Pipi Creek, Granite Lake

Minkalo Amazing weekend hiking, geocaching, playing with Dad at El Dorado National Forest near Tahoe (not near the burned area). Saturday at Pipi Creek, grooving with the boulders and the foliage and dragonflies. Found a natural swimming hole, Miles stoked to swim and climb the slippery face of a mini-waterfall.

Sunday on the backside of Silver Lake, hiking up to the well-hidden natural treasure Granite Lake, a great stone basin under pristine skies. Found a water snake, which Miles followed along the banks until disappeared with a ripple beneath the surface. Lunch on the banks of nearby Hidden Lake, watching postcard reflections dance in the afternoon heat.

Had some excellent geocaching adventures. Saturday evening, traipsing through thickets with M, running out of time, Miles held up a thick stick: “Daddy, what’s this funny log?” Noticed the saw mark around the middle, and had him pull one end. Cacher had hollowed out just enough space for a medicine bottle containing a log book and pencil. So creative. Would I have found it without M’s help?

Sunday thought we were getting close to Minkalo Cliffs cache, when the GPSr started pointing uphill. Realized we’d have to backtrack and scale a butte overlooking Silver Lake. Gorgeous. Got to the cliff edge and found the compass pointing down again. That’s when I realized some climbing was involved. “Remember, no one is forcing you to do this,” said the cache page. Decided to go for it. 20 ft. down, found an ammo box wedged into a crack. Yelled the prizes down to Miles, who was hanging out in the trees with Amy. Left a travel bug that had originated in Hawaii and was asking to be left at Tahoe views… only to find later that evening that it already done a Tahoe circuit and was headed back for Hawaii. Heh – that’s the game.

Total recharge of a weekend. Ready for anything.

Flickr set.

Music: Grey-Afro :: Flying Saucer Attack

Watering Hole

A battle between a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, and two crocodiles at a watering hole in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. You can smell the animal adrenaline. As Lebkowsky says, “This is the herd I want to join.”

Music: Catler Bros :: Burning Monk’s Waltz

Planet Earth

Discovery’s Planet Earth series is so beautiful, I think it make my head a-splode. Just speechless. One second of footage of an orca striking a seal, blown out in time on high-speed cam to 47 seconds, like nothing you’ve ever seen. Birds of Paradise dancing so surreal they can’t be from this planet. Hyenas tracking impalas with a group intelligence like ESP. Throw away everything you thought you knew about nature programming. This raises the bar so high…

Music: Moondog :: No. 19 – Maybe

Collision Course

Excellent new weblog by J-School student Marcus Wohlsen on the general theme of man and nature — evolution/creation, Huygens, mudslide, Tsunami vs. Rwanda in the public consciousness… Should be a good site to follow.

In the same way, Creationists believe we exist categorically apart from our ape ancestors — and therefore the entire process of natural selection itself. Which makes Creationists a ripe constituency for an administration that tries to bend the rules of ecology to its will as a matter of policy. Since we run the show, how could nature ever bite us back?

Aside: Heard a commentator on Air America today making the point that when Creationists call Evolution an “unproven theory,” they’re cherry-picking one unproven theory from so many in science. Gravity, quantum mechanics, etc. are all unproven theories. Much if not most of science is “unproven theory,” but still strong enough to get work done with, to do an adequate or excellent job of explaining the world around us. In other words, it’s valid to point out that we need to be careful about distinguishing fact from theory, but when ID-ers use this as a reason to put warning labels on textbooks, one has to ask why they choose to warn about evolution rather than any other “unproven theory.” The only explanation is that the “unproven theory” argument is yet another smokescreen, an attempt to legitimize their real agenda.

I actually know Marcus from a previous life – he went to school with Chris Tweney of Strata Lucida — Chris and I worked together at Ziff-Davis in Boston in the early-mid 90s. Went to a Martin, Medeski and Wood show in Boston with him once, never saw him again until he showed up at my office door a few months ago. Full circle (or semi-circle, or something).

Collision Course is running on SquareSpace, a next-gen online blogging/general-purpose CMS space I hadn’t heard of until now – looks promising.

Music: Rufus Thomas :: Sophisticated Sissy