby, following their noses, until I'm ready to continue our run or hike. They often end up unexpectedly in the frame of my photo in classic photobombing style. This third installment of dog photobombs carries the sub-theme:… Continue reading Dog Photobombs III

Bird Updates: Sandhill Cranes and Tree Swallows

Some of the local birds have been busy lately, fascinating to watch. Some updates to previous posts. Cranes The boys monitoring the ditch on the west side of the road. Earlier this month while walking my dogs on our usual valley road, I heard sandhill cranes making more than their usual ruckus. (I wrote about… Continue reading Bird Updates: Sandhill Cranes and Tree Swallows

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

Red-winged Blackbirds – “Nature’s Assholes”

Red-winged blackbirds aren’t very big. They’re smaller than robins, about 8” head to tail. But they’re easily spotted, at least the males: jet black feathers with bright red and yellow shoulders that are even more visible when they’re flying. Here in the central mountains of Idaho, they’re one of the first migrating song birds to… Continue reading Red-winged Blackbirds – “Nature’s Assholes”

Petrichor

The scent of new rain on dry earth or pavement. It's distinctive. You know it when you smell it, yet it's...indescribable. Try to. I dare you. I find the scent pleasing and elemental: natural, environmental, atmospheric, essential. When I catch the scent, no matter how briefly, no matter where I am, I'm instantly transported to… Continue reading Petrichor

Thinking of John Muir

I didn't have a plan for this morning. Usually I go to bed with an idea of whether the dogs and I will go for a run the next morning, and where. We run three or four days each week, and go for a walk the other mornings. Walks require much less planning. Rarely, if… Continue reading Thinking of John Muir