Science & Art


In his own words:

“I’ve always loved being outdoors feeling the wind and inhaling the alluring scents of nearby trees and flowers. Living in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona, I often walk along the washes and desert canyons near my Tucson home. Sitting outdoors on a boulder, I stop and slow my thoughts, taking in all of nature. Insects, including my favorites the bees zoom past uninterrupted in their search for floral rewards. Slowly, the larger animals reappear as rabbits, ground squirrels and birds settle near me. Nearby I spy a vivid yellow-orange Senna bush. It’s early morning and I hear the bees. They are buzz pollinating, having turned themselves into living tuning forks. They used sonic blasts to harvest the floral pollen.

In nature I always find inspiration for my writing and ideas for my scientific research. I’ve never used a nature journal or sketchbook, but do capture images and memories with a digital camera. My backyard in Tucson’s foothills offers inspiring views of the rugged Santa Catalina Mountains. I wrote much of The Reason for Flowers while immersed in the riotous yellow blooms of palo verde trees, like eastern Forsythias on steroids, and the columnar multi-armed giants, the white-flowered saguaro cacti.

Years ago, I did the same thing co-writing much of The Forgotten Pollinators book while strolling the grounds of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, including time spent inside the hummingbird aviary watching the small but feisty birds drinking from the many orange and red blooms. I cherish every moment I can spend outdoors, whether those times are outdoors in deserts, Ponderosa pine glades or tropical forests around the world.”

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