Make Like A Tree and Get Outta Here

A small raptor alighted for a few minutes yesterday on the top of a tree in my yard. The bird perched up in the crown, on branches that have been bare for a few weeks. The tree is a pin oak, whose health was questionable when we moved to this house in the spring, yet […]

It’s Raining Baby Oak Trees

These early fall days have been especially musical here, in my house under the trees. The mornings ding and clink and the afternoons ping and donk and the nights are broken up by knocks, clangs, and cymbal crashes that startle me awake. (Part of my roof is metal.) It’s the acorns falling, but in a […]

Speaking of the Trees

The fires, the fires. When I started writing this some weeks back there were 137 of them torching forests across the American West. There are many fewer now—thank firefighters and weather—but so far they’ve consumed some 8.5 million acres of trees, some of them old growth, many of them on parkland filled with wildlife. British […]

I Have A Few Questions For These Trees

Last week, in a charming story for the Atlantic, Adrienne LaFrance reported that the citizens of Melbourne, Australia, have been sending fan mail to their trees. Yes, people are emailing trees—and once in a while, the trees are emailing back. (“Hello,” wrote one willow peppermint, “I am not a Mr. or a Mrs., as I have what’s called perfect […]

Fired Up

I quit glassblowing because it pissed me off too much. It’s been ten years since I’ve done it, so I don’t remember much about how to make a goblet or a vase or a Christmas ornament. What I do remember is the bright eye of the furnace, the relentless heat, and the crazy dreams that I […]

Coming Home From Saudi Arabia

It was water that impressed me first when I got back to the U.S. I spent the month of June in Saudi Arabia, teaching teenage girls about writing and science. On the van ride home from the airport the other day, I couldn’t believe the trees. I’d forgotten about trees. The highways are lined with […]

Too hot for moose

Over the last few weeks, stories of moose die-offs have made the news. The New York Times reported that one moose population in Minnesota has all but vanished and another has fallen by more than half. Similar declines have happened in New Hampshire and British Columbia. While scientists aren’t sure of the cause, they suspect […]