Tag Archives: Henry David Thoreau


The meaning of meat

“It is true, I came as near as is possible to come to being a hunter and miss it, myself….” (Henry David Thoreau) I spent last weekend in the company of six heavily armed women at Madroño Ranch. Don’t worry; … Continue reading

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A school of fish: Izaak Walton at Madroño Ranch

… doubt not, therefore, sir, that angling is an art, and an art worth your learning. The question is rather, whether you be capable of learning it? Inspired by the recent Freshwater Fly-Fishing School at Madroño Ranch, I’ve been rereading … Continue reading

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Listapalooza, holiday edition: all-time top tens

Like Rob Fleming, the protagonist of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, I seem to have a strong taxonomic impulse. Longtime readers of this blog have already seen several manifestations of my obsession with list making, but Heather and the kids will … Continue reading

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Of mothers and mountains

I’ve just introduced myself to the pleasures of Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There. Called the father of wildlife conservation in the United States, Leopold heard in the revving of the great American economic and … Continue reading

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“A cup of tea, a warm bath, and a brisk walk”

A path is little more than a habit that comes with knowledge of a place. (Wendell Berry) If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them … Continue reading

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Mapping the geography of hope: our place in the wilderness

Last week, during a visit to San Francisco that also took us to the nearby Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Martin and I spent a day exploring the Point Reyes National Seashore with his childhood friends Brad and Hans. Before setting … Continue reading

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Massachusetts, part III: take a walk on the wild side

A Very Long Time Ago, my mother brought home a Peter Max-style poster with this quotation from Henry David Thoreau: “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” Each time we moved, its reappearance was an indication that I was … Continue reading

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Massachusetts, part II: in defense of Thoreau

On our recent trip to snowy Massachusetts, as Heather told you last week, we carved out time for a pilgrimage to Walden Pond, just south of Concord, the very wellspring of American conservationism. Walden Pond, of course, is where that … Continue reading

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Massachusetts, part I: of books and houses and hospitality

On our very brief trip to Massachusetts last weekend, Martin and I drove straight from Boston’s Logan Airport to Concord in hopes of glimpsing one of the hotbeds of American utopian thinking before the winter sun set. Driving through snowy … Continue reading

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Listapalooza: top ten books about the environment

And now for the next installment in our internationally celebrated series of lists… and what could be more appropriate from the proprietors of a place called Madroño Ranch: A Center for Writing and the Environment than a list (in alphabetical … Continue reading

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