Who Lives Here

Mount Shasta

Once, in looking at a topo map, Brien read north as towards the Yolla Bollys (west of us). We came to love this momentary mistake as an indicator that he was gaining the appropriate perspective that the top of our world is the top of our watershed. But for me the top of my world will probably always be Mount…

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Who Lives Here

Great Horned Owls

In the fall of 2010, a group of five wild turkeys began hanging around the edge of the valley oak grove where our buildings are, especially near the outdoor kitchen. They soon got used to me and my dog, even tolerating the occasional barking charge from her. After two weeks or so of cooking and eating with the turkeys close…

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Who Lives Here

Our Blurry Bioregion

“Bioregion,” like any word of any language foreign to the land in which it is spoken, is just a human concept imposed upon a place. We have no idea whether trees and other non-humans have any such need to delineate boundaries, but we do know that they make them. Boundaries, the actual lines we humans draw to define a territory,…

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Restoration, Who Lives Here

White Sweet Clover

When I first arrived here in 2003, I was really unfamiliar with the plants, being an exotic transplant myself. But I spent a lot of my free time with plant guidebooks in hand as I walked the land getting to know my new community. By 2006, I was starting to notice a tall white clover—or was it a lespedeza?—along the…

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Who Lives Here

Toads

One of my favorite encounters most every summer evening as the day turns to night is the awkward scrambling of toads as I walk along the path from our house to the outdoor kitchen. From my perspective, they seem clumsy and completely unskilled at avoiding potentially dangerous larger animals like me. I usually hear them scurrying through the dry grass…

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