…and that was the problem. Not maintained, rutted, overgrown on either side, the mile long drive is the only way by vehicle in and out of this abandoned homestead we now spend half the year on….
I began writing poetry several years ago and still think of myself as a literary fiction writer, not a poet. Not really. Poetry is something I dabble in and play with. Even after publishing a few poems, I still hesitate to call myself a poet. Yesterday, I learned that I received second honorable mention in […]
My love for cottonwoods has grown steadily over the last few years, especially in the spring when they smell so pungent and the fall when they splash yellow along the canyon bottoms. And now, I must confess, a movie — and a Western, at that — has inspired me to explore the beauty and poetry in winter cottonwoods….
A post-Thanksgiving walk through fog, rain, and slushy snow on the edge of the Opal Creek Recreation Area in the Cascade Foothills:
Out West, in the land of conifers, we don’t have the color spectacle that blesses New England this time of year. But our few wild deciduous shrubs and trees do add some lovely accents to our evergreen forests and browning grasslands (…)
don’t usually see Pacific Tree Frogs this time of year, so was surprised — and delighted — to see this one hop across my path on the last day of summer (…)
It’s that time of year again, when my taste buds give up on peaches and berries and begin longing for crunchy pears and apples (…)
Last week, I spent an afternoon in the old apple orchard to check out the bird nesting scene. The cows found this fascinating….
The house wrens nesting on our yurt porch chose this morning, the 4th of July, to shoo their young ones out of the nest.
Elderberries are blooming in northeastern Oregon….
With all the rain out over the last few weeks and the challenges of getting the summer garden in, I’ve been grateful for food that sprouts with no effort on my part. I might not want stinging nettles in my cultivated garden, but I like having a patch on a distant corner of our property. […]
I’m ecstatic to be back on our property in Northeastern Oregon. There’s lots to do: organizing inside the yurt to make cooking and storage more convenient, building a spring box and laying pipe to get potable water into the yurt, putting in the garden. And there are many challenges: a muddy road, cars that get […]
Last week, I started writing and sharing photos around an idea I’m tentatively calling, Rocks I Have Loved. I’m not sure where that idea is going yet. It might be a series of posts, a photo album, a sequence of poems and/or essays, or nothing. I should clarify that I use the term “rocks” loosely to refer to caves, piles or layers of rocks, canyons, mountains, mountain ranges. This week, I consider one rock I should have loved from a distance….
I woke to the first day of 2007 in a treehouse in Northern Laos. That set a standard for New Year’s celebrations that I’ll probably never live up to again. It was just me, my partner Jerry, and all the wildlife of Bokeo Nature Reserve. We could have joined eight other travelers at the main treehouse for a night of revelry, but we longed for solitude….
I used to be the Christmas tree enthusiast in the family. I’d drive around Seattle for hours looking for the perfect tree, set it up, decorate it….
I’m miles from town, so there will be no trick or treaters for me tonight. Instead, I’ve decided to mark the day by highlighting some posts I’ve written on creatures that tend to be maligned, misunderstood and caricatured on Halloween….
Here’s a small taste of Saturday’s hike on Zumwalt Prairie, the largest Nature Conservancy reserve in Oregon and the last remnant of bluebunch wheatgrass/idaho fescue-dominated prairie in North America. Thanks to the Wallowa Land Trust for organizing a great outing and to the local Nature Conservancy office for leading it. Looking east over section of […]
At night out here, coyotes yip and owls hoot. By day, hawks and rattlesnakes patrol the canyons. More elusive predators – cougars, bears, bobcats, maybe even wolves – are probably not far away. I love being close to the wildness of all this. But it also means tempering my sentiment for individual animals. The […]
I haven’t seen a rattlesnake all season. Then yesterday, down by our spring, I saw three. I ran back to the yurt…for the camera. I’ve been wanting to get some good rattler photos. I’ll need to keep working on it. This photo doesn’t do justice to the snake’s beauty.
Even when I closed in to snap the picture, the snake never coiled up. It just rattled, tried to hide behind grass stalks and slowly disappeared into denser brush. Every snake we’ve met out here has been like that (though some do coil): more interested in escape than confrontation.