Book of Nature

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Author’s Note

I didn’t like to go outdoors as a kid. I didn’t like wind. I didn’t like bugs. I didn’t even really like sunlight. I liked being inside with TV and Legos. My dad was a nature guy tho and would drag me out there sometimes, and maybe that planted a seed. 

Forward by Virginia Shultz

Jonathan Bluebird Montgomery, like his mentor Jack Collom in Jack’s book Second Nature,favors the “nuanced context-responsive constructs [over] the decisive snap!”2His flurries into cynicism, surrealism, sarcasm, simplicity, contradiction, and eulogy provide both amusement and revelation to the reader, and ask us to play physically and emotionally inside the narrative,               inside Nature.

Dyin’ Lion

I know everyone thinks I’m just a cabdriver, but I also work at the zoo. They pay me to take care of the lion, a 550lbs predator-cat from sub-Saharan Africa trapped inside an artificial habitat. 

It’s Hard for Wild Animals

I mean, look at what’s happening to the Polar Bear. Its true nature is to relentlessly hunt the blobbedy seals of the North Pole ice shelves, but we’ve fucked with degrees Celsius too much, and it’s getting to the point you can easily imagine a world in which every Polar Bear is swimming toward a non-existent fantasy berg until it gets too tired and suddenly its many hundreds of pounds sink straight to the bottom.

Glacier in Sandals

Westminster, Colorado is about 15 miles away from the geographic moment when the mountains suddenly burst outta the plains. It’s a demonstration of the glorious power of geology, and it seems to rub off on you the closer you are to it.

There is a pain from not being as close to this as I was when I lived in Boulder, which is directly next to the mountains and sometimes made me feel like ancient plates were pushing me upward and taller than everything else. The one good thing about being out here tho is we are far enough away to actually have a better vantage point. On a clear day you can see past the first ridges to the enormous ones in back, the ones that are white all year round.

“Man, I like those white ones,” I told my girlfriend. “They’re so smooth and frosty looking. I think I want to eat one for desert.”


We went out to the pond near our place looking for the things that really stand out and make you feel more alive.

At first everything was pretty typical. Trail, water, trees, sky. There were some common birds like mallards and house finches but nothing really thrilling.

Then suddenly we spotted something unusual in a high branch. A color, shape, and call, which at first seemed unfamiliar to us. We peered hard into our binoculars and shouted out the field markings as they became apparent.

If a Butterfly Lands on You That Means You’re Alright

so colorful

so abstractly 

yet symmetrically patterned

so gracefully 


they just know 

who’s worthy 

and who’s not

The Names of Arizona Locations

Some Arizona Locations are Named After the First White Guy Who Settled There…

  • Chandler
  • Dewey
  • Gilbert
  • Jerome
  • Kingman
  • Prescott
  • Wickenberg
  • Winslow
  • Williams

Fisherman with a Beer

fisherman with a beer
smoking a cigarette
listening to Nirvana
scaring all the birds

4 Shitty iPhone Pictures of the Moon

it was a full moon in the summer wilderness
and the magic hadta be captured somehow
my arms and hands were too small, too far away
my vision and mind too impermanent, too unshare-able
but I did have my iPhone 6
so I pointed it to the sky and pressed the button

Dead Birding Expert

A lady who guided weekly birding groups in Northern Arizona died recently. I went out with her group several times last summer and learned a lot about the local birds. Like how the Common Yellowthroat goes ‘witchity-witchity,’ how the western Yellow-billed Cuckoo can be found in riparian habitats, and how the L’s are pronounced like Y’s in Cordilleran Flycatcher. I also learned about the deadly threat of killer bees.

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