Don’t you love it when you’re outside with a hat on, and a large spider starts running around on your hat brim’s underside, and then he drops down on a thread and swings onto your sunglasses like Tarzan, and then races onto your cheek and makes a dash over your mustache for your nostril?

Yes, yes, I really love it.


Ah, nature.


To the left of the back door onto the patio is a black widow’s residence. She builds her web every night.

To the left of the back door, leaning against the wall on the patio, is our broom. Every morning, I take the broom and knock down the black widow’s web.

Last night, I went out to call a cat. Turning on the light, I saw the black widow feasting on an insect in her web.

I thought about knocking the web down, but I reconsidered. Who am I to insert myself into this process that is the foundation of nature?

I fear the black widow and her bite. I doubt she thinks about me. Regardless, this is part of our life cycle. I can’t let fear of her direct my actions. No, I’m not comfortable with it, but should my comfort decide my actions?

I let her web be.

The First Major Injury

It might just be me, but I think it’s pretty damn impressive that the volcano in Hawaii has been getting more and more jiggy, but it’s only today after two weeks, that the first major injury was reported.

I don’t envy the victim. Sitting on his third floor balcony, lava splatter hit him on his leg and shattered it below the knee. That’s how it’s been reported.

I appreciate technology more with this eruption. It’s amazing to see those explosions and flows, something that I can see from my home’s safety in Oregon as the volcano blows thousands of miles away. Jaw-dropping is the term I often hear when the footage is described. I, with my limited imagination, think, stunning and powerful.


In case you’re wondering….

Following the news cycles and stories, I saw that a volcano erupted in the Philippines. This eruption followed a recent eruption in Papua New Guinea, one threatening in Indonesia, and some quakes around Mount St. Helens, I thought that there seems to be a lot of volcanic activity going on. A search revealed a site that tracks these matters.

So, in case you were were wondering, as I was, about volcanic activity and how normal this is, here’s a place where you can track the activity.

Just a little more to think about.


There’s a reason for the man you hate,

and another for the one you embrace.

There’re reasons for where the sun shines,

reasons for why the blind man’s blind.

Reasons for getting drunk as a skunk,

reasons for staying chaste as a nun.

There’s a reason for why that man lies,

and another reason for why that woman dies.

There’s reasons for hoarding gold,

and reasons for selling your soul.

Just remember reasons always abound,

and try to find reasons that remain morally sound.


Blueberry Picking

I’m excited, I’ll admit. Love fruit, and blueberries top my list. We have a local place where we pick organic blueberries and buy them for two dollars a pound.

It’s just outside the town’s southside, a ten minute drive. A hot cuppa coffee in hand, we leave about 6:30, me, my wife, and our neighbor, Barb. Barb and Walt introduced us to this habit about eight years ago, I guess. I have photos of the first year’s harvest. The morning air reminds us we’re in the mountains, and higher mountains are not far, providing nature’s air conditioning.

Arriving at the gate under the sprawling trees at the end of the dirt road by the creek, we wait for the opening at seven. Our car will probably be tenth in line or so, and we’ll sit, sipping coffee and chatting until the gate opens. When it does, the cars will be motioned forward, one by one, and directed to a parking space on the lawn to the right. Collecting our gear, we’ll move toward the next queue by the bridge over the creek.

Our gear is gallon jugs with cutouts in their tops. Besides it, we have buckets. Strapping them to ourselves with rope, belts or bungee cords, we wear the jugs and pick, then return to the buckets and fill them. We’ll do this for one to two hours on Saturday morning, collecting eight to ten pounds of berries. Affected by the weather, especially the moisture and heat factors, predicting the crop and harvests is difficult. You usually don’t know until you get there.

It’s a meditative practice. Out there with caws crowing, jays arguing, and woodpeckers hammering, the air feels scrubbed pollution free. A church-like ambiance shrouds the activities as the sun slips through and over the trees and mountains. Spotting deer strolling by or eating isn’t uncommon.

Then more people arrive. Children arrive. Daylight grows stronger. The air warms. Chattering rises. I eavesdrop on conversations about office politics, vacation plans, family updates, pending weddings, and ‘whatever happened to’ updates. I do a lot of thinking and some writing in my head.

About sixty people will be on the field by the time we leave, with others coming and going. It’s still meditative, reflective, picking berries in a swarm of living, on an early Saturday morning, in the mountains.

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