Animals in their Seasons

Bowhunting season in Western Colorado opened yesterday, which means the rut is underway, the next season coming into view. By the time you see this, I will be sitting in the quiet of the woods with my 12 year old boy listening for bugling elk, their haunting, whale-like calls rising through dusk aspens and sea-green […]

The Lady and Le Guin

Late last month, I got to camp with a group of ecologists at the base of Mt. St. Helens, in southwestern Washington state. Some of the scientists had been studying the mountain since shortly after it erupted on May 18, 1980, and they were full of stories about the changes they’d seen over the past thirty-five […]

Guest Post: How to Stop a Tsunami in Three Easy Steps

Right now, parents newly versed in the vocabulary of doom are discussing the Cascadia subduction in Seattle backyards, in Portland parks. They’ve read the recent New Yorker article about the devastating earthquake overdue in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe they’ve also read the stories in Outside and Discover. They know that three thousand schools around the […]

Painting Fire With Fire

The Carlton Complex, the largest wildfire in the history of Washington state, started on July 14, 2014 in the foothills of the North Cascades. When it was finally extinguished, almost 40 days later, it had burned more than 250 homes and disrupted thousands of lives in Okanogan County, a rural county on the northern edge of the […]

Guest Post: On Being Pro-Frog

When my first daughter started getting teased for her obsession with sharks I comforted her by lying that everyone had an animal they especially loved. When pressed I randomly choose frogs (I was hung over and just wanted quiet), which started a pro-frog avalanche: Walls filled with frog paintings, desks with frog playdoh figurines, and […]

Go Occupy Those Forlorn Chairs

It’s summer, and I’ve been thinking of what poet Billy Collins called those, “forlorn chairs/though at one time it must have seemed/a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.” Even situated, as they usually are, to take in the view, it’s hard for those chairs to compete with the attention-grabbing distractions found […]

Snark Week: The Wrath of the Sloth

If there’s a landmass that has them, get off of it now. As you’ll learn in this blog post, the last thing you want to do is find yourself trapped in a confined space with sloths, and I consider a continent a confined space. For starters, the sloth is the only animal listed as one […]