Change Is in the Air… And I Am Changing with It

Upper Applegate near our home this week.

I’m sitting in my writing chair, listening to John Coltrane, and watching a flock of Western tanagers invade our birdbath. It isn’t that they want a bath; they’re thirsty. And the birdbath is the local watering hole. Just about everyone who is anyone in the animal kingdom around here drinks out of it.

The tanagers filled the bird bath. This went on for several minutes as the whole flock stopped by for a drink with 15-20 birds at a time.
Robins too, joined the party at the water cooler. They have been migrating through. Maybe they are discussing the best place to find juicy worms.
Our Stellar jays prefer to drink alone.
As do the flickers, but this little tanager didn’t let it stop him. The flicker appears to be a little miffed about the situation.

Change is in the air. Birds of feather are flocking together. Fall colors are lighting up our property and the surrounding countryside. And the bucks are amorous. Not so much the does. Yet. They leap out of the way whenever a buck sneaks up behind them. The does still remember what happened last year. All those promises about sticking around and helping raise the kids. Right. And even if they don’t remember, they think that the bucks should work for what they want, prove their worthiness, and wait until the mood strikes. “Foreplay, sweetie. Foreplay.”

A doe, in the background, took advantage of the buck’s drinking to quietly slip past.
If you want an example of what lengths does will go to to avoid the bucks, this is it. I looked up at our pump house a couple of days ago and there was a doe on the roof. Squirrels are always up there doing their squirrelly things. And the male flickers consider it an important dating site. They pound on the vent. He who pounds loudest wins fair lady’s love. But this was a first for a deer. The buck wisely chose not to follow and the doe remained on top, happily grazing on acorns.

Politically, who knows what the heck is happening. But things will resolve themselves, for better or for worse— depending on which side of America’s Great Political Divide you find yourself.  The presidential race is being decided as I type this.

All this change going on has inspired me to modify my blog. With over 10 years and 1000 posts behind me, it’s time. I started Wandering through Time and Place as a creative way to promote books. But I got caught up in blogging for its own sake. It’s fun; it’s addictive. And I really like the people I’ve met along the way. It has also provided an opportunity to play with photography and go on adventures. What’s not to love about that? No regrets. 

But it certainly hasn’t helped the book-writing process. In fact, between all the things involved in living from day to day, going on adventures, and knocking out posts, there hasn’t been a lot of time for my original goal. Plus, there’s another thing.

Early on, I defined my blog in the travel/adventure category. It fit with what I wanted to accomplish. Unfortunately, in “being true to my blog,” I cut out an important part of who I am.  Between my experiences at Berkeley in the 60s, serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa, and working as an environmental and public health advocate for most of my professional life, I developed clear ideas about the direction of the nation and the world. For the most part, I have kept them out of the blog. It’s been really hard. Sometimes I slip.

So, here’s what I am going to do. 

I am currently working on two books: A revision of The Bush Devil Ate Sam (my Peace Corps memoir) and A Bear Is Standing on Me (a memoir on my 50 years of wilderness adventures). Like I did with my original Peace Corps book, I am going to blog them, one Tuesday at a time, alternating between the Bush Devil and the Bear. This will provide some much-needed focus for me, while hopefully providing you with a bit of entertainment. I’ll keep Thursdays for my travel blog. 

Occasionally, I will do an opinion piece about current affairs and the future. These will always be on Sundays.  This way you will know what to expect and can avoid them if you so desire. Or, join the discussion. No trolls, however. On the recent post I did on the Phoenix/Talent fire and global warming, one person commented more or less, “You don’t know what the S**T you are talking about. So shut the F**k up.” Not nice. I hit the delete button— with pleasure. Intelligent, rational discussion will always be welcome.

And now for some fall colors seen in our ‘neck of the woods’ this week. I’ll start with views around our property. The colors really are glorious. I feel like I am in Vermont.

The white oaks in our front yard have turned a burnished orange.
While our big leaf maples have turned a brilliant yellow.
Another example.
Peggy and I found this white oak while on a hike behind our house in the national forest.
This was the view looking south from the oak tree toward California and the Red Buttes.

Our 30 mile drive into Jacksonville and Medford has also been spectacular. It’s worth the trip for the fall colors alone. Count me in as a leaf-peeper. The photo at the top of this post demonstrates why. Here are some more photos from along the way.

I took this photo at the Ruch Library.
These trees are along the highway as we drive into Medford.
I’ll conclude with this ‘wilderness’ beauty. I took it in the Safeway parking lot in Medford.

NEXT POSTS: On Tuesday… Kick off for blogging “It’s 4 AM and a Bear Is Standing on Top of Me. On Thursday… The Loneliest Road in America: Highway 50 across Nevada.

44 thoughts on “Change Is in the Air… And I Am Changing with It

  1. I’m still sitting here laughing at that doe on top of the roof. Not only have I never seen such a thing, it never occurred to me it would be possible. You must have the tastiest acorns in the world!

    • I might have got some better pictures, Linda, but first I had to make sure that Peggy had a chance to see her up there. Pretty much blew our minds.
      They do love the acorns. You can always tell they are eating them by the way they crunch them in their mouths. Quite amusing. –Curt

  2. I love your new plan, but oh, my it is ambitious! That’s a lot of revising and writing, Curt, but I know you’re up to it, and I look forward to seeing what you put out. I do hope you continue to add a few gorgeous views of the scenery in your neck of the woods like the ones you’ve included here. We’re not traveling now (unfortunately!), and your golden and red trees are a welcome sight. Wishing you all the best with your new endeavors.

    • Thanks so much, Rusha. The good news, from my perspective, is that I already have a lot of the work done on the books. 🙂 And not to worry, there will continue to be tales and photos from the road as well as from out home base here in Oregon. –Curt

  3. I, too, started my blog to promote my books. That’s what “they” said, “You need to blog.” Well, eight years later, I cannot say that I’ve sold any books with it, but I’ve joined several “communities,” beekeepers, gardeners, homesteaders, writers, new junkies–essentially people with whom I share slices of my life, in exchange for slices of theirs. I now blog for bloggings sake–a bit of a relief, because I was never comfortable pimping my books on my blog readers. It felt way too much like a Tupperware party. Enjoy your new trajectory and keep us posted on how it turns out.

    • Maybe if we had a few million followers, AV. Grin. But the odds of that are smaller than the traditional publishing route. In ways, I feel like we were sold a bill of goods. No regrets, as I said, however. Blogging has proven to be a great experience. I do the things I enjoy doing without any hassles. And as you pointed out, the sharing is special. –Curt

  4. Curt, we’ve greatly enjoyed following your travels and adventures for several years now after a good friend introduced us to your “Wandering” posts. We love your new plans and will be looking forward to reading your Tuesday book blogs, Thursday travel blogs, as well as your opinion pieces. Your posts never fail to brighten our day and are constant reminders of all of the things that were and still are important in our lives!

  5. Thanks for the beautiful pictures. And every tree has turned orange here and leaves everywhere. I, too, have had many birds this year. Would love to see the deer and other animals. This old lady has made it one more year and has had many blessings. Keep safe. Your Makemson cousin!!!!!

  6. Well done, Curt. All the best with your new ventures especially your upcoming books. It’s wonderful how you managed to combine, adventure, photography and a community of admirers making friends along the way.

  7. Ha! I love the picture with the robins having their little meeting there 🙂 And your memoirs sound very interesting, I will be looking forward to reading them in bits and pieces as you take your blog in this new direction! 🙂

  8. I too have been blogging for 10 years principally as a travel blog. I still have about 6 or 7 more travel stories to tell from our trips to India early this year, Japan last year, and Vancouver and area outings that I’ve not yet shared. After that I’m not sure what I’ll do. By that time maybe we’ll be off travelling again tho I doubt it. Anyway, I love your new format and very much look forward to reading both Bush Devil and Bear each week. Also – beautiful photos of the fall colours!

    • It’s a good thing that my writing chair looks out on all of the action. Peggy sat in it the other day when I was taking a nap and said, “I don’t know how you ever get anything done!” –Curt

    • I trust you liked the photos! Photography is one of those things that improves with experience. Digital cameras provide lots and lots of opportunities to practice. Photograph things from different angles and in different light. See what you like and do it again. –Curt

  9. I kept wondering how is going with your new book; I didn’t know you’re going to revise the Bush Devil. Blogging can be very time consuming LOL
    All the best with your books, can’t wait to hear more stories😊

    • Blogging a book goes against tradition, Christie, but it is way to tell stories. The Bush Devil stories from the time I was in Liberia will remain primarily the same. Most of the updating will have to do with the time after I left. Thanks! –Curt

  10. Pingback: On accepting the change – The Loiterer Girl

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