The not-so-thirsty agave plant
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The not-so-thirsty agave plant

One of the fun things of being a photographer is that you get to go out in the elements when saner folks are at home, staying warm and dry on a stormy day. I did take an umbrella on this rainy afternoon, but gave up when I found it impossible to balance both bumbershoot and…

Don’t always believe what you see
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Don’t always believe what you see

I was attracted to this spot by a smell that took me back to childhood, the wonderful aroma of grape Kool-Aid. This is a Texas Mountain Laurel, or Mescal Bean plant, native to the southwest. And then when I got there, I discovered this amazingly beautiful butterfly, a black Pipevine Swallowtail. One gives pleasure to…

Book Review: Racing to the Finish by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
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Book Review: Racing to the Finish by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

I love books where I sense the amazing complexity of human experience. RACING TO THE FINISH, a memoir by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., NASCAR racer, is such a book. Let me start by saying I’m not a NASCAR fan. I’ve never been to a race, although I’ve seen them on television. Who can forget the sight…

Alive and Well in the Desert
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Alive and Well in the Desert

I have a fascination with lichen, perhaps because it is so tenacious and tough. It thrives where there are few nutrients, and in the desert, where there is little moisture as well. For example, notice this desert lichen, a little crackly about the edges, but still hanging in there. It is hard to predict where…

Paper patterns make a life
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Paper patterns make a life

In the back room of a dressmakers shop lived a row of paper patterns. Some had yellowed with age, but the fingers of the seamstress unerringly drew the pattern she wanted from the collection. She knew them all by heart. They were familiar friends. We all have our own row of familiar patterns. I know…

Roots and wings
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Roots and wings

It was a sweltering hot afternoon when I encountered this pond in the midst of the Arizona desert. What a delight, this surprise of the water where there shouldn’t be any. I valued the clarity of the mirrored reflection in the water where I received the gift of two mountain views, one pointing toward the…

Change makes the life journey unpredictable and delicious
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Change makes the life journey unpredictable and delicious

Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing There is a field. I’ll meet you there. ~Rumi I once went exploring a side road on the Navajo Reservation leading to Leupp, Arizona.¬†The road went up the hill following its own inclinations, sometimes bearing left to miss a pothole, sometimes right to veer around a…

Best 8 Books to nurture creative people in mind, body, and spirit
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Best 8 Books to nurture creative people in mind, body, and spirit

As a writer, I use the month of January to reorient my life after the craziness of the holidays. That’s when I plan what I want to do during the coming year and renew my resolution to be as nurturing to myself as I can be. I visit these eight authors to find new inspiration…

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Push and release

Ever take personal training at the gym? The trainer ignores all your moans and groans, loads you up with free weights¬†and says, “Push, push, push” and then when you’ve pushed ’til the cows come home and your tongue is purple, they say “release.” Feels pretty good, right? My week is like that. Monday and Tuesday…

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Finding life’s balance

When I was little the circus would come to town, and if my folks had the money we’d go see a performance. I liked the horses, didn’t find the clowns terribly funny, and gasped at the tigers and lions. But my absolute favorite were the artists who walked the tightrope. They had this long floppy…