I’m something of a Beatles aficionado and so it causes me considerable shame to admit the following:
For a lamentably large number of years I believed the group’s last album was “Let it Be.”
I am not at all consoled by the fact that I recognized this error before I was old enough to drive.
Nor does it lessen my embarrassment that my mistake, besides being a
common one among Beatles fans, is not, in a semantic sense, even wrong.
The place where we hunt elk lacks certain amenities, including, rather unfortunately, elk.
I don’t really mind, though.
A rifle is no great burden, slung over a shoulder, and I enjoy getting
out in the clean air and having a look around the country on the cusp
Besides which, elk could enter the picture at any time. In theory, if
not always in reality. Every hunter will tell you the elk are out
there; it’s just that “there” is never where I happen to be. At least
not when I have a hunting tag in my wallet.
And even if, say, a six-point bull does wander into view, it’s apt to
vacate the premises before I can bring my scope to bear. Which is just
as well, since I’m a lousy shot.
I don’t care what the wildlife biologists say — elk can disappear. And
I mean literally disappear, not merely step behind the camouflage of a
Douglas-fir. I’m talking about different dimensions, or astral planes,
There is something uniquely sad about the sight of a certain sort of barnyard on the gray morning after a hard autumn rain.
This affliction does not affect outfits which have enjoyed a long and
consistent run of bountiful harvests. The prosperity of such
enterprises is easy to gauge from the well-tended lawn and the freshly
painted buildings and the general absence of disorder and neglect.
Even these farms are not immune to grime — it’s awfully hard to grow
anything edible without the occasional appearance of mud — but the mess
is in the main confined to the fields. The public face of the place,
what passers-by see from the road, must at all times and in all
weathers present a picture of constant care.
The recall is over, and I suggest everybody eat a piece of chocolate.
Except for dogs, who can’t tolerate the confection.
Halloween is nigh, so the availability of chocolate ought to be at its highest level since Mother’s Day.
I suspect that most every elk hunter who habitually pursues the wily
animals (and it is a habit, much like smoking, and for some equally
addictive) can tell you about the one shot they yearn to have a second
The arrow that nicked an unseen limb.
The bullet nudged off course by a sudden gust.
I’m referring, obviously, to shots that missed the target.
But there are other cases, albeit of extreme rarity, when the hunter’s
aim was true but he wishes, given time to reflect, that he had not
pulled the bowstring or the trigger.
Mountain ranges, it seems to me, ought to be depicted on maps as
something more noteworthy than a handful of the highest summits.
The ranges tall enough to cast shadows across most of a valley should, at the least, have names.
On Good Friday morning three generations of Jacobses got to
experience firsthand the havoc two wolves could wreak. Just a
two-minute jaunt from our sleeping households, four of the five
documented wolf attacks occurred on what we call the “Home Ranch,” a
640-acre chunk of farm and pastureland, just a part of what we make a
living on in this high desert country.
From that day in April until today, Oregon Department of Fish &
Wildlife and Animal Damage Control confirmed 29 lambs, a pet goat and
one calf killed on two ranches. This act stirred and spread the hotbed
of debate in our small ranching community of Keating Valley to the
Legislature in Salem and beyond.
America has survived wars, floods, famine and high-fructose corn syrup,
but those rank as minor distractions compared to the malevolence which
today threatens our nation.
I’m referring, obviously, to the Chia pet.
This diminutive decoration has long hidden behind its facade of
tackiness, but the evidence of Chia’s evil plot is so compelling that
no jury would acquit.
Not even one with a majority of members who have been rescued, from the
brink of a birthday or Christmas gift disaster, by a fine Chia product.
Despite America’s ability to defeat all manner of enemies, the damage
the Chia pet is now inflicting on our reputation surpasses, I fear,
even our power to repair.
When I’m careening down a slope of talus I like to know whether it’s
granite or chert that’s excising the skin from my back in the manner of
a cheese grater wielded by a sociopath.
“This stupid rock” seems to me a pathetically impersonal epithet.
Baker City has gained quite a lot besides a new name in the past 20 years.
A McDonald’s, for instance.
Although the city’s new name is in fact its old name, resurrected after 79 years of oblivion.