Walking around Mt Tam

One of the most beautiful and least known poetical flowerings of that outpouring of youth and art we call the 60’s was, arguably, a journey on foot around Mt Tamalpais, in Marin County north of San Francisco. This honoring of “the quiescent one,” this circumambulation, a walk completely around the mountain, following with our feetContinue reading “Walking around Mt Tam”

High Sierra PCT under snow in 2019

This winter turned out to be a very good year for precipitation in the state of California, as experts working with the California Department of Water Resources kind of predicted last fall. This means that right now, in July of 2019, the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail through the High Sierra fromContinue reading “High Sierra PCT under snow in 2019”

Flee or stay and defend? Rethinking evacuation from wildfire

News from around the Ojai Valley Thomas Fire dilemma: Stay or go? Residents, fire officials rethink evacuations Published: Friday, 22 March 2019 08:48 Photo provided by CAPS Media Firefighters try to save a house during the Thomas Fire.   Kit Stolz, special to the Ojai Valley News On the night of Dec. 4, 2017, fueledContinue reading “Flee or stay and defend? Rethinking evacuation from wildfire”

“a very strange argument” for global warming

From David Wallace-Wells’ just published The Uninhabitable Earth: “Over the last few years, as the planet’s own environmental rhythms have seemed to grow more fatalistic, skeptics have found themselves arguing not that climate change isn’t happening, since extreme weather has made that undeniable, but that its causes are unclear — suggesting that the changes weContinue reading ““a very strange argument” for global warming”

Precipitous insect decline: collapse of nature?

This week a Dutch cartoonist with beauty dramatized a horrifying new study warning of “the collapse of nature.” Yes, that statement seems extreme, but the art contextualizes it as form of suicide. Or even worse, as a form of ecocide-suicide. First our species exterminates the insects, and then their decline unravels nature. The study, freely available fromContinue reading “Precipitous insect decline: collapse of nature?”

A wild perspective on the government shutdown

  My name is Randy, and I’m the raccoon resident of the dumpster enclosure at Yellowstone National Park’s Bridge Bay Campground. The park rangers refer to me as a “nuisance raccoon.” I’ve lost my fear of humans and ability to forage for natural food like fruits and nuts, the stuff that non-nuisance raccoons eat. ImagineContinue reading “A wild perspective on the government shutdown”

Eating the Thomas Fire (sort of)

A little over a year ago the Thomas Fire, powered by the strongest Santa Ana winds in memory, roared through Upper Ojai on its way to surrounding all of Ojai, rampaging into Santa Barbara county, killing two people, destroying 1,000 structures, and burning over 200,000 acres of land. The fire visited our property on theContinue reading “Eating the Thomas Fire (sort of)”

Climate change hits ag in Ventura County

Proud to have published this story recently in a prominent Ventura County publication. With the help of Ben Hatchett of the Desert Research Institute, we showed I think that avocados, though now a substantial part of Ventura County agriculture, will in the not-too-distant future be a much more risky proposition…but that other crops, such asContinue reading “Climate change hits ag in Ventura County”

Thomas Fire (one year ago tonight)

The Thomas Fire began about five miles from our home near Thomas Aquinas College near Santa Paula on the night of December 4, 2017, a date Upper Ojai will never forget. In a bad twist of fate documented in my story in the Santa Barbara Independent a couple of weeks later, an electric transformer atContinue reading “Thomas Fire (one year ago tonight)”