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Wednesday, November 16, 2022



Cottonwoods in brilliant colors in a desert canyon.

I have come to realize that the overarching theme in almost all of my nature photos is that there is brilliant light in the most inhospitable places. That is a metaphor for there being a glimmer of hope even in the darkest times of life.

This is one of my favorites from the year.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

A pair of Golden Eagles vie for a Deer Carcass

 A mountain lion killed a deer in a gully near our house. Our ever faithful sniffer, Shyla, found it the next morning. Most of the meat had been consumed overnight.

During the next day, a Golden Eagle claimed the carcass, much to the dismay of the Magpies who had been feasting on it. The Magpies don't give up easily, and they tugged on the tail feathers of the Golden Eagle to try to make him leave. It didn't work.

Then, the big excitement happened. A second Golden Eagle showed up. The two eagles had a kerfuffle over the carcass. One claimed it, and the other one was relegated to pecking on a leg about 10 yards away.

 Please be aware that there are views of a deer carcass in this video. 





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Friday, October 21, 2022

An Intruder

Yesterday was a rough day. We have a closed gate on our driveway with "no trespassing" and "beware of dogs" signs on it. We have a very reactive dog (Hachi) , and we don't want a stranger to meet him. For the second time this week, a person opened the gate and drove down our half mile driveway that is posted with those same signs repeatedly. The guy yesterday then walked around our house looking in the windows (I was home but didn't see him). 

Then, he drove partway back up the driveway, parked, and walked around. At that time, Shyla and I headed up the driveway for a morning outing. We saw the trespasser, and I said "May I help you? You came in via my signed and closed gate.". The guy was belligerent, saying that I had no right to cut off access to my private driveway. He told 2 different lies about why he was there. 
After me telling him to leave about 25 times, his anger escalated, and things got really ugly. My neighbor, a tall tough guy, became aware of the altercation, and he came to my rescue. The trespasser finally fled (but I got a photo of his car and plate before he left). I am so grateful to our neighbor. The sheriff is tracking down the trespasser.
I am shaken. Although we don't want to, we will now have to lock our gate all the time. Although trespassing has happened many times, this incident has made us feel truly unsafe. We also fear for Hachi and all strangers who might meet him accidentally when they show up unannounced. Our goal is to keep everyone safe, most of all Hachi.


Sunday, October 16, 2022

Home in Autumn

This is home. The house will be a natural wood color by next fall but that doesn't matter so much. The land is what is really home.


I've been posting on IG ( and FB ( regularly over the past year. I am going to share the photos from those posts here because some people don't do those sites.

I feel as if I am slowly coming out of the self-imposed shell. Some peace is returning.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The beauty and the pain

A juxtaposition of brilliant aspens and a hovering black cloud. I soon was pelted with hail. Life is a study in contrast between the beauty and the pain.


Friday, September 30, 2022

Autumn update

It's been a few months since I last posted. I've been busy with lots of things, including trying to save a wetland that I think of as "Tiny's Water Hole". I found out about construction plans to bulldoze it to oblivion, and I decided that it was my calling to make a difference. Saving it is still a work in progress but I'm optimistic that it will still exist when the construction is over. I will write more about it in the future.

I've also been "working on myself". After the years of my dad's illness and several other major stressors, I found that I had a problem with anxiety. I've been working with a counselor on the anxiety, and I've also taken up meditation. I am on the road to a less anxious life but I still struggle at times.

And, alas, the construction on the house has continued. We are almost finished for this year with one more big renovation season planned for next summer. Our new house is getting closer to our vision for it. While the land has always felt like home, the house is gradually feeling more and more like home.

In addition to all of those things, I've taken the time of not blogging to work carefully on my photography. I am taking far more landscape photos now than ever before, trying to show how nature provides glimpses of brilliance even when life is hard. Here is one from about 9 days ago on a soggy, foggy, and cold day. It wasn't what I would call a "beautiful day" but the nascent autumn colors made me love it. I feel so lucky that this spot is a 1 minute walk from my door.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Hachi Update and Thank you!

Thanks to all who offered support for Hachi yesterday. They figured out a super sedation protocol, and Hachi had a full exam from our behavioral vet. He's recovering well although he's still a little subdued and confused. Thanks so much for lifting my spirits yesterday.

Here's a photo of him from our most recent trip to the desert. We are giving him the best life that we know how to give him. For him in particular, every day is a gift that he wouldn't have had in other circumstances. We know that, and we remind ourselves of it when we need a lift.


Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Hachi Chronicle

I have not written a "Hachi Chronicle" recently. I'll be honest - it's partly because things have not gone as I hoped. We've been working with trainers on trying to help Hachi feel okay around strangers - with the goal of him being capable of receiving vet care more easily. 

We seemed to be proceeding well until about 6 weeks ago, and our trainer even touched him during a session. Then, a week later, things went backwards - and Hachi was more afraid of being close to her. We all decided that we needed to slow down, and that there would be no unsedated vet exam this year.
Fast forward to today. Hachi is spending the day at our behavioral vet's hospital. They are figuring out a sedation protocol that works for him. His brain is so different from normal that the usual canine sedation protocols don't even slow him down. They hope to find a drug cocktail that works today. Then, our regular vet will use it for his annual exam and dental cleaning.
It is heart-wrenching to be Hachi's humans. We so badly want life to become easier for him yet our efforts have seemed so ineffective so far. Sure, on "Hachi's scale", he's come a long way but he's nowhere near normal and is still very afraid of people.
So, Hachi could use some good vibes today. He is very scared being in a big vet hospital for the day.


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Wordy Wednesday

Feeling some blues. One of the repairs to my shoulder from surgery four months ago has probably failed. The decision about what to do is obvious to me. No more surgery on it. This photo fits my mood.

I do know how grateful I am to have this river running past my house. Its sound and sight is so soothing.

Time to head outside and ride my bike along side this water.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Caught by a storm

A couple of days ago, I climbed up high on my bike. The route was forested so I couldn't see the clouds building over the Divide as I pedaled. When I popped out above treeline, the flowers, the water, and the threatening sky were stunning. I took a couple of quick photos and fled downhill away from the storm. Alas, I couldn't outrun this one. I ended up huddled under a small spruce tree as hail pelted out of the sky. Despite that, I was so grateful for seeing this beauty and for living so close to it.


Friday, June 24, 2022

Happiness in a storm

A theme in my life over the past few years has been learning to see the beauty even when I'm scared by a storm. I'm sorry for being so inconsistent here but I've needed time. I'm finding my way but I'm not there yet. Perhaps I'll never be but I sure have learned a lot in the journey.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Thankful Thursday

 There's no place in the world that I'd rather be. The wildflowers are popping and the birds are singing.


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Stunning Red Flowers

As I rode my bike in the desert, I scanned the landscape. This bunch of paintbrush flowers stunned me. I saw it from a long distance, parked my bike, and headed onto the desert floor to see them closer. The red against the white sand was brilliant. It was a testament to how being present in the moment sometimes shows you the beauty in the world around you.

Friday, June 17, 2022

A Miracle - Tiny the Black Bear Appears at Lab Valley

I've been following the biggest black bear I've seen, who I dubbed "Tiny", for years. I spotted him with a cam near my old home in April. Then, he disappeared from that area. He's an older bear so I began to suspect the worst. 

I said to the Runner that I was so sad because I thought that Tiny might be gone. When I said "gone", I meant dead. Young and hulking male bears have moved into his territory near our old home. They could have fought him and killed him or simply driven him out.

Then, I said the key thing -  "Isn't it odd that a bear who marks trees while sitting down, just like Tiny, has recently arrived near Lab Valley?".  Bells went off in my head. Maybe the bear near Lab Valley was Tiny. I thought that the probability of that was SO low that I didn't even start comparing their images until a full day later.

After staring at videos to compare Tiny near our old home and the new bear near our new home, I concluded that it was Tiny at our new place!!!! He has been here for close to a month, last seen with a sow near a water hole. Can you imagine the sheer luck to have made that happen? There are literally thousands of acres of forest land between our old home and our new one. How did I get so lucky?
Questions abound. Did he get fed up with the crush of people, development, and noise near our old place like I did? His habitat was rapidly diminishing there. Or, does he do this commute every year? I know that he disappeared from our old place every year around the start of June until just before he entered a den in the fall. Maybe he was here in early summer every year.
I am SO filled with gratitude to have this magnificent bear near our new home. It makes it feel even more like home. I wonder how long he'll stay? Time will tell.

Check out the video of him at our old place and our new one.