Living and Writing in the Natural World

Deep Ecology and Confucius

December 28, 2012

Having just about wrapped up my most recent novel, Sherlock Holmes in Egypt in 1923 figuring out who poisoned the discoverer of King Tut’s tomb, and incidentally how King Tut himself had died three thousand two hundred years earlier, I turned this week to research for my next book, and was reminded of the second verse of Confucius’ Analects (written a mere two thousand five hundred years ago): “Isn’t it a joy to greet friends from afar!” (more…)

The Great Darkness

December 21, 2012

Today is the Winter Solstice, where due to the 17 degree tilt of the earth we in the northern hemisphere have only 9 and a half hours of light but 14 and a half hours of darkness tonight—the longest night of the year. The occasion has been marked and celebrated for millennia by the Taoist tradition of China, and more recently by various people of environmental leanings. Both these disparate groups are convinced (more…)

Surviving Trauma

December 19, 2012

First the tingle, then a definite itch. Unbelieving, I looked down at my left arm last night, the inner elbow. There it was. The line of red welts of the worst of the seven jellyfish tentacles that had “stung” me eighteen months earlier in the waters of Hawaii. Eighteen months ago! I hadn’t been bothered by it for some months, but here it flared up again, and, amazingly, the welts were still active and doing their thing. Two things to note: (more…)

Looking Up

December 13, 2012

On a lark, I decided to dip into the park returning from getting the newspaper at the corner 7/11 this chilly morning. I had just turned the loop at the 1 mile mark, and was bicycling east, when I looked up and noticed that the dawn sky was ablaze with golden clouds. Now it’s nice to know what the ground looks like ahead of you, (more…)

Taking Time

December 7, 2012

I’m with the Taoist tradition of China and the environmental stance in America, that it’s important to spend time in the natural world. A week in the High Country, or an hour walking “the route” beside Chico Creek with my wife in the evenings. In addition to these longer times, it’s also good to give yourself a break from the rat race and take briefer moments throughout the day to remind yourself of what’s important. It needn’t be long. Yesterday, it was 2 minutes and twenty seconds for me. (more…)
Sierra Buttes of the metamorphic, Mesozoic Sierra Nevada range

Infamous trail marker, New Mexico

"Bon voyage" to the backpacking daughter

emerald waters of Colorado River's Black Canyon

Immature White Ibis, coming into adult color

"Fierce and cruel alligators appear to us, but beautiful in the eyes of God. They, also, are his children." --John Muir

Hometown of 4077th MASH Company Clerk

The view from a sea cave

Man and Best Friend, Bennie

2,425 feet of "songs that bear pureheaven in every note"

Sun rising behind over-optimistic paddler, San Pablo Bay

Tomales Bay: North America plate on the right, Pacific plate on the left--and San Andreas Fault immediately below!

Corner room of Mt. Vernon Inn's restaurant. The Colonial Hoecake is not to be missed.

Georgia O'Keeffe's "Chama River" near Ghost Ranch entrance

Ortega showroom, Chimayo

A typical collection of urchins from Puako in the old days, before their return to the tidepool

Harbor seal on a redwood log, Big River

Darwin Falls, up Darwin Wash in Death Valley's Argus Range

Steinbeck and Ricketts pal Frank Wright (right) at Cannery Row

"What? You never seen an otter use a rock?"

Saint John, from

One of Monet's famous water lilies

The newest Sherlock

Eagerly awaited harbingers of spring

Zhou Minzhen, Barnett, Ye Duzhuang at Peking Man Cave

Julia Morgan's "Hearthstone" at Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Do you think the females will like my chain, guys?

40 feet of falling water at Glen Aulin

AJ, Kyle in monsoon at Emei Mt

Young John Muir

Whitney looms behind Ash, Maya

The young Charles Darwin

lunar new year festivities

Courtenay-Latimer's 1938 sketch

Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer

A son and Half dome in snow

Celebrating the harvest, S.F. style

40.5 lbs of trouble

A helpful label

Father, Son under Hamilton Dome

Camping among the sequoias

Fathers and sons at Bearpaw Meadow


Nothing here yet.

Selected Works

His journals reveal a hidden Muir, whose radical worldview challenges
Taoism reveals simple habits for health and balance in our modern lives
Classics Revisited
Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins stumble upon ancient Chinese treasure
Sherlock Holmes discovers his brother has been murdered by a Nazi spy on the eve of D-Day
Historical Fiction
Murder and passion during the 1948 Communist siege of Peking
Nuclear war looms as China demands the return of Taiwan
A Virginian finds romance in Korea as Chinese and Japanese armies battle, 1895

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