Birds of Happiness

And so, remember this, life is no abyssSomewhere there’s a bluebird of happiness                                                ~ Sandor Harmati Twenty-five years ago, we made a major addition to our house that expanded the kitchen and featured a string of large windows overlooking the back yard with a view to the mountains on the north. Originally, I put up […]

Both Sides Now

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides nowFrom up and down, and still somehowIt’s cloud illusions I recallI really don’t know clouds at all                                                 ~ Joni Mitchell Climate change is bringing worrying uncertainty to our weather patterns. We try to minimize or eliminate carbon emissions to reduce the greenhouse effect, but we’re taking too […]

Made in the Shade

This is how it typically goes with solar arrays: We build them on open space rather than in developed areas. That is, they overwhelmingly occupy croplands, arid lands, and grasslands, not rooftops or parking lots.                                                 ~ Richard Conniff I live in the shadow of Lookout Mountain, part of Colorado’s Front Range, and from the top […]

Indian Summer

It doesn’t really feel like summer, but then it’s not like December either. People are foreswearing their parkas and stocking hats, and we had a rain storm this morning. It’s mid-December in Colorado for Christ’s sake! It’s been mild, if not warm — making it not very seasonal at all. When I was growing up […]

Dark Times

It’s still dark outside, but the older cat yowls in the darkness, expressing some real or imaginary complaint. The dog stirs and “boops” me under the side of the covers to see if it’s time to get up. I rub her nose and eyes then “scritch” her back to see if she’ll settle back down. […]

Evolving

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and […]

Urban Nature

Humans need to find peace and quiet. Any parent has reached their screaming point from all the chaos that children and jobs can bring into their lives, but we all occasionally need some calming, uninterrupted time for our brain to settle down and clear out our thoughts. For some, a walk in the woods or […]

A Week at the Oregon Beach

The incessant roar of waves permeated everything, except for the occasional blast of October wind through the row of houses. Tendrils of sand blew unceasingly down the beach, past the imperturbable groups of seagulls who searched the sand for anything edible — or at least interesting. So too, the scattered human beachgoers braved the wind […]

The Fall Garden

It’s nearly over. The weather is changing and we’re getting our first frosts this week. The leaves are changing and the squirrels are busy all day. It’s time to look over the vegetable garden and see what needs to be picked and what may survive a few more weeks. Our annual vacation always seems to […]

What’s in a Name?

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”                                                 Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare We called them ‘doodle bugs,’ but a girl I knew called them ‘rolly-pollys.’ When in college, I learned they were actually ‘wood lice’ or the singular, ‘woodlouse.’ Wikipedia lists about fifty other names for these guys, not including […]