nature (175)

Bobcat Skulls

Yes, I know. I’m all over. What’s going on in my life and head admittedly veers all over the place. Here’s part of my animal skull collection (on top of the filing cabinet behind me), notable for the two (roadkill) bobcat skulls front center. I’ve finally learned how to render animal skulls, and these two came out nicely. After defleshing, I use janitorial strength ammonia for 4-5 days, then 35% hydrogen peroxide (not for faint hearted) for about a week. That’s a beaver skull in the background, with one of the long teeth laying in front of it; it slides into the jawbone; found by a lake on Denman Island, BC. Bird skulls on right ((mostly doves), they’re light as a feather. Wolf teeth on left (from remote spot 50 miles north of Tofino BC). Rat skull in center. Design!

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12 Salamanders/5 Owls/3 Coyotes and a Full Moon

Last night I took a 3-4 mile slow run, solo as usual, such a relief to not be training for races. The salamanders were out, crossing the path as they do, blithely and blindly.They are totally cute, with knobby eyes and splayed-out toes, and they walk like this:

-right front foot and left rear foot forward / 2-second pause / left front foot and right rear foot forward. The salamander slo-mo march. Counted a dozen of them.

   There are small owls that hang out by the sides of the trail, hunting for mice. 5 of them, here and there. They’d let me get maybe 40-50′ away, then float off. Owls make no sound when flying. I’ve heard that their wing feathers have tapered edges so they’ll be silent in flight. Miceys, comin to gethcha. 

   As I got back down into the wetlands, I heard 3 coyotes, singing to each other from different spots. Each call had 3, 4, or 5 notes. Starting low and ending high. One guy had a really high note. They’d yodel a bit in between some notes. The full moon broke through the clouds. Who wouldn’t howl with joy?

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Into the Wet Woods Yesterday

After a 6-week drought, we had about 5″ of rain on the weekend, and it was wonderful in the woods. A slight breeze, the air like cool nectar, smell of earth. I wandered down a hitherto unexplored canyon and discovered a stand of good-sized redwoods still scarred from a fire. There was a real old, mighty tree, thick at the base, that had a complete room inside the truck, hollowed out by the fire. Bottom right pic is looking out from inside the tree.


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Ride Up Mountain This Afternoon

This is a special spot where 2 creeks come together, it’s usually bubbling with water this time of year, but there’s barely a trickle. Boy, when the rains come I’m going to go out and run or hike and get wet and breathe deeply and smell the richness in the woods as the water soaks into the soil. It’s a hard climb to the top of this road, a good workout, few cars, great views of the coast and woods.

Apropos not of this, but life in general, the Wispr

vaporizer is brilliant: Made in Ireland.

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Relativity and Tomorrow Night’s Full Moon

Yesterday late afternoon, when an almost-full moon had risen over the ridge, Lew informed Rick and me that if you have somone hold a quarter up and view it from a distance of 8 feet, it will be the same size as the full moon. Sure enough it worked.

In the Chinese Zodiac, this is the year of the Hare. Next year, ta-da! — The Dragon. Who knows, maybe things will get kicked up a notch. Maybe things need to get kicked up a notch.

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National Enviro Group Smears Local Oyster Farm

Posted on November 28, 2011, Russian River Times by John Hulls & Todd Pickering

“The National Parks Conservation Association’s (NPCA) campaign against the presence of historic Drakes Bay Oyster Company farm (DBOC) in Point Reyes National Seashore has a readily apparent pattern of inflammatory press releases and petitions timed to influence public input. The allegations in these press releases and petitions from NPCA and its coalition show a reckless disregard for the truth, using incendiary language such as, “threats to endangered species”, “repeal of the Wilderness Act”, “causing the deaths of harbor seals”, “wiping out endangered eel grass” and a host of other words and misinformation designed to shock the public into responding to public comment periods for National Park Service actions and to their legislators. These releases are distributed to a wide range of national and local environmental groups who re-release them, creating an echo-chamber of misinformation. None of their charges are true.…”

Long article with pics at:

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A New Day Here for Me and Shelter

I slept most of the weekend. Getting back from the Green Festival marked a turning point por moi. I was exhausted. The end of 2-year’s work on the tiny homes book. The last 4-5 months pedal-to-metal to get it done. I’ve been neglecting the physical for the mental (if you call it that). I haven’t been doing my homesteading chores and worse, have neglected what Plato termed the “gymnastic.” I haven’t balanced out Mac work with physical exertion.

The three trips I made this month all had to do with the book. Selling foreign rights in Frankfurt, overseeing printing in Hong Kong, and early display at the San Francisco Green Festival. Whew! I have the image of bulldogging a steer, staying with it until it’s grounded. A bit hard to realize it’s done. Still a big promo campaign to wage, but the stress is gone, thank the lord. Jim Morrison said something like, when you finish making a record, you’re released to work on the next one. True that.

I’ve got a lot of the local world to explore now — beaches, woods, trails, roads, lakes. I went down to the beach last week and was stunned by the beauty. It was so deep and meaningful. We are told how fucked up the world is every day, yet my heart was bursting with joy. I felt so privileged, and all it took was a mile or so walk. ( I realize that I repeat the same thing more or less frequently, but goshdarnit, the wild world just reaches out and grabs me again and again.)

Plato’s “music:” Boz Scaggs on radio doing Lend me A Dime hits just the right note this sunny/cloudy cool coastal day. A new week, a new year.

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