Spell for Blue Sky on the First Day of Spring

I’m in rather the wrong season with this one. Though I suspect some of my co-hemisphereists would be pleased to imagine the arrival of warmer and sunnier weather as we deepen into wintertime. This one’s for you. ;) Personally, I’ll celebrate the spring when it rolls around. For now, I’ll just celebrate the fact that … More Spell for Blue Sky on the First Day of Spring


I haven’t been through my canyon since the last big storm. Some things have changed. The route, for one, and I’m wearing the wrong pants for the detour. A douglas fir – average size – has snapped off near its base and splintered along the path. Chickadees are chasing each other through the rubble, a … More Aftermath

Dear Reader

The goal of Trail-A-Week was 52 essays. In August of 2015, I realized that I wouldn’t be a writer until I let my bones show. I’d already understood – gradually, after 24 years of doing it – that I am not fully living unless I am writing. But aside from a few (utterly nerve-wracking) published bits, I’ve written … More Dear Reader

Right Work

This week’s essay was written for the Columbia Land Trust, a conservation group that serves the entire Columbia River region. The topic was suggested by a conversation I had with the Trust’s Volunteer Coordinator last weekend, while we were surveying for non-native grass incursions. You can read the original post on the Trust’s blog here. *** It … More Right Work

Puffin Day

Today I went to see the work of a Portland artist who spent 3 months in Antarctica drawing birds. She was actually researching a bird I’ve never heard of, the Snowy sheathbill. But I was captured by her depictions of a single Arctic tern – a forceful little seabird with which my only direct encounter … More Puffin Day