The Zebra Hack – a poem from 11th grade

Another childhood writing inspired by a visit to New Orleans.


by Carol Fullerton-Samsel

The carriage nag with chiseled frame
Wears leather halters that inflame
Its sculptured ribs and bony spine;
Thus to its lowly task confined,
The spindly mare with muscles tense
Hauls tourists with indifference
Along the roads that are routine
And over streets with deep ravines.
‘Til early morn the stilled beast works,
But from its task it does not shirk.
And when the beast seems most hard-pressed,
There comes at last a time to rest.
The horse is placed within its stall,
And aged crags within the wall
Allow the moon’s pale misty beams
To filter through and flow in streams
Across the floor and up the mare,
To give the hack a zebra’s wear.
The creature sleeps, but dreams of things
Like cold steel bits and rawhide’s sting.
Exhaust from stagnant traffic gores
At tender nostrils that ignore
Its pungent odor and its bite
As worn hooves clap throughout the night.

Arkansas snowstorm of 2012

This gallery contains 15 photos.

On Christmas day, we received just under a foot of snow.  It doesn’t sound like much, but the snow downed so many power lines that roughly 190,000 homes were without electric. Our power went out on Christmas Eve. We didn’t worry a great deal.  The power goes out frequently here, and we expected it to … Continue reading

Palm cockatoo baby born at Adelaide Zoo, Australia


While searching “cockatoo photos” I stumbled on this photograph of a youngster born at Adelaide Zoo in Australia. It was the first successful birth of a palm cockatoo in Australia since 1973. For additional photographs and videos, visit the  original post by Lesley Smitheringale.

Bees, butterlies, and hummingbirds attracted to Mexican Sage

I used to be terrified of bees, until we planted Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha) along the walkway to our house. When it blooms, it is covered with honey bees, carpenter bees, and butterflies. Hummingbirds visit throughout the day.

The bees are so busy gathering pollen, that they rarely notice of anyone standing nearby. And even though my husband and I walk by them daily, we haven’t been stung since we planted the sage five years ago.

The bee visiting the flower (in the above photographs) is a female carpenter bee, which will sting but only if disturbed. The males have a white spot on their foreheads, and do not have stingers. They are the ones that “harass” people by flying at them. The more someone waves their arms or runs, the more the males “attack” because they’re attracted by movement.

Mexican sage loves direct sunlight, is heat and drought tolerant, and requires only small amounts of fertilizer. Next year, I may plant a row  in “the dead zone” of our yard, where little grows because the sun’s a little too intense and the soil’s a bit too dry.

Photos from the Wyoming Dinosaur Museum in Thermopolis Wyoming

This gallery contains 16 photos.

After visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, we made a scenic loop back to Cody (taking 26/287 to Riverton, going north on 20, and then northwest on 120 to Cody). On the way, we happened upon the Wyoming Dinosaur Museum in Thermopolis. It’s a gem of a museum that has clear, interesting fossils. Someday … Continue reading

Photos from Grand Teton National Park (continued)

This gallery contains 13 photos.

Pronghorn and deer can be found on the loop that includes Antelope Flats Road. The pronghorn are skittish, and usually stay well away from the road. When we travel, I carry the camera and my husband carries the binoculars. We were fortunate to run into a park visitor who had just driven Gros Ventre Road. … Continue reading

Photographs from Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Crowds gathered at this waterfall, which we discovered on our drive to Grand Teton National Park. We thought wildlife might have been spotted. Instead, fishermen against a scenic backdrop. Moose could be found along the Gros Ventre River. One park visitor told us that he’d spotted a large bull. It was close to the road … Continue reading