On the morning of May 1st, 2024, my best friend (roommate, partner, and shadow) passed away. Samson was a rescue dog, that we got back in December of 2016. From the beginning, he was a dog on his own terms. He gravitated to food as if it was his last meal. He groomed himself, as if he was a cat. Outside in the yard, he barked at anyone who would dare come close to his property. The Mark Twain school kids knew him well. The younger kids would like to see him, while the older kids enjoyed teasing him. In general Samson was a grumpy old dog with a strong bark that would scare other dog owners. However, when I would let him out of the yard, he did not bark or care if anyone was nearby. He just sniffed his trees and then would come back inside.

During the past 12 months, his hip had given out and he had trouble walking. At this point, he could no longer climb stairs. No one knew how old Samson was, since he came from the Iowa City shelter. The previous night, he had eaten his favorite food of all, McDonald’s French Fries and slept until mid-morning. He woke up and went outside. He had trouble standing up. After coming back in side, he had trouble breathing and went back to his bed. Shortly after he passed away.


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A Tree Falls on January 11th

The midwest is known for having large snowfalls every few years. However some of these snow storms are worse than others. This year the 2024 Winter came with a couple of rounds of snow that accumulated to more than a foot in Iowa, but the worse was that the snow was wet and heavy. All of these conditions came together to bring down plenty of trees in our neighborhood. The damage was broken tree limbs that were longer than 20 feet and which knocked out my electricity and phone lines.

Red Tail Hawk

While walking along the Iowa River trail, I went into the brush and came upon a bird of prey. At first I thought it was one of those moments when nature communicates to you spiritually. Maybe I was meant to go no further and turn around. I approached closer, however the hawk stood his ground and did not move. I took these pictures and left him to his privacy.

Only later when I imported the photos into my MacBook did I realize why the hawk did not scatter upon my approach. There at his feet, lay his dinner: a nice size rabbit!