The day our daughter was born

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

Early on a hot August day, we made a quick 2 a.m. run to the Rotes Kreuz Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany. I called before we left our home in Königstädten, normally a 20-minute drive. There was no traffic at that hour, and I made it in less than 15 minutes. The doctor was already there waiting for us, and a room was ready. “Baby An Bord,” as the German bumper sticker said. We were soon to be parents.

My wife was in labor, but after several hours, the doctor decided to do a C-Section because she was becoming very fatigued. “She’ll need her strength for the days to come,” he said. I was relegated to the waiting room.

I paced the floor, waiting less than patiently. Within an hour, two nurses came into the room with our daughter, Shannon, wrapped in “swaddling clothes” – clothes that wrap an infant tightly in cloth to help the baby transition from the womb to the outside world.

The nurse placed her in my arms and said, “Hier ist Ihre kleine Tochter.” Her eyes were open and deep blue. Later she closed her eyes, and when she opened them again, her eyes were brown, like her mother’s. She was returned to her mother and I came in a little later to take this photo.

Wife and daughter were kept in the hospital for over a week with full care. The head nurse explained to me that they believed in keeping the mother safe and resting because “she’ll be plenty busy when she gets home.” An vast understatement, as we soon found out.

Theresa had a private room in the elegant old hospital on a hill overlooking the city of Wiesbaden on Schöne Aussicht Strasse – “Beautiful View Street.” And so it began.

A river runs through it

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

– Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

Rincon Valley

Photo by SW Cosgrove

Riding horses on Rincon Valley trails under the Rincon Mountains, Tucson, Arizona. Spotted a cougar for part of the ride who was keeping an eye on us.

Home of the Jumping Cholla Cactus (Opuntia fulgida), which gets its name from spiny segments that detach so easily they seem to attack any creature that passes by. I found out the hard way.

Nikki’s Ghost

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

I took this photo during a snow storm on our farm during the last winter of my beloved German Shepherd Nikki’s long life some years back. Her story over 14 years was one of trust, loyalty, protection, and love. I strive to follow her example.

The first to welcome, foremost to defend

Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own

Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone

Lord Byron, Epitaph to a Dog

Walking on the Western Edge – Kalaloch driftwood

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

At beaches at and around Kalaloch are massive piles of driftwood washed ashore over decades and centuries. These “drift logs” include ancient trees that are several feet in diameter and tens of feet long that can weigh several tons.

Over time, the branches, bark, and heartwood—what appears to be nothing more than floating debris—become either home to or sustenance for a range of plants and animals that change the properties of the wood dramatically. This is an example.

Shine on, you crazy diamond

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

Good night, Emerald City, I’m on my way home across water. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

“Here in the corner attic of America, two hours’ drive from a rain forest, a desert, a foreign country, an empty island, a hidden fjord, a raging river, a glacier, and a volcano is a place where the inhabitants sense they can do no better, nor do they want to.”

– Timothy Egan, The Good Rain, Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest