The Gift of a Mermaid’s Purse

Posted by on Nov 2, 2017 in land | 3 Comments
The Gift of a Mermaid’s Purse

  The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach–waiting for a gift from the […]

Canyon Song

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in land, wholeness | No Comments
Canyon Song

During the 2016 centennial year of the National Park Service, the agency produced a series of short films celebrating not simply the beauty of the parks, but their growing value to people of all races and cultures. In some cases, the existence of a park also is vital in helping people to rediscover and preserve […]

Evening Prayer of the Woods

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in land, neighborhood, wholeness | No Comments
Evening Prayer of the Woods

If the year were compressed into a day, it would be evening, with its lengthening shadows and descending chill. The trees of Grant Park are girding themselves for winter; they have let go of most of their leaves, and the musky odor of decay rises up from the ground as the beeches and maples and […]

The Daunting Moral Calculus of Climate Change

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in cosmos, land | One Comment
The Daunting Moral Calculus of Climate Change

Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality. Fossil fuels powered the Industrial Revolution. But the burning of oil, coal, and gas also caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. This increase in greenhouse gases is changing Earth’s climate. So […]

Elegy for the Arctic

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in land, wholeness | No Comments
Elegy for the Arctic

The Arctic sea ice summer melting season is over, and 2016 is in a statistical tie with 2007 for the second smallest ice extent ever recorded in the satellite record. The Arctic finished the melting season with a loss of more than a million square miles of sea ice compared to the average from 1979-2000. That’s […]

When the Sockeye Salmon Go Home

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in land | No Comments
When the Sockeye Salmon Go Home

There is still so much beauty and wonder in this world, and one of the great natural wonders is the annual migration of salmon in Alaska. The various species each have their own internal calendars, and so from May through October you can see one or more of them making their way upstream to their birthplace, […]

Sigurd Olson and the National Parks

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in land | No Comments
Sigurd Olson and the National Parks

This year is the centennial of the National Park Service, and on April 9 I spoke at the Listening Point Foundation’s annual luncheon about Sigurd Olson’s deep connection to the agency and the national park system. Here’s what I said: xxx At the end of April 1961, Sigurd Olson received a letter from Minnesota Senator […]

Sigurd Olson’s “Easter on the Prairie”

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in land, wholeness | No Comments
Sigurd Olson’s “Easter on the Prairie”

In April 1935 massive dust storms were blowing through the Great Plains, and the wind carried topsoil all the way to Washington, D.C., where the dust darkened a Senate hearing room and provided the silent but convincing testimony that led Congress to establish the Soil Conservation Service. But legislation doesn’t stop storms.  On April 14th, […]

Forest Man: Hope in Action

Posted by on Dec 9, 2015 in land | No Comments
Forest Man: Hope in Action

In 1979, a teen living in northeastern India saw firsthand that recurrent major floods not only were destroying precious topsoil in his agricultural region, but also taking the habitat and the lives of all kinds of creatures. The elders in his community told him that the only long term solution would be a new forest, […]

Where Fall And Winter Meet

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in land, neighborhood | No Comments
Where Fall And Winter Meet

Winter stole into my neighborhood Friday night, silently releasing snow onto darkened streets and lawns and woods. We got just under six inches by the time it was done Saturday afternoon, a near-record for a November snow. When I woke up and surveyed my surroundings, I was pleased to discover that the sidewalk and driveway […]