Fire and Ice

The thing about the world as we’re coming to know it now—a world in the process of changing at timescales we can perceive from the relatively puny span of a human adulthood—isn’t just that extremes pile up. No, the thing is that these extremes cozy up to one another in bizarre and frankly disturbing ways.…

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Last Call

As fall color, the caution-yellow flowers of rabbitbrush tend to flare early. They bloomed here, this year, weeks before the aspen or the scrub oak got around to changing. As a wildflower, though, rabbitbrush blooms late, which is why plantswoman Lauren Springer Ogden refers to it as the “last bar open”: a destination where insects gather for one final slug of nectar before the season shuts down.

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Away…

Like many Americans, Doug and I recently decided it was time to slingshot ourselves out of the near-to-home orbit we’ve kept to for the past year and a half. Breaking away was not irrelevant, but mostly we wanted to check in with distant family members. I needed to hug my Mom, to lay eyes on…

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Cheers for Chives

As I’ve noted in these pages before, mine is not a subsistence garden. The growing season here is short, the high-altitude weather is extreme, the space is limited. The gardener, meanwhile, is easily distracted, typically unable or unwilling to devote the sort of effort that would a) yield an ample edible harvest, or b) preserve…

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The Jungle Indoors

On this March afternoon, clouds drift in sullen white-gray flocks, west to east. The sodden remains of last week’s blizzard litter the ground in ragged drifts, their undersides dissolving to slush faster than the tops melt under a disinterested sun. The warming ground and moisture are welcome, but the muck and disarray, on the heels of this very long winter, are not welcoming.

If I want greenery and the promise of another season, I won’t find it outdoors this week, not here…

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