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Category: Notes (Page 2 of 51)

notes, photos, sketches, & asides

Freed from predation pressure, abalone had become plentiful in California’s coastal waters. Native Americans had been decimated by infectious diseases and the economies of coastal (and other) tribes had been severely disrupted. Sea otters, which devour abalone, were on the brink of extinction thanks to the global fur trade, as otter pelts fetched exorbitant prices in high fashion circles.

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In the hospital ward, we were not allowed visitors because of Covid restrictions so on each of the five days, I revisited a different decade of my past, dwelling at length on close relationships, wondrous journeys and joyful moments. Five months on, I still get great pleasure from doing this.

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I hope this old grandmother/grandfather oak doesn’t mind me sharing this image where their roots are showing. It’s such a perfect illustration that, for trees, as much is going on belowground as above… more, actually, for the roots are where the tree does their thinking.… Read the rest

They are cutting down the pine tree on the corner. It was maybe 80’ tall and almost three feet in diameter, perfectly healthy, an old tree full of years. And now it’s mostly wood chips. Today, for the first time in weeks, the sky is blue, and there is more of it than before.

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This is the University of Chicago “Great Books of the Western World” collection, edited by Mortimer Adler and published in the 1950s. My grandmother, a single mom on a budget, scrimped and saved for months to buy this for my father when he was quite young, maybe 12, and it shaped the rest of his life.… Read the rest

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