07.23.21, California

“Our compassion eroded faster than the topsoil, and when we began to notice the earth changes, the drought and the warming and the die-offs of the animals, the hole in the ozone layer and the epidemics of strange diseases that showed our own immune systems faltering, when we still had a chance to save so much and avert the worst of what followed, we continued to distract ourselves with war.”–Starhawk, 5th Sacred Thing; it merits mention that the book was set in 2048, California.

“I’m glad I’m nearing the end of my life—it’s getting to be too much of Us vs. Them…I purged my books on Monday. Bootleg was moving towards the house, and I thought it was a good time to get rid of the baggage. It feels great!”–Annie, who I met two mornings ago on a trail in Fremont National Forest.

“God promised no more floods but he never said nothin’ about fire!”—Big Mike, an unsheltered guy selling water at a park where I stopped for Yellow-billed Magpie yesterday.

“Try to ignore the vultures. Pray frequently.” – Ed Abbey

Turkey Vultures with a Dixie Fire backdrop, July 2021. Though far enough from the fire to be unconcerned about my own safety, this was the first time I’d ever felt heat on the smoke; felt a primal urge to leave. This photo has not been edited…

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