Nine-Million-Year-Old Voices

Today, for the first time this spring, I heard the call of the sandhill cranes. Scientists tell us that they can be traced back 9 million years! Their rattling call sends chills up my spine. Music to my spring-hungry ears.


The impression of paw prints are about half the size of my hand. They have been left less than an hour from the time I see them. They are not left by Coyote, but by Wolf. The sun, just lifting off from the horizon on a sage-brushed bench above the Yellowstone River, is turning the blue of predawn snow melt in the print into salmon, then turquoise as the sky lightens. The wind is chilled by distant snow. Reluctantly I leave the impressions of the hunter and turn to continue walking up hill with classmates together for "Raven and Coyote" in Yellowstone National Park. We set up scopes and glass the hill on the opposite side of the river for a grizzly bear feeding on a recent kill.

Ravens in their pecking order hop, leap and fly in a pattern of glossy shadows. Yellowstone gives up its secrets uneasily. The grizzly rolls over, sated, and the Ravens move in. Coyote, skilled in singing more than one note at a time, serenades us. The tricksters are afoot.

A Few Warm Days

There's nothing quite like a little escape from spring snowscapes to enjoy a few warm days!

A short trip to Savannah, GA—and I was favored with azaleas, camellias, glossy leaves of southern magnolias, spanish moss, double crested cormorants, brown pelicans, great blue herons, green herons, black skimmers, least terns, and Forster's terns, cardinals, ospreys and even a few porpoises. What a feast for the eyes!

Ocean Worlds

It was a privilege last night to hear a talk by Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, a deep-ocean explorer. She came to Bozeman to give a Montana State University Friends of Stegner Lecture. Through her words and some film clips she showed us what is in our oceans, what we are doing to our oceans and how there is still hope to save all the living beings that depend on oceans for their lives, including humans. She is currently Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society. She has been chief scientist for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and was Time magazine's first "Hero for the Planet." She has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Welcome Visitors

A covey of gray partridge greeted me this morning. They love dining on the ground around our feeder. Northern Flicker, Downy and Hairy woodpeckers knock suet to the ground. Eager finches and chickadees toss sunflower seeds all around as well. The covey has been spending the winter around the common area in our neighborhood. There is plenty of cover in the spruces and clumps of shrubs.

Waiting for Spring

The mounds of snow are slowly retreating before days that are getting warmer bit by bit. I can see frayed edges of grass that look like a bad hair day on an old man. It is covered in mats of gray fungus like funky hair nets. The daffodils are still wrapped tight in fists. No tip of green protrudes the ice cold garden earth. I long for yellow trumpets that herald spring!

Dancing Dragons

The fragment of a sinuous tango undulates through me. Only the press of dozens of children on holiday prevents the possibility of a duet.

A swiveling yellow eye stares at me through the wall separating water from air, fish from woman.

As I stare back, a strand of energy like spider's silk connects us. He has borrowed a crown from an elfin princess. His gown is adorned with leaf-like appendages. They drift downwards. They are held aloft. He moves by fluttering tiny fins at the top of his head, beside his gills and near the end of his body. I am held in his spell.

This leafy sea dragon and his companions in the tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium blend almost perfectly into the kelp and sea grasses of their refuge. Miniature horse's heads nod in unison. I long to dance with them.

And now I wish to learn to SCUBA dive and then travel half way around the world to Australia to see them in their element. One day I will.

Getting Started

Wow. I'm starting to feel like I can manage some techie stuff.

Stay tuned for some news about where I've been and what's inspired me in Nature—on land and in the sea. And the great organizations and people that are doing great things to help our Natural beautiful world.