Sunday, December 28, 2008

Get this book NOW!!!

I don't think I've ever recommended anything during the life of this blog.

Today is different.

Run, don't walk, to your local bookstore and get this book. I am not kidding. It is the most amazingly touching book I've read in a long time.

The book is about life from Shreve's point of view and how she ended up with her family--Eli and the wondrous Charlie. Mike comes along after awhile and rounds out her life, giving it the balance she was missing (and she for him). The story is an ongoing one of growth, enlightenment, and humor; of hard times in the frigid Wyoming winter and outdoor naps in the warmth of the sun. A life rich--with life, and a coyote.

Her photographs of Charlie and the Wyoming wilderness will give you pause. From puppy to full grown coyote you won't be able to help falling in love with him, or the photographs.

Go to Shreve's The Daily Coyote website. You can get your daily dose of Charlie there.

What? You're still here? GO GET THE BOOK!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

What I did on my Christmas break-- A Pictoral

Sweet Rocky

Sweet sweet Reina








white wing dove tree

daddy daughter walk

Thursday, December 11, 2008

it snowed. it really really snowed.

While it may not be the awesome deep, fluffy, powdery, snow of the Great North, THIS, friends was as snow as we get down here in south central Texas.

We're still speechless.

Friday, December 05, 2008

No photos, just memories.

Today on the drive home from work I listened to NPR. Two scientists were being interviewed and while I couldn't entirely grasp why they studied the distance an ant steps, what did catch my attention was the story of one scientist talking about a photo when he was 9 of him outside holding a butterfly net and looking into it. The other scientist had a very similar story about a similar photo at near the same age. They grew up almost a world apart and met one another and began doing research together.

Their stories got me to thinking--what was my earliest memory of being outside with animals? I remember being six living in Lubbock, Texas and playing with big red ants. I would play with them alone, mastering my technique of picking them up one at a time, without being bitten. It was huge competition between the other kids in the neighborhood of who could pick up ants and not get bitten. Apparently the honor of winning was huge to get me to practice as often as I did.

I then remembered being nine and being with my friends and climbing up ivy that grew on the side of a neighbors house and taking a nestling sparrow home to raise. I thought it fascinating holding a real live bird and one so tiny was miraculous. I remember the smell of the ivy and thinking of how thick the woody stems were and how they could hold my body as I climbed without breaking. I remember hearing the adult sparrows giving what I know now their distress calls. I remember hearing the nestlings cheeps as their parents sounded the alarm. I also vividly remember my mom telling me to go put the baby back, and I did. But that didn't stop my finding critters.

During that same time frame we lived in San Angelo, Texas and apparently horney-toads were abundant. (For those not versed in the Texan vernacular, 'horney-toads' aka horned lizards are small lizards that have virtually disappeared from the landscape because of the prevalence of residential pesticide use.) I remember collecting a coffee can full of horney toads of all sizes. I had been in my mom and dad's room, laying on their bed playing with them. As happens, I lost interest and went outside to play with my friends. I was across the street and two doors down when I heard my mom scream. I knew immediately what it was all about and raced home to collect the now free roaming reptiles. I still remember my mom finding me to rescue a rogue lizard and take him outside when she vacuumed inside.

I do have other vivid memories growing up but I wanted to remember my very first critter encounters. So that would explain why I do what I do today.... and love.