Remembering a musical mentor

I recently bought a used piano after almost 15 years piano-free. I managed to dig out several of my old, yellowing piano books, which have followed me from my childhood in Washington state to Arkansas to Florida and finally to California. And when I opened them, my piano teacher’s handwriting transported me back more thanContinue reading “Remembering a musical mentor”

Cutting back to grow

Many fruit and vegetable plants become more productive with pruning. This seems counterintuitive. How do you get more produce with less plant? The secret: Plants left to their own devices will continue to grow shoots and leaves and stems, but they won’t produce as many fruits and vegetables. They grow, yes, but it isn’t productive growth.

Wish you were here

On my morning walk today, suspended between a storm front over the Sierras and a bank of gray clouds from the Pacific, I marveled at the sky. I wish you had been here to see the ever-changing landscape of the clouds painted by the wind, the sun slowly seeping over the darkness to the east.Continue reading “Wish you were here”

Life is not the same without alligators

California has an amazing amount of wildlife. Within blocks of my home, I have encountered coyotes, otters, skunks, possums, rabbits, squirrels, ducks, geese, herons, frogs, snakes and fish. A bit more distantly, people have found mountain lions in their backyards, bears strolling through the campus arboretum and deer eating their gardens. I delight in sightingsContinue reading “Life is not the same without alligators”

Book Life

I almost got in trouble for reading too much when I was in nursery school at Washington State University where my parents taught. The school had student teachers whose job it was to observe children’s interactions. After I had been there three weeks, the head of school called my parents. She gravely informed them thatContinue reading “Book Life”

My Nature Manifesto

A colleague at work asked me if I had a manifesto. I replied “no” and asked why. She told me that a news article about a recent mass shooting California said the shooter did not leave behind a manifesto, as if that was unusual. “Is that a thing now? Are shooters supposed to have manifestos?Continue reading “My Nature Manifesto”

The nature of things

Words can’t explain it: Sky, tree, river, valley, mountain. I pen letters in packages Of three, four, five, six, seven, Yet they fail to adequately capture Wonder A universe that lies within Stars, soil, atoms, quarks, Things yet to be uncovered. But the insufficiency of language Will not prevent me From attempting to express TheContinue reading “The nature of things”