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Friday, May 30, 2008


Today I was late for work because I wanted to go out to the river to watch this year's Residential Program class return from their survival trip.

Several of us from the office went, because we have (most of us) been on the other side of the river. It brought back such powerful memories from my return last May. People change over the course of the year here at Wilderness Awareness's an amazing process. Next week, I'll tell you a bit more and perhaps share some pics.

Today, it's too fresh to tell, and I want to do it well. In the mean time, here's a pic of my latest wildlife encounter....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Silly Bird...

I found this beautiful Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) in the swampy area just behind the police station at McCormick Park in Duvall. I must have taken 50 pictures of it...40 of them so nearly alike - standing still, pearing into the soup for fish- that I could delete most of them and not miss anything interesting.
I got ready to shoot another picture every time the bird tensed. Still, I missed the dive! I did get a good one of shaking off the water, though. I love the "horns" in that one! What an undiginfied look for such a beautiful bird.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The big coyote (Canis latrans) appeared at the edge of the path between Linne Doran and Mosswood Hollow.
He was beautiful, long-legged, and in fine condition with that happy canine grin that means the world is a good place today. I saw him at the same instant that I hit the ignition key, and he melted into the greenery. Ghost dog...
What does it mean when the same wild animal keeps appearing - in midday, and in places you don't expect to see one? In six weeks or so, I've seen 3 coyotes in 3 different places, and each has taken me by surprise. I've seen them before, of course. I've heard them howl - a sound that I love to hear in the evening. I've tracked them in Missouri, Oregon and here in Washington.
There just seems to be something mystical about my sudden ability to find them everywhere...or are they finding me?
The photo above is of the female I saw last month in McCormic Park. The first was along Cherry Valley Road as I went to the land for a staff meeting on a recent Sunday. This last one appeared at the end of the Plants for Food and Medicine course that I helped out at. Both of these appeared to be males. She's the only one I've seen when my camera was at hand...
I wonder if ghost dogs appear in pictures anyway?

My Favorite Fiction Authors and Books

  • Suzanne Arruda- the Jade del Cameron mysteries: "The Mark of the Lion" "Stalking Ivory", "The Serpent's Daughter", "The Leopard's Prey" and "The Golden Cheetah"
  • Ken Goddard - "Balefire" and others
  • Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are all great. "Kill Me" is my favorite.
  • Harlan Coben - anything he writes is great
  • Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody mysteries

My Favorite Nonfiction Authors and Books

  • "Coyote's Guide to Connecting With Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown- 2nd edition coming soon!
  • Gavin De Becker - "The Gift of Fear"
  • "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales- the best survival book I've ever read! Not a how-to, its more of a who does,and why.
  • Candice Millard - "The River of Doubt -Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey"
  • Anything that starts with "Peterson's Field Guide To..."
  • Tom Brown, Jr. - "The Tracker" and others
  • Mark Elbroch - "Mammal Tracks and Sign" and "Animal Skulls"