Bobcats & Turkeys, Dust Storms in the Snow

So there’s an article in the Washington Post today (I found it here: about dust storms becoming more common in the West, with threats of a new Dust Bowl by mid-century, which fits my new novel, The Bird Savior, which opens with a dust storm. About a couple weeks ago our deck was covered with red dust after a snow storm. People don’t realize just how dry it can be out here. At my level of the mountains, though, we still have plenty of snow in the yard, if it is finally melting. It makes for good tracking, and we’ve had bobcat and turkeys in our yard lately. Here’s the bobcat track:
The carmex tube (only thing in my pocket) used for scale is 3 1/4 inches long. Here’s the turkey track, even bigger:
The turkeys look prehistoric, or atavistic, a throwback to the first Thanksgiving. (I’m reading Nathaneal Philbrick’s Mayflower right now, which takes me back.) We have them in the yard every day lately. They strut and fan their tails.
As an added bonus, click here (’s-daughter) for an excellent essay about growing up in Alaska, by the one and only Alita Putnam, lately of Penn State.

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