Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott
Alan Dean Foster learns that medicine is the best medicine P. 12
Ty Fitzmorris blossoms in Nature's bosom P. 16
books a lyrical journey P. 6
gears up for the outdoors P. 25
And much 2 more!
Art imitates life in Dan McCabeâ€™s metalwork SEPTEMBER 2014 | VOLUME 2, ISSUE 9 | 5ensesMag.Com
LOCALLY & INDEPENDENTLY OWNED & OPERATED
3180 WILLOW CREEK • 777-1067
5enses In which:
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Peregrine Book Co.
visits with café society, psych patients, marginalized minorities, pueblo people, and time-traveling moguls.
16 18 19 21 22 24 25
peeks into the wilds and returns with tales of a veritable cornucopia of wildlife and wild lives.
Mark & Farrish Sharon Jacy Lee spy a flittering avian familiar that’s remarkable despite its oft-demure demeanor.
introduces a new take on old things and previews far-flung topics including dogs, drugs, and the French.
discusses poetic prose, storytelling, and the LA riots with Prescott author and poet Michaela Carter.
hunts high and low for the tastiest morsels the Arizona Central Highlands have to offer.
discusses agriculture-based art, identity, and perspective with visiting artist Matthew Moore.
smokes out the truth behind friendly fire and proffers an image of a healthy, symbiotic future.
braves Cold War tensions and spies a hard-to-spot plane that’s not-so-plain and ordinary.
dons a sandwich board and takes to the streets with a message that the end is nigh-ish.
Alan Dean Foster
puts his foot down and rhapsodizes about the resilience of Mother Nature’s less-than-desirables.
discusses nature, experi-metal art, and skateboarding with Prescott metal artist Dan McCabe.
September 2014 • Volume 2, Issue 9
Copyright © 2014 5enses Inc. unless otherwise noted. Publisher & Editor: Nicholas DeMarino Copy Editor: Susan Smart Cover Design: Jimmy Polinori Read a new 5enses the first weekend of every month. Visit 5ensesMag.Com, Facebook, & Twitter for more. Contact us at 5ensesMag@Gmail.Com & 928-613-2076.
5/6 8 20 26
A visual puzzle by the Highlands Center for Natural History
Left Brain/Right Brain
Find out what’s going on in Greater Prescott
Comics by Russell Miller
Prescott’s premier happenings and happenstances
volunteers support for the people who make the Prescott Film Festival possible and goes to the movies.
quips about equipment and gears up for a stuff-filled outdoors adventure, naturally.
COVER: “Welding Fool,” a photo of and by metal artist Dan McCabe. RIGHT: Dan McCabe uses a torch to bend a piece of metal. Photo by Dan McCabe. See Jill Craig’s story on Page 13.
5ENSESMAG.COM • SEPTEMBER 2014 • CONTENTS • 3
Peregrine Book Co.
Staff picks By Peregrine Book Company staff “The Beautiful & Damned” By F. Scott Fitzgerald Tragic and beautiful all at the same time. F. Scott Fitzgerald is brilliant. Using his own marriage as inspiration for the story of Anthony and Gloria Patch gives these fictional characters depth. Dive into New York City in the 1920s and witness this couple’s life slowly disintegrate. –Lacey “Impulse” By Ellen Hopkins In this novel in verse, Hopkins traverses the lives of three teenagers struggling with different types of depression. She goes back & forth between past & present to formulate the whole picture of what brought them together after suicide attempts in a search for recovery. –Sarah
“Ceremony” By Leslie Marmon Silko & Larry McMurtry On first read this book is extraordinary, layered with real magic, transformative. By the third read, it just might be one of the best books written. –Ty
Wander the Wild at Talking Rock – 9/28!
Highlands Center for Natural History Nestled in the Lynx Lake Recreation Area, two minutes from Costco, The Highlands Center for Natural History invites you to experience the wonder of the Central Arizona Highlands.
September eventS • Free Naturalist City & Field Walks Saturdays 10:00 AM at the Highlands Center. Wednesdays 10:00 AM at select City of Prescott Trail locations. • Bug-a-Boo Bliss Friday, September 12, 7:00 PM $2 kids (13 and under); $5 adults Bring the whole family to learn about the amazing insects that come out after dark.
Call or visit website for more events info.
Insights to the Outdoors: Arizona’s Awesome Amphibians and Reptiles with Dr. Cecil Schwalbe Friday September 19, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM Saturday, September 20, 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM Wander the Wild – The Highlands Center’s 6th Annual Fundraiser Sunday, September 28, 2:30-7:00 PM at Talking Rock Ranch
4 • FEATURE • SEPTEMBER 2014 • 5ENSESMAG.COM
“The Bluest Eye” By Toni Morrison This is a very important book. The author herself writes of it in her afterward, “...this is a terrible story about things one would rather not know anything about.” This book had me cringing and brokenhearted, devastated for its truths. It is brutal, provocative, depressing and uncomfortable, but real, honest and eye-opening. Not an easy read, but a worthwhile one. If you feel like setting comfort aside for a moment and seeing the world from a disenfranchised perspective, this might be the book for you. –Kim
“The Sirens of Titan” By Kurt Vonnegut My personal favorite of all Kurt Vonnegut’s novels. A tad science fiction with an incredibly useful and relevant moral message. When it comes to Vonnegut, this is the place to start. –Jeremy
***** Visit Peregrine Book Company at PeregrineBookCompany.Com and 219A N. Cortez St., Prescott, 928-445-9000.
Bird of the Month
Juniper Titmouse is a resident Western bird that can be found from Northern Arizona east to New Mexico and western Colorado and as far north as southern Idaho. It also frequents Nevada. Prime Juniper Titmouse habitat includes Scrub Oak, Pinyon Pine, and Alligator Juniper woodland. The bird is listed as uncommon throughout its range, but seen regularly in and around Prescott. It’s a small, very plain, drab gray-brown, crested bird with no contrasting markings. Indeed, its old name was Plain Titmouse. Despite these unremarkable descriptors, the bird has a perky, small crest, a dark eye, short bill, and a decidedly cute face. And its behavior is most charming. The Juniper Titmouse is an active bird that flies from tree to tree mostly staying in the cover of the foliage. It doesn’t stay in one place for long, a characteristic that makes it hard to find with binoculars. However, in the early spring (mark your calendars for late February and early March), this bird sits atop Pinyon Pines and junipers singing its multiple songs.
Northern Arizona is home to Bridled and Juniper Titmouse. The former has a more limited range that includes the mountains of southeast Arizona and New Mexico and south to Mexico. The Oak Titmouse of coastal California is so similar in appearance to the Juniper Titmouse, that it’s best identified by range and song. These seemingly similar species don’t overlap. The Juniper Titmouse feeds on seeds and insects. It’s a cavity nester and commonly uses old woodpecker holes. The female chooses its nesting site, and this species readily uses nest boxes. Pairs stay together from year to year. The female lays six to eight eggs. If you’re lucky, a Juniper Titmouse pair may choose a nest box in your yard.
By Mark & Farrish Sharon
A Juniper Titmouse. Photo by Mark Sharon.
on a n e B om W ealing c
y t i Y l oga a u
a sanctuary for women and teens DevaHealingCenter.org • 520 W. Sheldon (next to Prescott College)
5-class packages starting at $25 Highlands Center for Natural History’s
***** Mark and Farrish Sharon enjoy birding and living in Prescott. They have lived in Tucson, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Denver — all wonderful areas for finding birds. Mark is the photog and Farrish helps find the birds. Visit Prescott Audubon Society at PrescottAudubon.Org. Contact them at Contact@PrescottAudubon.Org or 928-778-6502.
Prestigious patterns are this predator’s prized possession.
5ENSESMAG.COM • SEPTEMBER 2014 • FEATURES • 5
A novel approach
Poet Michaela Carter pens prime prose By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following excerpts are from conversations with poet and author Michaela Carter, whose new book, “Further Out Than You Thought,” was released on Aug. 5 by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. It’s $14.99 at Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., Prescott, 928-445-9000.] So what’s your elevator pitch for the book? I’ve been describing it as a character-driven grayish comedy about a trio of 20-something bohemians facing their own reluctant adulthoods during the 1992 L.A. riots. You were at UCLA during the riots, correct? I’d already graduated from UCLA at the time and was living in the Miracle Mile area. I had to get across
town during the riots. Nobody expected it. There was that moment right after the Rodney King verdict came out, and that initial outbreak of violence and the attack on Reginald Denny. But it was kind of quit that next morning until that fateful afternoon. I was trying to get across town, but the highway was completely shut down, so I had to go off of the route I usually took back to my apartment. It was pretty crazy. There was a gas station on fire. Lots of black smoke. It was terrifying. Seeing a city you know so well completely changed, so completely unrecognizable — it was one of those moments that, when it happens, you know something important happened and you want to know the meaning of it, what it means to you. But you need distance; you need time to reflect. And writing “Further Out Than You Thought” allowed me that. It was interesting to see what
Highlands Center for Natural History’s
Photo by Jim Morgan. So be sure to elude an encounter with expert eyes. The Arizona Black Tailed Rattle Snake will often rattle when threatened, but not always. So when hiking, especially in rocky areas, and near creeks, keen eyes are the best for avoiding rattle snakes. The species is common in the Central Highlands of Arizona and typically calm and nonaggressive. But they are able predators with very potent venom.
6 • FEATURES • SEPTEMBER 2014 • 5ENSESMAG.COM
it meant for these characters. It offers them the opportunity to see their lives in a new way. That’s a hell of a setting to couch a coming-of-age story. It fits really well. L.A. is this city of dreams. The three main characters have come to L.A. to fulfill their dreams, and the riots were this moment when reality and dreams were at odds. And the three characters are living in this sort of dream world of their own making. It’s kind of seedy, and it’s beautiful in a way. They’re avoiding their own personal realities that they have to face. The city is its own character in a way, and that character transforms, which is something they respond to. Given your poetry background, I assume those sensibilities colored your approach to fiction. It’s actually taken many drafts and many years for this narrative to take form, and a lot of time between drafts. Poetry is so great because it can capture a moment and distill it. There’s an immediacy to it. You might work on it for a while, but you still get that immediate gratification of capturing whatever you want to. Then it’s done. You may go back and revise it, but it’s done. Writing prose was, really, an act of faith for me. To keep going for a long time, you have to believe that what you’re writing has value. You can feel a little bit crazy, sitting and working on something for hours, for days, for years,
Poet and author Michaela Carter. Courtesy photo. writing something that no one sees until you have it where you want it to be. It’s like running a marathon versus a sprint. Also, having some idea of how it’s structured helps. In poetry, nothing really has to happen. But in prose, something better happen or no one’s going to want to read 300 pages. That was interesting, to force the characters into their revelations. What about the other direction? Has writing prose informed your poetry? You know, I love reading poetry and, now that I think of it, the best poetry has some transformative moment. I don’t know that I recognized that before writing prose. It’s kind of the human condition. We tell stories. … I did write a series of poems after I finished my final draft of “Further Out Than You Thought.” I was much more drawn to structure than I’d been before. Then again, all the poems were the length of a sonnet, and they were all one-sentence long. I think that structure kind of helped me dive back into poetry.
You mentioned your personal connection to the L.A. riots. I’m curious how much of your own story is in “Further Out Than You Thought.” The revelation I had during that time was different than the one my protagonists had. But it was this moment when the known was kind of set aside. It opened up this window for what could happen in my own life. I didn’t feel like I had toe the line anymore. I didn’t have to live up to other people’s standards or other
Five days is a pretty ambitious time scale. It was a challenge to really condense and contain the entirety of the novel into that five-day period. It was a challenge, but it really helped me. One of the things I really love about poetry is the formal aspects of it. It can surprise you to fit all these things into a rigid structure. You discover things that way you might not have otherwise. I think it helped that it was one step away from personal experience. It’s definitely fiction, and that’s a good thing.
And, finally, why tell someone else’s account of this event if it was so singular in your own life? It was a story I felt I had to tell before I could tell anything else. The story itself made me want to write fiction instead of poems. I couldn’t capture everything that I wanted to express in a poem. Part of it had to do with a friend of mine I knew at the time who later died of AIDS when he was in his early 30s. He definitely inspired one of the characters in the book. The book is dedicated to him, and also to my daughter. His memory inspired me to write this novel. ***** See more of Michaela Carter’s work at MichaelaCarter.Com. Visit Peregrine Book Co. at Peregrine BookCompany.Com or 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000. James Dungeon is a figment of his own imagination. And he likes cats. Contact him at JamesDungeonCats @Gmail.Com.
4 Prescott’s 4th Friday
How much research did you do before you started writing? I didn’t want to do too much at first because I wanted to tell the story from the character Gwen’s perspective, and she wouldn’t have known all of that. For instance, I later found out about the relationship between the police force and the black community, and how far back that goes. Most of the research I did, though, was about the timing of events. The whole book takes place in about five days, so it was really important to get the days right. In my memory, I could’ve miscalculated when, say, the National Guard came in.
I know the book is being published by a HarperCollins imprint, so the intended audience is national. Still, I can’t help but wonder how it’ll do in Prescott, especially considering the racial overtones. It’ll definitely resonate with a more liberal crowd. It’s interesting writing about the riots being a white girl. I have to write about it from that perspective, so I tried to be really true to my experience. And … well, it’s a touchy subject. Not that many people have written about it. I’ve never read any fictionalized accounts of it, or at least not any novels. There’s a play, “Twilight: Los Angles” by Anna Deavere Smith, put on as a onewoman show, that came out a year after the riots. She plays Chicano men and women, Korean men and women, and white and black men and women. In my novel, ne of the characters who identifies as homosexual is suddenly seen for his skin color, which transforms him. It was interesting to explore some of those racial dynamics. Hopefully it’ll be well-received.
people’s rules; all the rules were out the window in that moment. That was the most surprising thing about the riots. It was scary, but it was also exhilarating. Being stuck in traffic, seeing that gas station explode — it was a moment when I didn’t know if I would make it. So it made me want to live my life well and do what I wanted to do with it. It was such an exciting time and then that happened in a flash. I wanted to use this book as a way to really explore that. I also ended up researching a lot about the riots — a lot of things that didn’t make the book, but provided background and helped with timing in the story.
As you’re a poet, I image it was hard for you to move forward without tweaking every single sentence into submission. My goal was to write 500 words a day, so it was pretty slow. I found that it helped me keep going. I think I did go back and revise from the very beginning numerous times, though. I wanted it to have a real sense of flow and rhythm, and I’m sure I revised some of those sentences over and over again. But now, having gone through the entire process, having whole drafts to go through and that final revision, I feel less attached to each sentence than when I started. Now I know I might have to throw out whole chapters for the sake of the novel. You can always go back. It’s all revisions until you die. … I think you can incorporate so much of poetry into prose. I guess I don’t feel they’re as separate as I once did. Look at books like Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See,” and Brian Doyle’s “The Plover.” There are a lot of books that use poetry, but I still think there’s nothing like a poem that has that emotional component that really moves you. A poem can evoke an entire lifetime. So, yeah, I still love poetry. With a novel, there’s that personal structure you need of getting up and going to the same place to write every morning. That’s the hardest part.
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See Special Events
Left Brain: September’s mind-full events Events
“High Tech Navigation Before GPS” • 6:30 p.m. Wednesday: Col. Pat Bledsoe discusses the “astro-inertial” navigation system that the SR-71 used to navigate and find targets at monthly Prescott Astronomy Club meeting. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)
Wilderness Act celebration • 6:30 p.m. Wednesday: Celebrate 50 years of the Wilderness Act with a presentation about wilderness areas in the Prescott National Forest. (Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, 928-776-9550)
Hiking Spree kickoff • 9 a.m. Saturday: Sam Frank, Central Arizona director of the Arizona Wilderness Coalition, discusses the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, plus the Highlands Center for Natural History’s seventh annual Hiking Spree kickoff. (Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, 928-776-9550)
“Women Who Broke the Mold” • 2 p.m. Saturday: Amy Hale Auker, Heiki M. Thomas, and Carolyn Neithammer discuss Western woman who were living exciting, creative lives long before women’s liberation. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)
“Dutchman & The Devil: The Lost Story” • 2 p.m. Sunday: Author Pat Parish talks about her book about Dutchman Jacob Waltz’s life and the unsolved mystery of millions of dollars lost deep in the Superstition Mountains. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)
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Versatile Veggies & Gorgeous Grains • 5:30 p.m. Tuesday: Organic chemist and nutritionist Dee McCaffrey, author of “Science of Skinny,” discusses Seasonal Organic Unprocessed Food. (Prescott College Crossroads Center, 220 Grove Ave., 928-308-2687) “Tales of a Combat Advisor in Iraq” • 7 p.m. Wednesday: U.S. Army Col. Jerry Kidrick, discusses Operation New Dawn. (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Davis Learning Center, 3700 Willow Creek Road, 928-777-6985)
“Botany of the Paria Plateau” • 6:30 p.m. Thursday: Amy Prince, Arizona State University gradute student, talk via Native Plant Society. (Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, 928-776-9550) Prescott Audubon Society Bird Walk • 7:30 a.m. Saturday: Monthly Audubon bird walk. (Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, 928-776-9550)
Wildflower Celebration • 7:30 a.m. Saturday: Join naturalists for wildflower walks every half-hour at the Community Nature Center’s Interior Chaparral site. (Community Nature Center, 1980 Williamson Valley Road)
“Geologic Scenery of the Southwest” • 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9: Steve Reynolds, of Arizona State University, discusses Southwestern geologic scenery at monthly Central Arizona Geology Club meeting. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500) IMAGE: A Bryce5 image from a sequence that shows how erosion of rocks results in mesas and buttes. Courtesy image, Reynolds.ASU.Edu, fair use. “Why Water Conservation?” • 10 a.m. Saturday: Gary Beverly, Citizens Water Advocacy Group conservation group co-chair, talk at monthly CWAG meeting. (Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist, Congregation Building, 882 Sunset Ave., 928-445-4218) “Code Talkers” • 2 p.m. Saturday: Poet and author Dr. Laura Toho, of the Sleepy Rock Clan, discusses code talkers. (Smoki Museum, 147 N. Arizona Ave., 928-445-1230) “Echoes of the Past, Volume 3” • 2 p.m. Saturday: Arizona cattle ranchers Carole Wagner, Mary Helen Ortlieb, and Peter Andrew Groseta discuss the rich ranching tradition of Yavapai County. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000) “Life Itself” • 6:30 p.m. Saturday: A documentary recounting the life of world-renowned film critic Roger Ebert via the Prescott Film Festival. (Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2000, $8)
“Connections: A Naturalist’s Way of Seeing” • 2 p.m. Sunday: Naturalist Walt Anderson discusses how we perceive the natural world. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500) “Using Impact Craters to Unravel the History of Mars” • 6:30 p.m. Thursday: Dr. Nadine Barlow, of Northern Arizona University, discusses how impact craters on Mars expose buried rock units and serve as catchment basins for materials deposited by geologic processes. A Prescott Astronomy Club Third Thursday Star Talk. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)
8 • EVENTS • SEPTEMBER 2014 • 5ENSESMAG.COM
Herbarium open house & mural unveiling • 3 p.m. Friday: Enjoy plant specimens and speak with contributors from the area’s only research herbarium, and catch the first glimpse of a mural celebrating regional plants and animals. (The Natural History Institute at Prescott College, 312 Grove Ave., 928-350-2280) “How You Can Make Money Writing & Publishing Books” • 6 p.m. Friday: Author Tom Bird’s free writing class and workshop. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000, pre-registration encouraged)
“Arizona’s Awesome Amphibians & Reptiles” • 6:30 p.m. Friday: Dr. Cecil Schwalbe discusses common state and local amphibians and reptiles. An Insights to the Outdoors talk. (Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, 928-776-9550) Naomi Shihab Nye • 7 p.m. Friday: Arab-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye reading via Yavapai College Southwest Literary Series. (Yavapai College Library, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2000)
Prescott Chicken Coop Tour • 9 a.m. Saturday: Inaugural self-guided tour of local backyard chicken coops via Slow Food Prescott and Prescott Farmers Market. (Yavapai College, Parking Lot D, 1100 E. Sheldon St., ChickenCoopTour.Com)
“Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day” • 3 p.m. Saturday: Dr. Robert S. Rosenberg discusses various sleep disorders and how to overcome them. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)
“Starry Nights” • 7:30 p.m. Saturday: Star party via Prescott Astronomy Club. (Vista Park, 1684 Sarafina Drive, 928-778-6502)
“Preparing for the Election Year” • 5:30 p.m. Tuesday: Elisabeth Ruffner, chair of Prescott Good Governance, talk at monthly Prescott Good Governance meeting. (Yavapai Title Co., 1235 E. Gurley St., 928-642-6788)
“Goodbye Emily” • 10 a.m. Thursday: Author Michael Murphy discusses his book 45 years after its Woodstockera setting. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500) “Why DIDN’T the Pronghorn Cross the Road” • 7 p.m. Thursday: Scott Sprague, senior research biologist with Arizona Game and Fish Dept., discusses the interaction between Arizona wildlife and the transportation infrastructure. (Trinity Presbyterian Church, 630 Park Ave., 928-778-6502)
“Further Out Than You Thought” • 2 p.m. Saturday: Poet and author Michaela Carter discusses her new novel. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)
Wander the Wild • 2:30 p.m. Sunday: Sixth annual Highlands Center for Natural History fundraiser featuring food, wine, and an auction. Benefits Highlands Center youth education programs. (Talking Rock Ranch, 15075 N. Talking Ranch Road, 928-776-4440, RSVP, $90)
Multi-day Modern-day Meditation • 6:50 p.m. Sept. 3 & 17: An active, fourpart practice for today’s demanding lifestyle: Open. Calm. Think. Act. (Deva Healing Center, 520 W. Sheldon St., 303-903-2630, first time free, $10) Bird walks • 7 a.m. Sept. 5, 13, 19, and 23: Bird walks at Willow Lake, Constellation Trail, Granite Dells, and Fain Park. (Jay’s Bird Barn, No. 113, 1046 Willow Creek Road, 928-443-5900, RSVP) Community Yoga • 5:15 p.m. Tuesdays: Free community alllevels yoga class for people from all walks of life. Come heal your whole self. No experience necessary. (Deva Healing Center, 520 Sheldon St., DevaHealingCenter.Org) Mindfulness Meditation • 6:30 p.m. informal sit, 7 p.m. formal sit Tuesdays: Meditation group open to people of all faiths and non-faiths followed by optional discussion. (601 Miller Valley Road, park in back, PrescottVipassana.Org) Naturalist City & Field Walks • 10 a.m. Wednesdays & Saturdays: Learn about local birds, geology, plants, and more. (HighlandsCenter.Org., 928-776-9550)
September’s art-full events :niarB thgiR Events
Poetry discussion group • 1 p.m. Wednesday: Dr. Janet Preston’s monthly poetry discussion group. (Prescott Public Library, Elsea Conference Room, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)
“SHIFT” • From Aug. 29: A 10-year retrospective of agriculture-inspired art by fourth-generation farmer Matthew Moore. (Prescott College Art Gallery at Sam Hill Warehouse, 232 N. Granite St., 928-350-2341)
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Poets’ Cooperative • 6:30 p.m. Thursday: Share your work with other poets in a supportive atmosphere. (Prescott Public Library, Elsea Conference Room, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)
“Simply Notice” • 5:30 p.m. Wednesday: Peter Dziuban discusses his new book which suggests you can live the fullest life by simply noticing what’s around you and, most importantly, what you really are. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)
Creative Spirit fundraiser • 3 p.m. Saturday: Annual fundraiser for ’Tis Art Center & Gallery featuring 12” x 12” original canvases. Come dressed in a costume and personae of an artist or work of art. (’Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223)
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Mosaic Magic garden party • 3 p.m. Sunday: Benefit for art scholarships and sculpture garden acquisitions featuring 6” x 6” original canvases. (Yavapai College Sculpture Garden, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-8660, $25) Navajo Rug Auction • 9 a.m. preview, noon auction Saturday: Seventeenth annual auction featuring hundreds of contemporary and historic Navajo weavings. (Smoki Museum, 147 N. Arizona Ave., 928-445-1230)
“DA-NEE-LAH-WAY-GAH: A time of Coming Together” • 1 p.m. Saturday: Patricia Downing DeAsis, member of Tsalag Cherokee tribe of Oklahoma, discusses the prophecy of the medicine people of American Indian tribes. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)
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Antiques on the Square • 8 a.m. Sunday: Fifty-plus vendors offer a variety of antiques and collectibles. Sponsored by Thumb Butte Questers. (Yavapai County Courthouse Square, 928-443-8909) “Art to Wear” • 6 p.m. Thursday: Fashion and trunk show featuring clothing by Prescott designers via Mountain Artists Guild. (Mountain Artists Guild, 228 N. Alarcon St., 928-445-2510, $25)
4th Friday Art Walk • 5 p.m. Friday: Monthly art walk including more than 18 galleries, artist receptions, openings, and demonstrations. (ArtThe4th.Com)
Sacco • From Sept. 1: Mixed media art by Victoria Morgan Sacco. (Method Coffee, 3180 Willow Creek Road, 928-777-1067) Light & Shadow • From Sept. 2: Cast a light on a an opaque object and a shadow is born. (Prescott Center for the Arts, 208 N. Marina St., 928-445-3286)
Open mic poetry • 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24: Poet Dan Seaman emcees monthly open mic poetry. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000) IMAGE: Peregrine Book Co. open mic group shot. Courtesy photo.
Contra Dance • 7 p.m. lessons, 7:30 p.m. dance Saturday: Contra dancing. Calls by Deb Comly with music by Granite Creek String Band at monthly Folk Happens event. (First Congregational Church Annex, 216 E. Gurley St., 928-925-5210, $4-$8)
Multi-day Prescott Intertribal Powwow • Sept. 19-21: Eighth annual intertribal powwow. Public welcome. (Watson Lake Park, 3101 Watson Lake Road, PrescottPowwow.Org) Writers workshop 9:30 a.m. Saturdays: Weekly critique group. (Prescott Public Library, Bump Conference Room, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500) Saturday Night Talk Series • 7 p.m. Saturdays: Weekly talk series including “Working With Mind andEmotions on the Spiritual Path,” “Dropping Self-Importance: The Freedom of Not Being Special,” “Tantra: What It Is and What It Isn’t,” and “Take Me Away: A Reading of Devotional Poetry From the Spiritual Traditions.” (The Courtyard Building, 115 E. Goodwin St., 928-771-0205, $5)
Theater & film Mile High Comedy Theater • 7 p.m. Sept. 6: The Mile High Comedy Theater troupe performs. (The Elks Theatre, 117 E. Gurley St., 928-777-1370, $10) “Medea” • 3 p.m. Sept. 7: A National Theatre Live stream of Ben Power’s take on Euripides’ powerful matriarchal tragedy. Directed by Carrie Cracknell. (Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2000, $10-$15) “Pump Boys & Dinettes” • 7:30 p.m. Sept. 4-6 & 11-13, 2 p.m. Sept. 7: A musical about pump boys and dinettes, naturally. Directed by Casey Knight. (Prescott Center for the Arts, 208 N. Marina St., $19-$23) “Seatbelts Required (or) The Play I Wrote to Piss off My Sisters” • 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18-20, 25-27 & Oct. 2-4, 2 p.m. Sept. 21, 28 & Oct. 5: Following their mother’s funeral, three sisters gather at their childhood home. Directed by Frank Malle. (Stage Too, North Cortez Street alley between Willis and Sheldon streets, 928-445-3286, $15) Manhattan Short Film Festival • 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27: Seventeenth annual festival of short films occurring simultaneously in more than 300 cities across six continents in Prescott via Prescott Film Festival. (Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2000, $8)
Faculty exhibition • Through Sept. 13: Yavapai College Prescott Art faculty exhibition. (Yavapai College Art Gallery, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2031) “Synergy: Rock, Paper, Pigment” • Through Sept. 13: Interpretations of “rock” in stone by Peter Heckel, “paper” in printmaking and collage by Signe Lindquist, and “pigment” in mixed media, painting, drawing, and collage by Karen Lindquist. (’Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223) “Bold, Bright, & Beautiful” • Through Sept. 15: Multi-artist show featuring bold, bright, and beautiful art. (Mountain Artists Guild & Gallery, 228 Alarcon St., 928-445-2510) “Oriona’s Treasures” • From Sept. 16: Art with wire, wood, and other roadside attractions by Oriona Meadows. (’Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223) Gibbons & Schaffer • Through Sept. 18: New art by Cathy Gibbons and Cindi Schaffer. (Mountain Artists Guild & Gallery, 228 Alarcon St., 928-4452510) Summer photography show • Through Sept. 22: Annual seasonal photography show. (’Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223) Eclectic Work in Various Media • From Sept. 25: Annual art show. (Prescott Center for the Arts, 208 N. Marina St., 928-445-3286) “Between Worlds” • Through Nov. 28: Art by Peterson Yazzie. (Smoki Museum, 147 N. Arizona Ave., 928-445-1230, $5-$7)
A brief guide to hearty, harvestable natural groceries By Kathleen Yetman
monsoons of July and August bring life where there appears to be none, and plants of all kinds spring up to ensure their propagation. Corn and melons that were planted in May are finally ripe and most gardeners have more zucchini and tomatoes than they know what to do with. The mild days and cooler nights support a variety of crops, which means we benefit from a bounty of local produce. Truly, September is the best month for local food here in the high desert. In addition to the crops cultivated by gardeners and farmers, there are numerous wild edible plants, and September is a particularly good month to harvest many of them. We are privileged to have access to some of the most nutritious and delicious of them
right now here in Prescott. Wild foods are incredible because they not only survive Arizona’s erratic weather but also bear fruit. A handful of the best harvesting options are acorn, black walnut, piñons, and prickly pear fruit. Now is the time to explore the foods that our unique landscape has to offer. If you’d like to learn more about wild foods in Arizona, check out Caroline Niethammer’s 1974 book “American Indian Food and Lore: 150 Authentic Recipes.” Happy harvesting. Acorn The Apache still harvest many wild foods — the most common being acorn. If you’ve ever driven through the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in the White Mountains this time of year, you’ve probably passed by signs
for acorn stew. Fairly bitter at first but also a little sweet, acorn is an acquired taste. The acorn itself is harvested from trees, then the shells are cracked open to reveal the bright golden meat inside. The meat is ground into meal then mixed into a stew with elk or beef and flour dumplings. Prescott, as it so happens, is loaded with Emory Oak trees, which cater these acorns. Black walnut Black walnut trees line many creeks and washes in and around Prescott. The husk of the walnuts turn black when the nuts are ripe (hence the name). Wash them in a burlap sack or pillowcase until the clean shell is visible. (Be sure to wear gloves when handling; the black coating is also used as a long-lasting dark brown dye.) After they have been cleaned and dried in the sun for a week, they’re ready to be cracked open with a large rock or hammer. The meat inside is small but rich with nutritious fats and oils. Piñons Pinyon pines are one of the most abundant trees here in the mountains. Piñons (pine nuts) can be coaxed out of pinyon pine cones if squirrels and birds haven’t ferreted them out first. Extracting the nuts from the cone is tedious work but extremely satisfying. (Imagine all the pesto you could make!) Once you’ve harvested piñons, you’ll
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understand why they cost so much at the grocery store. Prickly pear fruit And saving the sweetest for last, prickly pear fruit color the landscape. The fruit, which are covered in glochids, (tiny spines that sneak into your hands and are hard to locate) are precarious to gather, but so worth the effort. Boiling the fruit removes the glochids, which makes it easier to process. Fruit can be pressed into juice (a personal favorite) or made into jelly. ***** Visit the Prescott Farmers Market at PrescottFarmersMarket.Org or Yavapai College Parking Lot D, 1100 E. Sheldon St. Send questions to Info@PrescottFarmersMarket.Org. Kathleen Yetman is the managing director of the Prescott Farmers Market. She was born and raised in Prescott and spent the past three years living on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
Opuntia ficus indica, aka prickly pear cactus. Photo by Nevit Dilmen, Creative Commons 3.0.
“The Culls,” a piece by Matthew Moore on display through Oct. 18 at Prescott College Art Gallery at Sam Hill Warehouse. Courtesy image.
Thought for food Moore plants a seed at Sam Hill Warehouse By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following excerpts are from conversations with artist Matthew Moore, whose collection “SHIFT: Ten Years of Work From Matthew Moore” is showing through Oct. 18 at Prescott College Art Gallery at Sam Hill Warehouse, 232 N. Granite St., Prescott, 928350-2341. Moore’s artist talk is 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16.] Farming is obviously a huge theme in your work. Farming gave me an identity and a home, a place I was deeply rooted to. And I’ve continually tried to figure out how that impacts what I do and how I think about the world at large. Farming really is like art. It’s a unique way of knowing the world. It gives you a different relationship with the soil and the weather, and other everyday negotiations. It makes you in tune with the world on a different level, more so than any occupation I can think of. One of the biggest things is that it gives you empathy in terms of understanding how amazing it is that we survive on this huge rock hurtling through space, and how delicate every system is. And your education in art? How did you come to integrate farming into that? I started out as an art historian a long, long time ago. That’s what I was studying. I had a studio art requirement and took sculpture and fell in love with that. ... So I learned all the tools, then I got to the point I had to figure out what I was trying to say with them. After getting my degrees, I went back to farming. After three years, all of the sudden, I wanted to make artwork again, and that’s how I blasted off into
this whole area. During that time, around 2000, the farm took on this different trajectory. It wasn’t about crop yield anymore; it was about the yield of the land itself from a development standpoint. That’s when this stuff started to make its way into my artwork. So when did you start using staple crops as a medium? After grad school, in maybe 2003 or 2004. I’d been in the Bay Area for four or five years, then came back to Arizona. Basically, I came back to take over the family farming business. And, of course, you make art from what’s around you. I was in the fields 60 hours a week. We were growing carrots at the time. Then I snuck away and used my free time to rotate crops. Sometimes I’d rent my own piece of land to see what barley would do, and then I’d make art out of it. I was trying to make sense of what was happening in farming — the developer sites, the single-family residences, how people were marketing it all. What’s the scale and scope of the pieces in your retrospect show? A lot of it is documentation. That’s because a lot of the work I do has been really temporal. That’s a security blanket — if my art fails, I can just plow and start over again. There’s also some visual work I did for Sundance in 2010 around the idea of having a deeper connection with food in the produce section of a grocery story. … There’s also some new work, “The Culls,” I did about rapid prototyping and food processing where I sat in on the ferret line and took all the produce that got taken out because it was too ugly. In maybe 20 minutes, I got 50 of these crazy looking carrots that I had scanned and 3-D printed. There’s a wall of these creepy white carrots.
What perspective did you gain putting the show together? There’s a parallel between being an artist and being a farmer. You have this really personal journey that you go through, and it requires a lot of endurance. You have to slog away at it. ... My whole thing is that I need to be an artist and I need to have an impact outside of the gallery, outside of a white-washed space. Maybe my work should hang in a supermarket. It’s an awkward space, but it’s a place where we have the opportunity to be active. … This show is helping me needle in on what it is I’ve done,
and refocusing, and trying to figure out what the next 10 years of work will look like. I think agriculture is really important, but I’m not saying all my work is about trying to get you out to farm. I’m trying to figure out through art specifically, what about my visual narrative is most impactful. ***** See more of Matthew Moore’s work at UrbanPlough.Com. Visit Prescott College Art Gallery at Sam Hill Warehouse at Prescott. Edu/Gallery or 232 N. Granite St., Prescott, 928-350-2341. Robert Blood is a Mayer-ish-based freelance writer and ne’er-do-well who’s working on his last book, which, incidentally, will be his first. Contact him at BloodyBobby5@Gmail.Com.
PRESCOO FARMERS MARKET Saturdays, May 10th - October 25th 7:30 a.m. - Noon Yavapai College “parking lot D” 1100 E. Sheldon St.
CHECK OUT OUR OTHER MARKET!
CHINO VALLEY THURSDAYS June 6- October 17 3:00 - 6:00 P.M. Walgreens, corner of Highway 89 and Rd. 2 North
Fresh, quality produce, from local farmers, plus salsa, honey, local meat, farmers cheese, tamales, baked goods, hand-made soup, live plants, fresh herbs, cut owers, and more.
Come meet the folks who grow your food in a lively community atmosphere that’s fun for the whole family!
The Prescott Farmers Market accepts FMNP coupons (WIC), Food Stamps (EBT), credit and debit cards.
Seeking local growers, musicians, and volunteers. Contact us at 713.1227 or email@example.com
5ENSESMAG.COM • SEPTEMBER 2014 • FEATURE • 11
Of diseases & wheezes
Alan Dean Foster’s
By Alan Dean Foster PETER BLOOD “And what becomes of his Excellency the governor’s gouty foot?” COL. BISHOP “You’ll not save yourself with that device this time. Nothing will save you!” Starts to horsewhip the pillar-bound Blood. CANNON FIRE!! interrupts him. LOOKOUT (pointing toward the sea) “Pirates! Spanish pirates!”
was not saved by the timely arrival of Spanish pirates. Not from horsewhipping, nor more relevantly, from gout. I first heard of gout and had it forever embedded in my memory from repeatedly watching the greatest pirate film of all time, “Captain Blood,” over and over and over again as far back as the late ’50s on Million Dollar Movie on Los Angeles’s original channel 9. Yes, kiddies, it’s even better than all the Pirates of the Caribbean films put together. Hell, it’s even better than the ride (the original ride, of course … not the current bowdlerized one). But this isn’t about pirate films, old or new. It’s about gout, which flung itself out of an old blackand-white movie and into my body a couple of months ago.
left big toe had become red, swollen, and was burning as if a tribe of cannibal ants had decided to set up a cooking school somewhere in the vicinity of the first joint. I couldn’t put any pressure on it. I didn’t remember stubbing it, or kicking anything, or kicking anyone. Still, it could be broken. Or perhaps it was the long-dormant blossoming of some exotic tropical disease I had contracted in Gabon, or New Guinea, or some other corner of the world where germs laugh
at aspirin and anything less than doxycycline is regarded as a pre-dinner cocktail for the local bacteria. At my wife’s gentle admonition after gazing upon my now carmine-colored digit (“You’re going to the doctor. Now.”) I finally gave in to her good sense … and the pain … and betook myself to that venerable office. When was the last time you just walked into a doctor’s office short of any major internal organs hanging out of your torso and actually got to see a physician? Or managed to battle your way past the now-standard outer office Pretorian Guard? Right. So I highed myself to the nearest Urgent Care, where everyone was friendly and welcoming and I was seeing a physician’s assistant within 10 minutes. He listened to my description of symptoms and possibilities, took one look at my inflamed toe and said knowingly, “Gout.” Pirates! Spanish pirates!
couldn’t have gout, I protested. Gout was an affliction reserved for overweight, bewigged 18th-century gentlemen who dined on partridge tongues and quail eggs. For those who supped on creamed grouse and pate de fois whatever-liverwas-handy. For the giddy governor of Port Royal, Jamaica, whose condition essentially saved Errol Flynn’s (sorry … Peter Blood’s) life! I work out regularly. I watch my diet. (Okay, I had that chocolate cake last night, but still. …) Yes, my profession is a sedentary one, but I eat sensibly and keep moving. I couldn’t have gout! A prescription was called in for me. I picked it up at our local Walgreen’s. The pharmacist glanced at it, looked at me, and said, “Gout?” I conceded. I had gout. Which got me to thinking. About how the human species is like a long-distance runner. We fool ourselves into thinking that we’ve conquered many, many diseases, and that cures for a great many more lie just around the pharmacological corner. But Nature, she’s sneaky. She follows along in that race, drafting in our self-confidence. And when we trip over a rock, or slide down a mis-gauged slope, or lower our sight to check our shoelaces, she’s right there to pass us and whack us on the head as she goes by. True, we have beaten some ancient diseases. Because we kept our focus and kept charging resolutely toward that goal. Smallpox, the scourge of the non-European world, is beaten. We would have crushed polio by now except that we keep tripping and stumbling in forlorn, sad places like the tribal areas of Pakistan and parts of west Africa. We’re working hard on malaria, AIDS, all forms of cancer and heart disease, among others. We’re leading the race, we brilliant, innovative humans.
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just when we’re certain that modern medical science will find a cure for everything that has ever afflicted us, Nature reminds us that she too is always working. In the race to find new treatments, new vaccines, new prophylactics for common diseases, we all too often forget about the old ones that lurk in the dark places just waiting for us to slow our pace of discovery and look away. Take Ebola. Please. (No, that’s not even slightly funny.) Confined to a small part of central Africa, right? Until it shows up unexpectedly in west Africa, brought there by a single carrier. Over 200 dead from it in Sierra Leone alone. Or those horrible tropical diseases we don’t have to worry about here in the good ol’ U S of A. Like dengue fever (24 cases in Florida in June) or the even more exotic chikungungya (18 cases in Florida in June). There are no vaccines for those pretties. None. Alas, the old can be new again — even where disease is concerned. And can mutate into new and ever more virulent forms. Maybe even like gout. So we’d better keep running and keep our focus on the medicinal research that barely sustains our species, because one thing’s for sure. Spanish pirates won’t save us. ***** Alan Dean Foster is author of more than 120 books, visitor to more than 100 countries, and still frustrated by the human species. Follow him at AlanDeanFoster.Com.
Images via All-Free-Download.Com. Illustration by 5enses.
Art imitates life in Dan McCabe’s metalwork By Jill Craig
spring air melts winter snow creating rivulets that rush to rendezvous with their kin from the mile-high ranges surrounding Prescott. The water flows freely through the foothills gathering sedimentary souvenirs from forests, mid-century neighborhoods, Whiskey Row, and Watson Woods, all destined for the great Verde River. As a curious couple trek through the dells, that ancient Martian landscape, a fresh breeze beckons them to the place where the runoff creek meets crumbling granite. The couple sits in silence, basking in the peacefulness and perfection of moment and place. The man, a middle-aged artist, watches the water swirl and crash in a froth of bubbles. With strong hands and arms defined by hours of metalwork and bright, kind eyes that hint at curiosity and drive, he looks every part the artist. Deaf since early childhood, he levies his intense, singular focus on the creek. He peers into the microcosm of minute flora mixed with nutrients and minerals washed from the surrounding forested mountains. Then a spark, a moment of brilliant illumination. This is artist Dan McCabe. And what he sees is more than water breaking on granite; he sees the propulsion that pushes his craft.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 >>> “Shukuzu,” metal art by Dan McCabe. Photo by Dan McCabe.
5ENSESMAG.COM • SEPTEMBER 2014 • PORTFOLIO • 13
... FROM PAGE 13 ‘Shukuzu’ Later, in his studio, the man, McCabe, takes a crucible with bronze heated to 2,000 degrees, and pours it onto a bed of cold steel. He watches as the super-heated liquid forms pools, lattice-like splashes and smooth beads. The bronze cools and he painstakingly selects and welds each bronze bead to the other until one become dozens and dozens encased in Petri dish-like metal circles become a pool of mixed metal bubbles. The bronze beads mirror the effervescent seasonal creek that spoke as his muse. The circles are cast on a dark steel frame in the undulating fashion of water. The resulting piece is “Shukuzu” — named by Dan’s eldest son, who has a passion for Japanese — which means miniature copy. Look at the piece head on. The ebb and flow of the creek becomes apparent in the subtle flow of purposefully placed bronze. Step to the side. The mild steel frame upon which the colony of bronze
bubbles sits reflects the underside of each bubble, akin to that spring day in the dells. Take one step closer. McCabe’s attention to detail and fanatical drive for refinement sharpen into focus. Each polished bead of bronze has been welded to the other with a unique green patina. Lo, green, the color of life. Sense and sensibilities McCabe was practically born an artist but it’s possible that his hearing loss gives him an edge. “They say that people who lose one sense hone the other senses, and I find that to be the case,” McCabe explains. “When I create a piece, it has to be amazing from every angle, and I even tend to ‘finish’ the back of my wall pieces.” This dedication to quality and detail is something that occasionally tests the seemingly boundless patience of McCabe’s wife, Lorina. “I just know how valuable his time is,” she says, “but I also understand what he needs to do to feel a piece is finished.” In the early days, McCabe’s work was “blobby.” Perhaps the bronze he used was lesser quality. Lorina jokes
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that a lot of those early pieces — picture frames and such — adorn the homes of family and friends. During the past 18 years his work has become more refined, honed to what McCabe calls “jewelry for the home.” McCabe has discovered that different qualities of bronze produces different splashes, droplets, and pools — the type that give each McCabe piece its signature look. “In the past, Dan has struggled as an artist,” Lorina says. “And I think he finally feels like a successful artist and not just because he’s able to support his family, but because there are people out there who acknowledge his craftsmanship by spending their hardearned money on it.” The couple is grateful for the patronage. Most of McCabe’s clients and collectors are out of town, which makes sense considering the majority of the work he does is for high-level art shows around the country. Locally, McCabe’s work shows at Van Gogh’s Ear Gallery in Prescott and Tlaquepaque in Sedona. “Dan loves going to those (far away) shows,” Lorina says. “Most artists are bummed if they don’t sell at a show,” she added. “Danny
is happy even if one person comes by the booth and falls in love with his work.” ‘Shazam’ Ask after the inspiration fueling his work, and McCabe will tell you it’s nature and family. Ask again, and he’ll invoke his endless pursuit to become a master metal craftsman. Ask a third time, however, and he’ll wax more personal and poetic. “The flow of my work reminds me of one of my other loves, skateboarding,” McCabe muses. In some cases that’s abstract. In oth-
ers, like the piece “Shazam,” it’s literal. Another family-named piece, “Shazam” is a contemporary, decorative table arousing the sense of adventure, rhythm, and speed inherent in skateboarding. The smooth round edges, cool modern lines, and refined edginess mirror the collection of old school skateboards McCabe has displayed on his studio walls. Once voiced, McCabe’s inspirations are obvious in each piece of art, be it wall hangings, furniture, or sculpture. Striking, organic, and elemental, it’s not to be missed.
***** See more of Dan McCabe’s artwork at DanMcCabeMetal.Com. Visit Van Goh’s Ear Gallery at VGE Gallery.Com or 156 S. Montezuma St., Prescott, 928-776-1080. Jill Craig is the former education director of the Highlands Center for Natural History. She now fills her days wandering the wilds with her twin newborns and writing about their adventures.
COUNTER CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT: Dan McCabe pours molten bronze over a spherical form; Dan McCabe pours molten bronze over a bed of cold steel; “Espresso”; “Da Bowl”; and “Shazam.” Photos by Dan McCabe.
News From the Wilds Prescott weather Average high temperature: 81.8 F, +/-2.9 Average low temperature: 48.7 F, +/-3.2 Record high temperature: 98 F, 1948 Record low temperature: 26 F, 1903 Average precipitation: 1.7”, +/-1.5 Record high precipitation: 10.02”, 1983 Record low precipitation: 0”, 9.9 percent of years on record Max daily precipitation: 3.08”, Sept. 24, 1983
Canyon Treefrogs conclude mating season as eggs hatch into tadpoles. Photo by Ty Fitzmorris. By Ty Fitzmorris
glows in the golden light of late summer, resplendent with flourishing life. In much of North America, September marks the beginning of the colder part of the year, with last harvests and cold nights. But in the lower latitudes, such as the Central Highlands of Arizona, September is still summer, though with hints and foreshadowings of autumn. The abundant monsoon rains usually continue into the early part of the month, eventually tapering off into glorious sunny days with extraordinary flowering of purple four-o-clocks, asters, and morning glories, red penstemons, and Scarlet Creeper, yellow sunflowers and daisies, and the tall, strange tree-like Wright’s Thelypody (Thelypodium wrightii), with its white flowers. Insect diversity, too, continues to grow and change, with some of the largest insects of the year making their debut. Look for the giant gray Southwestern Hercules Beetle (Dynastes granti), the large brown Rhinoceros Beetle (Xyloryctes jamaicensis), the Great Ash Sphinx Moth (Sphinx
chersis), and the gigantic leaf-mimic katydids of the genus Microcentrum.
is in this time of extraordinary plenty that many creatures begin to prepare for the coming cold season. Most woody plants are setting seed, which woodpeckers and squirrels are storing away in granaries; young of many mammal species are leaving home to establish their own territories; and insects are laying eggs, their unique adaptation to times of hardness. One of the most unusual egglaying techniques in the insect world is the creation of galls — structures created by plants in response to an insect laying its egg in the plant’s tissue. Galls can look like pine cones (on juniper trees, which bear no visible cones), like apples on Emory Oak trees, like smooth, blushing tumors on Gambel Oaks, or like furry, curled leaves on Arizona White Oaks. Oaks, in fact, have the highest diversity of galls, with over 300 different types found on them. Many of these galls appear now, as specialist wasps, moths, and flies lay their eggs in the growing tissue of their co-evolved host-plant.
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Water-dependent creatures, such as snails and mushrooms, abound now — species that one rarely associates with the desert Southwest. Arizona is home to at least 200 species of native snail, most of whom are completely unstudied, though they can easily be seen consuming riverside vegetation during this wet season. Our species of fungi number in the thousands (just in Arizona!) and, again, are substantially unstudied, but they present a bewildering diversity from now until the Fall, from brittlegills to puffballs to earthstars. Their fruiting bodies are the only part of a mushroom that we typically take note of, but this is a small part of the organism. The real fungus is a network of filamentous mycorrhizae interlacing (and often enriching) the soil. In fact the largest organism on Earth is thought to be a single mushroom 2,400 acres in size in Oregon, which may be 8,500 years old.
mammals of the Central Highlands are, for the most part, in the peak of their year. Food is abundant, and most species are not under any real food or water stress, so it is now that the contests
for mates begin. Mule and Whitetailed Deer, Elk, and Pronghorn all begin their annual rut in September, after their antlers and horns are fully grown. This period is defined by male competition for females and territories, and fighting, scent-marking, and tree-marking are common. Coyotes, foxes and Porcupines are also finding mates and breeding. Other mammals, such as squirrels and chipmunks, sensing the shortening days, are stashing food for the coming cold season. Some species of birds start migrating into our area from the north toward the end of the month, and you can spot species that haven’t been here in large numbers since spring. Violet-green and Northern Rough-winged Swallow can be found in flocks during this time, though they will have continued their travels southward by mid-October. Hummingbirds and warblers, mostly in fall plumage, will pass as they fly south. Look, also, for the earliest migrant hawks from the north, including Ferruginous, Swainson’s, and some very early Rough-legged Hawks. ***** Ty Fitzmorris is an itinerant and often distractible naturalist who lives in Prescott and runs Peregrine Book Company and Raven Café as a sideline to his natural history pursuits. Contact him at Ty@PeregrineBookCompany. Com with questions or comments.
News From the Wilds, too A very brief survey of what’s happening in the wilds ... By Ty Fitzmorris High mountains • Roundleaf Snowberry (Symphoricarpos rotundifolius) bears its bizarre white berries, which are just as inedible as they look. • Coyotes court and can be seen running in pairs. • Elk breeding season begins, and sometimes the resonant bugling of male elk can be heard in wilder areas. Visit: Spruce Mountain Loop, No. 307. Ponderosa Pine forests • Black Walnut leaves begin to turn yellow as cold air drops down river drainages from higher mountains. • Needles on Ponderosas start to turn orange and are shed toward the end of the month as new, soft green leaves replace them. Ponderosas lose nearly 40 percent of their needles every autumn, and even though this type of needle loss can be rapid, it doesn’t necessarily indicate health problems. Also, the wonderful vanilla-butterscotch odor of the Ponderosa peaks now — smell in furrows in the bark. Visit: Schoolhouse Gulch, No. 67 . Pine-Oak woodlands • Emory Oak and Arizona White Oak bear their nutrient-rich acorns, providing one of the year’s biggest crops for Acorn Woodpeckers, Rock Squirrels, and Cliff Chipmunks. • Mule Deer begin their rut. Males can sometimes be seen sparring, and territorial marking, such as rubbed spots on saplings, can easily be found. • Mushrooms “flower” in great diversity, especially in areas with downed, wet wood. It’s during this time that most wood decomposition takes place, with their aid. • Fendler’s Ceanothus continues flowering. The Navajo use this plant as both a sedative and an emetic (to cause vomiting), and the berries are an important food source for many animals. • Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) bears its seeds. The long, spiral seeds burrow actively into the soil when they fall, both as a method for self-planting and fire-avoidance. Visit: Little Granite Mountain, No. 37. Pinyon-Juniper woodlands • Goldenrods (Solidago spp.) and bricklebush (Brickellia spp.) flower, the latter of which has arguably the best aroma of any of our flowering plants, which it releases at dusk to attract moths. • Praying mantids can be seen hunting in grasses. Visit: Tin Trough Trail, No. 308. Grasslands • Pronghorns begin their short breeding season, with males beginning their rut. During this time the males fight for dominance, and winners gather
Wildflowers blanket the forests of the Central Highlands after this year’s massive monsoon storms. Photo by Ty Fitzmorris. together a harem of females. • Yellow and purple asters abound, along with sunflowers. • The grasshoppers, our primary grass herbivores, reach their final, winged life-stage, and many species can be found in different microhabitats. Look especially for the massive, though wingless, Plains Lubber Grasshopper (Brachystola magna), which can often be found crossing roads such as Arizona 69, east of Dewey-Humboldt. Visit: Mint Wash Trail, No. 345. Riparian areas • Canyon Treefrogs (Hyla arenicolor) conclude their mating season and finish laying eggs, even as some eggs hatch into tadpoles. • Young River Otters leave their parents and home territories, dispersing into new habitats as this species reoccupies habitats from which it was extirpated by trapping, declining water quality, and habitat loss. • Monarch Butterflies appear toward the end of the month, beginning their long migration south, following creeks and drainages. • Katydids, large-winged relatives of grasshoppers, fly in riparian galleries. These are some of the best leaf-mimics of the insects. Visit: Lower Wolf Creek Falls, No. 384. Deserts/Chaparral • Paintbrushes (genus Castilleja) bear their beanlike seed-pods. These beautiful plants are unusual
in that they are hemiparasites, which draw nutrients out of other plants but also perform some photosynthesis of their own. • Seep Willow (Baccharis sarothroides) flowers in desert washes. This plant was used extensively by the Tohono O’odham to make arrows and brooms, as well as to brew a tea for coughs. Visit: Agua Fria National Monument.
Night skies • Sept. 8: Full Moon at 6:38 p.m. • Sept. 22: Autumnal Equinox at 7:30 p.m. The sun will set almost exactly to the west this evening, and everywhere on Earth, day and night are of equal length. The name “equinox,” meaning “equal night,” refers to this. Today also marks the first day of autumn in the northern Hemisphere. • Sept. 23: New Moon at 11:14 p.m. • Highlight: The great square of Pegasus becomes prominent later in the month. The stars Sheat, Algenib, Alpheratz, and Markab, which form a rough square, are directly overhead, midmonth at 10:30 p.m.
An old-made-new take on the world of antiques By Jacy Lee
is my first article for 5enses. I guess I need to introduce myself and state my intentions. I’ll bypass the vanity of introductions and shoot right to my purpose for writing and publishing about the world of antiques. First, a clarification. By the “world of antiques,” I don’t just mean old furniture, oil lamps, paintings, and such. Since I’ve started in this business in the 1970s, this world has expanded. I choose to include mid-century, thrift stores, vintage clothing and anything else that falls into the category of directly recycled household goods. That’s what we antique dealers really are, recyclers. Some of the oldest and most efficient recyclers ever to walk a planet that needs us, now more than ever. Kudos to those who have followed in our footsteps, be it
clothing, jewelry or used furniture. It will all be antique someday. But what I’m here to talk about is the eras and times, therefore the cultures which spurred the antiques and collectibles markets of today. I won’t bore you with lists and numbers or values. I might bore you with plenty of other irrelevant stuff. I might, hopefully, spur an interest and set another recycler loose on this world.
touch on the styles, subjects and genres that not only shaped our furniture, household goods, and industrial items, but also influenced our society, culture, and the very roots of our country. With an apology for my ethnocentrism, I will be keeping to subjects of America, or major influences on America. I will look back on eras and trends of the past, that we, in the present, have trouble understanding or are
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puzzled and bewildered by. Strange items, their forms and functions, from bygone eras, will be explored. I’ll warn you now, you are entering the non-tech zone. It did exist. It might exist again someday. If so, fail-safe, practical devices of the past could regain status as useful again. But then again, don’t we all still use cast iron, multi-geared, hand crank apple peelers?
what are some of the subjects I intend to cover, you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you, even if you’re not asking: • An energy source, clean and reliable, that has spawned countless antiques and collectibles, including one of the West’s most iconic images, • The French. The French? Who cares about the *?%#! French? Other than their significant role they played in the birth and expansion of the United States, what is their contribution? You’d be surprised, and it is still repeated today, • A hippie-type movement linked to an early 20th Century furniture style which is still popular with manufacturers and homeowners today, • Drugs, • Dogs, • But not dogs on drugs. We see Prescott as a dog-crazy town, but the long-felt canine influence on the antiques and art world is staggering, • Maybe more drugs, of a sort. At least one that most of us have tried, has been glamorized by Hollywood, has
had billions of dollars budgeted in advertising over the last century and a half, and whose remnants show up in almost every antique shop booth across the country, and • An era some of us remember from our childhood that was both plain and simple, and splashy and loud.
hope to have piqued some interest. I hope I last that long in this publication. So in the closing of my opening article, I once again hope to inspire some new blood into the antiques world. Have some fun. Make some money. Recycle with limited impact. Save our beautiful planet. That’s why we are here. Next month: Why are ‘oui’ here? ***** Longtime Prescott resident Jacy Lee has been in the auction business for 37 years and is directly responsible for a fraction of a million pounds of minimally processed recycling each year.
Wheelbarrow man from a printer’s book circa 1884. Image via TheGraphics Fairy.Com, public domain.
When the fire came to town A burning tale of fiery living for all seasons
By Gene Twaronite Author’s introduction: For the half a million of us in the western United States who choose to live in the Wildland Urban Interface, the threat posed by the increasing severity and frequency of wildfires is very real. The following had its origin in a conversation I had with members of the wildland fire crew in Prescott. I was just starting my new position as Defensible Space Educator with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, and I asked them if they thought the residents of the community they protected would ever learn to truly accept and live with wildfire. This story depicts one possible answer to that question — a hopefully not too distant future when we have learned to live responsibly in the wildlands and to recognize wildfire for the essential role it plays in keeping our forests resilient and strong. Many here may consider September to be the end of fire season, but, as our understanding of forest fires grows, so too does our understanding of fire season. In truth, it’s always fire season.
started in the canyon. In an instant a bolt of lightning heated a snag to almost 3,000 degrees F, torching it like gasoline. It burned in the night like a giant candle, then fell to the ground in a shower of embers that flew through the sky like shooting stars. One ember landed in some pine needles. It started a little fire that ran along the base of a boulder until burning itself out. Others landed in patches of dried grass or weeds, setting off small flames that danced and flashed before dying. Most just glowed on the bare ground and faded. But one ember landed in just the right place. Since the last wildfire a thick bed of pine needles and branches had settled on the forest floor. It was the perfect fuel the fire needed to keep on burning. Years of wet winters had also brought bunches of tall grasses, now dead and dry. And beneath the tall pines, dense thickets of shrub and tree seedlings had grown up. Hungrily the infant fire slipped through the dead grasses, then moved up into the branches of some nearby shrubs. It grew quickly as it zigzagged among the boulders, following the line of fuels. Mostly the flames were less than 2-feet tall, but sometimes they would flare up higher and brighter in a patch of thick brush or litter beneath a tree, and then grow smaller again
as the fuel burned out. By morning the wildfire was no longer little. It had grown larger than a hundred football fields. With the wind on its side, the way was clear: It was heading straight down the canyon to the basin where cabins and houses stood beneath the Ponderosa Pines, and straight downtown. The fire had a gift for the town.
small fire crew from the Forest Service was keeping a close watch. The local fire department was also on patrol. And as smoke began to fill the streets, townspeople calmly ate their breakfasts and argued about how big the fire might get. For a time, the fire stalled as the wind changed direction and blew back up the canyon. But as the wind shifted southwest, the head of the fire again began to move back toward town. But the wildfire that now came to the town was not the same fire as those so long ago. It left no destruction as it passed through the open forest of blue sky and trees. No ugly black skeletons of standing and fallen trunks. No hillsides stripped of their soil. And no burned houses. The houses and cabins in the fire’s path were not in danger. Though close to the trees, each home had just enough space cleared around it to keep it safe from wildfire. Inside this space there were no flammable
plants or litter that might carry fire to the house or into the tall trees. The homes were built not of wood but of rock, brick, or other non-flammable materials. And all had roofs made of metal or concrete where no ember could grow. For the people who lived there were ready for fire and were not afraid.
fire greeted the forest more like a friend, licking the trunks with cool, low flames as it ate up the forest litter and grasses that had grown there. Only sometimes did it get hot and frisky as it met tangles of brush or deeper layers of needles and branches against some tree trunks. Then it might kill some of the smaller trees with thin trunks, but left the larger ones with nothing more than a scar or blackened needles to mark its passing. Though this new fire was only a day young, it was old in its ways, more like the ancient fires that had once shaped the forest. Quickly it moved through the fine fuels, gently doing its work: freeing minerals from the forest litter into the soil; burning up lower branches, shrubs and small trees that can carry more deadly fire into the tree tops; killing off pests and diseases; making ashes for new wildflowers and grasses to grow for animals to eat; creating differences and variety as it made the forest stronger. And, except for some noisy jays and a few chattering
squirrels, the fire passed through the trees and around the houses without a fuss.
the time the fire reached downtown, its gift to the town was complete. A small fire crew met it in back of the high school and mopped up the few flames that remained. Other crews, together with homeowners, checked for hotspots where the fire might still be burning. And, that evening, with the wildfire’s smoke perfume still lingering above the town, its people slept as summer thunder rumbled in the mountains. © Gene Twaronite 2014 ***** Read more of Gene Twaronite’s poems, stories, and essays on his blog at TheTwaroniteZone.Com. Gene’s latest work is “Approaching Wilderness: Six Stories of Dementia,” a Kindle ebook available from Amazon.
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Buffalo Bill (William Frederick) Cody is known for his frontier daring as well as his showmanship. But, before he gained his reputation as a skilled hunter and scout, he suffered the failure of a hotel in Kansas and, later, lost his freighting business when Native Americans captured his horses and wagons. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1872 for gallantry while fighting Native Americans at the Platte River only to have it revoked in 1917 (the year he died) because he was not in the military at the time the award was made. He participated in skirmishes as late as 1876 and helped form the “Wild West Circus” in 1883. ODDLY ENOUGH ... Buffalo Bill also partnered with David F. Powell. Together they manufactured and sold cough creams and other medicines under Powell’s show name of White Beaver. *****
Known simply as “The Leather Man,” a mysterious figure was seen trudging a 365-mile circuit alone from the Connecticut River to the Hudson River for 30 years. First reported in 1850, the man was noted to have completed the route in 34 days. And his rhythm varied as little as two hours from sighting to sighting. His leather outfit was composed of slabs of thick leather held together with leather thongs. His shoes, also made the same way, had wooden soles. His clothes never changed winter through summer. He seldom spoke. ODDLY ENOUGH ... After his death in 1889, the curious who rifled through his meager belongings were rewarded with absolute frustration. The ever-walking “Leather Man” left no evidence of who he was or what triggered his relentless march. ***** Russell Miller is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, bagpiper, motorcycle enthusiast, and reference librarian. Currently, he illustrates books for Cody Lundin and Bart King.
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Bird Watching (No, The Other Kind)
The B-1B Lancer
... it’s the cat’s meow A U.S. Fair Force B-1B Lancer aircraft moves out of position after receiving fuel from a KC-135R Stratotanker during a mission over Afghanistan on May 27, 2008. Photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway, U.S. Air Force, public domain. By Matt Dean
Rockwell B-1B Lancer is a prime example of U.S. Cold War-era ingenuity, initiative, and engineering competency. The initial vision for the heavy bomber was to replace the lumbering B-52 with a high-flying supersonic nuclear deterrent. The B-1B, like many highdollar military aircraft investments, evolved over multiple decades to suit the ever-changing perceived need of the defense department. The B-1B or “B-ONE” employs stealthy characteristics and — unless you live near Dyess Air Force Base in Texas or Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota the aircraft — is likely to avoid your detection. The only functioning one I’ve ever seen is from afar on the tarmac at DavisMonthan Air Force Base in Tucson. I spied a non-functioning B-ONE at the Boneyard also at Davis-Monthan wrapped up for storage, too. The main distinguishing feature of a B-1B is its ability to alter its wings
from a 15-degree angle to a deltashaped 67.5-degree angle. The wings move for speed when the plane is in the swept delta configuration and for control when in the typical, forward position.
original B-1 was meant to be a super-fast mach 2.2 nuclear bomb delivery system in the age where a “recallable” nuclear deterrent was preferred. As the manned nuclear delivery system fell out of favor, so, too, did the B-1. But, at a cost of roughly $280 million apiece, gargantuan investments like the B-1 program evolved instead of going away. As radar evading technologies were developed, the B-1 platform was deemed suitable for stealth features. Consequently, the B-1 became the slower but less-visible to radar plane called the B-1B and served in several conflicts. It continues to support U.S. military operations in Southwest Asia.
B-1B Lancer is slim and eloquent. Much like a cat, the aircraft is meant to sneak up and then dart to the target low to the ground for the kill. The small, triangle-shaped vanes that help reduce turbulence near the nose of the aircraft are not unlike feline whiskers responding to the atmospheric conditions outside the plane. Indeed, the B-ONE is high-tech
machine of destruction and diplomacy that relies on the ancient techniques of the felis catus. ***** Matt Dean is a Prescott native and a teacher for Prescott High School’s online program who enjoys spending time with his family and walks with the dogs. Contact him at Matt. Dean@PrescottSchools.Com.
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5ENSESMAG.COM • SEPTEMBER 2014 • FEATURE • 21
The end is nigh ... again
By Paolo Chlebecek
the Y2K scare of 1999? Well, it’s
back. Sorta. Yes, The Wall Street Journal, among others, is reporting that we’re all contributing to the demise of the internet. As noted by countless sources, the internet is a vast web of interconnected devices that we’ve all become increasingly dependent on. Those devices, now numbering more than 12 billion, all need an “address” and a way to get out to the planet to connect to other devices so we can all watch “Downton Abbey,” live tweet the Oscars, reconnect with high school frenemies on Facebook, and blog about watching “Downton Abbey,” live tweeting the Oscars, and reconnecting with high school frenemies. Think of all of the internet-ready “smart” devices the each person owns. We’ve got smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop, smart TVs, blu-ray players, and likely more. Every device must have a route to tap the internet. As each device requests information, it puts more and more demand on the equipment used to carry that data back and forth to our trusty devices. Turns out they might not be as trusty as we’d like.
of the infrastructure they depend on is reaching — or has already reached — its maximum load capacity. This is unlikely to yield widespread internet blackouts nor force us to go back to our abacuses, yet. Think of it like an overcrowded commuter train.
Actually, you’re OK ... probably
You can only get so many people on it before you can’t get the doors shut and the rest will have to stay behind and wait for the next one. That’s what happens to our data while we’re “suffering with the buffering.” Fixing these delays is straightforward. Internet engineers can buy new equipment or allocate more memory to the existing routers and reboot. Generally, though, some companies can only reconfigure devices one at a time. This is a slow process. The work recently caused some popular websites to go offline briefly. More outages and slow or broken links could be in our digital collective future. The other impact is cost. As the demand for data grows, so, too, do our internet bills. (And we can only hope the speed at which we connect grows, too.) So what can we do to mitigate this debacle? In short, not much.
you feel an overwhelming compassion for the world and its internet access, you could turn off all of the devices that you’re not using and leave them off until you really need them. But short of “going dark” and refusing to be part of the rest of the planet, reverting back to the 19th century is unreasonable. So much of our world is designed and built around getting on the internet to get information. We pay our taxes online, shop, correspond and
22 • FEATURE • SEPTEMBER 2014 • 5ENSESMAG.COM
even date online. Most new products purchased these days don’t even come with a paper manual; you have to get online to learn how to use them.
are some who say you can unplug. They contend that we got by without the internet before. And, yes, we did. We also got by without vaccinations, cars, air travel, TV, phones, modern medicine, and other conveniences. Most of us wouldn’t want to give all that up. It would negate the so-called progress we’ve made, anyway. The internet and its henchman devices are part of our world now, whether we like them or not. ***** Paolo Chlebecek is founder and owner of PaoloTek, which he started in 2003. He loves dogs of all sorts and oddly finds himself driving around town between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. every weekday. Wave hi when you see him or contact him at Paolo@PaoloTek.Com.
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Prescott Film Festival’s SCRIPT NOTES
That’s a wrap
Reflections and reflections on reflections By Helen Stephenson
fifth annual Fest broke attendance records and the buzz in the community was consistently positive — that Yavapai County now sees Prescott as a part of the fabric that makes us such a unique place to live. Some volunteers work as ushers and greeters and do occasional films. Others, like those in the programming department, work for six months every year. And some, like the hard-working board of directors, even work year round. The festival also enjoyed a new level of support from county businesses and foundations. From the James Family Trust, J. W. Kieckhefer Foundation, Margaret T. Morris Foundation and Great Lakes Airlines, to almost every hotel in the Prescott area, to restaurants like El Gato Azul, Bill’s Pizza, Murphy’s, and The Gurley Street Grill, there was an amazing show of support. All are appreciated. Without any of those components, there simply wouldn’t be a Prescott Film Festival. It really takes community support to shore up an all-volunteer organization like the film fest. Onward and upward Moving forward, the festival is back with its monthly series. We are absolutely thrilled to present a very special film that’s been touching film lovers around the world, “Life Itself,” about the life of Robert Ebert. Acclaimed Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) and executive producers Martin Scorsese (“The Departed”) and Steven Zaillian (“Moneyball”) present this beautiful documentary that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Robert Ebert.
24 • FEATURE • SEPTEMBER 2014 • 5ENSESMAG.COM
It’s a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful, and transcendent. Based on Ebert’s bestselling memoir of the same name, “Life Itself” explores the legacy of Roger Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America. The film screens at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. Buy tickets, $5-8, at PrescottFilmFestival.Com. The Film Festival takes Manhattan The Prescott Film Festival is excited to be part of the annual Manhattan Short Film Festival once again. Join us Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center and join more than 100,000 film lovers in 300-plus cities across six continents as they gather in cinemas, museums, and universities for one purpose — to view and vote on the Manhattan Short Film Festival finalists. This celebration occurs simultaneously around the globe, bringing great films to great venues and allowing the audiences to select their favorites. Come be a part of this great event, where audiences choose the winner. Sneak peek for Friday, Oct. 31: The Prescott Film Festival’s traditional silent film with live musical accompaniment from the talented, uniquely expressive, and FUN Jonathan Best. Tickets on sale now. (Hint: This is the most popular event of the year.) ***** Helen Stephenson is the founder and executive director of the Prescott Film Festival and the director of the Sedona Film School at Yavapai College.
The Absurd Naturalist
By Gene Twaronite I have commented elsewhere on the need for naturalists to be well dressed whenever setting out into the field. It is no less important, however, to be properly equipped with the essential paraphernalia that will identify you as a working naturalist. Otherwise, you may run the risk of being picked up as a vagrant. Or worse. A lot depends on whether you plan to specialize in a certain area of natural history or prefer to be simply known as a GN — a generalized naturalist. A herpetology (reptile and amphibian) buff, for example, should always have a couple of cloth bags hanging from the belt in which to transport captured snakes or lizards and a snake hook or tongs, along with an assortment of plastic containers to hold frogs and salamanders as well as potato salad. Entomology (bug) enthusiasts, on the other hand, should always carry a butterfly net. Even if you’re not into bugs, there’s just something about a butterfly net which makes others take notice and lends just the right je ne sais quoi quality to your outfit. Bug people should also carry plenty of small bottles and some sort of killing jar, at the bottom of which is placed an absorbent material soaked with a chemical to asphyxiate insects. I am told that used foot pads work very nicely.
naturalists worth their salt carry binoculars. It’s a safe bet to say that anyone observed carrying binoculars in the
The well-equipped naturalist field has to be one of two things — a naturalist or a peeping Tom. Come to think of it, all naturalists are peepers in a sense, forever peeping through an open window at Mother Nature’s enchantments. The most important thing to look for in binoculars is not image quality or durability, but how much they cost, the more the better. Nothing can so ruin a naturalist’s good reputation as a pair of binoculars that look like they came free out of a cereal box. Always make sure the brand label stands out clearly for all to see. Size is a matter of individual preference. Many naturalists consider 7x35 a good, all around size, though some go for the additional power and light-gathering ability of a jumbo 20x80. I have found, however, that such instruments tend to leave scars on the chest when carried too long. Various field guides are always useful, especially in showing others that you are not some illiterate boob running around trying to look like a naturalist. It is particularly important that you open the book every now and again to make it appear as if you’re scanning the contents. It also helps if you mutter something in Latin. More affluent naturalists may go in for real field guides — those who, for $500 a day and all expenses, will lead their clients to all the natural hot spots and maybe even prepare a nice champagne brunch.
take otherwise unobtainable close-ups of certain kinds of wildlife. For grizzlies, a 1,000 millimeter lens is just about right. A magnifying glass will help you examine natural objects more closely, or burn ants when you’re bored. It can also help start a forest fire in the event you become lost. Those not overly fond of handling slime molds or scat might also wish to carry forceps. They are also handy in plucking leeches or nasty eyebrow hairs.
the most important equipment of all, especially for those naturalists seeking out some of the more interesting and less primitive natural areas — Tahiti or the French Riviera, for instance — is a little piece of plastic to pay for it all. A naturalist does not live by birds and bugs alone. Column & logo ©Gene Twaronite 2014 ***** Gene Twaronite’s writing has appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines. He is the author of “The Family That Wasn’t,” “My Vacation in Hell,” and “Dragon Daily News.” Follow Gene at TheTwaroniteZone.Com.
few additional items are worth mentioning. A small notebook or journal is handy for recording field observations as well as the philosophical prose inspired by the sight of a rare Orinoco crocodile as it chews on your leg. Some naturalists, like Henry David Thoreau, have been known to get carried away with this to the point of spending their entire lives keeping journals. I end up mostly doodling in mine. A camera is also nice to have, especially if you have just spotted an ivory-billed woodpecker or a Sasquatch. Various telephoto lenses will help you
5ENSESMAG.COM • SEPTEMBER 2014 • COLUMN • 25
Art to Wear What: Fashion & trunk show featuring clothing by Prescott designers When: 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25 Where: Mountain Artists Guild 228 N. Alarcon St., Prescott 928-445-2510 Worth: $25 Why: Local clothing plus champagne, desserts, and a bucket raffle — what’s not to love? Web: MountainArtists Guild.Org
Wearable art by Mary Schulte.
Prescott Chicken Coop Tour What: Inaugural self-guided tour of local backyard chicken coops via Slow Food Prescott and Prescott Farmers Market, including a short, optional intro class with Anita Scheelings of Skull Valley Lavender Farm about raising backyard chickens When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 Where: Backyard chicken coop maps distributed at Prescott Farmers Market Yavapai College Parking Lot D 1100 E. Sheldon St. Worth: Free Why: It’s an easy way to get into sustainable urban farming Web: ChickenCoopTour.Com 133 N. Cortez St., Historic Downtown Prescott 928-776-8695 Facebook.Com/pages/Snap-Snap/316941635545
26 • FEATURE • SEPTEMBER 2014 • 5ENSESMAG.COM
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• An expanded Expo featuring the latest watercraft, ATVs, bikes, camping gear, and more • Live music w/the talented Mogollon & Big Daddy D & the Dynamites on Saturday, & The Cool Water Band & Ashley Wineland on Sunday • Many great displays & exhibits by Arizona Game & Fish Dept., including live creatures from the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation Center • Fishing featuring a netted cover with stocked fish via Prescott Kiwanis • 8:30 p.m. Saturday night-sky program w/Prescott Astronomy Club w/
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Cody Lundin, founder of Aboriginal Living Skills, LLC, star of “Dual Survival,” provides educational sessions on Saturday, with a special small class for pre-registered individuals. Photo by Christopher Marchetti.