Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Learning and driving on

Nature in springtime is a beautiful thing.

In this part of the world the transformation from winter to spring is delightful. Cold and drab seem to last a very long time, and I kind of get used to the world looking and feeling like winter. It's not a bad thing, but it is winter. And then spring arrives in a rush of rebirth. In the wake of boring old winter springtime is sensory overload. Delightful sensory overload. Pretty flowers, pretty green grass, pretty leaves, pretty babies. Pretty everything.

Since waving goodbye to Uncle Sugar's Yacht Club I have been blessed to spend a great deal of time out of doors and away from the ape-lizard accommodations where most of us spend nearly all of our lives. Mind you, my daily explorations of nature's reality have been limited to a very local area. I'm familiar with this area and the rhythms of this place have seeped into the core of my being. I feel intimately at home here.

Now you might think that I'm an expert on nature's work here on my familiar stomping ground.


Nature surprises me every single day. She is always changing things up and showing me things I've not seen before. Sometimes things which have been certified as impossible by The Committee For Excellence In Ape-Lizard Certification.

The video above is a case in point. This lovely bouquet of breeze-ruffled tickseed appears to be threadleaf coreopsis, Coreopsis verticallata. According to The Committee, it's not allowed to be here. We're allowed to have Coreopsis tinctoria, but not verticallata. Nevertheless...

An important lesson -- for me at least -- is that what exists in nature's reality is truth. Nature doesn't exist in television or film or books or VR video or in this blog. What I can see and touch and smell and taste an hear is real, the other stuff is a poor and incomplete imitation.

Where am I going with this? I'm not entirely sure. Just a reminder, perhaps, that all of the things we see in various magic image machines are woefully incomplete representations. The actual people, places and things they mimic are fundamentally different in reality than they appear in two dimensional dress. This is probably a good thing to keep in mind.

Now where was I?

Oh yeah, springtime!

Spring is a time of rebirth, but death is also part of the process. Predators consume prey, even when the prey is cute. The bullsnake will seek out, find, and consume recently hatched Say's Phoebe chicks. Doesn't matter whether we like it or not. Nature does nature stuff on her own terms.


One way an ape-lizard can describe nature is to say it is round. It is round and full and closes a continual circle of birth, livin', death, and rebirth. Nature's holistic cycle is the place in which we live, and we are part of it whether we like it or not. Whether we believe it or not. To paraphrase an oft butchered quote, you may not care about nature, but nature cares about you!


This spring has been a surprisingly hard time for me. There have been moments, minutes, hours, and even strings of days where the sledding has been impossibly hard. Looked at and analyzed intellectually, my path is curious and interesting. Where do some of these roadblocks come from? What is their true nature? Why is the struggle so hard at times?

Many if not most of the what and why questions are simply unknowable. In a very real sense they do not matter. My job is to suck it up and drive on.

None of that makes sense, does it?

It's not all hard all the time though. I get slammed with beautiful life adventures every day.

I paused while writing this to capture some video of the pre-dawn morning. Another microscopic slice of beauty, even though my phone camera lens had a slight coating of three year-old fingerprints.

The last couple of days have been filled with adventure and I have some fun things to share in the next couple of posts.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty. 


  1. I like to define Nature as the stuff I can't control or ignore. It often speaks in a very loud voice and nearly every species (save our own) has learned to just roll with it.

    Or, as others have said, "it is what it is."

    It's never easy, in fact, it's often hard. It's life.

    Keep putting one foot in front of the other I say, because "this too shall pass."

    1. I keep on keepin' on since the alternative is sub-optimal. Besides, I get to see and do beautiful fun stuff when I move forward.

      Nature don't care, and that's a beautiful thing.

      Thanks Chris.

  2. Routt County, CO around 1959 I saw a Wolverine. Made the mistake of mentioning it to a game warden. He gave me a stern lecture such animals don't exist in Colorado and never had. "OK, Mr. Hurd, it was a very strange looking badger". Didn't mention my pack string went all skittish. They never did that around badgers.

    1. Yes, you could always be the guy who looks right at it, and say 'There ain't no such critter', or you can go 'Wow' at what nature is showing to you.
      Know which one I'd prefer.

    2. Frank 1 -- Experts tend to be proud of their expertism. They've often smarted themselves out of fun and adventure.

      Thanks Frank.

    3. Frank 2 -- What actually exists in nature is so much better than what so many of us try to force it to be.

      Thanks Frank.

  3. Oh, those kids are growing fast and both are beautiful. I look forward to their adventures as they learn the mysteries of nature under your guidance. I, however, would have snuffed the snake.

    1. Growing like weeds! Our mini-adventures are getting a bit bigger all the time. The little ones each have very different approaches to learning and figuring stuff out, and it's a joy to see them navigate new experiences.

      Our species seems to have a deep seated hatred of snakes, and the leading theory which tries to explain that hatred makes reasonable sense. The snake thing figures prominently in all of mankind's genesis myths as far as I can tell, where lions and tigers and bears do not, so we ape-lizards seem to have always taken snakes seriously! At the same time our thinking brain has the ability to work through the fear/hatred and appreciate the snake's place in the wholeness of nature. Seems to be a constant battle though. Sure is for me. When I compare the snake eating a fledgling bird to myself eating chicken, I can't help but notice that the snake doesn't assembly-line chicken raising, slaughtering, dismembering, and distribution. They're not the same thing, of course, but the snake doesn't farm the icky parts out. Fun to think about.

      Thanks SS.

  4. Ah, nature at work. The antelope birth was interesting. The serpent eating another one of God's critters iw a bit creepy, but we cannot pretend it does not exist. And, really cannot honestly say it is wrong, just unsettling. The most amazing part is how the bull snake can open up enough to swallow that bird.

    Thanks for bringing nature to us urbanites. Thanks also for the beef cattle- had a great steak last night, so while it was not yours, someone like you, and a bunch of other folks in the chain of custody, blessed us with the ability to pick one up whenever we like at a local grocery store. America is great place!
    John Blackshoe

    1. Nature is so cool and I really enjoy being able to share it, at least two-dimensionally. The real thing is so much bigger than the digital representation that it's really not the same thing at all. If I only had a star trek transporter I could do in-person show and tell for everyone. Except those suffering from transphobia!

      We have a heck of a food production/distribution system in the first world. It's a marvel and we all take it for granted 99.99 percent of the time. Farmers get their food from the food store too!

      Thanks John.

  5. It’s funny (not the haha kind) how nature overrides whatever rules man makes.

    1. It's not uncommon at all for nature to rub my assumptions nose in her reality. Which is always cool, if sometimes uncomfortable and embarrassing.

      Thanks Skip.

  6. Life moves on. Sorry for Phoebe, but the bull snake is doing what it has to do to survive too...