How to Love and Be Loved During a Pandemic

“Generosity is a sign of intelligence, and givers are the rising tide that lifts all boats.” — Adam Bent These months are hard — and by many accounts, they’re getting harder. The initial energy bursts we experienced weeks ago are gradually depleted as the shelter-in-place continues, the economic fall-out widens, and the physical and psychological […]

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Humanity: free download

In this season of pandemic, while we humans – hundreds of millions (billions?) of us – adapt to sheltering-in-place, self-isolation and quarantines, we have a unique opportunity to share the best of ourselves. Without lengthy commutes or events outside the home as part of our daily schedules, we have much more time at our disposal: […]

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A Two-Legged’s Regret

Ever heard of a “news desert”? It’s what happens when a county loses all of its newspapers – a reality for 200 American counties (12% of the USA). In less than twenty years, we’ve lost a quarter of our local newspapers. When we lose our local news, civic engagement decreases precipitously, and we collectively forget […]

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A bedtime story for adventurous types

Just when you thought it was safe to go birdwatching…guess again. Early morning walks in nature preserves home to feline (and other) predators can take sudden turns – and unwary hikers may find themselves in rather precarious situations. Such was the case when I went on a birding tour in the Nepali Western Terai. The […]

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Pushcart Prize Nominations Celebrate My Range

Question: What do an airplane crash, a Nez Perce mound, a Nepali leopard, an insectivorous bat, and terrestrial ecological food webs have in common? Answer: each one forms the basis of a story that different sets of literary editors chose to represent their best published works (for a given year) by nominating the essay for […]

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We become the smoke we once fled

The Kincade Fires of Sonoma County have, at last, been vanquished. But their destructive taint remains on the land, in our hearts and within our storyscapes, never to be erased. Yesterday, the anniversary of the Camp Fire (the deadliest and most destructive of California’s wildfires, so far) Paradise residents gathered for a memorial service unveiling […]

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Kleptophiliacs and Mudflat Heroes Make Me Swoon

Come join me in Bali! (Underwater, in the northwest corner of Bali, to be exact.) Where wily critters commit outrageous acts, both visible and invisible to the naked eye. The air is tinged with salt, the light gauzy as the Balinese sun opens its eyelids. A kingfisher shrieks, swoops, perches with quarry. Omnivorous deer graze […]

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