Muddy Road

…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…

Mossy Forest

A post-Thanksgiving walk through fog, rain, and slushy snow on the edge of the Opal Creek Recreation Area in the Cascade Foothills:

Touches of Color

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 (…)

Autumn Frog

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 (…)

Race for the Pears

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 (…)

Temptation in the Apple Trees

Last week, I spent an afternoon in the old apple orchard to check out the bird nesting scene. The cows found this fascinating….

Wren Independence Day

The house wrens nesting on our yurt porch chose this morning, the 4th of July, to shoo their young ones out of the nest.

When Life Gives You Weeds...Eat 'Em

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…

Domestic Challenges, Wild Beauty

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…

Waking to the New Year in a Treehouse

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….

Our Live Christmas Tree

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….

Scary Critters

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….

Images From Zumwalt Prairie

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…

Bird Rescue

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…


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…

Many thanks to Chris Clarke at Coyote Crossing and the folks at Bats Northwest for helping me identify the bat I found. It’s a Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat — a species…

Bat in the Closet

My nephew – an expert critter finder – has been visiting this week.  He was exploring the old homestead on our property in northeast Oregon and found this gorgeous bat…