Freelancing is a hard hike in a tough terrain of competition. This is by way of saying don’t expect a lot here. One advantage of freelancing is following your passion – writing about what moves you, not just what’s assigned by an editor (the disadvantage is lack of a steady paycheck). It’s said a good writer writes about what s/he knows, but I’ve always written about what I want to know. Like, life, the universe, and everything -- but especially forests, because forests should rule the world if the world was sane.


Oasis Gallery Reading

Oasis Gallery of Fine Art and Craft, at 103 S. Main Street, is the heart of art in Harrisonburg, VA, the closest city to my very rural home. The administrators of Oasis consider literature also to be an art, with shelves of books by local authors. On Friday, June 28, 2024, Oasis held a reception, free and open to the public, of short readings by several local writers. I was delighted to be one of them.  […]


Harrisonburg Rotary Club Presentation

I was invited to speak at the weekly luncheon of the Harrisonburg Rotary Club, one of more than 46,000 Rotary clubs around the world.  Their mission is to form a fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders to help address community problems through public service, economic growth, and promotion of education, environmental protection, and goodwill toward all.  I wasn’t very familiar with Rotary, and was impressed by the commitment I saw and heard.  Meeting weekly for lunch and a […]


60th Anniversary of Brocks Gap Dam Defeat

“60th Anniversary:  Brocks Gap Dam Proposal Lambasted!” is the true story of how a small rural community stopped a huge government agency, the Army Corp of Engineers, from drowning hundreds of homes and farms under a massive lake meant to dilute urban pollution as far downstream as Washington, D.C.  Published in the September, 2023 issue of The Chimney Rock Chronicle. I did much of the research for this story in 2008, when, as a member of the Fulks Run Ruritan […]


Seeing the Forest for the Carbon

Published in the Chimney Rock Chronicle, Volume 5, Issue 6, July 2023.

Everybody knows that money doesn’t grow on trees, but did you know money can grow inside them? In a sign of the times, forest landowners have a new revenue source: trees left to grow ever bigger and older. Trees are the best technology yet discovered for pulling carbon dioxide (CO2), the major greenhouse gas, out of the air. Leaves break it down during photosynthesis […]


Presentation: A Sedimental Journey: Tracking Historic Dirt Downstream

Using archival photos and my forest forensics photos of clues to the history of my own beloved woods – and far beyond – I presented a webinar for the Forest History Society (Duke University), “A Sedimental Journey:  Tracking Historic Dirt Downstream.”  This presentation greatly expands the one I gave in 2021 for the Friends of the North Fork.  If you think forest history hasn’t had consequences that continue today, take a look at your local creek after […]