Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Downside of "Near Nature, Near Perfect"

My widely dispersed neighbors and I watched the baby moose grow up over the last two years. Occasional sightings were shared over the fence or over a beer in the evenings. As it grew it became less awkward and began roaming some on its own preparing for its future in the adult realm.

Then one night its luck ran out as it tried to cross the road. Or, I suppose, it could have tumbled down one of the many small cliffs we have in this bare-basaltic flood-scoured area near Spokane. What I saw early Sunday morning made me sad and dismayed. As it crossed the dirt road near the intersection with the main road I saw it walking with a very wobbly, unstable right rear leg. It could hardly bare weight on the obviously broken extremity. In talking the next day with my neighbor she had thought it was walking strangely the week before.

I called and spoke to a Fish and Wildlife Officer who told me that they normally leave injured animals like that alone as long as they are still able to get about. They have seen elk and deer survive for 2-4 years with only three legs. They only come out to euthanize them if they are unable to get up.

Monday I rode my bike and walked on the trails around our 'neighborhood' trying to locate the moose but to no avail. As I passed near the red-tailed hawk nesting tree I got a scolding and an escort out of there. A reminder, as well, from the natural denizens of the area to not interfere.

(Note; the photo is from October 2008 from our back porch)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Michael Pollan's book that I just read titled "A Place of My Own; The Architecture of Daydreams:

"With this more substantial shelter about me, I had made some progress toward settling in the world" - Henry David Thoreau; Walden

"If I were asked to name the chief benefits of the house, I should say: the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace." - Gaston Bachelard; The Poetics of Space

"No good work whatever can be perfect, and the demand for perfection is always a sign of a misunderstanding of the ends of art." - John Ruskin

"That I had dreamt it and then had a hand in making it a fact was more gratifying than I can say, but now I was looking past that, or trying to , wondering, pointlessly perhaps, about how this building I'd helped to shape might come in time to shape me, where the two of us might be headed." - Michael Pollan

"As Venturi's comment suggests ("the relevant revolution today is the current electronic one"), the relationship between the information society and architecture may resemble a zero sum game. The culture of information is ultimately hostile to architecture, as it is to anything that can't be readily translated into its terms - to the whole of the undigitizable world, everything that the promoters of cyberspace like to refer to as RL (for "real life"). - Michael Pollan

This last quote speaks to my main reason for having this blog in the first place:

""Information overload" is something we hear a lot about these days, and there does seem to be a growing sense that technology, the media, and the sheer quantity of information in circulation have somehow gotten between us and reality - what used to be called, without a lot of quotations marks or qualifiers, nature." - Michael Pollan

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Big, fat, buttery, creamy Buttercups! Like minature thermonuclear suns brightening up an other-wise dreary day!