Rocío Guenther: Mujer Renacentista

by Elena Negron San Antonio is famous for its unique mix of Texan and Mexican culture, and this is encapsulated no better than in the experiences of Rocío Guenther, a Trinity University alum who holds dual citizenship in the United States and Mexico.  I recently had the pleasure of meeting virtually with Guenther, who isContinue reading “Rocío Guenther: Mujer Renacentista”

Best Animal Books of 2020

When I’m getting to know someone, a common icebreaker is the question, what’s your favorite animal? Everyone, even the meanest and grumpiest person, has a favorite.  We find aspects of these nonhuman creatures enjoyable or intolerable, relatable and lovable. Being curious about animals is part of being human. Here’s a list of some of theContinue reading “Best Animal Books of 2020”

We Tell Stories

Disasters bring home this truth: we live in place. Precise locations that can flood, burn, shake, and slide (and if you live in Southern California as I do, all four are possible, imminent). Wildfires, for example, can incinerate large swaths of forests, chaparral, or grassland, but their individual burn patterns are site- and vegetation-specific. EarthquakesContinue reading “We Tell Stories”

Still Birding While Black

Hey America, Was out birding a while back, black as I am and have always been, checking out my white-crowned sparrow honey hole, absorbing one of my fave winter birds. Fully engrossed in their melancholy leftover Northwoods songs and snazzy namesake stripe-headed plumages, I wasn’t expecting to have my identity challenged as I was identifyingContinue reading “Still Birding While Black”

Kurt Caswell’s Plea for Walking

My book, Getting to Grey Owl: Journeys on Four Continents, is a collection of travel essays that celebrate a wandering life. While I love being at home, travel is one of my central tenets. When I was a boy, my father’s work with the U.S. Forest Service took our family from one place to anotherContinue reading “Kurt Caswell’s Plea for Walking”

Walking in a Pandemic

I walk. A lot. I’ve always done so but now with a different kind of energy, an unsettling drive. Restless. Clocking more miles due to the quarantine, its prohibitions have altered some of my normal routes through Claremont, this college town on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County. No longer possible are morning treksContinue reading “Walking in a Pandemic”

What To Read During a Pandemic

Though it should, it does not dismay me that former students have been e-mailing me to say they are reading (or, for a very, very few) re-reading Defoe’s A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR or Camus’ THE PLAGUE. I have grown accustomed to students making unusual choices.   Nevertheless, others have asked me for reading suggestionsContinue reading “What To Read During a Pandemic”

A Grandson’s Hot Butter Rum Toast to Donald Culross Peattie

Donald Culross Peattie and his wife, Louise Redfield Peattie, with their son, Malcolm, uncle of David. I never met my grandfather Donald Culross Peattie. Or if I did, I was too young to remember. He died when I was growing up in Japan, so all the stories I heard, in addition to a few oldContinue reading “A Grandson’s Hot Butter Rum Toast to Donald Culross Peattie”