Cary Neeper

Writer, Blogger, and Painter -- esteeming life wherever it might be.

MUSICALS
A thousand years from now a young woman with an identity crisis defends the personhood of her alien and animal friends, as humans tackle their most difficult challenge.
In this sci-fi musical melodrama set in 3002 CE, aliens and humans discover the danger of putting too much stock in occult symbols.
ESSAYS
COMPLEXITY
Exploration of complexity, its indicators, embedded chaos, and value in human organizations.

Blog: Forty Years With Birds and Dogs--Complex Systems, Animal Consciousness and Sustainable Values .

Conversations with Birds--a new series

July 10, 2014

Tags: Human Self-Image, Animal Consciousness

Bobbi, Lucy and Little Bear
Domestic birds are very conversational if you take a moment to listen and talk to them. Los Alamos Daily Post

Conversations with Dogs

June 20, 2014

Tags: Animal Consciousness

Poncho when adopted in 1972
Poncho was a "Santa Fe" shepherd who looked me straight in the eyes while sitting quietly in his shelter cage. One wag of the tail and I was hooked. True to that first impression, he was always very sensitive to what us humans were about. Here's the story of one conversation I will never forget. Read it in the Los Alamos Daily Post

Wild Neighbors Near the Hen House

May 26, 2014

Tags: Animal Consciousness

The Wild Neighbor series ends this week with the tale of a mighty ground squirrel. All in the Los Alamos Daily Post Search on Hen House.

Hen House Wild Neighbors 2. The Angry Jay

May 6, 2014

Tags: Human Self-Image, Animal Consciousness

Offering peanut, Scrub Jays
Wild Jays never fly over the house to the backyard’s Hen House pen for a snack of lay pellets, but a few small birds do, even when Lucy and the gang are there.

On the front porch bird feeders, only one Scrub Jay watches and waits for us, but him or her (we can’t tell which) keeps his distance. He doesn’t come in for the peanuts if I wait outside on the porch, but he will snatch peanuts off the porch railing when Don has turned away to fill the hanging feeders.

Years ago two generations of Scrub Jays frequented the feeders, and some took peanuts from our hand, but only if we rested our hand on the fence rail. One Jay would come down from the aspen trees for peanuts, even if I sat down beneath the porch roof to watch. One day I pushed the relationship too far.

While I sat on the porch chair, the Scrub Jay took several peanuts and hid them in the yard. When only one peanut was left on the rail, I got up, took the peanut, and set it on the table beside my chair. When the Scrub returned I showed him the peanut. He hesitated, squawked, flew in, picked up the peanut, and flew back to the railing. Then with a squawk he threw down the peanut and flew off.

The message was quite clear. “Okay,” I hollered. “You win. Peanuts go on the rail.” A few moments later he came back, picked it up and hid it in the front yard. Ever since then his rules for the peanut game have remained firmly in place.

How the Hen House Turns-Wild Neighbors 1.

April 24, 2014

Tags: Animal Consciousness

(Also in Los Alamos Daily Post April 22, 2014)
On the other side of the yard from the Hen House—on the west side—sits the covered front porch. It is enclosed by a wooden fence topped with a two-by-four railing. On that railing and on the various shaped blocks that decorate the fencing, go unsalted peanuts in the shell, for the jays. (more…)

Scooter--Dogs Dealing with Loss

April 10, 2014

Tags: Human Self-Image, Animal Consciousness

Young DeeDee & Scooter
It's taken several weeks, but Scooter is settling into a new routine without her life-long sibling companion.
Now on The Los Alamos Daily Post

The Puzzle of Animal Consciousness

April 1, 2014

Tags: Animal Consciousness, Human Self-Image

Why can't Bobbi goose accept the fact that I'm going to be in her pen every day? I'm I'm just filling her feed and water dishes. Why all the honking? The Hen House continues its blog here at the Ladaily post.

DeeDee--An Impossible Dilemma

March 19, 2014

Tags: Animal Consciousness, Human Self-Image

DeeDee Feb.26, 2014
DeeDee was an exceptional dog--intelligent and loving, with integrity to be admired. She was taught not to bark, so she did not complain, though it became obvious that she was in a great deal of pain near the end of her life. A brief article in the Daily Post takes a look at the dilemma many dog owners face. I'll be writing about her life in blogs to come. DeeDee--An Impossible Dilemma

Butch, Coxswain of the Mahan-A WWII Memoir

March 13, 2014

Tags: Human Self-Image, Animal Consciousness

Coxswains Bill and Butch 2-2-45
Published today in the Los Alamos Daily Post--The story of the cocker spaniel Butch and the crew of the World War II destroyer Mahan, sunk in the Pacific on Dec. 7, 1944 in Ormoc Bay, Philippines.
Butch's story

The Power of Story--A Whole New Mind Set

March 4, 2014

Tags: Human-Self Image, Domestic Bird Care

Bobbi, Lucy and Ms. Khaki
It sinks in gradually--the power of your daughters' stories, as they approach and cross society's invisible line at 50. Suddenly you realize they see you as an elder citizen, one who needs to consider what to do with all the scrapbooks, the geese and ducks that will probably outlive you, the closets that have accumulated too much forgotten Stuff.

And the dogs are failing. Scooter still enjoys patrolling the yard while the birds are out, but DeeDee can barely manage the back stairs. She still enjoys her biscuit and licking the pan after dinner, so she isn't ready to quit yet. Neither are we, but we have faced that fact that we will not live forever. time to downsize.

Okay, says I, get moving. Research the options for Life Care (link to CCRC guidelines), update the will to include goose care, and Throw Out Stuff You Haven't Used in Twenty Years. Thirty? Forty already?

What fun--the cleaning-out-closets bit. I found some great stuff to give the granddaughters, had lovely moments of discovery with daughter Shawne pouring over old news clippings she didn’t know existed. One day I found Treasure True. I tried on all the shoes in one closet and discovered most of them still fit.
Out went the ones too tight on my big toe. I focused on why I hadn’t worn this sweatshirt of that pair of pants, and came to the conclusion they were not the old friends I thought they were. They had shrunk or something. They were clothes I didn’t much care for, had never worn, ad would not fit into the closets of potential life care retirement homes.

What a relief this new mind set is. We’ve given ourselves five years to make the transition to a less-frantic older age, and I can with glee look forward to the next closet. How much useful stuff will I find to give away to people who might really use it? Then there’s the satisfaction of showing off my garbageing talents to a long-patient husband, hoping for fifty years that I would one day be able to shut my bedroom closet door. It’s so beautiful. He “ooed” and “awed” for at least ten seconds at the cleanly neat look of it.

Now—don’t ask me about the file cabinets and book shelves. Enough is never enough. I feel I must sit out while the small ducks take their morning bath. Hawks can probably spot an ageing dog. And these gorgeous blue sky mornings are not to be missed.

2013 Nautilus Silver Award YA and 2012 Foreward Finalist Adult Science Fiction




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A Place Beyond Man
Authors Guild Edition 2011


The Oil Patch Project--Mystery team Cary and Don
See Oil & Gas tag above.