Polluted Living


     In the 1960's there was a realization that the air was becoming unhealthily polluted by emissions, a large part from automobiles. So steps were taken and continue to this day, to eliminate as many emissions of poison gas as possible. As a result the air today is much less polluted than it might have been, but much more than it was.
    Another form of pollution that is just beginning to be recognized is heat. Releasing or using stored energy produces heat. Burning a combustable such as wood, oil or gas generates heat. A light bulb, an electric motor or a hot water heater release heat into the air. Many who study such things believe there is already an alarming amount of global warming taking place with little or no action being taken to slow or stop it.
    In days of yore (that means some time ago) there were fewer people and they used far less energy per person. Were they healthier or happier? I don't know. Today, people live longer on the average, and for certain more creature comfort is available to more persons than ever before. But, does living longer really equate to being healthier, and does being more comfortable bring happiness and satisfaction?
Rock Wren

Rock Wren


     Little bird, big attitude! This was no accidental expression. He was definitely telling me he didn't want me in the neighborhood. He's only about six inches in physical size but temperment isn't measured that way, I guess.
    When you think about it, there are a lot of things that are measured in other than material ways. Courage, love, trust, integrity and faith are a few. Still, in spite of the abundant word power we give to such qualities, it seems the pursuit of the material things occupies most of our time and energies. Most of us readily agree that being trustworthy and having integrity are important but look how easily those were pushed aside by so many seeking material wealth in recent stock trading schemes. And not by just those in power but even the small investor who knowingly sought to better his retirement in them. Not that all that got caught up in that situation did so knowingly, but that's the point. How many gave as much attention to learning about and having or gaining integrity as they did money?
A falcon and hawk engage in combat

A falcon and hawk engage in combat


     The bird that is upside down is a Red-tailed hawk and he is defending himself from the smaller but more aggressive Peregrine Falcon. Normally we like to think of the smaller being the underdog but, as it is here, 'tain't always so. This hawk eats small rodents for survival but generally just tries to get along. The falcon is a swift, somewhat vicious killer, known to take down and eat birds larger than itself. In this instance the hawk just passed a little to close to the tree the falcon was on and was attacked.
Bewick's Wren

Bewick's Wren


     All the wrens are vocal and fun to listen to, but this is my favorite. As wrens often do when spied upon this one seems to be scowling. But in the spring when this one boldly sits on a limb and sings its love song, it is pure joy.


A Canada Goose in a tree

A Canada Goose in a tree


     Now when this bird sits on a limb and sings its love song it sounds like "honk". Which is what it sounds like when it is flying and also when it is on the ground or in the water. If they are joined by a sufficient number of their kind it sounds much like a traffic jam. A smaller variety of this species is a little higher pitched so in numbers they sound like a foreign traffic jam.
    Nonetheless, there are those who have written poetry about the call of the wild goose. Just ain't no accountin' for taste, I guess.
Coyote

Coyote


     On an earlier page, I remarked about the coyote normally being very circumspect at the approach of vehicles and/or people. This one is the exception to the rule. While it's true we were restricted to the road and he was in the field, still he totally ignored us as we came as close as the road would allow, stuck the camera lens out the window and took several pictures.
    When we left he was still in the field, going about his business, pretty much as if we had never been.
Western Gray Squirrel

Western Gray Squirrel


     Squirrel, right? Well, yes but not just any squirrel. This is a Western gray squirrel as opposed to the more common Eastern gray squirrel which has invaded and taken over so much of the northwest.
    It seems the western finds it harder to adapt to the living conditions imposed by the increase in humans and the changes they make in the environment to accomodate themselves.
    So, how important is the continued existance of this animal? For that matter, if the earth reaches the point where humans can no longer adapt to the conditions they have created, how important will their continued existance be?
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