Ink & Light: “At First Sight” – Love and Lines from Richard Brautigan

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At First Sight: Sandhill Cranes, Northern British Columbia

Sandhill Cranes choose partners based on graceful mating dances and remain together for life.

…and our graves will be like two lovers washing
their clothes together
In a laundromat
If you will bring the soap
I will bring the bleach.
Richard Brautigan (from Romeo and Juliet, 1970)

– Raised in abject poverty, Richard Brautigan (1935-1984) was struggling to gain a foothold in San Francisco’s literary scene when, in 1967, he published Trout Fishing in America. The counter-culture novel catapulted him to international fame. A year later he solidified his reputation with In Watermelon Sugar. 

Ink and Light: “The meanest flower that blows…”

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Feather Fan: Junco

To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
William Wordsworth – Intimations of Immortality, 1807

Along with Samuel Coleridge, Wordsworth (1770-1850) is credited with founding English Literature’s Romantic Age. He was the country’s Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death.

Ink and Light: “Amber Eyes” with a quote by Sir David Attenborough

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Amber Eyes: Arctic Fox, Point Hope, Alaska

The thick, soft fur of the Arctic Fox is the most efficiently warm of any land mammal.

It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.
David Attenborough – BBC Life documentary series, 2009

Knighted in 1985, Sir David Attenborough turned 90 in 2016. The world’s most recognized narrator of natural history films, he remains in possession of amazing vitality.

Ink and Light: “Winter Hunt” and Shakespeare’s Poem for Runners

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Winter Hunt: Saker Falcon, Kustai National Park, Mongolia

Prized by falconers for their beauty and power, Saker Falcons are endangered due to black market trading and habitat loss. They are the national bird of Mongolia.

           (From) The Winter’s Tale 
      Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
        And merrily hent the stile-a:
      A merry heart goes all day,
        Your sad tires in a mile-a.
William Shakespeare – lines from The Winter’s Tale, 1623

In otherwise good health, Shakespeare (1564-1616) died 3 days shy of 52. Many of his plays were published posthumously. According to one source, Shakespeare’s death followed a night of heavy drinking with Ben Johnson and Michael Drayton. An apocryphal tale or not, all of his plays contain references to drink.

Ink and Light: “A River Runs through It” and Spring Snow in in the World’s Coldest National Capital

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Snow Dancers: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – 2016

At over 4,400 feet in altitude, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, is the world’s coldest national capital city. Lows of -20° F and lower – sometimes much lower – are common.

She was as beautiful a dancer
as he was a fly caster.
Norman Maclean – A River Runs Through It, 1976

Norman Maclean (1902-1990) was 70 when he began writing A River Runs Through It and Other Stories. Rejected by every major publishing firm, the novella and two accompanying short stories were finally accepted by Chicago University Press where Maclean had taught in the Department of English. The book, which was almost instantly recognized as a classic, became the first piece of fiction the CU Press published.