Before I started this blog, I spent some time creating an organizational outline and going through my computer files to select existing content that I wanted to include here. That was all pretty straightforward. But as I was getting organized, I was moved to go searching through my paper files for stuff that I wrote decades ago, mostly poetry and some short fiction. I finally found those things after rummaging through several desk drawers and miscellaneous boxes. As I read through the pieces I had kept, including some commentary from former professors, I found something else I hadn’t expected. I found my young self.

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Duets, 1979

Alan and John are swapping stories about Vietnam when I notice Ann Foster lumbering in our direction. When Alan and John reminisce, they tend to fade away from other people. They don’t notice Ann as soon as I do. They don’t notice when I stop listening to them and start watching her. Ann is an incredible figure by anyone’s standards, at least six feet tall and fat, a Sumo wrestler kind of fat. Today her shirttail has come untucked and dangles, wrinkled and dejected, below her gray polyester jacket. Her short, red hair is creased and matted on one side as if she just rolled out of bed. She holds her textbooks in front of her like a shield. I know from experience that she is heading for the seat next to mine and wish I could occupy both seats simultaneously.

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Fur Family

I can’t have an online blog without introducing my fur family, past and present. They have been and are such a big part of my life. After my boy Ozzie passed away in 2014, I went almost 2 years before adopting another dog. Life without a dog can be pretty darned sad.


This is Holly. I adopted her from a Collie rescue organization in 1999 when she was 5 years old. She was the first pet I had had in 20 years. She gave me a reason to look outside myself and changed my entire perspective on life. She passed away from kidney failure in 2010 at the very old age of 15. I don’t have many pictures of her because she was gone soon after I took up photography again. This is an art piece I did recently as a remembrance of her.

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Talking to God

I gave up on organized religion many years ago. I was thirteen at the time and became disillusioned with my church because the elders were unwilling to help me reconcile the concepts of predestination and free will. “You must have faith,” was the answer I got. In what? Confusion? Since that time, I have considered myself to be an agnostic rather than an atheist. Why? When asked that question, I generally reply with something suitably vague like, “Well, it’s impossible to know for sure if god exists.” The truth of the matter is much simpler. I still talk to god.

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Book Tales: Poetry Remembered

When I was a child, there was a bookshelf in our living room and on that shelf lived a copy of Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayam.  I don’t remember when I first delved into this book.  I know I was still in grade school and I do remember that my initial attraction was to the lovely, colorful illustrations that accompanied the text.  It was a handsome book indeed — hardbound with its own slipcase, pages smooth to the touch, text printed in some kind of fancy font that was almost as pretty as the pictures.  Continue reading “Book Tales: Poetry Remembered”

The Nature of Nature: Invasion!

My neighbor, Lee, came to my front door one afternoon.  He was holding out his hand for me to see something. The something turned out to be a IMG_7608adj_resizevery well preserved Cuban tree frog skeleton. Take the time to do a little research on the Cuban tree frog and you will discover that it is one of Florida’s many invasive species. You will also discover that Florida’s wildlife experts recommend euthanizing these frogs when they have been properly identified. Why? Because the Cuban tree frog is classified as an invasive, exotic species that represents a danger to native fauna.   While I was photographing this cool little skeleton, I got to thinking about what we mean when we talk about invasive vs. native species.   Turns out it’s not exactly a crystal clear distinction. Continue reading “The Nature of Nature: Invasion!”