Cowboy camping on the PCT: from Crater Lake Nat’l Park to Timberline Lodge in Oregon

What does it mean to cowboy camp the PCT? Put simply, it means camping without a tent. Throwing down a mat and your bag (or your lighter and maybe even warmer down quilt) and using the stars for your night light, and dawn for your alarm clock. But expand the definition a little and cowboyContinue reading “Cowboy camping on the PCT: from Crater Lake Nat’l Park to Timberline Lodge in Oregon”

Heat to blast SoCal: Fire Weather

It’s going to be crazy hot the next couple of days here in Ojai (112 on Friday they say) and in coastal Southern California this weekend. In the words of Weather West (aka climate scientist Daniel Swain): …in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties, especially, the heat from Fri-Sun will be extreme due to theContinue reading “Heat to blast SoCal: Fire Weather”

SoCal is losing its cool (the clouds)

On the eve of a hellacious heat wave — up to 110 this weekend they say — here’s a new fact to contemplate about life in Southern California. We’re losing our cool. Physically, that is. We’re losing clouds and fog in summer over our heads, according to scientific studies and meteorological observations. Here’s the lead from aContinue reading “SoCal is losing its cool (the clouds)”

speeding wildfires and their dark beauty

Forty-six years ago  a young fire ecologist published a paper that for the first time found a math to usefully describe the behavior of wildfires in the west, as modified by slope and wind. It’s a remarkable achievement and was, according to Wildfire Today, a team effort led by a man named Dick Rothermel. Rothermel, Anderson,Continue reading “speeding wildfires and their dark beauty”

The deep resilience of the redwood

A friend sent along an amazing and heartening story from the Washington Post, called Decoding the Redwoods. In short, to better understand the long-lived coast redwood, scientists in two different labs have been working to decode the species’ genome, which — astonishingly — is vastly larger than ours. The redwood genome project began in AprilContinue reading “The deep resilience of the redwood”

December 8th in Ojai, CA 2017

Picture from a photographer, Stuart Palley, who in the last couple of years has found a calling in documenting wildfire and the crews that fight it. The Thomas Fire has been an overwhelming event, plus it ate my office (and musician friend Taylor‘s studio and barn). Did publish a story about the start of theContinue reading “December 8th in Ojai, CA 2017”

The biggest problem in California: Housing

State Senator Hannah Beth-Jackson came to Ojai recently, and visited with the Ojai Valley Green Coalition, where I volunteer, and met with the board of directors. We discussed many topics but ended up on the issue that has been dividing the state: housing — affordable housing — and the lack thereof. The New York TimesContinue reading “The biggest problem in California: Housing”