Of Wildflowers and Wild Things

This post is probably best read via the website rather than via email as I have embedded a lot of formatting and captions for each of the images that may not translate well via email.

This is a follow-on post to Dedicating Our Rides #3 – Riding While Sick, a post dedicated to Wayne Iverson, who was a biologist and naturalist and clearly loved teaching everyone he met about the beauty and value of nature until his life was cut short by brain cancer.

Since I learned about Wayne, I’ve found that every time I see a beautiful flower or see an interesting critter, I now think to myself, “What would Wayne tell me about this thing?” I never met Wayne, but I miss him.

Because Wayne was a teacher of nature, I felt obligated to do more than just put up a bunch of cool nature photos. I felt that I had to spend some time figuring out the names of the plants and creatures. Turns out that it’s a lot harder than I thought so I’ve only done it for a few of the items. I leave it as a challenge to our readers to provide us with more (or corrected) details on what specific items are.

Unlike my normal posts, which are always long and wordy, I’ll leave the eloquence to nature. As a result, this post is mostly pictures with just some minor commentary.


A few of the many wildflowers we’ve seen over the past few weeks.




Wild Things

A few of the many animals we’ve seen over the past few weeks. Not surprisingly, animals are a lot harder to photograph than plants.



Channelling Wayne

Raven with plastic bag caught around its neck

One final image. This is of a raven we saw at the Hite ranger station at Lake Powell. At one point I noticed a white plastic grocery bag flopping around in the wind and walked over to throw it into the thrash. I was shocked and appalled when I realized that a raven had gotten the handles wrapped around its neck and that the raucous raven calls we’d been hearing for about an hour were the sounds of this poor raven in distress as it tried to free itself. The bag was full of trash and kind of heavy so it was really causing the bird issues. When a fellow TransAm cyclist and I tried to corral it, it flew to the top of wooden structure. I was able to jump up and grab the plastic bag. Bag and bird crashed to the ground. Exhausted, the raven just lay there and let my fellow rescuer extract the bag from around its neck. Without our help, surely it would have died. As the freed bird flew away, Wayne Iverson came to mind, and I knew that he and I would have shared some appropriately nasty thoughts about those stupid plastic bags.

If you’d like to help us raise research funds to fight GBM, please visit Help Us Cure Brain Cancer.

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