Like You’re Not Even There

  Last Sunday I saw a mountain lion, a full body profile, spotted from a dirt road. Healthy size and age, tail like a rope. By the time we backed up the truck, it was gone, disappeared into a brambly ponderosa forest. I don’t know why, to find tracks, or a scent, I jumped out […]

Best Of Lists Should Self-Destruct After One Year

Recently I was looking for a distraction-free writing system. I knew I had heard about many. But they all seemed to have simple, hard to remember names. (A related complaint: companies that name themselves words like “medium” so that when you’re trying to figure out how to do something you cannot search “medium format image” […]

Goodbye to the Friend I Never Met

Saturday was the day I finally gave up. The last hope for the vaquita marina, the world’s smallest and most endangered cetacean, is gone. On Saturday, biologists working in the Upper Gulf of California announced that the latest animal they had captured in an effort to save the species had died in captivity. For the first […]

Redux: A Wolf Dies

Recently, a bounty was announced for the poacher of wolf designated as OR-33 that was shot in Klamath County, Oregon. Rob Klavins, a staffer at the non-profit Oregon Wild, wrote a eulogy for the animal, in which he lamented that “[O]f all the wolves I’ve been privileged to have some deeper understanding of, not a single […]

I, Also

  The other day I was at a natural history museum sitting with a paleontologist, a dear friend of many years. We were talking about the situation between women and men. I had recently written about her research on dire wolves. We’d gone back and forth on the page, her asking me to take out […]

Stop Being Shocked Please

Last week, I saw a lot of shocked men. They were shocked about the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment allegations. They were shocked that fellow liberal men in journalism were colluding with Nazi Milo Yiannopoulos to trash women. They were shocked that there was yet another case of sexual harassment and abuse in science. You know […]

Why Am I Not There?

I’m not at the totality today, and it’s been gnawing at me. Between 1 and 7 million people are estimated to witness this swath of darkness across the middle of North America from coast to coast. I live about an eight-hour drive away, and I’ve heard totality is a mystical experience, once in a lifetime. […]