Tag Archives: Montana

I’ve Seen Fire and I’ve Seen Rain

This is the story of summer. The summer lost to fire and rain.

At least we hope it will rain because they say a deluge is coming.

Summer zipped by. July was one of the hottest on record. And August was a blur.

Where did it go?

It burned up in smoke with most of the Pacific coast on fire. Not to exclude Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming…I have left anyone out?

Oh yes, California.

Last summer I wrote a post about the infamous drought that has plagued not only California, but also most of the west coast. At that time, it was predicted there was roughly eighteen months supply left of water for the whole state.

Yet, have things improved?

Sadly, no.

And things continue to spiral into a dearthy trend producing unemployed migrant workers as they watch the San Joaquin Valley (the breadbasket of the nation, if not the world) sink one foot per year due to intense aquatic drilling, causing a breakdown of infrastructure, leaving no water in parts of Tulare county to drink, let alone flush a toilet.

If this weren’t serious, why would Los Angeles purchase over 90 million plastic balls covered in black carbon to shield the water from evaporating at a cost of 33 million dollars?

I know this is old news. Yet, what were these people thinking?

The Sylmar reservoir holds 3.3 billion gallons of water, enough to supply the entire city for up to three weeks.

Three weeks?

That’s it?

33 million dollars for three weeks of water?

Not to mention these 90 million balls are black. Last time I checked, black attracts the sun, which in turn will heat 90 million balls made of polyethylene. Granted, polyethylene is a common plastic material used mostly for grocery bags. But what happens when this plastic heats up?

Polyethylene is a byproduct of crude oil and toxic material. I don’t even want to think about the breakdown of those 90 million black, solar heated balls into the city’s water system.

Needless to say, this is a fiery topic that has caused much controversy. An act of desperation perhaps? Still it does make one think. How much water does California actually have? And how long will it last?

Thus, I think it’s time for rain.

Over the last week, Washington state went from the hottest summer ever, to instant fall – rain, wind and below seasonal temperatures. One can only hope the rest of the west coast will follow suit.

They say El Niño is coming with lots of rain in the forecast, a deluge of sorts. Cause that’s the only way rain happens during an El Niño season. Floods, mudslides, sinkholes, you name it, are expected. It will be newsworthy, that’s for sure.

So bring it on!

Meanwhile, in my neck of the woods, we’ll be enjoying this:


Sing it James…

“I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.

I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.

I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,

but I always thought that I’d see you again.”

So what do you think? How was your summer? How do you feel about the drought and the case of the 90 million black carbon balls? Any unusual weather in your neighborhood? Fire? Rain anyone?

Cheers everyone! I hope that life is treating you well. And as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!

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Beyond the Jungle: Suzi Eszterhas

As you can see, I held one out on you!


I know. I know. It couldn’t be helped. I just can’t get enough of those beautiful Lions.

Apparently, I am not alone. Last week’s post “Love Lies Within A Jungle”, received one of the highest number of visitors to this site. It seems that we all love animals!

So I thought, hmm, that’s interesting.

Perhaps I should give you a glance beyond the jungle this week and expose the person who is responsible for those amazing pictures—wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas.

Suzi Eszterhas lives in the San Francisco bay area, but because she spends nine months out the the year away shooting taking photos of a wide variety of animals in the wild, I guess you could say her real home is Africa.

In recent years, she has specialized in documenting family life of endangered species and has become well known for her unprecedented work with newborn animals. Her photographs are published in books, magazines and newspapers all over the world, including the front covers of “Time” and the “Smithsonian”.
As you can imagine, Suzi has won many awards, including those from the National Wildlife Federation, Nature’s Best and Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Although she primarily works in Africa, she has also undertaken commissions and led photography tours and workshops in the Antarctica, the Arctic, Alaska and Montana. Well, as you can see, just about everywhere.


In fact today she is headed back to Africa to teach a current workshop and wildlife tour. I could go on and on about her involvement with several International Wildlife Conservation groups, but what I really wanted to point out to you is this:

Suzi Eszterhas is a fellow writer.

Isn’t that cool? Who knew?

But before I get into that, I just had to ask…What attracted Susi to become a wildlife photographer? Was it her love of nature? Her passion for photography? Or was her childhood love of animals?

This was Suzi’s answer. “For me the attraction to wildlife photography has always been more about the animals than the photography. Though I love photography, wildlife has always been my biggest passion. I find animal behavior fascinating and learned very early on that knowing your animal subject is critical in taking good wildlife photographs. You must know where and when to find your subject, how to get close to it, and how to predict what an animal might do next in order to capture that special moment.”


And when we study each picture on this page, we can see Suzi’s passion for that special moment shining right on through.

As I mentioned above, Suzi Eszterhas is also a writer and she has produced a new series of children’s books that follow the lives of baby animals from their birth to adulthood as they grow up in the wild.

I had originally contacted her, after sighting that gorgeous picture of the father lion and his cub on the internet, wanting her permission to publish it on my blog. But after our correspondence by email, Suzi admitted that she had released these fabulous books.

And the name of this series is: “Eye on the Wild”.


Copies are available on Suzi’s website or on Amazon.com

These beautifully photographed books are for young children ages 4-7. They show all aspects of the animal’s life in the wild, with close-up pictures of the family group in its natural habitat. The books also include conservation information and useful websites.

If you have any young children or grandchild, you’ll want to be sure to check them out. They are so adorable. What child or adult for that matter wouldn’t want to read one of these books!

So what do you think? Which one is your favorite among the animal kingdom? Do you have any animals at home? Do you love photography? Have you ever contemplated going on a Wildlife Safari?

Be assured that I am forwarding your many comments to Suzi. But it might take awhile for her to reply do to the distance and her remote circumstances. 🙂

Thanks everyone!

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