Living and Writing in the Natural World

My least favorite part of writing

July 31, 2013

The art and practice of writing has its ups and downs. Let me enumerate them for you, since I currently find myself at the very bottom of this list of “Best parts of writing a book.” (more…)

High Country People

July 24, 2013

Tam on Tuolumne River above Glen Aulin
“My daughter wants to hear you speak Chinese,” said the Polish father on my right at the dinner table of White Wolf Lodge, some ten miles southeast of the point where the Tuolumne river is dammed to form the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park. The 12-year-old’s bright eyes widened as I spouted bromides in the exotic language. My wife Tammy and I were in the Yosemite high country this past week, and the people we met there were as delightful as the mountains and streams. (more…)


July 16, 2013

The White Alder at my favorite swimming hole
As I was scrambling down the ten-foot bank to my current favorite swimming hole in Chico Creek, I noticed some writing on the trunk of the white alder which I use to steady myself as I step into the creek. Vandalism? Arriving at the tree, I saw what was written on the smooth, grey trunk: “Paradise.” And I understood completely. (more…)

Redwoods, Banana Slugs, and Fog

July 10, 2013

Standing this past weekend in a wracked jumble of dead and living coastal redwoods, I whispered a prayer of thanks that John Muir had headed west when he arrived in San Francisco in 1868, rather than north. Had he hiked to redwoods rather than sequoias, we might not have any national parks today at all. (more…)

Moving (On)

July 3, 2013

It struck my son Louie early in the process of our helping him and his sis move out of their San Francisco apartment several days ago—I’m never gonna see this place again! As he wandered through the emptying rooms with a camera, he reminded me of myself standing in an empty Civil-war-era farmhouse amongst tobacco fields in North Carolina nearly forty years ago. (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

Quick Links