The Forest Garden

Over the years, a vine has grown up under the aged eave of the tiny frame house to form a large ball of dead leaves and branches. Facing east, it catches the morning sun, but by afternoon is in the shade. Most of the time, it is chock-full of sparrows — flitting, chirping and dropping […]

Bugging Out

“By one measure, bugs are the wildlife we know best, the nondomesticated animals whose lives intersect most intimately with our own: spiders in the shower, ants at the picnic, ticks buried in the skin. We sometimes feel that we know them rather too well. In another sense, though, they are one of our planet’s greatest […]

Take the Shot

Vaccine hesitancy, a reluctance or refusal to vaccinate or have one’s children vaccinated, has been identified by the World Health Organization as one of the top ten global health threats of 2019 … Hesitancy and debates have occurred since the invention of vaccination, and indeed pre-date the coining of the terms vaccine and vaccination by […]

Plant A Tree, Save A Tree

“Love your neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.” ~ Benjamin Franklin We first noticed when most of the big trees were gone. The old mobile home park had been located among some really giant old cottonwoods that provided shade, but undoubtedly created a hazard for the occupants in the flimsy structures below. Nonetheless, they […]

Fresh Meat

The destiny of the other items (in the freezer) was indistinct. They were for the consumption of the various occupants of the house, the whole food chain — bird, amphibian, beast and beetle, reptile, arachnid, man. A sign over the kitchen sink read, “EAT MORE POSSUM” in black on Chinese red. ~ John McPhee I […]

Atomic Humanism: Green Nuclear Evangelism

“’Energy is the ideal thing to empower people,’ Emma Redfoot (nuclear engineer, devout environmentalist and unflinching advocate for nuclear power) told me … ‘Millions of people who lack access to the grid are forced to burn wood, coal, dung or even tires and other garbage for cooking and heating, to the detriment of their health […]

Lettuce Prey

As part of my pre-Thanksgiving dinner preparations, I made a big salad for lunch instead of the sandwich or hot dog I usually have. The romaine was still fresh, sweet onion, some left-over cooked beets, a little celery and a carrot from the garden. Some smashed up tortilla chips for croutons and probably a little […]

Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is truly a celebration of America. Our turkey probably came from North Carolina, Arkansas or Missouri. The stuffing from California, along with the celery, and the onions probably from Texas or Washington, but possibly from Colorado. The sweet potatoes were probably grown in North Carolina, Louisiana/Mississippi or California. The cranberries are likely from California […]

Down in the Dirt

Humans evolved in caves and fields — not in sanitized homes, cars and schools. And our immune systems developed to find and suppress foreign invaders, growing stronger with each battle won. ~ Christine Peterson It’s not there now, but I look forward to a time when we can essentially garden our homes — fill them […]

Handling Hard Times

“Like so many artworks, the brain is largely an object of mystery. One secret yet to be discovered is how the fragile folds of matter locked inside our skulls can not only conceive art, create it and contemplate it, but can also experience being transported by it, out of the head, out of the body, […]