Book: THE ENCHANTED by Rene Denfeld

The Enchanted

"Stunning ... a darkly beautiful, moving book" One word: stunning! Of course, I can’t stop at a one-word description for what is, without a doubt, my favorite read this year. This book also makes my “favorites of all-time” list, so rich is it in sensory detail, and literary and emotional depth. Set in a death-row prison, the story is unlike … [Read more...]

The Pain And Glory Of Being A Nature Nerd

MCF nature nerd 7

Back in October, I experienced a bit of a surprise as I was weeding our rock-wall shelves. Perhaps more surprising to some may be my reaction to what happened – a true indication of just what a nature nerd I am. Bending under an acacia bush and tugging at weeds, I felt a sharp sting and instant numbness on and beneath my shoulder. I won’t lie – I … [Read more...]

Book: EVERGREEN by Rebecca Rasmussen

Evergreen by Rebecca Rasmussen

EVERGREEN by Rebecca Rasmussen -- "The imagery pops, the emotion ignites..." ~ It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that novels with natural settings are my ‘thing.’ The title of this book alone suggests an outdoorsy feel. The wonderful pine trees stamped on the book jacket, the bird … they speak volumes. Yet this book is SO much more than a … [Read more...]

Book: COMMITTED by Patrick Ross


Believe it or not, I am a first-time memoir reader and might have missed out on COMMITTED: A MEMOIR OF THE ARTIST'S ROAD, if not for getting to know Patrick Ross through his Artist’s Road blog over the past few years. I’m not sure all memoirs are like his, but Ross’s COMMITTED offers a refreshing literary style with beautiful turns of … [Read more...]

Behind the Scenes

Suckling baby javelinas.

At night I’ve been known to stare into the quiet darkness beyond our windows, so different from the fierce sunlight of the day and its illumination. And I wonder: what really happens out there, after the sun slithers behind the mountains? What happens behind the scenes? A lot, it appears. When our blinds are drawn to the skies canvassed in the … [Read more...]

Majestic Crested Saguaros

MCF - maj crested sag 6-2

I’ve been on a bit of a scavenger hunt lately for the majestic Crested Saguaros. It all started about a year ago when I realized that the misshapen form I saw on a distant hill (from my kitchen window) was a rare crested saguaro. From my vantage point, it resembled an ogre with thick, uneven limbs. What’s more, its giant Medusa-like, bulbous head … [Read more...]

A Paleo Year of Change

Paleo year of change - fresh produce

Last year, 2014, became our paleo year of change. Our New Year's resolution was to change our lifestyle, live healthier, and make significant headway fighting my husband’s type two diabetes.  Paleo was the result of months of research.  Starting in October 2013, I read everything I could get my hands on. Very little made sense and this included … [Read more...]

Mighty Saguaro Bones

MCF saguaro bones3

Mighty Saguaro bones.  I didn’t realize, until I was culling through my photo library, that I appear to have a fascination with decaying saguaros.  It seems my camera gravitates toward them, capturing their unique personalities, even in death. There is a beauty in their decline. An elegance in their passing. And life beyond the hundreds of years … [Read more...]

Book: THE SON by Philipp Meyer

THE SON by Philipp Meyer

"...a full-belly satisfying feast" A sprawling family saga spanning the 1840s to 2012, The Son is an incredible historical fiction account ranging from the Comanche raids of the nineteenth century in Texas to the state’s continued thirst for oil up until present day.  I don’t know if this is considered a western (as I’ve never read one and don't … [Read more...]

Words: “…An Exquisite Balance…”


"It seems to me what is called for is an  exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas… If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you… On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility … [Read more...]

Nectar Thieves In The Night

MCF - nectar bats cropped

The first few times it happened in 2008, it was a mystery. We’d awake to the hummingbird feeder completely drained each morning, nectar splashed against the window. So we set up our Cudde camera. And what we suspected was true: ~ ~ Yep. Bats (with long tongues that CAN get down into the tiny hummingbird feeder holes). Who knew that … [Read more...]