What happens to tarantulas in winter?

(Tarantulas live throughout the Southwest. But where do they go during our cold high altitude winters? I wrote this piece for Santa Fean Magazine, where it first appeared in October 2020.) New Mexicans are used to seeing tarantulas on roadways and trails in the early fall, when males leave the safety of their burrows on a grueling march for a mate.  They can travel miles … Continue reading What happens to tarantulas in winter?

An Open Invitation to America’s Open Spaces: An Interview with Journalist Hal Herring for the American Conservation Film Festival

I moved to New Mexico for my health. Well, that was the proximate reason. No, I don’t have tuberculosis (like so many in the 19th century who moved to the American Southwest did). Instead, several years ago I developed a severe mold sensitivity and an autoimmune condition. The combination was debilitating at times, and my doctors warned me that my conditions made me more susceptible … Continue reading An Open Invitation to America’s Open Spaces: An Interview with Journalist Hal Herring for the American Conservation Film Festival

Proud winner of a Humane Society Genesis Award

Sometimes it pays to get up in the middle of the night, drive through the dark cold loneliness of a December morning, and wait in freezing temperatures to enter a wolf den (well okay, a wolf pen). That’s what I did while researching my story, Lobos in Limbo: The Halting Recovery of the Mexican Wolf, which recently won a Genesis Award from the Humane Society … Continue reading Proud winner of a Humane Society Genesis Award

Desert People

I guess I’m a desert person now. That’s what Pat Flanagan, a 78-year old activist I interviewed for a recent High Country News article called herself. Pat has lived in southern California for decades, but it wasn’t until 2002 that she could move to the far reaches of San Bernardino County into the Mojave Desert. Which she did upon retirement because, well, she’s a desert … Continue reading Desert People

To fathers of daughters who love the outdoors

I still don’t know if sharing this eulogy is a good idea or not. Is it exploiting my father’s death? Is it self-indulgent (well, yes). Can I rationalize some larger purpose for sharing it? How about this: On this Father’s Day of 2018, I share my eulogy of my father, who died in 2017, to inspire all fathers to spend time with their daughters – … Continue reading To fathers of daughters who love the outdoors