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Exploring Nature with Jerry Hall: 5 birds you must see

Let me suggest five birds for you to see before you die – cock-of-the-rock, resplendent quetzal, puffin, toucan and lilac-breasted roller.  
These are all avian masterpieces and quite unique. I’ve seen them all, and probably the cock-of-the-rock was the hardest to check off my list.  
I saw a dull-colored female, just briefly and not very well, on a trip to Peru.  
It took a journey to Panama before I finally saw the bright orange male, and then I saw several on a breeding lek, all very colorful and well worth the wait to see.

Life's Surprises with Gary Smith: January brings new lock to unlock

Last month a man asked me how often I write this column for the newspaper.
I told him it is a weekly column. He said, “Oh. That is not easy to come up with something to write every week.”
He has written some good pieces himself over the years, periodically.
I have not written much this month so far other than this weekly column.
It is January. Trying to get going in a new year. A writing respite.
In the book, "The Boys in the Boat," author Daniel James Brown quotes George Yeoman Pocock’s thoughts about the annular rings of the giants of the forest.


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