Saturday, March 2, 2019


  • Do twins ever realize that one of them is unplanned?
  • What if my dog only brings back my ball because he thinks I like throwing it?
  • Which letter is silent in the word “scent,” the s or the c?

Monday, October 29, 2018

I was writing at the Chino Valley Library, and engrossed in the words. After an hour of working on a chapter of my novel, Kill Claw, I was hackneyed... and the plot had taken a deadly turn for the worst.

I took a breather, sat back and looked around the room. I was surrounded by wonderful books and certainly in the right section.

Yep. The perfect place for a nasty character to die.



Sunday, October 7, 2018

Kill Claw - A Sam Rios Novel

The first section of Kill Claw is going out to my beta readers tomorrow. Slow process and I appreciate the dedicated help from others. Patience grasshoppers - coming soon...


Christine Haese

Part One



“Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.”

John Muir


Chapter 1

Another Day in Paradise

         Sam Rios was flat on his back and barely conscious when a soft whine, rhythmic panting, and bad breath of a brown and gray lobo quietly licking his bloody wounds, roused him. He flinched as it ratcheted its head sideways and its breathing came faster, as it stared directly into his face. Sam’s eyes followed its sniffing nose upward, where he saw two dark orange eyes, glaring at him with an expression of fear and confusion. It was as if it was telling him, “Get up. Run stupid, it’s coming for us and will kill!” Sam did not fear the animal but was holding his breath and when he exhaled, it suddenly ran into the night. As he stared in its direction, he saw only dark, silhouetted statues of Ponderosa pines. 

          Stretching his body to see deeper into the forest, he lost his balance and rolled, landing face down in a shallow stream of icy, cold water, racking him in shock. “Ow. Aaugh!” He was in excruciating pain as he defiantly struggled to stay in survival mode. A tickle started on the left side of his face, with warm fluid dribbling into his eye, he had stabbing pains in his chest, and could not lift his left arm. He tried to move but was locked in pain, then he heard the shouting.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Shy Moon

I see you hiding,
Floating between cloud islands. 
Searching for the sea,
Open dark waters where
You illuminate my garden
With your bright,
Steady beam.

You are in place,
Like a great ship
Sitting on the ocean
Of dark blue silence.
Surrounded by a mass
Of tiny, twinkling rafts.
Your starlight companions.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Celebrate Banned Books Week

The last week in September is Banned Books Week - 2018. Time to Celebrate!

Read a book that’s been banned. Here's a potential list: Uncle Tom’s Cabin, To Kill a Mockingbird, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Red Badge of Courage, The Catcher in the Rye, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Moby Dick.

The books shown —along with many others—have been targeted for removal from bookshelves around the nation. Find out what all of the buzz is about! Join us as we celebrate Banned Books Week and encourage your children to read a banned book.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Blister Beetles

It's that time of year again... 

The blister beetles are doing their dance to make more blister beetles, and I suggest we all put on our old shoes and stomp until they are all flat and dead! You can ID them by their flat head, long bodies and legs, and thread-like or beaded antennae. Here are photos of species we see most often around Paulden, in Yavapai County, Arizona.
Every horse owner should know what they look like because it  just takes a few in a flake of hay to cause a horse to suffer digestive and urinary tract damage, inner hemorrhages and even death if they are unlucky enough to ingest too many. The beetles are capable of synthesizing cantharidin, one of the most poisonous compounds known to humans AND this chemical causes terrible blisters on the skin (see last photo).

The last (gross) photo is when one got to me, while I was cleaning out an old shed in NM. I never even knew I rubbed against its body until later. I had seen the beetles in the shed and did not recognize the species. The blister lasted 3-4 months and the doc felt it was at risk of infection if she lanced, so I kept it clean, bandaged, covered with a pants leg.

Beautiful bugs aren't always beneficial. This one is not one of my favorites.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Searching for Lagged Lookout Trees

Overgaard Tree 1998
In 1998, I published a story in High Country News, Lagged not Logged
Now, LISTEN to a story I helped write for KNAU Earth Notes that involved traveling to see some of the remaining trees in the Kaibab National Forest, AZ.

Paul and I try to incorporate physical searches for lagged lookout trees when we travel the forests of Arizona and New Mexico. Included in our research is:
  •  Historical trees that died or fell, including the Overgaard tree, which succumbed in 2002 to the Rodeo-Chedisky Wildfire. 
  • Gathering GPS coordinates for the old trees using historical locations and compass data.
With our travel history we have learned:

* How lagged trees were designed and used. These important wonders of history, tell stories of firefighters that located fires in the early 1900’s by sitting like birds for hours in the tops of these trees. 

* Specific information for Arizona visitors and explorers about the lagged trees that are still accessible to backpackers, hikers, photographers and natural history enthusiasts. These amazing old trees have many stories to tell. Their historical value, condition and location is important – before they all fall to the ground. 

One of the easiest trees to access, view and photograph is the Tusayan Tree in Tusayan, Arizona, at US Forestry Dept, 176 Lincoln Log Loop, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023. (Follow US Hwy 69 to the USFS station and ask for updated to the tree. It is unmarked and near an APS Sub-station off first round-about in town).    
Hull Tree, Kaibab NF 2017

Hull Tree 1950's

998 High Country News: Lagged Not Logged, by Christine Haese

"Climbed Delodo Tree. Had a bad feeling, so dry and hot. Storm last night brought plenty of lightning, little rain. Spotted smoke to south, blowing northeast and picking up ... Caught hobbled mare and saddled up. Rode to Little Nelson Lake Tree, saw smoke again. Looks like a big fire ... May need extra folks on this fire." -  from Firefighter Journal of U.S. Forest Service fire spotter July 1935

Before the fire lookout tower, there was the "lagged" lookout tree - so named for the steel lags that provided steps to the top of the tree. The Civilian Conservation Corps created a network of these tall trees that spanned ridges and mountaintops across the national forests. Nimble fire spotters climbed to their tops on the spiked steps of tempered steel or wood ladders, then checked the horizon for smoke. Some lookout trees, such as the Hull Tank Lookout Tree on the Kaibab National Forest, still have their wooden platforms. On the Mogollon Rim of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona, a 60-foot-tall ponderosa pine known as the Overgaard Tree still stands, its rungs grown high. And on the Kaibab National Forest, several lookout trees have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

While lookout trees were left standing across the United States, they were most common in the Southwest. For more information, contact the Kaibab National Forest, 928-635-8272, Black Range Ranger District of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, 928-535-4481 or the National Historic Lookout Register, 1-800-476-8733. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018


Saturday was our day off, so of course we headed to the mountains. Drove the Perkinsville Road from Drake Cement Plant to Williams, AZ. On the way back, we stopped for a picnic at an old CCC Camp F-28-A or Camp Boyce. It was hot, but Pondo shade was nice.