Thursday, December 21, 2023

Book Review: Sunk Without a Sound; The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde, by Brad Dimock

This was fascinating—both a fascinating but tragic story and a well-written, accessible, fascinating telling of it. 

Some of the details of running specific rapids got a bit long for me, since I'm not familiar with the terms and have a hard time visualizing it, but that's a very minor issue, and river runners will probably love it for that. 

The structure of the book was also very good.  We learned about Glen and Bessie's early life and courtships. We saw their journey through pieced-together accounts.  We went with the author as he and his wife reenacted the journey in the same type of boat.  We learned about the boat itself, and how time (and dams) have changed the Colorado.  We met other characters, like the Kolb brothers, those who searched for Glen and Bessie, and other survivors or victims of the river.  We were stumped by the mystery and led through all the possible theories, some far-fetched and dramatic.  We suffered with Glen's dad and as he and others searched and searched.  Then we got a measured analysis of what likely happened.  And all this was woven together very logically and smoothly.

I wish Brad Dimock would write more books like this!

4.5 stars

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Artists from the S'edev Va'aki Indian Market in Phoenix

Today at the Indian Market at S'edev Va'aki (formerly Pueblo Grande), I saw so much beautiful art and craftsmanship.  Here are some of the artists I particularly liked:

Piersten Doctor:

Virgil Nez:

Kevin Horace-Quannie:

Gregory Hill:

David K John:

Saturday, December 2, 2023

My story, "Palatable Potions," to appear in Zombies Need Brains Presents


My light-hearted fantasy story, "Palatable Potions," was recently accepted by Zombies Need Brains Presents.  It should appear in March of next year.  I'll post again when it's live.

I enjoyed writing it a lot, and I'm very excited to see it published.  

If you want to check out Zombies Need Brains--who also publish themed anthologies--visit them at of find them on Facebook:

Monday, November 27, 2023

NaNoWriMo 2023

 Okay, I'm a NaNoWriMo rebel this year, but I just finished my personal writing goal for this November, so I'm celebrating. I'm still going to keep going strong for the rest of the month (and beyond).

For those who aren't Nanowrimoers, it's National Novel Writing Month. Regular participants write the rough draft of a novel (50,000 words or more) in one month. Rebels like me do different things. I counted time spent on an existing novel, using a time-to-word formula I developed a couple of years ago, because I needed to spend time researching, reorganizing, revising, etc. in addition to writing.

My project is a novel-in-short-stories set on an ill-fated space colony. Several of these stories have already been published in literary magazines. If you want to check them out, see the list here:

Friday, November 17, 2023

Short Story Dispenser

A few years ago, I got a poem published by Short Édition, the people who distribute short works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry through their Short Story Dispensers in libraries, airport, cafes, etc.  The stories are free to the user.  You just decide if you want a 1-, 2-, or 3-minute story, push a button, and it prints you a tiny bit of literature on receipt paper.  Awesome. 

I hadn't actually found one, however, until I heard there was one at the Tempe, Arizona public library.  So I went and checked it out.

Here it is, with a lovely mural behind it.

I printed out several short stories and sat there in the library, reading.  A lovely experience.  There's no way to choose what you want, besides picking the length, so I couldn't get my own poem, but apparently more than 2600 people have printed out my poem.  What a lovely thought.

If you want to read it, however, it's also on their e-zine here:

If you're in the Tempe area, go check out the short story dispenser.  There may also be one at a Mesa library.  But go soon.  They may be temporary.

Other dispensers:  

Monday, November 13, 2023

Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle, by Mary J. MacLeod

This feels very much like All Creatures Great and Small meets Call the Midwife.  I enjoyed it a lot, especially the glimpses of a way of life very different than mine.

The chapters don't always transition smoothly, but if you read it like a series of independent personal essays, that shouldn’t bother you.  However, if you read it as a series of independent essays, what might bother you are the characters that appear from several chapters back without enough reminder to the reader as to how they fit in—and the questions that get posed but never answered (and not in a thought-provoking or philosophical way).  Then the book just ends.  There’s no real tie-up, and though the last chapter is dramatic, it doesn’t really feel like a conclusion.  The epilogue is full of longing for the life they once had there, with not one word of explanation of why or when they left.  I think this is all to keep it open for the sequel, but it bothered me.  Of course, it mostly bothered me because I was invested in the people and interested in their lives—so that’s as much compliment as criticism.   

Despite any issues, I really enjoyed the book.  The writing style is easy.  The pacing is pleasantly gentle.  The observations are good.  The subject matter is really interesting.  The setting is well drawn. 

I’ll probably read the sequel.

4 stars

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Cool Bug

I found this cool bug in the garden (well, cool except that it was eating a bee--poor bee).

Look at those beautiful colors!  

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Odder, by Katherine Applegate

I enjoyed this (despite it being written in verse).  It was sad and sweet and cute.  I loved Odder.  It was also educational in a bet-you-didn't-realize-you-were-learning sort of way. 

I did find the timeline a little confusing (but I read it over a couple of weeks, so that was probably my fault).  Some of the otter thoughts and language seemed a little too human. It's a tough line to walk, and Applegate mostly did it well.

If you liked this, I absolutely recommend Applegate's The One and Only Ivan, which I thought was heartbreaking and beautiful.  I haven't seen the movie based on it, but I've seen previews, and I advise you not to judge a book by its movie. 

PS  And the cover is adorable. 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Aspen in Flagstaff

 Photo taken October 15, 2023 on the Aspen Loop at Snowbowl, just out of Flagstaff, Arizona:

I don't really think I need to say anything else.  😊

Except...keep track of the colors on Flagstaff's LEAFometer, try to go on a weekday, be prepared for crowds, and try to take another more isolated hike while you're here.  

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

My story to be published in Shadows on the Water

My story, "Vodník," is to be published in Flame Tree's Anthology, Shadows on the Water, early next year.  It's set in the Czech Republic, where tales of the vodník, a sort of water goblin, fascinated me.

See Flame Tree's post (and the book cover) here:

Monday, September 11, 2023

Around the World in 80 Birds, by Mike Unwin

This is a great book.  The writing is engaging.  The illustrations by Ryuto Miyake are beautiful.  Each chapter is short but fascinating, dealing not just with the biologically interesting facts but with cultural associations.

If you enjoy short surveys of interesting topics—especially birds/animals—you'll love this. 

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Horton Springs Trail (Again)

From the Horton Springs Trail, one of my favorite trails because...CREEK!

Trailhead:  Upper Tonto Creek Campground, near Kohl's Ranch, between Payson and Willow Springs lake.  At the turnoff, head north.  Parking's available at the Derrick Trailhead or just past Upper Tonto Creek Campground (to the left across the tiny bridge).  

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Across the Desert, by Dusti Bowling

Okay, it's official:  I'm a Dusti Bowling fan.  The first book I read by her was "The Canyon's Edge."  It's a beautiful, heartbreaking novel in verse, and I loved it—even though I'm not a huge poetry fan.

"Across the Desert" is a prose novel, and Dusti Bowling has shown that she can do both and do them well. 

And yeah, maybe the premise is a little hard to swallow, but just swallow it.  You'll thank me later.

I loved the characters.  The writing was engaging. 

I loved the setting.  I'm an Arizonan who loves the outdoors, and it's nice to see our deserts represented in a kid's book.  I'm not familiar with the Alamo Lake area, so I can't speak to Bowling's accuracy there, but she accurately portrayed the central Arizona summer heat (and didn't add to the myth of the summer desert suddenly plunging to freezing temperatures overnight).  My main criticism of "The Canyon's Edge" was that some of the Arizona-ness of it seemed exaggerated to the point of inaccuracy, which made for a good story but kind of bothered me.  In this book, I felt she painted a much more realistic picture of our desert and the real obstacles and dangers the main character would face. 

The plot and pacing were good.  The situation just kept going from bad to worse.  I cared greatly (and worried about) what would happen to the characters.

All in all, a great read.   Now I'm going to have to read everything else she's written.

More accurate rating—more like 4.5 (But a high 4.5)

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Another squirrel friend

This squirrel entertained us each morning outside our room at Kohl's Ranch, near Payson, Arizona.  So cute.  And so very intent on eating as much as possible.  

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Willow Springs Lake, Arizona

This is beautiful Willow Springs Lake, on the Mogollon Rim near Payson, Arizona.  

And here's our little friend:

We went on August 13, straight from Phoenix where we'd had record heat for a record length of time (30 straight days of 110 or more, record number of days above 115, nights with lows of 97)  

 So when we got to the lake, we got caught in a monsoon.  The wind was blowing something fierce, and we got wet and...COLD!!!  It was amazing, being cold. 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Other Birds, by Sarah Addison Allen

I really enjoyed this:  interesting setting, engaging writing, a slight supernatural element.  I happily rooted for the characters. 

I did find it somewhat unrealistic how fast the found family formed and how tight their bond was, but I was enjoying it so much that I just suspended my belief.  The part with the bad guy at the end also felt like a bit of a stretch.  But it wasn't hard to just go with it.

Overall, a warm and gentle read.

I will certainly read other books by Sarah Addison Allen 

More accurate rating:  4.5 stars 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Getaway, by Zoje Stage

I really enjoyed this.  I loved the backpacking prep and descriptions and Tilda's adjusting to backpacking life.  I loved the descriptions of the Canyon.  I loved the creepy beginning to their troubles.  I enjoyed the characterization of the three friends, though—yes—some of the internal monologue might have been trimmed a bit since it did border on repetitive at times. 

Gale was a really interesting character.

I did wonder occasionally at decisions the friends made. [SPOILER ALERT!  SPOILER ALERT].  Like, that first night after meeting Gale, WHY ON EARTH don't you hike farther and/or set a watchman????  A few other times I think the three of them could have overpowered him, but I understand why fear/caution/disbelief might interfere with that.  [END SPOILERS]

It was a tense and interesting read, and though I don't know that part of the Canyon, and I think a couple of the particular sites were made up,  I felt that it portrayed the Grand Canyon in a realistic way, as many other Canyon books I've read recently don't.

I will certainly read more by Zoje Stage. 

4.5 stars

Friday, July 21, 2023

Guadian of Fukushima, by Ewan Blain & Fabien Grolleau


This is a beautiful story about a very, very sad event.

Here's the subtitle:  "The true story of a farmer who fought to save the nuclear zone's animals," and that's exactly what the book delivers.  

I'm not a great judge of graphic novels, because I often find them a little thin in plot and character, but this felt quite developed.  And engrossing.  I devoured it in one night.  I liked the weaving in of Japanese legends.  It was very organic and the legends themselves were interesting, with nice parallels to what was  happening in reality. 

The drawings were good. 

The information at the front and back was powerful and important.  I shamefully admit I didn't know or forgot how bad this disaster was, so I'm glad this book is sharing/re-sharing with the world.

4.5 stars!

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Phoenix Heat

Phoenix doesn't have (many) tornadoes or earthquakes or hurricanes.  We don't have to shovel snow. 

But this is getting ridiculous:

High today: 117 F

Last night's LOW: 97 F

Number of consecutive days our high has been 110 F or more:  20, I think.  We just broke a record.

I am ever grateful for air conditioning.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Colorado River at Phantom Ranch 2022 vs 2023

These are two pictures I took of Boat Beach, near Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the Grand Canyon, one late April 2022 and one a year later, early May 2023.  

They're not from exactly the same place (even if I'd tried harder to do that, I would have had to stand IN the water the second picture).  Look at that rock out in the water with the tree growing out of it.  Then compare to the bottom picture.  There's an interesting difference in color, clarity, and level of water.  

A couple of weeks before the second pictures, they'd purposely released a lot of water from Glen Canyon Dam.  I think this was one of the results.  We'd also had a record year for winter rain and snow.  All I know for sure is that the difference was amazing.

April 27, 2022:
May 8, 2023:

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Indie Author Spotlight: Samantha Picaro

Join me today for an interview with Samantha Picaro, author of Limitless Roads Café:

Tell me a little about your journey as a writer.

I became an author through years of writing stories (cliché as that may sound), and finally having one I felt ready to share. Writing is the best, most comfortable way I have always communicated, as verbal communication has always been hard and even scary as an autistic woman with anxiety disorder.

How do you come up with your stories?

 I’d like to say it’s walks through nature but, alas, my inspiration is more modern and more indoors than outdoors. Haha. A movie or TV show with a really unique premise and/or theme could inspire me, and sometimes social media gives me ideas. Social media inspires me with information I didn’t know before, or whenever someone talks about a plot or type of character they don’t see enough of in fiction.

Tell me a little about the books you like to read and the book you've written.  

There are too many books and too many genres to name my favorites. I can tell you what I typically like in a plot: a main character with a specific goal, like winning a contest or reconnecting with a family member. My favorite genres are Young Adult Fiction (any subgenre) and Adult Fiction. Memoirs and nonfiction are also a great way to pass time, especially if they have social justice themes.

Now, on to what you really want to hear: the plot of my book, “Limitless Roads Café.” This Young Adult Contemporary takes place in summer in New Jersey. The main character, Kinsey Fontana, works at a café hiring teens with any type of disability, and Kinsey is autistic. This aspiring event planner plans a fundraiser to prevent the café from closing with help from her former best friend Melissa Castillo.

Thanks, Samantha.  Good luck with everything!

Find Samantha Picaro here:
Instagram: @author.samantha.picaro
Facebook: Author Samantha Picaro
TikTok: @authorsamanthap
Twitter: @Samwritesya

Buy her book here:

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to River to Rim for the Second Time

WARNING #1:  I did NOT do this in June, as may be assumed from the date of this blog post.  I just never got around to posting at the time.  I hiked it on May 8, and many years it would be too hot then.  June would most certainly be too hot for me.  


Unless you're super prepared, have trained extensively, start at dawn, carry plenty of food and water, and do not try it when it's hot in the bottom (remembering that it's often 20 degrees hotter at the river than at Grand Canyon Village/South Rim).  See my more specific advice below.

Starting around dawn at the South Kaibab trailhead, May 8, 2023:

The ominous "Don't hike to the river and back in one day" sign:

My very favorite part of the entire trail, below Ooh Ahh Point.  Dad dropped me off near the trailhead (you can't drive right to it), because I wanted to time sunrise right (plan to be at Ooh Aah Point at sunrise, if you can).  Getting dropped off by Dad put me between shuttle bus drop-off times, so I had this beautiful spot all to myself for a few serene minutes.  Heaven.  

More beautiful sunrise effects, after Cedar Ridge:

It's greener than you expect on this trail:

And there were more flowers this year than last year.  Many varieties.  Many colors.  Some tough and deserty.  Some light and delicate.  I went about 10 days later this year, and we'd had record rain all winter and spring.  Flowers at the Tip-Off:

First good views of the river.  I could really hear it...or so I thought.  Later I realized it was probably Bright Angel Creek I could hear, absolutely gushing out into the river, whereas last year it was just a little babbling brook.  

And now at the fork, where you choose to take the River trail on the south side, above the river, or go down across the bridge to Phantom Ranch.  I went to Phantom Ranch. You can see how brown the river was (bottom left corner).  I think it was because we'd had so much snow and such a mild spring that it was still melting. They'd also recently released a bunch of water from Glen Canyon Dam.  

At the same sign, last year.  Look how much more blue-green the river was:

Friendly deer at Bright Angel Campground/Phantom Ranch.  And you can see how violent the creek is in the background.  I'll do some creek comparison/river comparison shots in the next post.

Headed across the silver bridge and back up (9:50 AM):

Pipe Creek Beach:

One of the creek crossings on the Bright Angel trail.  I wet down my clothes several times to keep cool.

So much water.

And so much green:

This time, I decided to hang around at Havasupai Garden until the the cliffs shaded the switchbacks up to the rim, because that sunny section was the hardest for me last time.  I had a nice long break and chatted with a very cool retired couple who use the Grand Canyon as their playground and who were camping at the campground there.  When I finally left, this is what it looked like:

I left Havasupai Garden around 4:00, expecting some of the trail back the Rim to be shaded.  It was ALL shaded.  Very nice.  

But...because it was easier in the shade, I don't think I drank or ate enough on the last leg.  Around 3-Mile Rest House, I started feeling slightly nauseated off and on.  Last time I started feeling nauseated and oddly winded  at about 1.5-Mile Rest House.  I felt like I couldn't get quite deep enough breaths, partly because deep breaths hurt.  So I slowed down, rested frequently, and sipped electrolytes and ate Fritos.  The feeling went away after about 30-40 minutes and I was fine for the last bit of the climb.  

This year, it started with much more mild symptoms so I didn't take them as seriously or treat them as well, probably partly because I was thinking, "Hey, I've don't this before.  No problem."  Well, around 1.5-Mile Rest House, they started getting worse.  I tried to stop and snack like last year, but nothing tasted good.  Everything just made me more nauseated.  I couldn't make myself drink much of my electrolytes.  Even water was a chore.  It didn't get better.  The last mile and a half were not too fun.  It never got terrible or incapacitating, but it was unpleasant.  Luckily, the sun was setting and the Canyon was on fire and the scenery was beautiful, which distracted me a bit.

I didn't get many pictures of that beauty, unfortunately, because...I was concentrating on walking and not getting sicker.  But here's a hint:  

There was hardly anyone on the trail, unlike last year, where the last mile and a half was a Disneyland-style mass of people (about three hours earlier in the day).  So that was nice, too...and it wasn't so empty that I was afraid that no one would be there to help if I really needed it.  I chatted with the few people I met, but they were mostly faster than me at this point.      

I finally got to the top.  Success!  But I did not feel good.  I'd wet my clothes off at Havasupai Garden in anticipation of some sun on the trail, but since there wasn't, I was still damp in places, and as the wind came up and the sun went down and I stopped moving, I suddenly got chilled. Happily, my wonderful dad was there to meet me.  He took me back to camp.  I forced myself to eat one saltine and sip some water, and I went straight to bed.   About an hour later, when I had to get up to use the bathroom, I felt 90% better.  By morning I was fine, but I made sure to drink more electrolytes on my recovery day.

I gave you so much detail because I was prepared.  I'd trained.  But you never know exactly how things are going to affect you.  So listen to your body and don't slack off on your hydration because you've done it successfully before.  :)   AND...I think next time I'll spend a full day acclimatizing to the altitude before doing the hike.  I also plan to do more training at higher elevations.  Last year I did a fairly rigorous training hike that peaked at 9000 feet.  This year my "high elevation" hike was only about 7000 feet and not terribly long or rigorous.     

I loved the day (except maybe the last 1.5 miles--but it was still absolutely worth it).  I would definitely do it again, though I won't slack off on my last-leg hydration next time.

I LOVE the Grand Canyon!  

PEDOMETER STATS:  17.3 miles.  5171 total feet of gain (and 5476 loss)

If you're thinking about doing this hike in one day, here's my advice.  

Go DOWN the South Kaibab and UP the Bright Angel.  

But DO NOT try it unless...

1) You're in good hiking shape.

2) You go when it's not too hot.  Spring (until about the end of April) and fall (starting about October) are great.  Some years parts of May and September would be good, but watch forecasts and remember that it's about 20 degrees hotter (Fahrenheit) at the bottom than it is at the top, and parts of the trail have no shade.  In winter you may need special equipment, like microspikes.  Again, watch forecasts and listen to the rangers at the back country office.   DO NOT ATTEMPT this entire hike in one day in full summer.  It's not tough.  It's stupid.  Rescue is not guaranteed, and is usually slow and laborious (someone walking you up while plying you with electrolytes) or very, very costly and potentially dangerous.  Deaths occur.  Don't try it.  Instead, make a better plan.  

3) You've trained over the previous few months for this specific hike by taking:

     -a few long hikes (12-16 miles) while wearing the fully loaded pack you plan to use

     -several hikes that exceed 3000 feet of elevation gain, preferably a couple that exceed 4000 feet

     -at least one high-elevation hike (at least 7000 feet)--especially for people who live at low elevation

     -one or two hot hikes ("feels like" temp of 90+) to see how your body reacts

     -at least one canyoning hike (where you go downhill first and uphill second)

4)  Wear well-broken-in hiking boots/shoes.

5)  Research the trail, how to keep your energy up, and what to pack.  Going light is good, but so is going prepared.  The balance is up to you.  Absolute musts for me:  emergency water purification tablets, tiny flashlight, paper map (I photocopied the pertinent part of a good-quality topo map), and sun protection (such as sunscreen/hat/sunglasses/SPF lip balm).  Also recommended:  Band-Aids and a bit of duct tape (for blisters and various other uses), a signaling device of some sort (my pack has a whistle, but mirrors and GPS emergency beacons are other options), weather-appropriate clothes and basic survival gear if you need to spend the night (I took a light-weight emergency blanket, which can also double as a signaling device or a sun shade), small pocket knife, basic emergency medicine (like ibuprofen and antihistamines), extra socks, hiking poles, and a bandana you can wet in the creek to help against the head (and which doubles as a scarf in the morning if it's cold).   

6)  Know where the water is and whether it's turned on at the moment (ask the day before at the backcountry office.)

7)  Carry plenty of food (twice what you'd eat in a normal 12-hour period, including lots of salty snacks and carbs)

8)  Carry plenty of water (I advise 3-4 liters, which you refill every chance you get.  If for some reason there's no water at Havasupai Garden or the River, or if temperatures are flirting with 100 in the Inner Canyon, you'll have to take more or not attempt the hike.  If there's water at 3-Mile Rest House and 1 1/2-Mile Rest House, you'll probably be fine with 2 liters, but that's not giving you a lot of leeway if anything goes wrong).  

9)  Take and use electrolyte drink mix (I like Pedialyte.  Other friends suggest Liquid IV or Vitalyte).  When it's hottest and hardest, alternate plain water and electrolytes in a 1:1 ratio.

10)  If you're from a low-altitude place (especially 1000 feet or below), try to plan your trip so you have a full day or two at high altitude to acclimatize a little before you attempt the hike.  You don't get real altitude sickness at the South Rim's elevation, but it's high enough to be a factor when you've already hiked 13 miles and you're tired and probably a little dehydrated and you may be hiking in the direct sun in temperatures higher than you're used to.    

11)  Start EARLY.  We're talking dawn...or earlier (though it will depend somewhat on the season)  

12)  Have someone up top or at home who knows your plan and will get help if you don't show up or make contact.  As always, it's safer to hike with a partner, but if you're prepared and want to solo it, there are enough other people on the trail that you won't really be alone.        

13)  Have fun!    

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Unicorn Training, by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater

I enjoyed this second installment of the Pip Bartlett books.  I enjoyed seeing old characters and new ones—of both the human and magical-animal varieties.  The style was still fun and breezy.  The guidebook entries were still delightful and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny.

I LOVED Regent Maximus' interaction with the baby unicorns.  I loved Tomas' new favorite animals. 

Here are more things I love in a middle grade novel (or any novel) and which this book delivers on.  The story has conflict and tension not dependent on serious violence.  Characters solve problems by thinking and working, not through violence.  And…[SEMI SPOILER] the bad guy isn't really such a bad guy.

Overall, a very fun book.

More accurate rating:  4.5.  It wasn't quite as charming as the first, but still highly enjoyable

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

My Story, "Vodník," published in Uncharted Magazine

This story takes place in the Czech Republic.  When I lived there, the stories and imagery of the Vodník (often translated as "water goblin") fascinated me.  So here's my own take on the famous creature:

Vodník, by Melinda Brasher

A vodník statue in České Třebová.  Image courtesy of ŠJů, Wikimedia Commons, creative commons license 3.0.,_vodn%C3%ADk_%2801%29.jpg

All over the Czech republic you can find vodník statues around ponds and mills.  The creature is also popular in folk art, like that of Josef Lada (google "vodnik lada").

Mine's a darker take on the sometime-playful water goblin.  For a really dark take, read about the poem by Karel Jaromír Erben:

Dvořák also wrote music to accompany the tale.  You can find it on Youtube ("Dvorak Water Goblin")  

Monday, May 22, 2023

The Grand Canyon from Yaki Point

So beautiful!  And even more thrilling when you can see the trail you're going to be following the next morning at dawn.  

Photo taken May 7th:

Thursday, May 18, 2023

30 Animals that Made us Smarter, by Patrick Aryee


 The subject matter here is fascinating.  Before reading this book, I could only have named you maybe four examples of biomimicry—despite being interested in the subject.  So this book took me by surprise.

I found the writing a touch on the dry side when it was talking about the actual science of it.  I think most of that, however, was because of me.  When the author got down to the nitty gritty, I often couldn't quite visualize what he was writing about because I don't have enough science background or mechanical inclination/interest.  So…Mr. Aryee, it's me, not you.  I just wish there had been more photos/illustrations.

I'm in awe of the research involved in this book and in even more in awe of nature and our attempts to understand and copy it.

It's an interesting book, especially if you read it slowly—no more than a couple of chapters at a time.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Cactus Blossom Time!

 From my hike Friday, April 14, 2023, at Skyline Regional park in the Phoenix metro area:

From the end of March at Tucson's Arizona Sonora Desert Museum: