September 20, 2005

Arrowheads...who would have guessed?

What do rural tweakers ("speed freaks," to an earlier generation) do with their time? Hunt arrowheads, at least in Arkansas.

Via Coyote at the Dog Show, the "mild-mannered archaeologist."

September 18, 2005

Rags over the River

The Poet contacted me a while back, asking me to take The VIsiting Poet flyfishing. All right, I said, and let's ask Recent Graduate as well. Eventually, the Senior was asked to come along too, and the five of us spent Saturday on the Arkansas River.

September and October are the payoff for spring blizzards and summer heat. This day, the temperatures were warm, the rabbitbrush (chamisa) was in golden bloom, and the first leaves were turning golden on the willows too.

The water was low and clear, and the trout were spooky, but we all caught some. And we tested various rhymes for "Orvis," since Visiting Poet has done some product testing for that firm.

Part of the river where we fished is in the crosshairs of High Art. Christo and Jeanne-Claude want to hang fabric across it, a project known locally as "Rags over the River." How wonderful. I find myself agreeing with the Denver Post headline, "Locals say river is art in itself," placed on Rick Tosche's Sunday column (link may expire).

With any luck, however, we can drag this thing out until Christo dies.

September 13, 2005

On the Mushroom Trail

A recreational mushroom hunter blunders into an encounter with the real pros in this report.

“We haven’t actually learned how to work,” protests 14-year-old David. “We’ve just learned how to play and make money at the same time!” “And they learn a little about contributing to a household, which is something that no kids get anymore,” adds his dad.

“Dad, you might want to keep an eye out while you’re talkin’,” interrupts nine-year-old Stacy. “You walked right past a whole bunch, so I had to pick ‘em!”

September 11, 2005

Animism, Disney, and Morels

It started when someone passed on a quote from an article in the August 2005 issue of Vanity Fair about Disneyland:

I thought about everything it was and it wasn't, the cornucopia of image, illusion, and icon, and realized, very much to my delight, that Disney is a freaking pagan cult, that this goody-two-shoes American institution is promoting a primitive, animist religion dedicated to investing everything with life, to animating everything from teacups to trees, from carpets to houses, from ducks to mice, with the pulse of human aspiration.

Graham Harvey, author of the newly published Animism: Respecting the Living World, commented,

Interesting that 'animism' is still defined as the projection of life onto inanimate objects. Wikipedia's animism article and the discussion pages also evidence the same debate--well, it does now that I've added some stuff about the 'new animism'.

I also thought of what Colorado writer David Petersen said in On the Wild Edge: In Search of a Natural Life, published recently by Henry Holt:

These days, our annual morel quest has matured to the level of ceremony, complete as all hunting is for me, with rituals and taboos. This confession provides, I must hope, a passable transition into a brief explication of my own personal spirituality, which I call neo-animism . . . .In sum, here's how it seems to me: if you depend on wild nature for your physical and mental well-being (as we all do, whether we know it or not); if you desire a sustainable, workable, and healthy human society and crave a sense of belonging, spiritual permanence, and personal worth; and if you agree with Aldo Leopold that the collective human destiny is tied inextricably to the fate of the natural world, then you naturally become a homespun animist. (pp. 122-4).

And speaking of morels, here is a new book available on hunting them.

September 08, 2005

What's that Bug?

Got a digital photograph of an insect or spider that you cannot identify? Send it to this site--but check their photo archives first.

And if you have time, browse the worst bug stories.

What about the dogs (cats, hamsters, etc.)?

I cannot agree with uber-blogger Glenn Reynolds who said , " I think you should leave the dogs behind" when evacuating New Orleans (or elsewhere, I presume).

I have a contract with my dogs: You be good dogs, and I will see to your needs, take care of your injuries, and try to guarantee you a good death as well. There is a contract with the cat too, although some provisions are different.

Starving on a rooftop is hardly a good death, for one thing. I can see why some people would rather stay on than leave without their four-legged family members.

But dogs and other animals were left behind, and some people are trying to rescue them, although that effort does not receive the coverage of the people rescue. The Bark's blog has collected a list of Web links to organizations helping out, like the Louisiana SPCA.

September 05, 2005

The Literary High Plains

Setting out for eastern Nebraska, Boulder blogger Richard Martin mentally organizes a literary tour of the High Plains.

I’ll be heading out east from Denver on I-80 tomorrow, going to a family wedding in Omaha, making the same eight-hour drive I’ve been doing all my life between the city where I grew up and eastern Nebraska, where my extended family lives. I’ve never found the prairie and cornfield-lined stretches of I-80 to be boring, as a lot of people seem to—instead I see the landscape as the perfect canvas for day dreaming, and, if I’m not driving the car, a great opportunity to read. The New York Times Book Review recently constructed a Literary Map of Manhattan, plotting places in the city where fictional characters lived. I don’t see why we can’t do the same with the West—sure, our map will be a bit more sparsely populated, but that just gives the characters more room to loom larger-than-life.

September 04, 2005

Disco, disco toad

Hawaiian cane toads are not a problem here, but they are one in northern Australia, as I learned from the hilarious but sobering documentary Cane Toads. Now researchers discover that they can indeed be trapped--with disco lights.

September 01, 2005

Hello From Marc Boone

I'm a CSU-Pueblo student in Chas. Clifton's NatureWriting class and I'm trying out this software for the first time. I'll be posting more as time goes by, so make sure a watch out for my blogs and you can get out of the way( make sure you miss them. )Who would want to read my blogs anyway? Poor Chas. has no choice, but to read them.



Welcome, New Nature-Bloggers

A new group of bloggers is joining this blog: seven members of my fall-semester nature-writing class: Sara Kelly, Rhonda Turner, Valerie Gerlock, Terry MacArthur, Lindsay Goodman, Judith Martin, K. Chris Root, and Marc Boone.