Categories
birds nature nonfiction writing

Starlings make an appearance

European starlings have been harvesting the trove of black olives that grow in batches on nearly every branch of the tree out back.

Normally, the olives merely fall to the ground and rot, so it’s nice to see the birds using them for sustenance. They take them and fly to the ground, where they shake them violently in their beaks until they split into bite-sized chunks.

The starlings’ plumage is iridescent and more or less echoes the color of the olives. Their dark feathers are offset by a caramel trim along their outer wings, with their bodies speckled in earth tones as if by an artist’s brush.

Categories
nature poetry prose writing

A Study of Orange

She had a bright yellow pen and a fat hardcover book with a lime green dust jacket.

Her yoga pants were red like pomegranate, and her spa socks were slate. Her black and white cat played with a ribbon that was thick as Asian flat noodle. Her coffee was black and sat just so. It filled an espresso cup the color of steak bone.

Soon she would be eating a banana that matched her pen, but she was unsure she liked the color. The pens also came in a very citrusy orange that made her heart skip.

Categories
nature nature writing nonfiction prose writing

Bird Man

The Bird Man is on the move. He’s wearing a sweat jacket and a ball cap because it’s cold. It’s 38 degrees this morning, and typically, such as during summer, the Bird Man will wear only an old white T-shirt that you and I might demote to rag status, as well as jeans that no longer can stay put around his pot belly.

Today the Bird Man looks more dressed up than usual due to his navy blue jacket. It seems to be in fine condition and looks warm.

The Bird Man is removing the rocks from the small plastic Tupperware lining his cement wall like battlements. He is emptying the backwash and refilling the vessels with a cheap plastic pitcher of water.

Categories
birds nature nonfiction prose writing

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.

Categories
nature snippets writing

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.

Categories
nature photography trees

Honey mesquite, my sweets

Categories
climate change environment nature

For those who care to keep track of the lost acreage

Public land acres leased to oil/gas companies for exploration and development from January 2017-April 2019 total 7.3 million, according to a report by The Wilderness Society.

Categories
books climate change environment nature

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.

Categories
nature nature writing photography

Otherworldly mountain

This photo I took yesterday in Kyle Canyon, Nevada, reminds me of Close Encounters.