“Lucy in the Sky with Islands”

The Sky Islands are the mountains of the Santa Rita range, including Madera Canyon. This relatively small region in the Coronado National Forest boasts more than 240 species of birds, a wide range of succulents, including cactus, yucca and agave, and an intermix of conifers, oaks, madrones and other plants that host fascinating insects and spiders.

Mt. Diablo’s Moonscape

Find out why Mt. Diablo is growing a whole lot of wildflowers this year.

Ladybug Love Fest

Swarms of ladybugs turn some trails of Redwood Regional Park bright red.

Coming and Going

Coming and Going A riot of chickadees flock and flit about my garden, flying under the old oak offering acorns one by one. From the orange and the olive to the Mexican sage they hang upside down like tiny circus performers probing purple blooms for the sweet summer nectar the hummers missed. Constant conversation continues […]

Unlocking the Mystery of the Ancient Bristlecone Pines

Envision being alive before Moses traversed the desert. Imagine existence before the Mayans disappeared. Consider life on Earth some 4,800 years ago. The Great Basin bristlecone pines in the forest of the White-Inyo Mountains of eastern California have survived that long. Scientists have named one of the trees, Methuselah, after the long-living character in the […]

Natural Texture

We always think of texture as something you must touch to understand. But seeing texture evokes a response as well.

Defacing Adult Education: California Schools Threatened with Extinction

Adult education is a vital public service, but it’s on the chopping block in California.

Rockin’ the Outback

In the Land of “127 Hours” I was standing on the edge of a narrow canyon called Middle Keyhole in Zion National Park, a cold waterway behind me, a 25-foot drop ahead of me. My heart was pumping at full pace now. It had started beating faster the moment we arrived at Zion Adventure Company […]

Bird blog

So I enter Progressive Grounds café in the San Francisco Mission district for a reading from “Love, InshAllah, the Secret Love Lives of  American Muslim Women,” when a bird walks in. Not just any old bird, but a blue and gold macaw. It sits down, well, perches, on the top of a chair. His owner […]

A Simple Lesson

A blog on a street encounter.