Male Side-Blotched Lizard, Inks Lake, Texas

“Male side-blotched lizards have three heritable throat colors, associated with three divergent mating strategies. These alternative mating strategies can stably coexist because, as a game of rock, paper, scissors, each strategy has strengths over one another, and weaknesses in the case of the third. The strategy of blue-throated males is to guard their mates faithfully, whereas orange-throated males rely on aggresssion and yellow-throated males try to sneak in on females that already have a partner. The faithful blue-throated males sire the most offspring in singly sired clutches, succesfully excluding most sneaker yellow-throated males. The blue-throaters often succumb, however, to the aggression of the orange-throaters. These incursions into the blue-throater territory bring the orange-throated aggressors success, but leave them open to sneaking by the yellow-throated lizards. Yellow-throaters also sire by far the most offspring posthumously, suggesting that their sperm is particularly good at persisting inside the female for later fertilization.” (19 Dec 2003 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) Who would have ever guessed? I just saw a bold, in-your-face, proud lizard. Little did I know he was something else, entirely….

The Little Warrior, February 1980

One of the transcendant experiences of my life is illustrated by this photograph. This is my son, Orion, only a month old, rallying from his biggest battle. My wife, Mary, in the early morning on his fifth day of life, sleeping with her newborn, felt his breathing stop. He would have been a SIDS fatality, but she caught it…. He was intubated and eventually rescued, but not before many days of struggle with pnuemonia and other complications. Nothing prepares a parent for a life and death struggle of his infant. Nothing is as traumatic and profoundly difficult, on every level. Nothing will teach you to pray to whatever Higher Being or Principle you believe in more humbly, or directly…. Orion is fine now, a wonderful 25 year old man with eyes as bright as anyone I know. Sometimes horribly difficult experiences make those who survive stronger and closer than they would ever have been had life unfolded uneventfully. It’s always hard to see that at the time. Often things turn out quite the opposite of what they initially seem to be.

Wilco, Austin City Limits 2004

One of my favorite bands is Wilco, whose lead singer, Jeff Tweedy, seen here front and center, is one of the most adventurous and daring musicians performing and composing today. I’ve wondered what kind of music Beethoven would play if he were alive today, and the closest thing I can come up with is the music Wilco resonates–deeply emotional, rich and compelling. Tweedy is….out there taking chances, creating brand new music unlike anyone else.

Virginia Ivey April 10, 2005

On the day before her twins are to be delivered by C-section. Can you see that much talked about “glow”? If you can’t, I’ve not done a good job. These are her first children, and she’s so very happy. And I’m happy for her and Stuart. I love posting pictures on the front end of a major event, like a birth. To you, the viewer, who may read this for the first time years from now, the event has already unfolded….but I like posting images when the details have yet to be lived….it makes this whole process of photographing and writing captions much more interesting….and immediate and fun. By the way, you, the viewer, are seeing the most recent post first. As you push the “previous image” button you’ll work backwards in time to the very first post, Flaming Lips.