My Books

Thumbnail image of Alice and the Green Man cover

Thumbnail image of Moon's Blues cover

Thumbnail image of The Greening Book 3

Thumbnail image of Tall Order cover

Playground Earth

Rock falls in ultra slo-mo beside the tumbling Lower Cascades.

The slabs of stone curve impossibly high above the ground, looming like some silicate tidal wave about to crash.

We were hiking in Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, North Carolina, where lime green buds swelling in the damp spring air lit the […]

Vision Aerie

Room without a roof.

Last night I watched the first episode of the revived “Cosmos,” the legendary television science series created by charismatic astronomer Carl Sagan.

Sagan was less known for his scientific achievements than for his amazing ability to make science comprehensible, and even entertaining, to audiences not normally interested in hard-to-grasp […]

Apocalypse Wow

The Potomac has been frozen solid for weeks this winter.

We’re starting to get the hang of it.

That first “polar vortex” caught us napping, dreaming our playful global warming scenarios, the ones in which we don’t run out of fresh water but we do get to have a beach ten minutes from […]

Ripple in Still Water

The light in the forest casts a holy spell in George Inness Jr.’s painting.

What is it about Florida that brings out the crazy in people?

It can’t be simply the beaches and the palm trees, the warmth and the flip-flop-friendly lifestyle. All those things are abundantly present in many other places in […]

This Is Your Life

Every rainbow is a small miracle.

Karen Thompson Walker’s debut novel The Age Of Miracles takes off from a simple premise, the sort of “what if?” that has inspired science fiction writers for decades. What if the Earth’s rotation slowed? What if, gradually, but unmistakably, the sunlit days grew longer, the […]

Whose Woods These Are

Berkeley artist Deborah Harris created the block print for the covers of The Greening trilogy.

Leaves have already begun to fall in my backyard. The sunflowers are still smiling on their ten-foot-stalks, seemingly unaware of the change in the tilt of the planet, yet the leaning season has begun, when autumn exerts its […]

Don’t Bug Me

Imagine the onshore breeze, the quiet whoosh of waves.

So after a week at the beach during which we set aside our usual trunk load of complaints, anxieties and issues, and concentrated on putting on enough sunscreen and minding our manners, I found myself applying a different definition to daily challenges: First World […]

Putting Perspective on the Past

The airy courtyard has been the setting for eighteen Inaugural balls.

Cities have lives of their own.

People come and go, trends change, history rolls on. Cities that last for more than a few centuries acquire a patina of age that can add to their charm or diminish it.

Washington, D.C., has weathered […]

Green is Timeless

This photo by Darius Kinsey taken around 1900 in Washington state shows what a cedar can do when it's got the right conditions.

What could be better than planting a tree to celebrate Earth Day?

Planting two trees? Perhaps.

But if you really want to take the long view, you may wish to […]

The Earth Remembers

Landscaping at the National Museum of the American Indian reflects harmony with nature.

On the razor-thin borderline between the new and the old, we the people balance on this elusive current moment.

It changes constantly, as do we. Our efforts to hold onto the moment, to capture the past, or predict the future, […]