Pandemic Prospect

It rained on my birthday this year. The weather delayed my annual trek up to White Rocks. Climbing over wet trails and slippery scrambles seemed  imprudent. I look forward to my ritual climb to the ridgetop on South Mountain where white sandstone pokes out like the bones of the mountain. It is coming back to […]

A Prayer for White Rocks

Since returning to the landscape of my childhood, I have adopted the ritual of hiking the White Rocks Trail every year for my birthday. I reconnect with the woods and the mountain. It is not just connecting to nature but also a connection to a particular place. White Rocks is embedded in South Mountain. The […]

Matanza Riachuelo

Matanza Riachuelo translates to “little river of slaughter,” alluding to a sometimes bleak history. Yet standing on the riverbank on a bright summer day in March, the scene is serene. The riparian park is verdant; the cityscape, while not affluent, appears tidy. The langid black water eases towards the Rio de la Plata. It is […]

Nahuel Huapi National Park

From this distance, we in the United States talk about Patagonia like it is one place, one landscape. It’s like looking at a satellite view before you zoom in. But it is not a single place. It is not even a single country. Patagonia spans the high latitudes of Argentina and Chile. As a landscape […]

Playa Escondida

Hidden beach. Some landscapes are impressions. Distant memories that evoke a powerful sense of place. There are no photographs to prove they exist, maybe a lost sketch in smudged pastels, but years later you wake up in the middle of the night thinking of them. We were running late in a place that didn’t keep […]

The Ark of the Albemarle

The Albemarle Peninsula is a lovely place, wet and low lying, surrounded by water almost all around, covered in swamp woodlands and expansive marshes. It is home to black bears, white-tail deer, and red-cockaded woodpeckers. It is the only place in the world where red wolves run wild and free — if wearing a thick […]

Flint Hills Haze

I turn west toward the Flint Hills, and the smoke of burning grass reaches me before I reach them. I know the ecology of this landscape, so I should have been expecting it. At least I should have recognized it immediately, but it takes some miles on Highway 50 before I piece together what is […]

Where the Bluebirds Sing

Bluebirds used to visit my yard. The landscape starts at your front door. And nothing says that better than stepping outside on a spring day as a flash of blue darts around the corner. It comes when you are not looking so you find yourself doubting, did I just see that? A bluebird evokes wonder […]

Ghosts of Times Beach

I have set out on the spring equinox to find the spirit of a landscape, its genius loci. My quest brings me to the Route 66 State Park in Eureka, Missouri. The original highway crossed the Meramec River here on its way from Chicago to Los Angeles. All that remains of the crossing are the […]