Category Archives: nature

The goings on at the ponds

Photo by Cassandra Keenan

The great egrets shunned the other waterfowl.

The egrets were staying in Vegas as part of their winter migrational route. Like an ivy league clique, they stuck up their bills while congregating in a lush, green riparian grove, which made their white plumage all the more stunning — like fresh-fallen snow.

And they knew it.

Meanwhile, the gambel’s quail were skittish, despite being on their year-round turf. They ran from the paparazzi as per usual, head plumes bobbing as they made for the clearings, taking cover in the bramble. Continue reading The goings on at the ponds

Cellphone zombies attack

I was at my favorite neighborhood park when suddenly a throng of zombies began advancing toward me, staring at their cellphones.

This was not your average distracted crowd. These were participants in a park-wide Pokemon Go event. Pokemon Go is a GPS-enabled augmented reality game you play with your mobile device.

Sometimes I pass judgement (see title of this post), but if games such as Pokemon Go is what it takes to get people out and around nature, then I guess it’s not such a bad thing.

Edward Abbey saw it all coming

With leases being sold for gas and oil exploration and development on public lands, it seemed that author Edward Abbey saw it all coming. In his 1968 book “Desert Solitaire,” he wrote:

“Until a few years ago, a simple, quiet, primitive place on the shores of the Colorado, Lee’s Ferry has now fallen under the protection of the Park Service. And who can protect it from the Park Service?”

Of course when he wrote this, he was railing against what he termed “industrial tourism” and infrastructure development at national parks and forests. But it rings very relevant with the public lands sell-off taking place under William Perry Pendley, who, unfortunately, was reappointed by the interior secretary on Sept. 30 to oversee the Bureau of Land Management. Continue reading Edward Abbey saw it all coming

Notes on grackles

Grackles engrossed in nonstop quibbles like tweens in a schoolyard. Their predatory clamber across tree bark, clawing like cats on carpet. Grackles and the way that they crow and cackle! Torpedoing from bush to rock to tree to fountain, dumpster-diving, whizzing past your head like P-140 bombers. Fluttering low like bats in Victorian homes, perched on hilltops and awash in fog and sickly lamplight, their nefarious flight charged with purpose, bulging from their green button eyes.

A morning at the park

Passing the fragrant pines, they seem episodic today
I am intoning for the clouds to stick around
A flycatcher makes swooping casts from a branch like a fly fisherman’s line
A male robin is at rest on a low bough while its mate babysits the nest above
Man on camp chair w/ obedient mastiff, unleashed and lounging in the grass
Finches on trees like holiday ornaments, branches bobbing like rafts in a rapid
The smoke & scent of BBQ and the sound of the Wailers
Bob Marley chirping about his single bed
In the distance, a Harley like an aboriginal didgeridoo & chant