Land Specks

Pop Up Isles, Sinking Atolls &
Havens for Snakes, Cats & Spiders

An unforeseen consequence of rising sea levels is that it puts a dump on that idyllic idea of retiring to a tropical island. Somehow the thought of waking up at its highest peak, with just enough time to hold your breath doesn’t have the same ring that it once had.
It’s a silly dream anyway. So when a 7.7 earthquake shook Pakistan last week, leaving over 500 dead and thousands homeless, in a nation already periodically visited by tragedy, only a heartless optimist would see the birth of a new island as a silver lining of sorts.
And yet, there it is, a 100 feet by 250 feet speck that’s now dotting the Arabian Sea. A rough, cracked piece of the ocean floor, pushed up by methane to 60 feet up above water. Almost like a natural monument and tribute for those who had to go for it to rise up so violently.
As you probably gathered by now, that’s our theme for this evening: islands, those mysterious orphans of continental drifts, giants underwater, tall enough to reach high above the waves, and yet frightfully tiny, once at the surface, always at ready to be swallowed by the vastness around.
They’ve been a surprising copious leit motif at Colltales, having graced these pages half a dozen times in less than three years. Perhaps its their endless diversity, or often violent origins, what pulls us towards them. Or that they can be placid and inhabited only by bugs Continue reading

The Comeback Mount

Neville Bardos &
All the Wild Horses

Perhaps that’s the kind of news about horses we’ve been longing to hear for quite some time now. For, as only those galloping on the same track know, these have been particularly stablefull of bad news times for equines of all strides.
From corruption and drug overuse at race tracks, to being rounded up and shot in the Middle West and abandoned to starvation in Ireland, horses have been getting it pretty rough lately.
Then, along comes Neville Bardos, an Australian thoroughbred, who’s been twice at the final line but managed to come back and win prizes and hearts in both sides of the pond.
A HORSE WITH A FRIEND
To be sure, this is as much a story about the horse as it is about Boyd Martin, who bought the 7-year old for only $800, off a truck Continue reading