Hi Christopher, I really appreciate the work you put into this - a real mosaic of emotions. The Green Life of the filtered wastewater wetland is the thing that has stayed in my heart. After the dry sand and shimmering haze distractions of industry, I guess it's the actual oasis in the desert reaction, our bodies, minds (well, our everything) falling toward our survival and nourishment. I explored a similar place near me in Byron Bay, going to check out how the filtration worked with gravel and reeds, but it was the birds! And fish, and dragonflies, and a general soft feral buzz.
Thanks, too, for the whisltling duck. As part of a call to artists and writers to defend a place called Bimblebox, in Queensland, from a truly gigantic coal mine. I took on the role of representing the whistling duck, so now I feel a family like connection to this hopeful green sliver of Texas.
It was stopped, adani wasn't, I'll carry your images with me.
Beautiful, as usual! Your Kansas novel reminds me of William Least Heat-Moon's PrairyErth, his deep historical and ecological writerly excavation of Chase County. Also, it rained overnight here in Dallas. Not our typical July by any stretch.
At sunset & sunrise for these pandemic years (prior to that I was on my way to work by sunrise every day), I would hear the strangest bird calls and never be able to identify them. When I finally got the Merlin app, it told me I was hearing black-bellied whistling ducks - which I didn't believe for months, until I actually saw one near Cypress Creek in Houston. Turns out large numbers of them live around my suburban neighborhood & the many manmade lakes, along with Egyptian geese, among all the herons & heron-adjacent water birds.
Some of the best days are when those sunrise & sunset calls are the only things that mark time for me.
Beautiful piece. I admire the devotion to detail - both the natural wonders and the human interventions. Your restraint in (mostly) withholding judgment helps me feel it all. The good and the ominous, all part of one messy, ever changing whole. Thank you.
Silent Running is a favorite. I wish the undertaxed aristocrats would focus on saving this planet instead of leaving it...
Excellent, and thank you too for the nudge towards Williams's novel.
Your encounter on the beach reminded me of The World in a Grain. Have you read this excellent book? https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/537681/the-world-in-a-grain-by-vince-beiser/