It’s not all doom and gloom here in St. Louis, despite continuing racial tensions around the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson. Ferguson is where my grandparent’s old house was, where I used to visit as a child and play in the yard and dance on top of a tree stump. It has been interesting to watch how the media shapes peoples’ response to the situation, and how the national and international exposure invites commentary that has very little to do with the immediate reality (though much of it is warranted- the disproportionate militarized response to demonstrations, etc.). Not to mention all the ugly commentary that serves no good purpose and incites fear and hatred. The somnolent news junkie inside me has revived, however, and cannot resist checking headlines throughout the day, to my chagrin. So I take walks. The good news: On a walk yesterday I saw turtles and frogs and a kingfisher sitting on the martin house. The martins chased him off later. The breeze rustled the cottonwood leaves and they made that hushing sound that is peaceful. And this morning I saw the sun coming up over the river and lighting up the compass plant flowers that the finches and bees are drawn to.