Category Archives: Nature

Day Trip

Our calendar was unexpectedly blank for the day. No one was counting on us, no tasks were urgent, and our irrelevance felt like license for a field trip. We recruited our old friends Kit and Beverly and set out into the misty … Continue reading

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Biophilia

Over the years, I’ve been following the work of an artist friend, James Griffith, who has lately been making extraordinary paintings using the medium of tar–”primordial goo”– from La Brea Tar Pits. James has always demonstrated remarkable skill in creating exquisitely detailed … Continue reading

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Despite A Pall That’s Fallen On All

The Santa Ynez Valley women hikers ascended Gaviota Peak last week, looked out upon fog as thick and white as a field of snow below, then walked beneath a trestle of blooming ceanothus as we came down Trespass Trail. There are wildflowers … Continue reading

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A Woman’s Day

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, and I chose to spend it hiking in the Santa Barbara mountains with some very strong women. A couple of us sported red tops, whether by chance or intent, but we didn’t make proclamations, talk about politics, or … Continue reading

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What We Need Is Here

The mountain lion meandered along the ridge, aware of us but unconcerned. We had seen a bobcat earlier, and the differences were clear. The lion had a larger body, a longer tail, and a different kind of gait, more leisurely and … Continue reading

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Pool

Morning has surprised me. I looked up from my coffee cup and there it was, waiting patiently outside, a soft gray light beyond a translucent curtain of coastal fog. My list is long today; there are so many things I … Continue reading

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In Pursuit of Perseids

It’s just the way I am. If there’s going to be a meteor shower, I want to watch. And so last night I hauled a sleeping bag, pad, and pillow out onto the deck. My original plan had been to … Continue reading

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Remember Me? Still Here

We went to visit friends in northern California recently, where we walked in a misty redwood forest and one day along a narrow trail that went on and on with nothing to see but the trees and brush on either … Continue reading

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Fire

We experience a distinctive kind of vulnerability living here in drought conditions at the edge of the brush and chaparral. I snapped the above ominous-looking photo on Thursday afternoon while we were driving north on Highway 101 near El Capitan. The fire had not yet reached … Continue reading

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The Lion Oak

Jeanne calls it the lion oak because once at dusk when she was driving up the road she saw a mountain lion on one of its thick lower limbs. But the tree is a lion in its own right too: … Continue reading

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