New Post at

New post, simple yet vital for all wandering naturalists:

I had the pleasure today of meeting Jim Boone, a professional ecologist who maintains, the definitive resource to outdoor life around Las Vegas:

Jim was headed off to hike in one direction while I was going the other way. On my hike I was unable to locate a fossil I had previously photographed, but I came across a cottontail rabbit and a Road Runner intent on being secretive. Also, a penstemon with deeply serrated margins, who Boone thinks may be Yellow Pinto Penstemon:

The photo shows a raggedy plant but this is a survivor, as tough as nearly any cactus. It has managed to grow among rock, flowering, setting seed, perhaps enabling future penstemons. A study in persistence and resilience.

The Fossil Ridge area in the Red Rock National Conservation Area is a wonderful location to hike and explore. The area is closed to collecting but there is also a joy in acquiring photographs and experiences, without necessarily dragging something home in the trunk.

On a personal note, because this is a personal site, my nightmares and bad dreams (internal link) are getting worse. Work alone, and life in general, is not providing enough encouragement to warrant seeing the images I am routinely confronted with. I continue seeking solutions but nothing has worked long term. Several questions come up.

Given thirty years of nightmares and even more of paralyzing anxiety, is it mentally healthy to continue on in the same way for another thirty years? At what point does staying with a pointless, chronic condition become self-abuse? When does continuing become mentally disturbed? Is the only reason for staying alive to satisfy a social norm that others have set, most of whom don’t deal with debilitating diseases that last decades? At what point do we say enough? For our own good?

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