Rock On

This past weekend the National Park Service (NPS) hosted me at Grand Canyon, and I gave the keynote talk for its Earth Day celebration to a crowd that hailed from all over the world. It wasn’t the only vertiginous aspect of the trip. I hiked down into the canyon one day with rangers Marty Martel and Pam Edwards, and got a new appreciation for the word “steep.” Another day I took a long stroll along the rim, transfixed by new views at every frequent turn. The truly grand facade stares at you, timeless. But of course time is what makes it. As my observation telescoped and expanded to try and (unsuccessfully) comprehend, a raptor silhouette made a long, graceful stitch in the scene. I c

The Beauty-Death Transaction

Crazy gorgeousness, check. At Duxbury Reef in Bolinas early yesterday morning, a super low tide pulled back the covers not only on all those squirmers and clingers making colorful hay in the kelp, but revealed the geological formation that makes this reef the biggest rocky intertidal in the West. Duxbury is right at the conjunction of two major plates, the Pacific and the North American. You can visibly see where one big time-frame era is laid against another. The reef parallels crumbling cliffs like a double hem stitching the edge of the landscape. But my mind wasn’t blown until about midday, on my way home. My friend Diane had alerted me that “the egrets are back” at Audubon Canyon Ra

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Illustration by Michael Schwab @ michaelschwab.com
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