Community and Life

Awakening a California Girl’s Spirit

The woodsy air born from the thousands of years old coast redwoods filled my lungs on a Sunday morning 45 years ago. My California girl’s spirit awakened. I took the first steps along a new path as nature whispered her song into my ears. Harmonic resonance beneath the aged ones, those sentries of the primeval forest, comforted and healed my wounds of the day. Though a pup in my personal timeline, I did “Seek ye counsel of the aged, for their eyes []

Do Not Use Dynamite to Blowup Garden Gophers

Like the Middle East, this garden vs. gophers is a historical war. My next door neighbor just nukes the furry beasts when he finds them. But, I, Ms. Organic, won’t bait them with poison, so they tunnel under our property lines and into paradise—my garden.

An Operetta of Wine and Spice

Author’s note: This is a serendipitous story of wine, friends, daughter, and spices— a camerata (experimenting with art form) if you will. (The aria, “Song of India,” from Sadko plays in the background.) Tell me the last time that you tasted wines paired with exotic spices. You have done this? What happened when you paired a chalky Chenin Blanc with three freshly ground peppers? Did you make a slight scene when you shouted, “OMG! What was that mouth explosion?” I did. It []

Fire Danger! Are You Pet-Evacuation Ready?

As seen in The Cambrian When the Colby fire near Glendora, Ca. exploded, I watched the sienna-tinted smoke plume darken a bright blue sky. I was about 250 miles north of the January wildfire, returning home on U.S. Route 395.  Cal Fire officials warned that extreme red flag conditions were in effect throughout much of California—in January—usually one California’s wettest months. Little has improved since the Colby fire. As I drive along California State Route 1, the Monterey Pine forest tempts that red []

From the Last Vestiges of America’s Middle Class

The free market, however, is, now, just another quaint and misused phrase funded by uber-billionaires that care-less for you, me, or the woman struggling to feed her family by making and selling popsicles after they took her job and sent it to Pakistan. She’s inconsequential, as are the men, women and children in Pakistan’s sweat factories earning poverty wages making stuff to sell in America and elsewhere.

Unaga, An Elephant Seal Pup, Learns to Swim

Northern elephant seal pups born in the winter, spend their first 4 weeks with their mothers in a harem. After 4 weeks and a gain of about 10 pounds per day from a birth weight between 60-80 pounds, the 300 pound pup becomes a weaner when its mother returns to sea. The weaners rest unit about March, a time when most of the adult males and females have returned to sea. In March these youngsters teach themselves how to swim and dive. []

Scrubbing with Plastic Microbeads

Plastics are in everything—including our personal care products like toothpaste, facial scrubs, shaving cream, shower gels, and toilet bowl cleaners. Up to 10% of these products can contain polypropylene microbeads for the “scrubbing” effect.

The tiny, often not visible microbeads are meant to wash down the drain, which eventually winds up in the ocean.

“Invisible Consequences of Mistaking Plastic for Dinner”

Now, I’m planning a family barbecue featuring fresh caught tuna. Yum! Healthy, low fat protein. Unfortunately that tuna may still have high levels of BPAs and PCBs (for starters) in its system. It all began with ten lantern fish that ingested plastic debris floating in their fave plankton cafe. A couple of hungry squid dined on the 10 lantern fish. The tuna that I’m covering in a tasty chili rub, ate those two squid.

Slow Beach Walk Into Plastic Waste

What seemed like a landfill of plastic in kelp, catapulted me into photographic obsession (about 200 frames shot). I lost track of time while I stooped and bent my body to find the right way to capture this polyester moment. Eventually several curious people asked “ What are you photographing?”