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Living and Writing in the Natural World

My least favorite part of writing

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.” Read More 
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High Country People

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.  Read More 

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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.  Read More 

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Redwoods, Banana Slugs, and Fog

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.  Read More 
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Moving (On)

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.  Read More 
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