A Wolf Dies

“The Silver Lake Wolves” sounds like the title of a young adult novel, or possibly an indie rock band with lots of close harmony and beards. Actually, it was the name given by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to a small family of wolves […]

Bug Love Redux: Wonder TK

The People of LWON and their splendid guests have several ongoing preoccupations, and rather than have you try to mentally collate them over the years, we thought we’d devote a week to each preoccupation.  That way they’ll all be in one place. This week is devoted to redux posts on loving bugs. I wrote my […]

The End of the Line

A few years ago, while working on a story on the shark fin trade, I found myself freezing in the back of a panga 25 miles out from the Baja shoreline wishing I was dead. Partly it was tossing seas that pitched the skiff from side to side and slapped over the gunwales. Partly it […]

On Being Alone

Something about the way a river trip starts. Gear gets thrown in, arranged, tied down, and when the current picks up and carries you downstream, your sense of time and distance immediately changes. Connection to the other 7 billion or so people on the planet loosens, and connection to something bigger, and in ways smaller, […]

Bug On My Airplane Window

I love seeing bugs on windows, for reasons I’ve never fully worked out. I’ve even written about it before on this blog. Normally those bugs are on the outside of the window and I’m on the inside. That’s how I prefer it. I think the bugs prefer it that way, too. They are out in the world, taking […]

Redux: The Long Legacy of a Good Deed

Sombath Somphone, a respected civil-society leader in Laos, was abducted in Vientiane in December 2012 and has not been seen since. As President Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. president to visit Laos, we revisit this post about Somphone, his disappearance, and a long-ago turning point in his life. Two years ago this week, a […]

Redux: On My Way to Burning Man

In the summer of 2014 I backpacked across the Black Rock Desert to Burning Man with a small group of friends, after which this piece was originally published. It has been only slightly altered. Since the lake bed is from late Pleistocene origin, and the loud and luminous eruption of this annual event will be […]

It’s Pretty, but It’s Bad News

It’s August, and that means the porcelainberries are out. The first time I noticed this plant, somewhere on the walk between home and work, I had no idea what I was seeing. Grapes? The leaves looked like grapes, but the fruits looked like so much more. Some kind of fabulous Easter confection. Chocolate covered in […]