Trump and the (Mis)Uses of Distraction


President Trump has decided to punish reporters whose coverage he dislikes. His sycophantic press secretary, Sean Spicer, has barred journalists from The New York Times, CNN and several other news organizations from attending Spicer’s daily briefing, a extremely unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps. It’s an outrage; even Dick Nixon, at his most venal,…

Hawk Launch


Hawk diversity was a little thin on WC’s recent trip to southeast Arizona. But there were a lot of Red-tailed Hawks. Here’s a three second sequence of a Red-tailed launching after prey. The three photos represent 1.9 seconds of elapsed time. This hawk is a big bird, but he gets under way very quickly. It…

Anna's Hummingbird Male, Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona

Flying Jewels, 2017 Edition


Among the New World’s birds, surely hummingbirds, the “Flying Jewels,” are the most extraordinary. WC spent some time in Tucson’s Sonora Desert Museum recently, which includes a delightful Hummingbird Aviary. They are photos you could get in the field, and WC has some nice hummingbird photos from the trip, But it’s easier where the birds’…

Greater Roadrunner, Tuba, Arizona

The Quintessential Bird to Chase


A distinctive bird of the American southwest, after vultures probably the most distinctive, largely thanks to those silly Looney Tunes Roadrunner-Coyote cartoons. But the Greater Roadrunner is a lot more comical than the cartoon one, although it’s rarely chased by coyotes. Roadrunners can raise and lower their crests, and frequently raise and lower their tails, sometimes…

Yellow-eyed Junco, Florida Wash, Southeast Arizona

No, Really, Chasing Birds


The Yellow-eyed Junco is a Southeastern Arizona specialty, not commonly found anywhere else in the United States. It’s pretty easy to pick it out among its Dark-eyed cousins. They are common throughout mountainous regions of,Mexico, under the arc but and rules of birding, species seen in Mexico don’t “count” as North American species. Another Southeastern…

Four Views of a Capuchin


White-faced Capuchin are a New World monkey, a member of the family Cebidae, they are fairly common through Central America and South America. This animal was photographed in Amazonian Peru. Highly intelligent, tool-using and long-lived, it has a long prehensile tail, usually carried coiled. Here are four views of a Capuchin.

Shoshone Falls, Idaho, Vertical Composition

Notes on Shoshone Falls


The Snake River is dammed within an inch of its life. It’s polluted by agricultural runoff. Diverted for irrigation. There are at least 15 dams along its length, most of them in Idaho. But once in a while it can still bust loose and show some serious water. And when it does, there’s no better…

"That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain." Hamlet, Act I, scene 5

The Lies of Donald Trump: Trying to Keep Up


WC has always thought the aphorisms like, “A lie can run around the world before the truth can pull its pants on,” were stupid. You know, the truth and all that. WC’s vocations, law and justice, to a considerable (but admittedly imperfect) extent, is the pursuit of truth. WC’s avocations, science and nature photography, also…

Phil Ochs Makes a Comeback


“One good song with a message can bring a point more deeply to more people than a thousand rallies.” – Phil Ochs, 1962 WC’s all time favorite folksinger, Phil Ochs, is making a comeback. Ochs and his amazing songs seem to make a comeback whenever American politics get especially dark. This is the man, after all, who sang, And the speeches…

What WC Is Reading


The weather sucks, WC is struggling with a head cold and it’s the same old same old among the yard birds. So WC has been doing a lot of reading. Much of it has turned out to be pretty good. Here’s a quick overview of recent, decent stuff. Michael Lewis famously write Moneyball, which somehow got…

Sawtooth National Recreation Area, July 16, 2016

Can We Think About this Privatization of Federal Land Idea?


Americans, and international visitors, love federal lands. Idahoans pack the federal parks, national forests, national recreation areas and other federal lands all summer. Everything from dirt bike racing in the Owyhee Mountains to rafting Wild and Scenic Rivers to backpacking Forest Service trails to filling up all the campgrounds in the state on weekends. Hunting…

Ursula K. Le Guin

“Alternative Facts” – A Clarification


One of WC’s favorite authors, Ursula K. Le Guin, recently wrote a letter to the Oregonian objecting to the characterization of President Trumpster’s “alternatie facts” as science fiction. In her own inimitable style, she describes the difference. WC sets out her letter in full. A recent letter in The Oregonian compares a politician’s claim to tell “alternative facts”…