The Greater Sage Grouse costume was a hit

I won my office Halloween costume party tonight, something I don’t normally participate in. This year, however, after writing about the plight to keep the Greater Sage Grouse off the endangered species list (for my job)–and watching the stunningly beautiful Sagebrush Sea by PBS Nature–I was inspired. America is a beautiful place, full of fantastic critters. I hope to one day see one of these handsome devils in person…


No one mystifies me like you do

I’m not a music geek, so I should be forgiven for not knowing that one of my all-time-favorite songs, “Mystifies Me” by Son Volt, is actually a cover. Originally written and recorded by Ron Wood (of Rolling Stones’ fame), the song benefits from the twangy steel guitar and sexy-scratchy voice of Son Volt frontman Jay Farrar. That combo does something magical to the song, making it a far more emotionally resonant version (especially for those of us who were raised in Texas and hold a soft spot for All Things Twang), than Wood’s original.

(I know this because of  the news coverage that Son Volt’s groundbreaking debut album Trace is now 20 years old. It’s the kind of anniversary that makes me question the time-space continuum, despite me managing to keep “both feet on the floor, two hands on the wheel” the whole dang time (well, most of the time). Wasn’t I just listening to the cassette version of Trace in my ’90 Honda Civic while I road tripped alone down I-10, passing endless mesquite tree groves and limestone cliffs in the vast West Texas high plains? Because it feels like just a few years ago. Not 20. Meh. )

Son Volt’s version:

Ron Wood’s version:

Check out my lush, flowing lion’s mane


My lion’s mane mushroom, that is. What a wonderful world this is, where mushrooms can look like a dreamy Arctic landscape, but get named after a majestic mega-fauna’s manly neck hair, and receive acclaim for enhancing mental prowess when consumed…it’s amazing. Roarrrrr. To top it off, the Japanese name is the spectacular word “yamabushitake.”

I knew none of this when I found this thing growing on our property, of course, only that it was trippy and I needed to immediately take a photo and furiously google the googs until I found out what it was.

Bingo: lion’s mane mushroom. Dreamy. And useful. And pretty.