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Voice

The rare-bird reports reach my phone from Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s citizen-science app, ebird, [...]

Drink

The parable reads like a riddle: two raccoons walked into a yard, looking for a drink . . . (For an immediate [...]

Refuge

“Dog Days are approaching; you must, therefore, make both hay and haste while the Sun shines, for when old Sirius takes command of the weather, he is such an unsteady, crazy dog, there is no dependence upon him.” [...]

Lovely

Ed Abbey had joined a Colorado River trip I'd guided in summer 1975, soon after he'd written The Monkey Wrench Gang (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1975). The book was about to hit the shelves and would become a literary and cultural phenomenon. He didn't reveal anything about the Gang, and we didn't ask, but as we floated Cataract, he'd already orchestrated the lives and acts of Hayduke and Seldom Seen and Bonnie and Doc. [...]

History

All through March, I wanted to compile a list of women who've made history running rivers—but stopped each time. Why only a month? I asked. Why can't March—and all months—be about a thing called The People's History? How amazing we would feel as a body united, not splintered into factions we observe according to Presidential designation. [...]

Bubble

"We don't grieve in a bubble," my bereavement counselor tells me. She's been advising me about grief, not only as an experience, but as a process and opportunity for learning. There's been no way to talk about the death of my father late last year without framing it within 2020's overwhelming and worldwide losses. Piled on top of those, grief feels bigger. Cumulative. We build grief debt, as others have called the build-up of loss upon loss upon mounting loss. [...]

Soul

When I was a river guide I carried Barry Lopez's River Notes in my ammo box. I liked to lend it to the passengers or read essays from it aloud on my raft. In 2015, I told Barry about its importance to me the first time we had a conversation of more than a few words. He looked at me carefully for a minute and went back to his work. Later I learned through his wife Debra Gwartney how uncomfortable he was hearing that kind of praise. Maybe the words cast him as a god in a way that put pressure on our friendship. [...]