The White and the Blue [Birds]

First there was Blue. She came to us from the great blue, the wild blue, as blue as Lightin' Slim, singing pigeon blues, not Rooster Blues. She came on banded foot, born of two other Blues who gave our Blue her azul feathers and fuchsia feet ... in a lineage that swept back through the blueness of her grandparents and past the great grandparents before them. They all commanded the skies and taught Blue, [...]

2018-02-15T22:24:11+00:00 November 20th, 2013|Birds, Blog, Domestic Animals|23 Comments

The Legend of the White Gallopavo

The color white represents catharsis in alchemy. It's the point at which a blackened substance, through heat and reactivity, develops a white crust and then puffs into a cloud inside the alchemist's flask. It's the stage at which future possibilities become apparent as a material is transformed from one to the other. And it's symbolized by a white swan or white eagle. In Arthurian tales, it was believed the elusive white hart (or stag) [...]

2018-02-17T07:27:11+00:00 October 21st, 2013|Birds, Blog|10 Comments

Fly Away Home (and Safe) … 2013

This is my annual re-post -- on the first weekend of waterfowl hunting season in both Washington (where I'm living now) and California (my home). I've been lightly tweaking the post each year, adding new information or links. My reason for re-posting this piece is to bring attention to some of the lesser discussed aspects of duck hunting. The most significant issue for me is the enormous injury rate in all wing shooting -- [...]

2018-02-17T07:30:46+00:00 October 20th, 2013|Blog, Hunting|29 Comments

Gull Chicks and Gateway Birds

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not."~ Artist Georgia O'Keeffe Gulls are among the birds I call "gateway birds." They're common and accessible. They [...]

2018-02-17T07:42:14+00:00 August 1st, 2013|Birds, Blog|22 Comments

The Magical Mystery Tour of Tent Caterpillars

When I saw the first signs of tent caterpillars outside our flat, I kept the sighting to myself. We have a neighbor, a home owner just up the hill who screams at crows -- and who dead-heads her plants to the point of denuding them. I knew if she saw this tiny tent on the fir tree, she'd make short work of the squirmers inside. This spring we had what's called an "outbreak" of [...]

2018-02-17T07:53:11+00:00 July 14th, 2013|Blog, Insects|11 Comments