Branching Out

  • Locations: Columns, Opinion Published

    Branching Out: Living into our dreams

    I was a teenager already studying architecture in high school, and I wanted nothing but New York City. I wanted to live on a boat in a marina. I dreamed of tailored mini skirts; long, fitted blazers; and three-inch slingback heels. I would zip about in my charcoal gray Mazda… read more →

  • Locations: Columns, Opinion Published

    Branching Out: Living the enlivening of spring

    I almost drove off the road when I caught sight of the wild Merriam’s turkeys — two or three toms were in full display mating mode. How could you miss them? Sunlit, the ivory and cream bands of their tail fans were incandescent, their regal sway reminiscent of an elk’s… read more →

  • Locations: Columns Published

    Branching Out: Striving and stretching

    Grunting, I doubled into the fence stretcher, pulling barb wire taut again. Mouth full of galvanized staples, I spit one out, both hands occupied. Didn’t know how others did it, so I did it my way and may have looked foolish. Working alone for days on end, I could care… read more →

  • Locations: Columns, Opinion Published

    Branching Out: Fragrances of home-making

    The scent of cumin hits an ancestral note for me; it frees the feels, right up there with sauteed onions or sizzling garlic: uniquely and pungently itself. Familiar and welcoming, yes, but otherworldly, too. In just a handful of homes do I smell it, that pervasive, bulk-food spice cabinet… read more →

  • Locations: Columns, Opinion Published

    Branching out: Oh, my god, the shoveling?

    It’s been 15 years since I’ve lived in a natural setting, and wow. Overnight. Lifestyle. Change.  

    At a slower rate, I’ve been shuttling for three weeks, moving to our new digs. Every time I pass Sunfire, the mouth of the canyon whispers, This is serious stuff.… read more →

  • Locations: Columns, Opinion Published

    Branching Out: It's the darndest thing

    The last time I fished this spot was with this same friend and darn it all if we hadn’t stumbled upon fireflies while hiking out. Have you ever seen these Midwestern points of light in real life? All aglow and aglimmer, across a midsummer’s eve? It’s gasp-worthy magic. Though it… read more →

  • Locations: Columns, Opinion Published

    What in the philtrum?!

    Why does placing my philtrum in the fur of a dog or cat calm me? Why am I drawn to placing said philtrum against the warmth of my daughter’s neck when we hug, or against a lover’s skin while we laze about? What the heck is a philtrumread more →

  • Locations: Columns, Opinion Published

    Oh my God: Aliveness

    Gilded, her silhouette shimmered amid the silver tumult of a sea collapsing upon itself. Bracing spray chased her up the beach; receding reflections of sky pulled at her feet. Unconstrained; another mammal, this daughter of mine, at play beneath wheeling, crying gulls, gliding pelicans and a falling sun.read more →

  • Locations: Columns Published

    A bold, regenerative future

    We recently received a letter here at The Sun “regarding Carbondale’s lack of color and appeal.” As a landscape designer, a 14-year garden and nature columnist, and with a decade-and-a-half on town committees and volunteer efforts, I was offered the opportunity to respond.

    I chuckled andread more →

  • Locations: Columns Published

    Branching Out: Rooted in (her)story

    How do we sink roots in a new place? 

    I came to Carbondale before the “Best Places to Live” lists. Mad about fly fishing, hunting for a place “to grow up” and sink my own roots, our watershed drew me in.

    Volunteering is aread more →