Living and Writing in the Natural World

Dancing on the Edge of the World

May 29, 2013

I was at the Land’s End stretch of coast in San Francisco over the weekend, where the great westward push of Euro-Americans finally came to an end on our continent. It was as beautiful, and as exhilarating, as such an historic, game-changing place should be. And haunted by ghosts of the past and future. (more…)

The Adventure / Foolishness Balance

May 20, 2013

“I wonder what’s in that hole up there?” It was an innocent question from my hiking buddy Al as we gazed at the gaping cavity about ten feet up the trunk of a massive valley oak at the bottom of Big Sycamore Canyon on the Tejon Ranch Conservancy. Like many a testosterone-poisoned male of our species, I took it as a challenge, and (more…)

400 ppm and counting / "They endured" (Faulkner)

May 15, 2013

What mainly struck us as drove up the switchbacks climbing Mauna Loa on Hawaii’s Big Island in 1983 was how cold it was. Heather and Holly were attired for the beach when we started, but were jumping around to keep warm as their dad made them see the dull, scientific buildings at the 13,679 foot summit. In the distance to the north, (more…)

Canyons I Have Known

May 8, 2013

I returned yesterday from a road trip with my buddy Al, which might have been called “Small-town Mexican restaurants of south-central California” or “800 country miles of nature preserves along the San Andreas Fault.” So many of our miles were on little-traveled county or state roads that on day three we drove 250 miles and saw exactly ten vehicles (though thousands of Beechey ground squirrels, Brush rabbits, and red-tailed hawks). This was the day we ate lunch at a diner straight out of 1950s Oklahoma (Al had chicken-fried steak, (more…)

Heart on course, Head wandering

May 1, 2013

On Earth Day early last week, California redwood cloned saplings supplied by an outfit called Archangel Ancient Tree Archive were planted in California, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Iceland, Canada, and Germany. Five months earlier, the group planted California redwoods and giant sequoias on the coast in southern Oregon. Their goal is to reforest the planet with redwoods and sequoias to preserve the ancient trees, soak up carbon as they grow, and save the planet from global warming. What could possibly go wrong with such a noble project?
Plenty, as it turns out. (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 wjpstudios.com

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

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Selected Works

Nonfiction
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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