We celebrate a lot of anniversaries. In Autumn’s case, there’s her birthday (8/29/13), when we met her (it’s in my journal somewhere), when she first came to live with us (11/25/13), when we gave her up (11/27/13), and when we got her back, which was one year ago today. Yes, it’s a long story, all documented here and in her ever-expanding photo album. We are over the moon with both our sweet dogs.
[As often happens when people fawn over Autumn, Luke wants you to remember him, too.]
Today, two billionaires pit teams of millionaires against each other in a stately pleasure dome built at taxpayer expense. Tomorrow, whether you’re grinning or crying about “your” team, a few people will be even richer and their surrogates will be hard at work opposing raising the minimum wage, arguing against the estate tax and regulations, while praising the non-existent free market. Hey, at least it’s more fun the original feudal system, right? Right? Go team!
We found Ducky abandoned on a picnic table in a campground near Alamosa, Colorado. That was the trip that was nearly ruined by millions of caterpillars falling from the aspens they were denuding. The same trip we saw hundreds of unrelated swallowtails wallowing in mud along the road.
Ducky was just sitting there. That’s his thing. You know his kind well. Perhaps, New Mexicans feel a stronger connection to his kind thanks to Bosque del Apache, or, more likely, the Deming Duck Race.
Since he joined the pack, Ducky has ridden on the dash of our truck. He accompanies us on the mundane daily trips and the longer escapes we live for. This is why I impulsively grabbed him to take to Peru.
I admit that I considered Ducky might fill the roll of the sock monkey and other peripatetic icons dotting photos on the Web. He might add some whimsy, I hoped. Early on, I was very self-conscious about pulling him out and posing him. I don’t mind being affected or eccentric, but I’m not that into him at home. He’s just along for the ride. By putting him in the frame, I brought him into our group, most of whom looked at me indulgently, at first.
These are the best photos of Ducky in Peru, from departure to return. I couldn’t photograph my favorite moment involving Ducky. As we passed through airport security in Cusco, I pulled Ducky out of my pocket at the last moment and put him on top of a pile of other items. I loved seeing the faces of the security personnel soften as they looked from Ducky to each other and smiled. The world craves more whimsy.
Ducky on his way to Peru.
The joy of birding.
On the Madre de Dios river, Manu, Peru.
Cloudburst and sunny smile. I was delighted when Melissa Wilson reached for Ducky. Seize the whimsy! The rain ruined one of our best birding opportunities, yet gave me more joy than I can say.
Home is where I want to be Pick me up and turn me round I feel numb – burn with a weak heart (So I) guess I must be having fun The less we say about it the better Make it up as we go along Feet on the ground Head in the sky It’s o.k. I know nothing’s wrong, nothing
Hi yo I got plenty of time Hi yo you got light in your eyes And you’re standing here beside me I love the passing of time Never for money Always for love Cover up and say goodnight, say goodnight
Home, is where I want to be But I guess I’m already there I come home, she lifted up her wings Guess that this must be the place I can’t tell one from another Did I find you, or you find me? There was a time Before we were born If someone asks, this is where I’ll be, where I’ll be
Hi yo we drift in and out Hi yo sing into my mouth Out of all those kinds of people You got a face with a view I’m just an animal looking for a home Share the same space for a minute or two And you love me till my heart stops Love me till I’m dead Eyes that light up, eyes look through you Cover up the blank spots Hit me on the head
Like many of us, I’m sad to learn of David Bowie’s death. He was a rock star before that concept became trivial. He moved us, inspired us, shocked us, delighted us. There will never be another like him.
Take a moment to consider that today thousands, more likely millions, of people will die. Few will have been rock stars but most will be mourned by loved ones who will experience that depth of grief that ultimately unites us all, the real price of love. Most of us never get over that grief completely.
Live. Love. Move. Be kind, be open, be patient. Take care of each other. Stop hating something. Death is more absolute and unending than we can comprehend. Now is our time. Peace.
“Being here makes me realize I haven’t accomplished anything.”
We watched a great film about a most extraordinary man, Dayton O. Hyde, cowboy, writer, conservationist. After years as a rancher and cowboy, he turned his considerable force of will toward providing sanctuary — paradise — for wild horses otherwise doomed to slaughter or neglect. He shaped a chunk of the Black Hill of South Dakota into heaven on earth for these beautiful creatures. His wish is that when he returns as a horse, he’ll run among them.
They truly don’t make people like this anymore. However, he serves as an inspiration. Find your quest. Save your space from the profiteers. Love, listen to, honor nature , the land and everything on it.
Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde (2013) is a great documentary, weaving old movies and photos into the story. Just when you think you know the rest of the story, it proves you wrong, more than once. As one old friend says of Hyde, “he is a holy man.” It’s streaming on Netflix for two more days — see it NOW.