Oujournalist’s Blog

The blog of a freelancing journalist in Arizona

Moving to Apache Junction, Arizona March 4, 2014

Filed under: green,Pinal County,Uncategorized,wildlife — Candace Hughes @ 3:52 pm
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May 29, 2002 7 a.m. Before it gets too hot, the family of cactus wrens begins to peck at our potted plants on the back porch of our home in Apache Junction, Az. As we settle our belongings after moving from Phoenix, we see the birds lifting plants by the roots and looking for insects. We chase them away and they perch on a large prickly pear cactus farther out in our 1 1/4-acre lot of combined natural desert and scraped landscape. The house, built in 1970, likely had cactus wrens living on the property at the time of its construction, and now they call out to us to remind our three-member family who really controls the area.

Our plants survive the heat and birds until we leave for a week to attend a funeral. When returning, we find the birds are healthy and busy hopping on our porch, while we see remnants of our wilted plants on the cement.

It reminds us of letting go of what we can’t control — the lives of birds who insist on keeping their homes, and the lives of humans, who have free will to choose life or death.

Our curious cactus wrens are more reticent to come close now after one got stuck in a box and died in the heat. An insect must have tempted the bird, who unknowingly entered a human-constructed box.

We still see their feathers around and now they’re busily building nests


Ode to the color brick March 3, 2014

Filed under: green,travel — Candace Hughes @ 12:19 am

The color brick is found in the superstition Mountains as a sunset most from north to south most evenings is also found in the walls of the Grand Canyon the descending Christsopher million and Canyon de Chelly Brichite underground in minds and inside the body the sound of brick is like a rough edge saw working through crumbling clay the orangey redness feels rough as it turns into different sunset shades on the mountain the job of the brick colored red Mountain is to color shift for drivers as they head east on the 202 just before dusk the brick color petrified wood sticks out in our yard a remnant of nature stolen from his home in the national Park .brick wants to be restored to its natural place in the world of sediment lay down by the rivers and seas sweet is the taste of brick as it melts in watery droplets after a rain close-up bricks smells as if it was freshly placed there over the centuries . N came together in the January 1903 McClure’s, a truly extraordinary issue containing three powerful exposes: Lincoln Steffens on the corrupt mayor of Minneapolis, Ray Stannard Baker on misbehavior in the nascent labor movement, and the first installment of what is justly revered as one of the greatest feats of investigative reporting ever, Ida Tarbell’s mammoth inquisition into rapacious business practices by John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Trust.

It took eight long years, but Tarbell’s chapter-and-verse reporting served as a guide for a federal government lawsuit to break up the trust. The suit finally broke through Rockefeller’s legions of lawyers and political supporters to win at the Supreme Court.

By that time, however, the magazine had collapsed, in part because of McClure’s moods and unpredictable rages at the staff, and his insistence that the poetry editor publish submissions by a young woman with whom he had had an affair.the scent of smoky dust stays with me as I walk forward speak up and sit beside me bricks as touch me and I will glow the secret of the color brick is that I am fragile well I also appear strong.