natural world (140)

Dragonfly at Lake

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Dragonfly. Male golden-winged skimmer. At lake yesterday, no other humans, little pale blue butterflies, one orange/black butterfly I’d never seen before, many dragonflies skimming around, a Steller’s jay flying to a close-by tree branch to inspect me, I swam in the maybe 68-degree water for 20 minutes.

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My Raccoon Friend (for a Few Weeks)

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This raccoon has been hanging around here for a few years and recently started getting some of the cat food we leave outside, so I slowly made friends and eventually got it taking the pellets from my hand. I love watching the dexterity of its paws, very human-like. I eventually quit doing this, not good to feed wild animals, as it may encourage them to trust other humans, but it was a thrill to watch its handwork for a week or so.

Makes me realize how domestic cats and dogs came about; wild felines or canines hanging around at the entrance to caves or following nomadic tribes, becoming friends, family members, then being bred into different sizes, shapes, talents.

In our overly civilized lives, it’s a thrill to experience part of the “natural world,” or like 95% of our lineage: wild foods, fishing, making stuff by hand, harmonious interaction with other forms of life. To be sought out. Refreshing for the soul.

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Coyote on Road Last Night

In a Miwok myth, Coyote creates all animals, then calls them to a council to discuss the creation of human beings. Each animal wants people to be imbued with its own best qualities, causing an argument. Coyote mocks them all, vowing that human beings should have his own wit and cunning. Each animal makes a human model in its own likeness; but overnight Coyote destroys the other models, so that only his own model comes to life.

–Katharine Berry Judson, Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest

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Foxy

Beautiful young grey fox in garden yesterday, seemed unafraid of humans. Good for photos, not good for fox’s longevity. Please humans, don’t feed wild animals. Especially coyotes. Some of them end up getting hit by cars.

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Coyotes on the Rise

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Last night, on the way “over the hill” and back, I saw 5 coyotes and 2 foxes. This guy was by side of road at about 7 this morning. It let me get within 15 feet. Not good. I believe clueless people are feeding them. Bad idea. Makes them beggars instead of hunters. Also a death sentence for some, as they get hit by cars. “A fed coyote is a dead coyote.”

As the Miwok knew, they are special.

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Night Vision Binoculars

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Foster Huntington was arriving after dark Tuesday and I texted him, got a flashlight? He texted back … got something better than a flashlight.

When he got here we walked out into the dark. He said, “Close your eyes.”

Whereupon he fitted this helmet with night vision binocs on my head and said “Open your eyes.”

The dark night was alight! 10 times as many stars. I could see a galaxy. Trees, road, paths, animals all bathed in ghostly light.

It’s like a third world: formerly I had day and night. With these you have lighted-up night. Sure, you can see at night with a flashlight, but it doesn’t light things up 360°. Also, people and animals aren’t aware that you can see them. Foster says he’s been out at night with them, and he can walk right up to rabbits.

Surfing in primo spots at night (they are waterproof, but you sure wouldn’t want to lose them); hunting for mushrooms in secret spots; mountain biking at night without visible light — possibilities are endless.

The only problem is that apparently, the good ones are really expensive.

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