It was so wet, even the frogs had to look for higher ground. Right now they were clinging to the siding on the south wall outside my house. The ground was soaked and flooded, the rain was still coming, and the weather map showed a bright red extreme weather spot right over us. I might have to make like a frog soon, and climb up to the top of my house.
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I put this question to the group of co-workers sharing lunch in the cafeteria.
Quick! Best getaway for someone who lives in the desert? It has to involve green plants in abundance and lots of water.
The coast of France came up, Florida was suggested, one person thought Oregon was a good idea. Nearby mountain lakes made the list. It all sounded wonderful. And expensive. So I spent my weekend in a lawn chair fishing under some cottonwoods near the river.
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No answer, just big brown eyes staring at me. Waiting. Was trouble coming?
I opened the door to the back yard. “Out,” I barked. He went – running like a devil was after him.
I took up a broom and began sweeping up the remains of a full can of oatmeal that had gone from counter top to floor in what must have been a whirlwind of activity. I was only gone long enough to pick up my glasses and come back to the kitchen.
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Waverly slowly became aware. She had a raging headache. Her hands were tied behind her. She was in a rough wooden box of some kind – she couldn’t stretch out. For a long time she tried kicking her way out, but she couldn’t get much leverage for her kicks. She paused, breathless, and heard the buzzing of a mosquito. It landed on her cheek.
Sunday was zoo day for me. I went to the Oregon Zoo where a giraffe found something delectable on a tree. I found the green canopy, the ferns, the moss, and the huge trees delectable, because I spend most of my time in the desert. Green is good for your eyes and your soul is what I feel every time I’m in the Pacific Northwest. There I am reminded what rain can do to a landscape.
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Certain birds can fly 7000 miles nonstop to reach a different place to live for part of the year. Yet people cannot migrate to a better place with such ease. They are tied to land, houses, jobs. If a house is in a flood plain, destined to be under water because of rising oceans, people cannot just flap away like birds. Free range humans don’t exist anymore.
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Even in the city we are surrounded by wildlife. I can walk outside my door and find rabbits, roadrunners, coyotes, Cooper’s hawks, ducks and who knows what else doing their thing in my neighborhood. It’s the tiny wildlife that bother me. The ants, the spiders, the lizards, the beetles and all the other little critters than come inside my house. I love them outside, but inside – not so much.
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The birds, the birds make such a concert outside my window. Something too tiny to see is chirping, chirping. The doves are warming up for the day. A woodpecker pounds away on a power pole. The roadrunners bark occasionally. Above the wet grass the cliff swallows circle and dive in silence. Breakfast is better than singing.
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I used to love terrifying movies. Remember the one about the mad dog Cujo? That little kid trapped by a rabid dog? These days horror stories don’t have the appeal they used to have. Why?
Do you outgrow the need to feel terror at make believe? Modern life is a horror in itself, but plenty of younger people are still avidly watching horror films. Let’s take a survey: how many older people still enjoy horror films?
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The sad eyes of the burros broke her heart. She refused to ride atop one to get up the cliff. No, she would find another way and not mistreat a burro in the process. Since riding a burro was a favorite thing to do there, and many tourists did it, her protest probably went unnoticed in the grand scheme of things. But I remembered it because it helped me understand how sensitive she was to the inner lives of animals.
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