Category: Nature

One Unofficial Version of Events, Inspired by Terence McKenna

Moko the Hunter possessed all the attributes an early proto-human hominid needed for success. He was strong, strong enough to choke a wild boar with his bare hands. He was stealthy, able to blend into foliage and tree canopies like a biped chameleon. And he could wait patiently for hours, standing still as a birch...

The Experience That Changed Your Life

Do you have an experience that, in retrospect, seems to have set you on your life’s journey? A formative moment? An epiphany? Mine came when I was 16, more than 35 years ago. The summer after my sophomore year of high school, I attended (and completed) a 24-day Colorado Outward Bound course in the Rocky...

The Urban Farmstead

We call the place we live “Vista Street Farmstead.” It’s a house in Hollywood, one block from Sunset Boulevard, with a front and back yard, maybe 1/16th of an acre? But almost every available square foot of dirt is dedicated to growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Blessed with copious sunshine throughout the day – and...

This Beautiful Fantastic

Finally! A movie for botany nerds, for artistic landscapers, for gardeners. The unrelentingly charming film This Beautiful Fantastic, written and directed by Simon Aboud, takes a familiar tale — curmudgeonly old man’s heart melts for an impossibly lovely young woman — and makes it magical. His leads, Tom Wilkinson, as the grouchy horticulturalist, and Jessica Brown Findlay as...

Secret Meeting

Thank you, esteemed representatives, for joining us at this historic congregation. I know it wasn’t easy for many of you, especially the flora. We appreciate your commitment to the revolution. Almost all living creatures are represented directly or indirectly here tonight. We understand and appreciate the passionate feelings surrounding our decision to have many crawling insect species be...

How to Make Yourself Irresistibly Attractive and Attractively Irresistible

Been hiking a lot lately, where what is and isn’t a “fact” seldom is argued. How nice to get away from “the news” — fake and otherwise. How nice to commune with the birds and the trees, basking in the sun, which, incidentally, is in no way whatsoever responsible for warming the planet, since the...

Jumbo Wild

The documentary “Jumbo Wild“tells the ongoing story of a politically-connected real estate developer’s quest to build a ski resort on British Columbia’s remote and pristine Jumbo Glacier — despite overwhelming resistance to the disastrous scheme from local residents, First Nations representatives, and legions of environmentalists. The film is beautifully photographed and surprisingly fair-minded toward the stubbornly...

An Open Letter to Friends of Runyon Canyon (FORC)

Dear Friends of Runyon Canyon (FORC), On behalf of your fellow Runyon Canyon friends, on behalf of the hundreds (thousands?) of citizens who have attended Emergency Meetings, who have called and written their Councilmember, who have been compelled to file a costly lawsuit to protect the park from your heavy construction, we ask you to...

Defending Runyon Canyon: Why FORC Must Go

“If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.”   ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching The disturbing story of how a group of politically-connected opportunists calling themselves “Friends of Runyon Canyon” (FORC) almost succeeded in hijacking one of Los Angeles’s greatest natural treasures will eventually come to a happy ending. To...

Runyon Canyon For Sale: Winners, Losers and Copious Apologies

After nearly two years of secretive deals brokered in the shadows, the bright light of public inquiry has finally shined on Runyon Canyon. On April 4, at a standing-room-only emergency meeting of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, convened at the Durant Library, elected officials and their development partners were compelled to explain to the...