One kind word can warm three winter months.
—Japanese Proverb



Perfect Pitch

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Music is the silence between the notes. —Claude Debussy


Old Sheet Music texture © Brenda Clarke 2016

Ibis On The Uaso Nyiro

Very little light remained in the sky on the evening this photograph appeared; the original Fujichrome transparency is drowned in shadows and garish blues. It’s nothing I’d print, and until I ran across it the other day I didn’t remember that moment at all—not surprising, since it was less than a second out of  120 rolls of film I shot during our 1999 visit to Kenya.


But after I scanned the slide and began playing with it, the mood and memories of that day in Samburu National Reserve returned (I had to look up the name of the river). This scene was close to the safari lodge where we stayed; the Uaso Nyiro was barely a creek-sized flow in many places, and opposite the lodge, no more than a hundred yards from our tourist comforts, a large (aren’t they all?) crocodile had spent most of the day…waiting. We were assured (warned) that it often hid beneath the river’s overhanging banks.

Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first. —Steve Irwin

Lookin’ Fer Bugs

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Red-breasted Sapsucker at work, Hart Mt., Oregon
Paralyze resistance with persistence.
—Woody Hayes


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For several years we’ve been disappointed by the scarcity of male rufous hummingbirds visiting our garden and yard; perhaps we’d been spoiled before that by the annual arrival of two or three at a time, who stuck around for months and gave us a great show (and a few pictures) as they lived their lives.

This year, things have returned to normal. Last week we counted three, and two of those have been fairly constant since. Add to those a male Anna’s (who winters here) and you see why the tube feeder in the photo is almost empty. These guys know how to drink! (The females aren’t slouches, either.)

A Beautiful Bird


“Turkeys know their names, come when you call, and are totally
affectionate. They’re better than teenagers.” —Elayne Boosler

“Most people don’t realize turkeys are friendly, they’re social, they’re loyal, they have emotions.” —Shannon Elizabeth