Sunday, May 7, 2017


A power of Butterfly must be -
The Aptitude to fly,
Meadows of Majesty concedes
and easy Sweeps of Sky-

Emily Dickinson

Seasonal migrations are hazardous for the  participants but necessary for species that require alternate areas for food and nesting.  The triggers for this periodic travel can be the change in hours of daylight, variation in temperature, and the availability of food.
Methods of navigation probably depend on the position of the sun, moon and stars, the earth's magnetic field, landmarks, genetics and maybe even smell.

Cornell's Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society maintain a website (ebird) where visitors can see beautiful, animated occurrence maps of bird migrations.

Monday, April 3, 2017


I don't know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower.


Driving to Tucson my son Barrett and I were rerouted to a lonely desert highway south of Roswell NM.  Our old Ford Tempo kept overheating and required at least 20 minutes to cool off before it would start again.  This is when I learned the real benefit of traveling with a naturalist.  It could have been frightening or boring.  Instead every stop was fascinating.  Even the driest, flattest, most nondescript landscape is filled with wonders - if you have a trained eye.

The concept of Private Lives addresses the issue of staying alive by means of camouflage.