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Chris Clarke
4,293 followers -
Nature & environment writer, desert conservation advocate, occasionally notorious blogger.
Nature & environment writer, desert conservation advocate, occasionally notorious blogger.

4,293 followers
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There are clouds thin as sage smoke over the Bristol Mountains. The lava rock is comfortable against my back. A zebra tail, the twelfth today, regards us sidelong. A dozen years ago, just up the road a couple dozen miles, I felt at home here…
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In a dead eucalyptus tree two blocks from my house this morning, ten turkey vultures. Some of them folded in tight upon themselves, others held their wings spread toward the warming breeze. They do not live here year-round, but migrate through the…
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Desert lifts up; desert washes down. A small quake this week beneath our town served as a reminder of why the mountains half a mile from my house are there. Two inches of rain on my neighborhood last weekend? A reminder of why those mountains aren’t…
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You need to fence new trees away from rats and rabbits here, and the antelope squirrels that will strip bark off all but the most unsavory plant. I was a little slow in getting one tree wrapped in chicken wire, and the wildlife girdled it. By the time I…
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A painted lady butterfly lay struggling in the road. The dog finds insects interesting, aside from the Eleodes beetles which satisfied her curiosity early on in the relationship. She went to look. Painted ladies live about a year, the vast majority of…
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It’s always been easier for me to run at night. A quick little 12 minutes, most of a mile down a moonlit desert dirt road, and then the walk back. Great horned owl atop a transmission pole, its call like a heart asking what hearts always ask. Who-who?…
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There is the smoke from California’s frightening fires to consider, and the dust kicked up by winds off the tropical storm front, and the contrast provided by incongruous ranks of rain cluds. But something happens to the blue o the desert sky this late in…
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Labor Day weekend ends, and soon the days will cool enough that people will consider coming out to the desert for their retreats and their fashion shoots and their self-finding. Selfie-finding. For now, we still have the place mainly to ourselves, me and…
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First published April 19, 2015, at BeaconReader.com. When street artist André Saraiva got the notion to tag a parking lot boulder in Joshua Tree National Park, a few miles from where I live, he probably didn’t expect the roof to fall in on him a few short…
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A piece that appeared in issue number 2 of Luna Arcana, Joshua Tree’s local arts and culture print journal, published in June. There is a new gold rush in the Mojave Desert, a new ore being mined from the landscape. The mines are everywhere, but they…
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