More backyard wildlife–two deer

Yesterday  I was looking around the yard with my landscaper and we saw droppings that I would have thought were from deer, but it seemed unlikely so I ventured the idea of raccoons.  He told he they had seen deer in the yard the previous week, and that there were tracks in the ground that were deer tracks.  (more…)


What does “change” look like?

I returned from a class last night to catch the second half of Obama’s acceptance speech (one great advantage of living on the west coast is that your election night vigil is generally much shorter than for those back east), and we went to sleep soon afterward.  I have scanned a few websites but the TV has stayed off so I haven’t taken in all that much of what others have to say yet.

I find that the hopeful but sombre tone of Obama’s excellent speech suits my mood very well in the quiet of this partly sunny morning.  Oddly enough, I find myself remembering the Reagan administration and the sea change it brought about how I viewed my life in the US.  (more…)

Why I went to the [Maine] Woods, Where I Lived, and What I Did

My recent trip to the Northeast Corridor included some great theater, visits with family and friends, and a welcome dose of crisp fall weather with beautiful foliage. I’ve written about the theater but not about the adventure in which I stretched myself the most: my quest to visit the mountain where Henry David Thoreau first experienced nature as a superhuman, impersonal force. During the many years we lived in New England, I only caught sight of Mount Katahdin once, from a distance as we drove by on I-95 at the end of a trip to the maritime region of Canada.

My interest in Thoreau was revived on last year’s northeastern trip when I revisited Walden Pond one glorious autumn day.  I’ve read Robert Richardson’s excellent “intellectual biography” of Thoreau and given some thought to leading a discussion class on Walden, which may come about in January.  Jim was anticipating a busy workweek in Boston, and it seemed like a good opportunity to slip off and spend a few days in Maine. (more…)