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Creek Running North

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February 08, 2006

This is my brain

After the Keys Fire

Actually, this is a half-fried Joshua tree damaged in the Quail Springs Fire, which burned in Joshua Tree National Park in 1999, and which was at that point the largest fire in the park since 1945. I took this photo five years ago, Valentine's Day 2001. I should get back there to see if the unburned half has survived. I would take solace in it either way, at this point.

A few minutes after I took the photo Becky and Zeke and I hiked out to a group of rounded granite boulders to eat lunch. While my back was turned, she fiddled in her daypack and brought out a card, handed it to me. It was a Valentine from her and Zeke. She always does that kind of thing.

Zeke and Becky, 2/14/2001

A raven started barking at something, and I snapped the second photo above as Becky and Zeke watched it. Then I turned. The raven was atop a Joshua tree, and it just wouldn't shut up. And then something else started barking. It sounded like a poodle. And then not. It was a coyote, and it was barking. At us. It stood at the base of the Joshua tree that held the raven, and it wanted to be where we were, though I imagine we would have been welcome to leave the sandwiches.

It was the first time a coyote had ever barked at me, though I had heard them sing countless times. I stood with my family and watched the Coyote and the Raven in the Joshua tree, as close a thing to a Holy Trinity as I could imagine.

Trinity

Posted by Chris Clarke at February 8, 2006 08:22 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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Comments

Chris,

Hoping if someone sprung for *The Secret Knowledge of Water* for your Christmas present, that you're enjoying the occasional Childs-inspired contemplation as you indulge in that desertscape.

BB

Posted by: Bill at February 9, 2006 03:38 AM
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Coyotes sound like poodles? Really? A big poodle or a little poodle?

I've never heard a coyote. I've heard wolves though. They sound nothing like poodles. (Of course, they sound nothing like loons either, but that doesn't stop people from thinking they've heard a wolf when it's actually a loon.)

Posted by: Rain at February 9, 2006 07:25 AM
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In an odd coincidence, Bill, I read The Secret Knowledge of Water the weekend these photos were taken. More on that in a post to come, as I'm working on a series of posts about writers I like.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at February 9, 2006 09:44 AM
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gorgeous memories. it's like that with the two of us...coyote always nipping at our heels.

Posted by: Anne at February 9, 2006 10:14 AM
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If you broke an egg over that Joshua tree, would that be your brain on drugs?

Posted by: Dick Durata at February 9, 2006 11:28 AM
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I've never slept with the coyotes, but I saw one in western Indiana, trudging across a farm field. Of course I've slept with plenty of loons, but let's not get personal. And I remember one time in vaudeville I was awakened by a pair of Robins. I think one of them was a European Robin, but you're not gonna get me to explain how you tell the difference. Now my wife, on the other hand, has slept with wolves and loons, and says there's not much to recommend either. Which reminds me of a...

Posted by: doghouse riley at February 9, 2006 11:32 AM
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If there is a spider in your story, then you indeed would have the Holy Trinity of Trickster spirits offering you some fairly powerful wisdom and learning opportunities.

Posted by: spyder at February 9, 2006 12:10 PM
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If there is a spider in your story, then you indeed would have the Holy Trinity of Trickster spirits

Excuse me? Like, whattaya think the Joshua tree is? I mean, derr.

Um. I mean, there were probably a couple dozen spiders in that very tree, my eponymous friend.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at February 9, 2006 11:38 PM
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