“She’s just not letting go.”

At first I was curious about why or how anyone even noticed a female orca in the Pacific Northwest carrying her dead baby. I figured it must have been a random sighting and, concurrently, a random demonstration of animals expressing grief. Simultaneously, I wondered how a sea animal “carried” something at all. By the time... Continue Reading →

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Skunk Tracks

Our first house was set into the side of Mount Nonotuck, a smallish mountain in Easthampton, Mass, at the western end of a smallish spread of hills called the Holyoke Range. The nearly 100-year-old structure, which had an angled dirt basement with actual boulders sticking up in it, was seriously “settled,” meaning its floors tilted... Continue Reading →

Baby Dolls vs. Stuffed Animals

Today I read a story in a back issue of Creative Nonfiction magazine by Brenda Miller that revolved around the National Toy Hall of Fame (who knew such a thing existed?). Though Miller wrote about all kinds of memorable toys—Etch a Sketch, slinky, Legos, and the like—there was a significant focus on dolls, as they seem... Continue Reading →

First snow, second snow

Maybe it’s because I’m a native Texan. Maybe it’s because Mother Nature always amazes me. Maybe it’s the same for most people. But the first snow in New England each year really does feel like some kind of enchantment. It seems incredible that light, pure, sparkly dust suddenly sprinkles from the sky, sugaring everything below.... Continue Reading →

Dawn Choruses

It's no revelation that spring brings the birds. But for those of us who grew up in Houston where seasons barely exist — and therefore plants stay green year 'round and bird migration means only that the feathered ones pop over to Mexico for a quick holiday and then come right back — the bird... Continue Reading →

A Corgi Named Hank

Our friend Cassie found the four-year-old tri-colored low-rider at a pound in Nashville. She sent us pictures of him with his big warm brown eyes looking up at her through the metal bars of his kennel. The dog looked happy despite his confinement, and we were immediately smitten. My husband Peyton and I had talked... Continue Reading →

The Stealth of Deer

The deer traffic here, The deer from the forest With their considerable bodies, they cross, stepping Soundlessly through camp, As if possessing some magic Over mounds of brown dry leaves, littered fallen branches Without a crunch or snap, without even a sigh Though the dog occasionally catches A whiff, her snout arching upward, on the air Apparently, they have a scent undetectable... Continue Reading →

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