After my Mile High Lab Rat book launch, we wheeled the scientist photo props back toward the van. Unfortunately, one of the cart wheels hung up on a sidewalk crack and upset the load. The crash was gentle, thank goodness. Nothing broke, but one of the live rats in the terrarium bailed. The rats were breeders on loan from a raptor center and highly replaceable—I’d guess, but I didn’t want to find out. Also, the college staff had been so accommodating in hosting my book launch party. Introducing a rat infestation to their campus seemed seriously shabby. I’d tried not […]
As a Colorado girl I learned about treeline or timberline, a high altitude border somewhere between 11,000 to 12,000 feet on the mountain where conditions get so harsh that trees can’t grow. A little over a year ago we visited Acadia National Park in Maine, and a ranger talked about Mt. Desert — so named because trees don’t grow on top of it. Mt. Desert can’t be more than a hundred feet above sea level. How can it have a treeline? Since then I’ve been noticing tree lines everywhere. Some run along the top of a hogback leaving one side […]
The promised grand opening didn’t seem promising. We couldn’t see a park from, the road was still under construction, and who ever heard of an Old West park? But the road opened, the planners did a bang up job on the play town, and there’s a hand pump feeding a waterfall of sluice boxes. I can’t wait to thrill a grandkid!
“We scouts raised enough money to stay on Grand Mesa for two weeks. The Mesa is the highest flat-topped mountain in the world. It’s beautiful country; forests of blue spruce, ponderosa pine, and aspen with flowery meadows in between. The flat top collects rainfall in three hundred sixty lakes and a zillion marshes. Those wet-lands make for a whole lot of hungry mosquitoes, but we scouts were tough. After two weeks of eating the fish that ate the mosquitoes that feasted on us, we were all blood brothers, and there was no mystery left in the circle of life.” Thought […]
My revered ancestor, Aud the Deep-Minded, had nothing on the five-year-old girl who attended my Viking presentation at the Penrose Community Library. Freya’s parents had their hands full keeping their busy one inbounds through 40 minutes of adult-level Viking history, but when I asked for questions, Freya popped up with one of the best questions I’ve ever gotten from an audience. “Why aren’t they scary anymore?” Whoa! All that fidgeting, didn’t keep her from listening…and thinking. Fortunately, I knew the answer: Vikings took the Atlantic by storm because they had better ships and weapons. When they invaded other countries, took slaves, formed alliances, and fraternized, others picked […]
I spent much of last year begging people to listen to programs I’d slaved over for months. I got a few takers here and there. Then I got my foot in the door with half a dozen libraries and the Colorado Springs Senior Center, and life is good! This year I let their schedulers know I’m rolling out my Whales presentation, and I’ve got five speaking date just like that. I’ve always appreciated libraries—Steve says I’ve never seen a library tax I didn’t like—but now I am profoundly grateful to libraries, not only for speaking ops but for so many of […]
A beetle picked his way along a branch above a mangrove swamp. Wham! A geyser of water smacked him right in the kisser, dropping him into the water where he was snatched down a hungry gullet. On the other side of the globe, in Denver’s Downtown Aquarium, an innocent child climbs a ladder to stretch his arm over an exhibit and offer the fish a cricket. Wham! A powerful spurt smacks his palm dead-center, jolting the little guy with backsplash. The exhibit and swamp are each populated by hand-sized archer fish which specialize in precision squirts ranging to six feet. I’d been captivated by an article about archers sometime back and am thrilled to find that the Denver aquarium not only has archer fish, it […]