For the Birds

RK just told me that studies show that certain birds sounds (magpies, jays, crows) are not calming to humans. I wonder if that is that because we have pre-judged those sounds. I love the sound of jays — raspy, bossy, and confident. Often they are the only bird sounds that can amplify over the noise of the city. Jays can put a cat in its place. Birds are unfairly separated into good and bad. Why do some people call a

Great Salt Lake

Going Slow

The other morning I was out for a walk with the dogs, it was just barely not dark. Two or three coyotes were barking and howling very close by, maybe right above us. Mack and I instantly slowed down to keep pace with the slower, older and smaller dog. Emma barely noticed them, just kept moving her snout around the bushes and bits of grass while she slowly sniffed and sauntered along the trail. Mindfulness, meditation, being present… all of

Almost clear skies on Grand Mesa!

Taking advice

Stopping in at the local fly or bike shop and asking for advice is a well established ritual, especially if you are in a new area. What river is fishing well? What flies are working? What are the trail conditions? What’s the local fave ride? Is there good camping somewhere? At the bike shop, I might buy a map or a pair of socks. At the fly shop, I will get some dry flies. But how do you know when

mosquitoes, courtesy of the Field Book of Insects

The Mighty Mosquito

If you are a fan of gin and tonics, you might want to read this book. It’s a very entertaining history of tonic water, which has quinine as a main ingredient, which was used to treat malaria, which is spread by mosquitoes. “Malaria is not the mosquito’s fault, but mosquitoes suck anyway.” I happened to be reading it in the tent last weekend, with a line of fresh mosquito bites on my forehead, exactly following the bottom edge of my

Rollie Pollie Frog Popper

Poppers!

When I decided to take up fly fishing I knew, with no exaggeration, almost nothing about it. No one who knows me will be surprised to learn that I started with the gear: rod lengths, weights and flex, reels, lines, nets, flies, packs… I learned the knots, I learned about hatches, and creeks vs rivers, dry flies vs wet flies vs nymphs. Strangely, I never really thought about the fish. I assumed that fly fishing = trout fishing (and hey!

We will be there soon...

I’d rather be on vacation

You know those bumper stickers, I’d rather be skiing/fishing/sailing/driving a Titleist/etc.? I think we can all relate to that feeling, especially as we sit in a car, close enough to read someone’s bumper sticker. There are so many things I would rather be doing, most of the time. We are planning 2 vacations right now: spring and summer. Spring can be a little tricky, and especially this year, with huge amounts of snow melting everywhere in the West and insistently

Emma the Dog

My dog Mack is the official love dog, but the story of true love in our house starts with the scrappy Catahoula, Emma. I never wanted a dog (you can’t leave town! They are so dirty! They eat poo!) but I worked at a dog-friendly company and all the employees with dogs took lots of breaks, and I thought it was either get a dog or take up smoking. We went to the Super Adoption, just to look, where all

How to Adventure

Many years ago, when I lived in San Francisco, someone asked me how to go camping. They had never been. I had never met a person who had not camped, had no memory of being a person who didn’t camp, and it was hard to know where to start. That was back when I still camped in campgrounds, where they generously provide tables, toilets and water. Sometimes, you can even make a reservation to make sure your spot will be

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