Celebrating Earth Day–Photos


I decided the best way I should share my reverence and love for nature and this precious planet on which we live is to share photos from various countries, states, and my own little piece of wonder.

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The three photos above were taken at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas about ten minutes from where I live.

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Above and below the Rio Grande looking into Mexico.

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Four photos above — Big Bend National Park.

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Between Marfa and Alpine, Texas.

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The Rio Grande north of Albuquerque on the Santa Ana Pueblo Nation.

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The above four photos taken in Simien Mountain National Park, Ethiopia.  The animals are gelada–the only surviving grass eating primates found solely in Ethiopia.  They actually “talk” to each other.

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Menelik’s Window, Ethiopia

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Awash Falls, Ethiopia

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Where the Blue Nile begins draining from Lake Tana, Ethiopia

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The photos above were taken at various places in Costa Rica.

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Northern New Mexico

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Grand Canyon North Rim

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The Missouri River running full.

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California dropping down from Sequoia National Monument

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Near Lake Marvin, Texas

Sunday Sunrise ©Dawn Wink

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The above photos were all taken within the last year on my little rim of wonder.

And finally below, my favorite animal.

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Cougar Stories


As a person more than a bit obsessed with pumas, I just had to share this with others.

Wolf Is My Soul

I’ve become fascinated by cougars. Maybe because they are elusive, secretive, more akin to a ghost than an animal of flesh and blood. Which of course, begs the question: How do you get people to care about and protect an animal that they never see, nor probably will never see in their lifetime?

mom-and-kittenMom and six month old kitten

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park can be almost guaranteed, if they are persistent and patient, to view wolves and bears, elk, bison, and bighorn sheep. But only the rare individual will have the opportunity to see a cougar in the Park. They’ve been spotted at Calcite Springs, hanging on the basalt walls and occasionally through a scope from the Hellroaring overlook. Usually the Park sightings are called in by wolf watchers. Once radioed around, tourists hear about it through the airwaves, then flock to those locations. Sometimes the cat might be hanging…

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Puma IV


SAM_0912In the poetry class this week we read Louise Erdrich.  I’ve read most of her novels but did not realize she also wrote poetry.  In particular I liked “Captivity” which made me think of Quanah Parker and his mother.  We are supposed to be inspired by whatever author’s poems we are reading on any given week.  Sometimes that occurs; sometimes not.  The following poem follows the previous three puma poems I published on this blog last September.  This one is different; it comes from an actual dream last week.  Its unique beginnings contradict the fact that I rarely recall dreams and care nothing about dream interpretation.

Stars shining through sleep

Dreaming dark.

A white, luminescent lion

comes nuzzling arms, legs.

Should fear engulf or

a quiet peace dominate?

Tawny lions encircle:

affectionate

smiling lion smiles.

Fear slides in slightly,

logically.

These lions bring love,

a natural peace.

Fear dissipates,

the lions and I locked

in an eternal, primal dance.

Albuquerque


Sitting in the Children’s Museum,
trying to make time fly faster,
waiting on my daughter and grandson.
Still shocked and excessively annoyed:
This is New Mexico and
Laguna Pueblo is just down the road
more or less
and I can’t find a single Silko
book except Ceremony which
I already own and have
read repeatedly.
What’s the matter with people?
They don’t know a thing about
their own heritage except maybe
turquoise and Kachina dolls
probably made in China.
Then there’s me:
not a drop of Indian blood I know of,
obsessed with
corn maidens
puma fetishes
Indian fry bread
Navaho paintings.
The xeroscape garden between me and
the dinosaurs beckons.
If I leave this seat and
my grandson’s and daughter’s
stuff gets stolen…

So

I photograph myself in the distortion mirrors,

I read Yo, a book about family truth

if there is such a thing,

and think about how much

my sister hates me.

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Pumas–III


This is the third in a series of poems entitled Pumas.  If you have not yet read the first two, I suggest you scroll down and read those first.

I want

to walk with you

in my dreams

scream your screams

feel your blood

rushing

your heart beat

mine

soft golden fur

wound in my hair

your amber eyes

glowing

through my brown

death defying

together walking

moonlit

wild

free

Pumas


I have previously mentioned that I am taking a poetry class with Lorraine Mejia-Green through the Story Circle Network.  To date we have read poetry by Mary Oliver, Lucille Clifton, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Joy Harjo.  Clifton has written a very interesting series of poems called Foxes.  Joy Harjo’s most famous poem is about horses.  My obsession seems to be pumas even though I do love horses.

Puma I

                                                   My neighbor walked out her door,

                                                    found a puma lying on the lawn.

                                                    She arose and ambled off.

                                                    At night when I open my gate

                                                     I wonder if puma lurks

                                                     behind the cedar tree.

                                                     My daughter dreams puma dreams:

                                                      A puma chases her up a tree

                                                     There are no trees here big enough to climb.

                                                     A Zuni puma fetish guards my sleep.

                                                     I run with puma

                                                     Night wild

                                                     Free.

                                                     I scream and howl

                                                     Moonstruck

                                                     Bloodborn.

                                                     I hike the canyon

                                                     Stroll around my house

                                                     Look for puma tracks.

                                                     I see none.

                                                     I would rather die by puma

                                                     than in a car wreck.

Puma II

                                        I watch for eyes, blue changing to amber and back.

                                        I put my palm, fingers stretched to measure, into the footprint.

                                        Too small, bobcat.

                                         No puma.

                                         My thin body squeezes between the rocks,

                                                           climbing quietly down the cliff.

                                         Watching, listening, searching.

                                          No puma.

                                           Pale amber rushes across my vision line.

                                           My heart quakes.

                                           I watch; I wait.

                                           It is Isabella, a golden whir chasing rabbits.

                                           No puma.

                                           At sunrise, I walk the rim.

                                                          watching.

                                          At sunset, I walk the rim,

                                                           waiting.

                                          At night, I walk the rim,

                                                           dreaming.

                                           No puma; not yet.

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I am daughter

of moonlight over desert landscapes

of emptiness and endless expanses.

Too many trees stifle my soul,

enclose

engulf

suffocate

Let me see long,

watch the far horizon,

listen to the wind.

I am daughter

of puma, of jaguar,

stealing through black night

under endless stars.

Alone

wild

free.

Let me wander distances

watchful, timeless.

I am daughter

of the ancients

wise

mysterious

windblown

stark

all knowing.

Let me walk into the sunset

talk with gods.

I am daughter of the universe.

Firsts


Recently, I took a writing class about finding your voice.  Mostly, I took it not because I needed to find my “voice”, but rather to force me to really get serious and write.  One assignment was about firsts in our lives, e.g. first kiss, first love, first…You get the idea.  It was difficult for me because suddenly I realized I neither remembered nor even cared much about firsts.  My response to the assignment is this.

Memories of the future.

These are the memories that matter,

These and memories of the present.

Bold, fearless, fun, beautiful, wild,

Dancing, singing, writing, loving, laughing

memories now and tomorrow.

The past—gone, dead.

Fly free and clean!!

I don’t remember many firsts.  First dance, first communion, first love, first hand holding, first lie, first kiss.   Nothing.  I am not all that fond of kissing anyway.  I do remember first sex as a rather boring disappointment.  Good sex requires experience.

I have never been lost in my life.  I have never thought I really might die, not soon, but when I do I would rather die by puma than in a car wreck.

Pumas are going to prey


Yesterday I opened the latest issue of “Sierra”to find an article about someone who encountered a puma.  Here is some advice on what to do if you discover a puma stalking you:

-do not run

-turn and face her

-raise your arms and do whatever you can to look fierce

-scream as loud as you can

-if you know you are in puma country, carry a loud horn with you

-do not walk quietly–surprising a puma is not good

-remember they are more afraid of you than you are of them–really!!

Of course, the big problem with making a lot of noise as you hike is this:  you won’t see any wildlife at all.

 

The photo is the copyright of E.J. Peiker.