Saturday, January 10, 2015

Each lost pet leaves a scar

Truffula in 2014
By David Horst

Every pet makes a mark on your heart. The death of each leaves a scar.

On another farm, Truffula would have been livestock. At our Sandhilll Llama Farm, they are all pets.

Truffula was our matriarch. She was the top of the pecking order in a small herd that includes her son, Thidwick, and her grandson, Horton. Dr. Seuss fans will recognize a pattern.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Give a gift of green

By David Horst 

The latest possible Thanksgiving date has caught you by surprise and left you with gaping holes on your Christmas gift idea list.

Why not check off the nature lovers on your list and support worthy environmental causes at the same time by giving gifts from nature groups? Many offer hats, shirts, calendars, books or other gear displaying their logo and the user's convictions.

Here are a few ideas I found web surfing while contemplating Thanksgiving morning's gentle snowfall.
  • How about showing the recipient means business about his or her environmental beliefs by giving a Sierra Club briefcase to tote to work? (
  • The Audubon Society offers some of the most beautiful cards you’ll find, or anything from shade-grown coffee to a clock that chirps a different bird call each hour. (

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Need to thank vets driven home

Veteran of the Year Bill Goralski
By David Horst 

Normally I write this column about nature topics. Today, the closest I'll come to that is human nature.

I want to tell you about an experience last weekend. How I experienced it was shaped by growing up while my country was involved in an unjustifiable and wasteful war, and growing up with a father who was happiest when his head was under the hood of a car.

Later in life, my dad bought the car he wanted as a young man. This is a special vehicle, even among collectable cars. It's a 1958 Ford Skyliner, known more popularly as a "retractable."

The car has a solid hardtop that -- thanks to the best engineering of the mid 1950s -- retracts into the trunk. With the passing of my dad almost a year and a half ago, the car has been in my care.

But this story is not about cars, it's about veterans.