Category Archives: Uncategorized

Time’s Flaming Arrow

November 12, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

A little more than a week ago I drove into Yosemite National Park for a week-long, California Master Naturalist immersion course. I was euphoric, about to sequester in beauty to study deeper levels of what Shakespeare called “nature’s infinite book.” Heading in from Oakdale, mile upon mile of mountainous hillside was covered in rusty brown […]

Precarious Ark

October 16, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

The title is a bit of a sledgehammer. Would you guess that The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals is a beautiful thing? Anne and Paul Ehrlich’s latest book (co-authored with Gerardo Ceballos) invites the reader to linger over mesmerizing photographs and to slowly absorb intricately crafted captions illuminating the life and […]

Here and Now

September 29, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

“Here and Now” would seem to direct one’s attention to the present, but the past is not far behind in this inspiring film made by the Bay Area Open Space Council. (You can watch it here: The past isn’t even past, to paraphrase William Faulkner. The film profiles progressive partnerships between the Amah Mutsun […]

Moving Masses

September 25, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Last week my 15-year old son and I did a “fast raft” whale watch in Monterey Bay. It was wild! At one point our boat was surrounded by more than two dozen humpbacked whales. There was constant breaching, sometimes two whales leaping up in tandem as if they were doing a star turn in an […]

Shh…don’t tell my book group

August 30, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Okay it’s still summer so a lot of reading and attention to my book group going on here. Also, a month ago I turned in a major revision of my book about citizen science, the researching of which has been preoccupying my reading life for a good four years. I have been looking forward to […]

The Love that Dare Not Speak its Name

July 23, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

A couple of nights ago my book group met at the home of one of our members, abutting a huge nature reserve in the East Bay. The sun bathed the hills behind us as we discussed Peter De Vries’ 1961 novel, The Blood of the Lamb. DeVries dramatizes a real life event, the death of […]


April 8, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Well I have to be thankful to Jonathan Franzen for one thing – he’s pushed me out of my blog blues. His essay in the New Yorker about why we can ignore climate change so misses all the basic, important points about what is going on in nature that here I am, clicking away again. […]

Sense of (dis)Place

November 19, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Jon Christensen threw the bomb and plenty of people registered the blast. “Muir’s a dead end,” he told L.A. Times reporter Louis Sahagun last week. “It’s time to bury his legacy and move on.” More than 170 comments on the piece include “I hope these two guys aren’t actually teaching our children,” referring also to […]

Here we are now

October 24, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

I’m old enough to not quite take it for granted that as I type this on a laptop, eventually to hit “send,” I am thus speeding written words to what could be a nearly limitless distribution. I once used “carbon paper” to make a single copy of work that was smudged with corrected typos. But […]

Into the Wilderness

October 14, 2014 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Last night I wrangled a Litquake event in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act made great by the writers who joined me and by a smart, engaged audience. As with the best conversations, there was some friction. I had an inkling of this when I was briefing Ken Brower on the other […]