The Last Word On Nothing

"Science says the first word on everything, and the last word on nothing" - Victor Hugo

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Halflives

I went up to a rock art panel in southeast Utah the other day, one known as the Desecration Panel. The sandstone wall is long and repeatedly marked by petroglyphs of animals and human-like characters about 1,500 years old, what is called Basketmaker tradition. Several are terribly defaced, the damage relatively recent. One figure, which once looked...

Mosquitoes can bite me

There are a lot of things that are terrible about 2020, and if I try to think about all of them at once, or even to pick an important one to write about, my head will explode. So today I am picking the least important one: Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes have always loved me. I’m just one of those people. If the mosquitoes realize that I am around, they...

Short, and on the Battle of Maldon

I wrote this October 1, 2018. I was thinking about getting older and how that meant getting stronger or more concentrated or something; and of course life imitating art as it does, this particular coffee shop morning conversation happened at the same time. I was also thinking about the Kavanaugh hearings and the extraordinary anger they provoked,...

Interlude

The quietest place in America is fern-swaddled, lichen-draped, moss-blanketed. It is past the splintered tree, through the tilted spruce, beyond a damp pocket of bog, its precise location marked by a tiny cairn of polished riverstone. Its floor is a dappled jumble of deadfall and blowdown, nurse logs melting back into the earth even as they nourish...

Distractions Finale

Appropriately named fence lizard, with foot. If 2020 has been good for anything except Purell sales, it’s been good for backyard observations. I’m fortunate to have two backyards–one in the woods, one in the ‘burbs–which gives me double the opportunity to get to know interesting critters. I’m populating this post with an array of creatures I’ve...

Tin Ear

It is me again, trying to learn more about birds. I am trying with my shore birds, I am trying with my old field guides and my new Merlin ID app. And so, when I heard about a class to better identify bird song, I thought I should add one more tool to my feathery toolbox. The instructor is so enthusiastic, so positive, so sure that anyone can...

Pandemic Art (on Zoom)

On Saturday, I met up with two friends and made art. Now, in this era, “met up with” means “on Zoom.” But “made art” means “made art.” And it’s art that wouldn’t have happened without the pandemic. The two friends are Joanna and Harshita, two of my oldest friends. We’ve known each other since we were 11 and 12 years old, and after getting...

It Was So Hot

It was so hot today that when I stepped from shade into sun I melted Birds came and drank me and butterflies and wasps licked the deltas of my once-wrists and they flew me across the sky and they pooped me down upon the ponderosas and the cliffs. It was so hot today that when I melted...

It’s Roasted Tomato Season, Motherfuckers

With apologies to Colin Nissan. I don’t know about you, but I have been waiting all year to wrap my hands around some tasty, tender tomatoes and arrange them in colorful patterns on my kitchen counter.  That shit is going to look like the embodiment of late summer. I’m dusting off my harvesting baskets and steel bowls, jamming them with...

Once a Wolf

Back in January of 2014, I wrote a guest post for LWON about a morning with a dog and here it is again, only slightly fixed up.  A neighbor dog and I walk up a snow-crusted hill together. Glossy black lab mad for sticks and balls, he hasn’t forgotten how to travel with a human in the woods. He ranges forward and back, and side to side, sniffing...

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