Nature and Mindfulness

I often spend a little time searching the internet for good news about nature. Here’s a link to an article by Tony Bates, the director of a mental health organization, about the effect that nature can have on people, seemingly regardless of their psychological condition.

I will be looking for more evidence that Nature Nurtures Naturally, and will pass it along as I see it.–R


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Red Rock Recesses cover

After a year and a half of composing, arranging, recording, listening, re-recording, reflecting, rethinking, and re-recording, I am pleased to announce the pre-official, pre-release of my new album, “Red Rock Recesses.” It is a collection of music that I created as a response to and a reflection of the natural world that I have championed on this website. I have taken a great deal of care to make each song unique, relaxing, and uplifting.

If you click on the third tab at the top of this page, it will take you to the song page, where you can listen to each tune on the album and download an mp3 if you like. You can also leave a comment if you like. I hope you relish the experience.

This album marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life, as I cast my musical fate to the wind. I intend to keep blogging about nature, but I will also keep you informed about my musical adventures. So stay tuned!! In any event, I am sure it will turn out to be quite a ride, and you’re invited to come along. –R

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I Am Shocked!

Shocked I say, that anybody would take advantage of a poor innocent kitty cat by dressing them up in a shark’s costume. Or that they would use it to harass a little defenseless duckling. Not to mention the abuse of the Roomba. Here, watch this shocking video for yourself:

Something needs to be done about this. Round up the usual suspects.


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Delight-ness of Bean

I’ll be at the Urban Beans Saturday mornings until May 25. After that, I go to California to seek my fortune for the summer. I hope to see you stop in between now and then.

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Hi Friends,

Just a quick post this time to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about you. I am in the studio this week and next putting the finishing touches on my upcoming CD. I have guest flautist Max Perrault from the band Mosaico helping me out on three of the songs. Then it’s off to have it mastered. My target date for completion is May 24, but there is still a lot to do between now and then.

Worse yet, I’ve had to put the WW of the W on hold for now. This at a time when the geese in my neighborhood are raising their cute little goslings. One couple has 16 chicks!! –R


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Wednesday Waterfowl of the Week–The Wiley Loon

Photo Courtesy of Ano Lobb

Be afraid. Be very afraid–but only if you’re a fish. Those fierce red eyes belie the gentle, shy nature of the loon. They are great swimmers and divers, but often have to take off into the wind to get enough lift to fly. They’re not crazy about land, either; though they build their nests there. This one, the common loon, inhabits the lakes of the northeastern US and Canada. There is also a Pacific loon that lives in Alaska and Russia.

They make a distinctive warbley call that you can hear across the lakes in Canada on those seemingly endless summer evenings that I hope you get to hear in person.  As you can tell, I like loons. Does that make me crazy? No, just a loon-a-tic.

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Wednesday Waterfowl of the Week–The Wiley Nene

Photo courtesy of Brenda Zaun

After looking at fossil evidence, biologists have hypothesized that a flock of geese came to the Hawaiian Islands around 500,000 years ago and settled in. Today, the Nene is the state bird of Hawaii. It is also the rarest goose in the world, with a total population of about two thousand. In the 1950’s, they were down to less than 30. Thanks to captive breeding programs and reintroduction to the wild, you may see them out for a walk on the golf course, or crossing the street in front of you.

Their nearest relatives are the Canada Geese, as you can probably tell by their appearance. Unlike their cousins, however, Nenes are non-migratory, and don’t spend a lot of time in the water. They feed on seeds, berries and vegetation that is found on land. When you discover paradise, you settle in and stop roaming around. How silly is that?

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Wednesday Waterfowl of the Week–The Wiley Black-Crowned Night Heron

Photo Courtesy of Alain Carpentier

These guys really are wiley. They hunt for fish (“fish for fish” is too redundant and not an accurate description) in the early morning hours before dawn. I see them in my neighborhood, lining up along the ponds, waiting and watching for the opportunity to snag an early breakfast. I saw one up close at an Arizona Game and Fish display over the weekend. They present a strange visage: red eyes with inner eyelids that blink vertically, long, dangerous, pointed beaks, and an inscrutable expression that, when combined with their shrugged-shoulder posture, looks rather sinister.

They’re not endangered and can be found near water all over the world. The one pictured looks like he’s got a beakful–holding a fish that weighs almost as much as he does (a little less than two pounds).

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Wednesday Waterfowl of the Week–The Wiley Flaming O

Photo Courtesy of Beth Bagwell

You’d be orange too if you consumed carotenoids like these guys do. They get them, not by eating carrots, but by scooping up algae and other life forms off the bottom of shallow waters throughout South America and the southern US, all while standing on one foot. I saw these guys and girls last week at the cute little Sacramento Zoo.

Scientists don’t know for sure why they like to stand on one foot. Maybe they’re practicing for a sobriety test.

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Wednesday Waterfowl of the Week–The Wiley Penguin

Blue Penguins

These are New Zealand blue penguins, the smallest species of penguin in the world. I saw these guys in the Antarctic Center in Christchurch, New Zealand two summers ago. They were injured penguins that were rescued and cared for by the center. Every day around four o’clock, the keeper would feed them by tossing fish into the water, where the penguins would chase them down. It was quite a show that attracted many visitors. They still exist in the wild, though they are getting harder and harder to see.

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