The trouble with abundance

There are several things you’re likely to notice if you fly over Southeast Alaska’s Alexander Archipelago on a clear day. If you’re an alpine junky like me, the first will be the snowcapped mountains that stretch seemingly without end from near the coast to the eastern horizon somewhere in Canada, their white-and-gray-tongued glaciers pouring all […]

Wind, the uninvited houseguest

Perhaps 500 yards from my door—up an icy, winding driveway, a short way down a gravel road, beyond barbed wire fences and snow-skirffed pastures and the wind-twisted trunks of piñon and juniper trees—is a barn that shelters two sailboats in the middle of the Colorado desert. I first spotted them on a walk and stopped […]

Bug love redux: The day I tried to love ticks

Has anyone mentioned that LWONers love weird things? As professional nerds, we wring our hands a lot over things normal people don’t give a damn about. Like: Gribbles. Like: Poohsticks. Like: Marine iguanas. If you’re late to this game, this week, we’re parading forth a few musings on some times that we spent loving bugs. Or, […]

River time, river tongue

It was a bird of confluences. Nameless, to us. Gray as cloud belly, large as raptor, with eyes streaked over black as if with a stick of charcoal. The first time I saw it, I stood shin deep in the narrow, clear Pitman River, steps away from the line of opaque jade water marking its […]

Snark Week: The Great Horny Owl

Owls. Little downy Ewoks. Fat and fusiform with big round eyes, legs feathered like miniature pilot pants in a stiff wind, perhaps a pair of droopy tuft ears. What is more trustworthy than droopy tuft ears? They appear as if they will take your deepest secrets to the grave. Perhaps this is why owls decorate […]

The Map Box

I keep a wooden box on my bedside table. It’s cheap – an old Yalumba Wine case that I found on a curb somewhere, with a hinged lid and a shred of price tag still attached. Usually, it’s stacked high with magazines half read, a thing seldom opened and often dusty. But in all of […]

The Last Word

May 9-13 This week, Richard set out to prove, unscientifically, that slow readers are slow language learners. When he failed, he realized his method was scientific after all — just not in the way he expected. Jennifer discovered she was just fine with being woken up in the wee hours by hysterical laughter, so long […]