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The Art and Science of Forest Bathing

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.                                      –Robert Louis Stevenson   What comes to mind when you hear the term “forest bathing”? To be honest, the …

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Trial by Fire

Five fire seasons weigh upon me. My knees, though they have only seen 24 summers, creak and snap with each step; my wrists, elbows, and shoulders crackle from having absorbed the shock of uncountable swings of my Pulaski into compact, dark earth; my feet bear the memory of miles, flayed raw. Five fire seasons in the Pacific Northwest, and my …

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The Middle Ground

What I would really like, what I hope and dream for, is that people try to think outside of themselves when they are in wild places, or when they are in nature in any context, even in a  backyard!  What is our place here?  How do we share our planet with the other creatures who call it home?  Do we …

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Backcountry Horsemen: Unsung Trail Heroes

At times, it’s good to take stock of who’s in your corner. Who’s willing to go to bat for you. And get dirty. These are friends one should keep. Now a friend that’ll brush out miles of your favorite hiking trail, on their own dime, and carry your tools for you? Now you’re talking our love language. If you explore …

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Governors Point: Finding Harmony on the Chuckanut Coast

The history of outdoor recreation and preservation in America has always run parallel with the politics of land use. On one hand you have the visceral joys of experiencing soul-enriching activities such as hiking, camping, paddling, etc. On the other you have the eternal quest to monetize the land via development, resource extraction and the like. Yet these two vastly …

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The Twin Bear Story Pole

In the fall of 2005, I was given a 300+ year-old, 18-foot-long, red cedar log from a jumbled pile in the log yard of the Oeser Company in Bellingham,WA. A tag on the log indicated that it had been cut down by Georgia Pacific in 1982 at the base of the Twin Sisters Range in Whatcom County, WA. near the …

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Saving the Salish Sea Salmon

An alarming factoid has been floating around for a few years now: In a “business as usual scenario,” by 2050, plastics will outweigh fish in the ocean. This figure was first presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and is based on a study released in 2015 by the Ocean Conservancy. It says something about plastics, but it …

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Reimagining Recreation

  “If we approached rivers, mountains, dragonflies, redwoods and reptiles as if all are alive, intelligent and suffused with soul, imagination and purpose, what might the world become?” “Who would WE become if we participated intentionally with such an animate earth?”                                       …

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Back to Nature: The Healing Power of the Natural World

Back in May, as the COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping the planet and lock-downs and quarantines had those of us in the Pacific Northwest isolated, apprehensive and discouraged, I began to think about the healing power of nature. In reading about the Japanese concept of ‘forest bathing’, I found that an accumulation of data about the benefits – physiological, psychological, even …

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Fishtown: Art and Nature on the Skagit River

If you’re a fan of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, you might have passed through charming La Conner, WA. At first glance, you might think it’s little more than a tourist stop. But that’s where you’d be very, very wrong. La Conner was once home to a rustic artists’ colony, Fishtown, where creatives sought the solitude and spiritual connection to …

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