So an EarthWalker presented me with a “Quote Challenge.” Pretty simple rules, three quotes by a philosopher who lived in ages considered more ancient in the history of Earths’ walking bi-peds who taught themselves to read, write and think a lot.

I have to admit I have found philosophy to be more interesting in a historical context than an inspiration or rule of life.

Historically and even today people who think and verbalize a different idea run the risk of being trampled by a mooing herd that can easily be frightened by a shift in wind direction. Or they will be praised , worshipped, and adored. As far as I am concerned being a philosopher at the right or wrong moment in history could get you either one.

So I look at it with keen interest in how philosophy influenced history. Such as the French Enlightenment writer Francois-Marie Arouet better known by his nom de plume “Voltaire.”

You see Voltaire’s writings greatly influenced men known as “Founding Fathers” of the United States of America. Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine were influenced by Voltaire.

But this is a challenge to the reader to pursue the philosophy of Voltaire and his influence because this blog is more about the influence of our dear mother Earth.

So I will lead this towards a more “Ancient” philosopher to meet the challenge presented to me and keep the integrity of “In the Middle of Somewhere.”

So I present my ancient philosopher “Siddharta Gautama.” He was from what is known as India and lived somewhere in the sixth to fourth centuries BC.

This was during a time when peoples admired, worshipped and celebrated wildlife. It was a part of their societies and beliefs. The Aztecs and their Jaguar. The Egyptians with their cats and vultures. Native Americans and their bears among many.

It was written, I am sure after many re-tellings, that Siddharta Gautama believed he was a Sarus Crane in a previous life. A majestic crane found in India, Southeast Asia and Australia. Loved and cherished by many as “Love” birds who chose one mate and was known to be devastated and heartbroken if it’s mate died.

Because of this the followers of Siddharta Gautama worshipped the Sarus Crane as if it was Siddharta Gautama himself. This afforded the bird great protection from being on the dinner table. Because after all who would eat the holy man “Buddha”

Quotes attributed to Buddha;

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

It is better to travel well than to arrive.

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

Buddha’s Sarus Cranes are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN

HEIGHT: ~ 176 cm, 5.8 – 6 ft

WEIGHT: ~ 6.35 kg, 14 lbs

POPULATION: ~ 15,000 – 20,000

TREND: Decreasing


antigone – Indian

sharpii – Eastern

gilli – Australian

STATUS: IUCN: VU; Cites Appendix II; CMS II

Pictures and stats of Sarus Cranes from the website of the International Crane Foundation


Where do they go ?


So where do they go ? Now that it has come to it’s end.

Is he back in the mountains of New Mexico, sniffing through the pines ?

Is he on the Missouri river in Montana ? Running wild on the banks of the river until he cools his heat in the flows ?

Is he once again asleep on the couch that he is not supposed to be ?

Is he barking at the horses in North Dakota, or chasing the geese in the places we have roamed?

Body surfing in the Ocean ?

Is he asleep in the tent covered by fleece.

Is he running fast with freedom in his heart ?

I still feel him about me very loyal and close.

I can see him walking through the bottomlands in the State we called home. The heat of Summer making it lush and green. A place he was happy, with a river close by. He is walking away forever, I can’t call him back no matter hard I try. 

It’s over and his time has come. All I can say is I love you, I will miss you and goodbye !! You have been the best dog ever !!!

Best wishes my ever loyal and my dearest friend ! You changed me forever and for that I am grateful, and I will be until the end.

Heart broken

Nokota Horse, North Dakota, People of North Dakota, Somewhere

Snow and food

Not the best of pics, but this is a recent supplemental feeding of over 120 mares in a pasture during a snowstorm. You can get an idea of how hard the snow was coming down if you can see the limited visibility in the pics.

That’s Frank back there.  Doing what he has been doing for decades. Taking care of the Nokotas. No matter what mother nature throws at him.

North Dakota, Somewhere, Wildlife


I have been totally fascinated by watching a Weasel that lives here. Two days in a row he kept popping out of a spot near one corral where Frank was dropping in a hay bale. I checked the spot but could find no den.   I was looking for weasel on the third day, but he did not appear. Then I looked at the bobcat skid steer and who’s head do I see in a small hole in the side ? Weasel !  He was riding in the Bobcat doing chores. WeaselPatrick got his photo while he was here.

North Dakota, Somewhere, Wildlife

Movement. Signs of Spring

Earlier in the week I only saw a handful in formation. It has been several cold months since I heave heard their voices. Made me happy. They are all basically headed Northwest towards the Missouri river it seems. Yesterday the numbers have increased with flocks of several hundreds moving at a rapid pace.  Several flocks in the air at once. The Northern plains and it’s great openness allows you to be a visual witness. Then last night they were heard but not seen passing overhead. Many calling in the darkness as they passed overhead. You could almost feel the movement.

North Dakota, Somewhere

Ben and Patrick

So my brother Patrick and a long time family friend Ben decided they wanted to get into their creative side by coming to North Dakota. Patrick is a photographer and Ben shows his World with video. Both amazing at their craft, they came to apply it to the horses I have been hanging out with for months.

They showed up and went right to work spending several days shooting from first light well into the evening. Kind of what I expected from them both. Frank was very accommodating, which helped them get some pretty amazing stuff !

I am excited to see what comes of it all after they return back to their cities and begin the post production.

Was great seeing you both !

Check out their sites

Patrick’s : Patrick Lanham Photography

and Ben’s: Civil Sea Films

And of course the Horses: Nokota Horse