Category: Nature

How to Keep Runyon Canyon Completely Free of Litter and Dog Poo Without Spending a Penny

Runyon Canyon Park, a unique wilderness area in the heart of Hollywood, is currently under threat. Expensive studies have been commissioned, catastrophic problems identified, and Strategic Plans (many of them wildly expensive) formulated. The standard narrative promulgated by those with political and financial interests: Runyon Canyon is being “loved to death.” It’s crumbling from too...

An Inside Peek at One Little Version of Paradise

Not long ago, the brilliant photographer and videographer Jonny Harper (@JHB1126) brought his drone and his talent to the Vista Street Farmstead. His original intent was to document the recently completed driveway mural. He ended up shooting much more. Our friend and neighbors know what’s behind the driveway gates. For those who don’t have the...

False Flags, Bad Data and Untrustworthy Authorities: The Oncoming Harm Facing Runyon Canyon

The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council (HHWNC) is an all-volunteer advisory board with lots of strong feelings and almost zero political power. At regularly scheduled meetings held at the Durant library, the HHWNC fields the concerns of local residents and stakeholders, many of whom are vexed about preposterous and harmful developments being allowed in the...

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...