Archive for the 'Nature' Category


Bow to the Wow

We are bags of bone, blood, and bacteria.
Propelled and compelled by passions, programs, and periphera.
Guided and misguided by dogma, karma, and criteria.
Are We Not Men?!

Good God. Mad God.
Good dog.  Bad dog.
Bow to the Wow!
What’s all this, then?!

= = = = = =


Return to Forever

Went for a bicycle ride through my childhood neighborhood.
Time and place merge with each rotation of the wheels.
Wheels of fortune and misfortune, of discovery and passage.

Fingers stained purple from the old mulberry tree by the graveyard.
Still fruitful after all these years.
Some berries sweet and juicy, some bitter, like memories.

So I return and reach for more.
Through the barbed wire, through the graveyard.
Return to Forever…


Return to O-where

Some images from our recent pilgrimage to O-where, May 2010.

The quietest moments often echo the longest.

= = = = =

At dusk each day, scores of ravens would glide over O-where (in groups of 2 to 6), to gather for the evening in a nearby roost.

Cholla cactus with fruit.  The desert flora are gratefully responding from the heavy snows of the previous winter.

Curious lizard

Wolf spider on side of tent (we think it may be a Carolina Wolf Spider, Hogna carolinensis)

Ah… the magical glow of O-where…


O-where Under the Rainbow

At pivotal times in the shared adventures of my wife and I, rainbows have appeared to presage positive developments.

Background story:  For our remote O-where location, we had arranged for the delivery of a storage unit (a 20×8 foot ocean container) so we would have a secure onsite storage for our camping gear and other essentials.  Prior to this, we had rented a small storage unit in a town about 45 minutes away (each way), so we were very excited at the prospects of having onsite storage.

I awoke at dawn on the day we were to receive the storage container, to hear the sound of rain.  At first I was disheartened, as the rain might make the dirt roads to our location difficult to travel.  As I emerged from our tent, I beheld a wondrous sight, a brilliant rainbow arching over O-where!

I then followed the arc of the rainbow to the north, and the end of the rainbow was illuminating in all its ROYGBIV glory the rocky Knob in the center of O-where.

Looking up, I then was blown away by the arc of the rainbow, with the moon in the center!

Every time I am privleged to see a rainbow, I am uplifted to be alive in a universe of such amazing beauty, and this is surely a sign of a creator sharing the joy of creation.

“Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue.
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.”

= = = = = = =

Oh yeah, the delivery of the ocean container was a success.  The skies cleared, the delivery truck slowly but surely navigated it’s way over the rough roads, and we now have onsite storage.  Huzzah!


Belonging to the Land

“The first thing to do is to choose a sacred place and live in it.”
— Tahirussawichi, Pawnee tribe elder

As we transition into our august years, my wife and I have sought a place where we can retire, to be stewards of the land,  and learn from and commune with nature.  We are fortunate to have found such a place, in northeastern Arizona, which we call “O-where”.

Inspired by our neighbors, the A:shiwi people of the Zuni pueblo, we have sought the middle place, between the harsh and the beautiful, equally mundane and mysterious.

There is a rocky knob in the center of O-where that is both ordinary and extraordinary. Ordinary in that it is a simple hill of sand, rocks, scraggly Juniper trees, and sparse desert grass.  Extraodinary in that it provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape in all directions, and is covered with an amazing variety of rocks (including petrified wood) deposited perhaps by an ancient glacier or river.  Most distinctly, there always seems to be a clear crisp uplifting energy on the knob that welcomes and pervades the space.

O-where and the Knob

O-where and the Knob

I built a simple stone ring on top of the knob, using the unique and varied rocks found on the knob, with larger marker stones for the 4 directions and the center.  We continue to add to the stone ring with interesting rocks that we discover on the knob.

Stone Ring, viewing South

Stone Ring, viewing South

On one late afternoon visit to the knob, we were greeted by a large short-horned lizard (phrynosoma hernandesi) sunning itself serenely on the rocks of the south node of the stone ring.

Can you spot the lizard on the rocks to the right?

Lizard on the Stone Ring

Lizard on the Stone Ring

Speaking of spots, the short-horned lizard has beautiful spots and markings on its back, for camouflage.

Short-horned lizard, back view
Short-horned lizard, back view

The lizard basks in the setting sun, merging with the rocks…

Guardian Lizard of the Knob

Guardian Lizard of the Knob

There is a huge ant mound on the side of the knob, which no doubt is a favorite dining place for the lizard.

Ant mound

Ant mound

The more we visit O-where, the more we long for this special place of simple and stark wonders.  It is a joy to grow in the understanding that the land does not belong to us, rather we belong to the land.  We become as much a part of it as it becomes part of us.


Winter Wonders

Winter wonders…   

Midwest Winter Wonders

Midwest Winter Wonders

… from the Zander Woods Forest Preserve, near Thornton, Illinois.

Top Posts



Join me on Facebook:  
Gary O's Facebook Profile
Follow me on Twitter

Twitter Updates

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9 other followers