Environment

Condors over Cambria

Unlike our more adorable and endangered sea otter, vultures have a public relations issue. Admiring vultures is an acquired appreciation. Their bald heads with massive beaks that can tear through a thick hide, and their food source — dead animals — is an unlikely point of polite conversation. It’s a image issue.

Putting the Brakes on the Malheur Miscreants

Editor’s Note:  After 41 days of occupation, the standoff no longer stands.  For an update by Jake Klonoski, please scroll to the end of this post.   Saturday, I sliced into a medium rare steak hot off the grill. Smothered in garlic, salt and pepper, it was delicious. The evening’s news rambled in the background. When the news anchor turned to an Oregon report about a group of armed men still holding the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge hostage, my blood pressure jumped a []

No Knee Ski, But Great Times

…a few days before this Christmas when I spent a night in my daughter and her husband’s Taos Ski Valley condo. It’s near the first chairlift. Looking out the patio door I recalled taking both my daughters, who were about 11 and 13 at the time, for a day skiing there.

Juxtaposition — From a Bench in the Forest

Here, life seems abundant. But this rare forest — one of three Monterey pine forests in the world — dies a bit more with each blink of my eyes. Pines with green needles last week, are now tinged in burnt-sienna — the first sign of a tree’s fight for life.

Hard Hearts Beat on Earth Day

Oh I do care and am concerned about the health of our oceans. But I’m not marching in the streets, writing letters to the editor, or shouting on talk radio shows. What I do is edit and write a blog called Neptune 911 that reports, from solid and reliable sources, news about the oceans. My concern doesn’t come from Google-U. It comes from direct experience and seeing the issues with plastics in the ocean, university sponsored workshops led by leading oceanographers, marine biologists, etc.; and webinars sponsored by same universities and the National Science Foundation

A Periwinkle Sweater Waits for Winter

“This is like living in a third-world country with high-end tax bills!” I screamed while scrubbing the bathroom with the captured water, which was not going to leave enough water to flush the toilet later on. I took a break. When I looked at my garden, the artichoke plants drooped like my sullen mood. They needed water. Thank goodness we captured some rainwater from the roof into a 300-gallon tank that sits in the driveway. It’s the new drought fashion accessory.

California’s Rich Field Moment

…the moistened soil–autumn-sun warmed–seduced dormant seeds awake. A resurrection of green slipped through the layer of fallen leaves and dried grasses. By morning a thunderous roar filled the canyon. The Kaweah River no longer struggled to trickle through plump gray boulders.

Life & Toes in Drought

See this map? See the blood-red area of California along the coast? That’s where I live. It’s Exceptional-droughtland. And less than a year ago, our local community water providers left Pollyanna-land, and informed us citizens that there was a huge likelihood of our wells going dry by late 2014.