I Blog Therefore I Am~


Holler Red Tail Hawk WM1 El Calafate Patagonia (Please click to enlarge photos) dsc04159 Barbary Ape Gibraltar DSC03891 Antarctica DSC03758 Banff BC DSC05114 Cinque Terre DSC00983 Holler Hummingbird DSC01489 Holler Rose
I have stopped counting, which is a very good thing, but thank you sincerely for being here. Last count there were 1,110,870 internet views and visits, 125,268 wordpress comments alone and 15,362 internet followers… Thank you & join us!

Please Note: Award Free Blog. I so appreciate awards but lack the time to properly respond. I retired early after 27 years as a psychotherapist/mental health director and moved to the outer limits of no-wheres-ville to a home I call “The Holler.”

My closest neighbors are coyotes (packs and packs of them and they are HUNGRY), rattlers (lots and lots of them and they are MEAN), and free range cows/bulls (the bulls aren’t too friendly either).
Forget cell phones. They don’t work out here. Forget GPS, it misdirects.
It’s best not to wander too much out here, the people (and their dogs) are kinda twitchy.

To reach The Holler turn right at the reeking chicken farm, proceed down a bunch of pot-holed semi-streets/dirt roads, past the abandoned refrigerators and occupied old RV’s and then things get kinda dicey.
My friends usual reaction to the trip to The Holler is, “You’ve got to be kidding!” Or, “Next time let’s meet half way.”

This is our little bit of heavenly Appalachia right here in rural California.
I like to write and if something strikes my fancy, usually something odd or unusual, you will learn about it here. And thankfully, at The Holler, almost everyday is odd and unusual. So “Holler Happenings” including photos of flowers, birds, and wild animal interactions, are included.

I travel three-four months a year so you will find my photos of locales from all over the world. The good, bad, and the better.
So put your feet up and let’s devote our attention to the best things in life,  the things we want to do.
To start here are some links:

National Geographic Your Shots page,


Pinterest page,

Goodreads page,

And “about me” before I retired and commenced this life of leisure:



Cheers & Welcome!
Cindy Knoke
(AKA-Cindy Barton LCSW)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


998 thoughts on “I Blog Therefore I Am~

    • Coyotes are dingos are very similar in terms of behavior, intelligence and ruthless survival skills. They even look somewhat similar. They are even more closely related genetically that scientists used to think. We have tons of coyotes in multiple packs that hunt in a coordinated fashion at night covering lots of territory. It is not a good idea to walk out here at night alone or without protection. So best to stay in your car and meet me halfway. You wouldn’t want to get lost which everyone does out here! We are going back to Oz in March for a month. I can’t wait!


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  2. Your photos are amazing. I love the hummingbirds. One was stuck in our garage years ago (believe it or not, he’d wedged his beak between two stacked boards and I found him hanging, limp but alive). When I rescued him, he sat on my finger for several minutes before buzzing off. I’d forgotten all about it until I saw those perfectly detailed little feet…the memory of his tiny death-grip on my finger came zipping back! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your creativity. Sometimes I get stuck in “now” (it’s a little hard to see our way past the next five years; even when I can, it’s difficult to imagine being something other than a full-time advocate for my kiddos). Your blog is a great reminder that the future is full of new opportunities.

    p.s., I’m no pro, but am curious…do you remember what kind of camera/lens you used for the hummingbirds? I can’t get over those shots. Really beautiful. You’ve inspired me to try to catch them this summer with my Nikon.


    • Well, this is why I can never lose sight of the fact that blogging is important, because I just got to meet you. And you basically get it. All the best to you and lovely to meet you.


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    • Ahhhh, so kind of you! Thank you. I had nightmares about rattlers, black widows and coyotes, for basically the first year living here. I thought I had made a serious mistake moving here. Now when I see really big rattlers, black widows, or coyotes up close, I reach for my camera quite pleased. I have fully adapted, which is what people usually do, thankfully.


  4. Dear Cindy,

    I keep following your site regularly and enjoy it very much, plus taking regularly the liberty to place some of your magnificent pictures on Pinterest.

    For the “likesl I also use some other WordPress login, depending for wich site I am writing at that moment. Please do know if you would not see a like under my personal name, I keep following you and loving yor postings.

    I was pleased to find you subscribed to another (religious) webste of mine. Thank you very much.


    • You are very kind Marcus and I treasure you thoughtful comments and very much enjoy your blog. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to meet you here in cyberspace. Please tell me the name of your second blog, so I will recognize it. Cheers to you my friend & thank you for your kindness.


      • Next to my personal (civil – political and economic blog) “Marcus Ampe’s Space” I have “Our World” (on blogger) and on WordPress I present my own ecclesia “Belgian Christadelphians” and the Belgian or Flemish Brethren in Christ “Broeders in Christus” (or Christadelphians) (for whom I am the responsible elder in Belgium), whilst by the (little bit different community of) “Belgian Bible Students” I offer studies on the Scriptures.
        Biblical Archaeological and historical matters are presented at “Bijbelvorsers”.
        With “From Guestwriters” I love to introduce writings and websites from others which could be interesting to read.
        More difficult subjects are tackled by “Stepping Toes” and “Unmasking anti Jehovah people”.
        For the Jewish and Messianic communities I offer the website “Jeshuaists”

        You see, next to the (very demanding) translation work for the “Jewish Orthodox Bible” and for the “Torah” or “Wetboek van God” (“The Book of the Law of God”) I keep myself busy. The religious sites demanding so much work that my own personal site is a little bit neglected. But personally I think my work for God is more important. (Though it often brings me a lot of negative reaction and lots of not such nice mails – me being a Non-Trinitarian,representing the Christadelphians and defending other Bible Students and Unitarians.)

        You are always welcome at those mentioned sites, which (I do hope) shall also bring some positiveness and peace in certain people’s mind.

        Respectfully yours,


        • Yes. I will check your sites that I haven’t seen. I am very impressed with your scholarship and depth of knowledge, which this short vitae can only briefly summarize. I learn from every post I read, although your knowledge of scripture and theology is light years ahead of mine. My mother taught World Religions and she would be so impressed with you. Thank you for what you do, and for taking the time to explain it to me. I am sad that people would respond in a negative fashion to someone who devotes themselves so sincerely and diligently to good, as you and your students do, but we do live in very strange times. Love to all of you, and blessings too. I am very lucky to meet you here in the blogsphere.


  5. Ich bin durch Zufall auf dein Blog gestossen und es hat mit dort sehr gut gefallen . Ich möchte auch weiter deine tollen Fotos und Berichte verfolgen .Gerne habe ich deine Seite abonniert. Ich finde es schön , dass auch du meiner Seite folgst.
    Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Cindy, as a nature-lover yourself, I was wondering if you would be interested in reading and reviewing my eBook “Encourage A Child To Watch Birds” on your blog or your social media channels? It provides 10 Non-Screen Ideas that adults can use to inspire a child to discover the natural world. I believe that putting these ideas into practice could help to develop a child’s powers of observation, improve their aural skills, teach them basic nature conservation practices – and increase their enjoyment of the natural world.
    If so, I can send you a mobi, ePub or PDF file. It’s not a large book (14k words with a reading time of 30 minutes). Thanks for your consideration.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Cindy,

    I have just finished commenting on your post featuring those melanistic red tail hawks.

    And here I found myself being greeted by another beautiful specimen in the first photo here. Thank you!

    May you have a lovely weekend! Moreover, I would like to wish you and your family a wonderful festive season with a special post at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/season-greetings-from-soundeagle-merry-christmas-happy-new-year-and-joyful-holiday/

    Happy New Year to all of you!

    May you realize all of your visions and achieve whatever goals you have set yourself in 2019!


      • You are very welcome, Cindy! 🙂

        I’ll appreciate it if you could kindly give me some feedback at the comment section of my post. 🙂

        Please be informed that you might need to use a desktop or laptop computer with a large screen to view the rich multimedia contents available for heightening your multisensory enjoyment at my websites, some of which could be too powerful and feature-rich for iPad, iPhone, tablet or other portable devices to handle properly or adequately. A fast broadband connection is also helpful. 🙂


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  9. Dear Madam, Thank you for your visit to my latest post. Encouraged by your “👌” I have attempted a humble translation of my thoughts into English. Just in case you like to know what I wrote in my mother tongue. However, feel no obligation to read it please.🙏😊


    • I was just at your blog and read the post about the nature of freedom with the quote by HL Mencken. I found the post fascinating and commented on it. Is this what are referring to as translated? If not, please provide me the link, as I would very much like to read further translations from you as I find them thought provoking. I am sorry I do not read Telugu, but the script is beyond beautiful in and of itself. Thank you & lovely to meet you.


  10. Hi Cindy,
    Thanks for the fabulous photographs, and for reading my post.. You are certainly made of sturdy stuff, lady!! I’ve just faced a couple of outbreaks of cockroaches and burglars in my time, although I half-expected.to meet a bear in Canada once, but just missed it. Happy travelling and snapping! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. i’ve never seen this page before. And I didn’t know that you also used to be a psychotherapist!

    Your photos are always amazing but these are particularly stunning. What a gift to the world they are!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I keep thinking of these photos. I thought I would use the Antartica one on the front page of the newsletter. I will put the place under it but we never put credits on the first page. Is that okay? If it isn’t maybe I could fit in a note on your Sequoia page.

    Liked by 1 person

      • You can do anything with my photos and you never need to ask. They are yours for the wonderful use you make of them. And I just couldn’t be happier that they aid you in the work you do which has so much soul and gravitas. I am going back to Antarctica with my husband and son. It is the most spiritual place in the world to me, the place where I see God in all the thousand year drifts of untouched snow. Love to you my friend and be well.

        Liked by 2 people

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  18. I’ve not seen any coyotes here. However, there are foxes, sanglier (wild boar), rabbits… If I didn’t live where I do, I might wish to be there? In a really cold winter, we are more inclined to get visitors from the Pyrennes which are not far away…


  19. He he, living in a remote place like in your description, you probably don’t appreciate too many vfistors? I get a feeling that one would be best off armed to the teeth in addition to have 10 years of army experience within ‘Special Forces’? (So you do not get many? 🙂 )
    And no, I don’t planning on visiting California any more in my lifetime, allthough I have been there quite a number of times. Remembered as a ‘Sunshine State’, – but things change!
    Now I guess it is more a ‘forrest fire stat’, but – I truely appreciated your bird shots!
    Don’t I photograph birds? Yes, indeed! But after some time ( 2-3 years) our garden was no longer a garden. More like a pig sty! So – now they have to find their food elsewhere, and I have to look for different motives to birds!
    But – if you insert the word ‘bird’ into my little text-widget and hit the ‘enter-button’, I’m pretty sure that a couple of hundred photos would appear? (If you are interested?) 🙂


    • So smiling, Of course I am interested. It’s birds you are talking about! California does seem doomed to burn. And re: the pig sty, I relate. Birds are messy, amazing creatures. Your photos are stunning დ


  20. Quite amazing! I’m so impressed with your work. I love California, especially L.A. and Hollywood. I love nature. But I am most intrigued by urban scenes. I love NYC, of course. But, really good work, that manages to be transcendent, gets me everything time–and you’ve got that going on here.


  21. Had the same profession as you had, only I started grad. school when I was 36, so I have a shorter history, also we moved to the boonies, but no regrets, the forest is the best place next to heaven:)


  22. Dear Cindy,
    thank you very much for sharing your beautiful photo’s with the world and daring to go from the outer limits of no-wheres-ville to a home you call “The Holler” which looks like the earthly paradise.

    I am also grateful you wanted to follow several of my sites showing other aspects of the world (which is not such a paradise, but also has its good and bad sides), its evolvement and handling of politics and religions.


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