Sunday, October 18, 2015


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Found Waldo

Cabin fever yesterday.... Got out with my camera and walked Kathryn Albertson Park. The ponds were drained with patches of snow.

Hoping to photograph the usual American Wigeons I then walked over to Ann Morrison Park and those ponds were just patches of snow.

During my lunch break today, I looked out on the commons lawn and here came a foraging flock of American Wigeons.... and ...... in their midst, a Eurasian Wigeon. "Oh please," I thought, "keep coming to the creek and swim by the front of the house. But oh God, I gotta change lenses. Do I have enough time?"

Did the lens exchange, put memory in the mother ship, checked power. "Now what setting????..... shutter priority, 250th of a second....." And there they were. There he was as I opened the front door....

I'm always hopeful of seeing cedar waxwings among foraging robins and dare I hope for a Bohemian? And was once treated to a varied thrush among the robins.

That surprise bird, maybe nemesis or not, that moment of joy from deep within that wings up among the synapses, the wonder of birding.....

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

When we moved east to the Lakewood subdivision, my bird feeder combination changed. I just use one multi-grain hopper and three thistle feeders. This past Spring I had all the usual suspects as on the bench, but no chickadees or nuthatch. I heard them but no recorded visits. At the bench feeders, American goldfinch represented 99.9 percent of their species. But here at Lakewood, the lesser goldfinch was and continues to be the overwhelming visitor. They were the only recorded birds for my Thanksgiving count. Emily was right, "Hope is a thing with feathers."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I read a story this week about how surprised the world is that there is no looting practiced in Japan.  Maybe the following memory can be illustrative.

Kanazawa, Japan is a city famous for its gold leaf production and lacquer boxes.  Nestled on the Southwest coast of Japan, its dormant trees and shrubbery were still held up tight in their hemp trusses above the lingering patches of snow on this brisk day in March 1986.  

I had been walking one of many ancient Buddhist temple grounds with my friend Paul.  There on the path ahead us were a couple thousand paper yen shuffling along the way. In Japan my dollars didn't buy very much as the yen was worth ever so much more than the dollar.  So I of course, stepped ahead to retrieve the escaping booty when I felt my arm abruptly jerked back.  Paul had reached out with the hook handle of his umbrella handle and stopped me a La the Gong show.  "What are you doing,'' I asked?  "That money isn't yours," said Paul.  "But......" I said.

We sat down on a gnarled burl bench at Paul's direction.  "Watch and learn."  That money trampled its way and continued to be ignored as it blew off into its oblivion.  There is little if any theft in Japan.  Paul began to explain that transportation companies find it very hard to return lost sweaters, purses, umbrellas, hats and cameras behind.  Items left behind just pile up where they are left.  It is such a problem that after a while they are discarded, not auctioned. The ethic is...... If it's not yours to begin with, you have no right to it.  An ethic the rest of us might wish to consider.

Paul and his wife Susan were just in Boise this past summer.  We had a wonderful picnic dinner one evening down at the Idaho Power Swan Falls Dam park.  Paul teaches English in Japan, now in a place I fear was in harm's way.  I called Paul and Susan after the earth quake.  They still haven't returned my call.  

Thoughts about the rambling yen, Paul and Susan and the plight of my Japanese friends awakened me this morning.  If I found that money today, I would pick them up, fold them into little bows and tie them to the tree branches, as is the temple practice of little prayers left behind.

All my best,


Sunday, November 21, 2010

the fourth season

blush rushes 'cross
ambered maple dutch
the oaks and willows
scarlet rouges such

spring's memory
is fading fast
summer's folly
couldn't last

leaves and petals
soon to be dust
remember man
that fate you must

what joy is there
in becoming earth
where cold and damp's
devoid of mirth

a place where fool
and royals dwell
where sons and daughters
sing death's nell

the fourth season
reminds us rust
scales the skin
a patina thus

time peels away
as tears are shed
like an onion's skin
on the ground of the dead

the moon hoists spring
as bare choirs mend
the seasons four
have ends to mend

spring's life rises
from death's remains
and never looks back
from whence she came

'til summer's
consummation's once more wed
amber and rouge
sleep still in their bed

Sunday, October 31, 2010


rouges morning’s cheek
glow at evening’s peak

fading faces dawn
v’s its amber yawn

tomato days
swell ripe with plunder
drool pink my blunder

hawthorn spines
serve scarlet sweets
mason jars
host savory beets

quibble bluster bets
rusty leaves
on koi pond set

pastel light
is smudged once more
rolls long from twilight’s shore

blithe summer descends
the shadow of the wind
whispers, I come again

the season of descent

when summer’s raiment falls to earth
wilting life is giving birth

corn husks litter stubble fields
winter moans the fall it yields

fallow nests await next spring
summer sails on eider’s wings

days are lean as sunflowers list
frost clings about in sapphire mist

tulips sleep in pregnant peace
ascension yet beyond their reach

honks announce broad flocks of geese
suet hangs for chickadees

scare-crows mock black-winged beasts
pumpkins bake for harvest’s feasts

choirs of trees stand stark and mum
the season descends..............................awaits the sun