Thomas Doty – Storyteller

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Journal

4/21/2018: Jackrabbit is napping near the cave called Coyote's Cupboard. Two hundred skins, twisted and stitched, and Coyote has a rabbit-skin blanket!

4/17/2018: Twilight. Deep in the woods, Big-Sounding Owl shares a story. Hoots echo into the language of an ancient mythology. I listen for centuries.

4/15/2018: At first light, it's raining! After days inside immersed in the making of stories, it's time to walk in the woods. I'm in need of a cleansing!

4/13/2018: Favorite silences.... Before sunset and sunrise, sleeping and waking, first autumn snow in the mountains, between words in a story told well.

4/6/2018: Two twilights. The first lures me into a story, the second leads me out. Between them is moonlight and dark, knowing and change. Then a sunrise!

4/4/2018: Late night along the creek. Full moon makes white-water whiter, sends moonrays into the depths. Trees, leafing out, welcome light at nighttime.

4/3/2018: At Ti'lomikh. Goose rides the riffles of the Rogue. Then a second. And a third. I watch the river flow by. One story. And another. And another.

4/3/2018: Beaver Creek is a childhood place. Here I am young again in the spring forest, redreaming Old Time stories, sitting still with the Tree People.

4/1/2018: Mild winter. Dippers in Ashland Creek are plump and happily singing. They're tending their nest under the footbridge, a couple of weeks early.

3/30/2018: Springtime at Coyote's Paw. This Old Time village is new again. Wildflowers in the house pits. New grass in the graveyard. And here I am again.

3/28/2018: At Indian Tom Lake, coots are skittish and paddle away. Water is rippled with arrows. On the shore, with a corvid smirk, Magpie stares me down.

3/28/2018: After a silent winter, my path rounds a bend into springtime sounds of frogs, birds, and a breeze in the reeds. I speak these words out loud.

1/3/2018: In the early morning I sit along the Rogue River at Ti'lomikh. Stars swim the Milky Way. Deep in the river, in quiet pools, salmon dream in the shadows. We wait for the dawn.


9/9/2017: Early morning downtown. No one around but Raccoon in a tree, in front of the church, climbing for sleep after his nighttime adventures.

7/3/2017: I begin each day with stories. I walk through the woods and whisper words. I sit and scribble. I walk some more. Summer sun clears the ridge.


12/6/2016: First snow of the season. Icy creek tumbles clear. Forest is winter-white. I'm the first one to walk my morning path. My world is brand new!

11/10/2016: Autumn creek: Leaves ride the riffles, rocks line the bottom, pools reflect the dance of clouds.... I walk my path and celebrate this world!

9/30/2016: Mom's birthday! I used to tease her that 9 months ago was New Year's Eve ... her parents midnight-tipsy, wearing nothing but party hats....

9/22/2016: First rain in weeks. The world has been washed! Summer dust soaks into the earth. On this new autumn morning, leaves are eager to change.

9/21/2016: Last day of summer. On my morning walk, first light is late. Shadows linger in the woods. The creek is sleepy. Sundown is a half day away.


10/11/2015: I move into my new home in Ashland. End of one journey begins another. Fall leaves turn gold and twirl to the ground. I gaze at new horizons.

8/31/2015: Raven soars over Tule Lake. I call Haaaaa! and his cousin appears. Wonderful! Except to a tourist's dog from Texas who growls as he slinks away.

8/29/2015: First rain after a month of smoke from wildfires. I celebrate the smell of damp earth. More birdsongs than I can remember bring on the dawn!

7/2/2015: The full moon turns gold as she sets in the west. A breeze sweeps a pine bough across her back, dusting her off, trying to make her white again.

6/16/2015: I see no horizons today. Summer sun for light, forests for speckled shade, a woodland path.... The world is within sight, and I'm up for a walk.

6/4/2015: Along the Columbia River, cottontails greet me on my morning walk. They hoppity-hop, crisscrossing my path. They rustle through the spring grasses. Welcome to our home!

5/28/2015: Early morning. Darkness fades to first light. A dozen crows silence the crickets. As night critters yawn and head home, I blink at the new day.

4/5/2015: Each morning I walk through Old Time landscapes and I whisper their stories. Landscapes change as stories change. No tellings are ever the same.

3/1/2015: Placing one foot in front of the other, I follow Coyote's tracks up a narrow, rocky ridge. At the top of the world, his path leads on and on....

2/21/2015: On lonely nights, if I wiggle my hips just right, the bed springs sound like geese flying over. Two of them. Together. Heading somewhere.

2/5/2015: Windy night. The wind tells a story of a rainstorm about to kick up a wild, winter dance. I sit by the fire and listen to the rest of the story.

1/23/2015: On Ashland Creek I watch a dipper dive into the icy current and swim to the bottom. John Muir said it best: They are "birds made out of water."

1/4/2015: All night, clouds drift in and cover the sky. In the east is an opening, and I gaze to the stars and beyond. I watch for sunrise to bring something new to this brand new year.


12/6/2014: Bighorn sheep in the Klamath River Canyon. First time in 70 years! I remember them from myths. Now the bighorns are home. Time for a new story!

11/16/2014: Five below zero in Bend. My rig wears snow for a hat and icicles for a skirt. She chugs to life and puffs, "Let's go home! Let's go home!"

10/26/2014: I watch Heron Woman fish the Rogue River. She lets the big ones get away! She patiently waits for one that easily slides down her throat.

10/18/2014: 6 am. Raccoons whir through the neighborhood. Crash! Bang! Whee! A short pause to brag. Then another raid until sunrise sends them packing.

10/11/2014: To dance in the wildwood of myths and dreams, I play Joseph Campbell's lectures as I sleep. Has worked every time since Once Upon a Time. Old Time, Mythtime, Dreamtime, yes!

10/8/2014: Lunar eclipse! The full moon shifts from a shiny coin to a rusty penny. A troupe of stars shows up, circling the moon in a primal dance. They whirl around the moon all night!

10/5/2014: Salmon dream in the shallows. On the riverbank, folks listen to an old fisherman spin stories. The salmon wake up and continue upriver, bringing new myths to the source.

9/30/2014: Loud night! Critters walk on crackly leaves. A downpour drums the ground. Geese honk their way south. At dawn, Bluejay welcomes the noisy day!

9/22/2014: On this end-of-summer day, I walk through the woods at first light. Crickets finish their song. Geese fly out of the shadows, honking their way south, following the sun.

9/10/2014: By my window is a pathway into the canyon. At sunrise I watch them -- Deer, Fox, Raccoon -- heading home after a night of full-moon adventures.

8/30/2014: Afternoon. Cloudcap is a whirl of clouds and cold wind. Far below, Crater Lake is rough with whitecaps. Two layers of wool is barely enough!

8/23/2014: Dawn. The forest is a mystery of dark shapes. As the sun rises, silhouettes slip to the ground ... shadows of leafy oaks on this sunny day!

8/15/2014: Crickets! Though a familiar summer song, each night I hear something new ... variations chirped by different singers, over and over again.

8/1/2014: New stuff! Month, morning, light! New moon brightens as she travels. Eastern color promises a sunrise. I step outside and start a new walk.

7/26/2014: Bluejay jabbers his story. Again and again. I hear he took voice lessons from Crow but was a no-show on the day Crow talked about restraint!

7/19/2014: Lower Table Rock. An hour before sunrise and mine's the third rig in the lot! I muse on my youth, and my solo midnight walks into Mythtime.

6/29/2014: Last night at Dragonfly Place. Jackrabbit hops through the meadow. Pines dance in the breeze. Sun walks over the ridge. Everyone is moving!

6/21/2014: Abundance! A night sky crowded with stars. Solstice sunrise filling the valley. And a long day of hauling lots of boxes down the ridge!

6/5/2014: The crescent moon tips forward and spills stories into my dreams. She leans back and dreams new ones for later. Night after magical night!

6/1/2014: First light on June 1st. I hear a childhood poem, "One bird singing wakes up the sun!" The best beginnings have poetry and music. It's true!

5/25/2014: At dusk, I share a story in the woods. Words calm the breeze. Birds fall asleep in the trees. At the end, we welcome the night in silence.

5/8/2014: Night drive in the desert is a journey of transitions. Stinkingwater to Drinkwater, freezing to balmy. At sunrise, even the changes change.

5/1/2014: New stories on my horizon. In two months, I leave Dragonfly Place, my home in the Siskiyou Mountains for 15 years. I gaze at the rising sun.

4/27/2014: Rain lulls me to sleep. I dream of a journey, a rainforest, a river swelled with snowmelt, a dripping cave. At sunrise, the world sparkles.

3/27/2014: Night sky is a surreal swirl, now overcast, now clearing. I dream of a journey, wandering through clouds, then finding my way among stars.

2/8/2014: On the road in Portland. Big snow. Crazy wind. A tall tree cracks and crashes! At midnight, Coyote yips and barks, and I feel right at home.

1/13/2014: Wild wind! The Tree People tell stories. Trunks creak, limbs gesture. They lean closer and draw me in. I stand still and wait for the words.


12/9/2013: I step outside and admire the snowy dawn. Beautiful! At 61, I am blessed by another new year. Happy in the sun, juncos flock to the feeder.

12/2/2013: Before the first snow, robins visit my ridge. They fill up on berries and splash in the puddles. Then the wind turns cold, and they're gone.

11/24/2013: Back home after sharing native stories. The night sky is crowded with stars. Owls talk in the trees, telling shiny-new tales of long ago.

10/18/2013: Full Hunter's Moon. Owls talk it up in the trees, swapping tales of all-night hunts. Moonbeams dance, drawing them into another adventure.

9/19/2013: At sunset, Coyote tosses more wood on his fire. He slow dances with Ms. Moon. They cozy up and glow. It's a night full of passionate light.

9/11/2013: Quiet night. No shrieks from the depths of the woods startling me awake. Crickets sing under the mountain stars. Simple. Beautiful. Perfect.

9/1/2013: Dawn is gentle when the moon leads the way. Just before sunrise she clears the ridge with soft light, preparing us all for the summer sun.

8/27/2013: At dawn, I listen to owls share stories from tree to tree. Tales of night hunting, romance, the works! No one hoots my name. Life is good!

8/17/2013: Young turkeys in my wild flock have grown large. At dawn, all twelve trot over brittle madrone leaves that litter the forest floor. Loud!

8/8/2013: Circled by fires, smoke has smothered this ridge for weeks. Now the wind shifts. Bats flutter in the sunset. Stars blink on. I can breathe!

7/29/2013: Bang! Crash! 3 a.m. wake up! On my neighbor's deck, Mister Bear opens the outside fridge. Jam anyone? Better than the average picnic basket!

7/21/2013: At noon, my metal roof creaks in the heat. I close windows to trap the morning air. Deer nap under my deck in the cool dirt. Summer rituals.

7/16/2013: Before dawn, Coyote is singing somewhere down the ridge. Thin clouds hide the summer stars. Birds are still asleep. It's a solo performance!

6/24/2013: Gentle rain this morning. Dust settles. Birdsongs celebrate rain as they welcome the sunrise. In the breeze, wildflowers dance with grace.

6/11/2013: After clear hot days, the morning air is cool. Clouds hug the ridge. Mist swirls in the breeze. During the night, the coast crept inland.

5/14/2013: Afternoon walk around Cabell Marsh. No people. Just me and the lively jazz of birdsongs. Sounds like a Dixieland dawn! No need for a nap....

5/5/2013: Thunderstorm in Hornbrook! I get soaked at a Shasta elder's grave. He would have loved this. I close my eyes and he dances in the downpour!

5/3/2013: My mountain ridge glows in the morning light. May meadow grass, fresh oak leaves, rainbows of wildflowers.... Colors too new to have names!

3/18/2013: Twilight. Night sounds walk with me through the shadowy woods. Raven swoops out of nowhere, croaks inches above me. Last shiver of winter!

3/17/2013: Down my road, I come across Coyote "rustling" wild turkeys. He waves his six-gun snout my way, and snarls, "Move along, young man. Go West!"

3/9/2013: Cold night. Stars circle-dance to keep warm. Trees with new buds lean toward dawn. The bare ground gathers frost, missing her coat of snow.

2/19/2013: Sunrise makes my home a theatre, each room a sunlit space where I pace through stories. At night, a ghost light welcomes the Old Ones.

2/13/2013: Too dark for shadows. Moon wears a mask. Trees absorb starlight. On her nightly rounds, Dawn missed a shortcut and walks the long path home.

2/8/2013: Silent and still. No wind on the ridge. Fresh snow quiets the woods. At first light, juncos crowd the feeder. Morning begins with birdsongs.

1/27/2013: I wake to moonlight on new snow. Untold stories saunter through my thoughts. After a night of dreams, Coyote and Bear have brand new tales!

1/25/2013: Midnight. Rain drums on my metal roof. Coyote stomps inside and dances himself dry. I laugh out loud but cannot hear myself. Noisy dream!

1/3/2013: Under bright winter stars, South Wind warms the night. Trees shake their limbs. Mister Fox sniffs the air. Snow looks for someplace to hide.


12/28/2012: Bright moonlight on this mountain ridge. In a magical Mythtime moment, Coyote and his shadow dance in the snow, leaving two sets of tracks!

12/27/2012: Before dawn, more snow drifts onto my ridge. Snow falling in moonlight is the whitest snow I've ever seen. Daybreak is just a curtain call.

12/10/2012: First morning light on this mountain ridge. Rogue Valley swirls with fog. It's clear sailing from here to the next horizon. I'm on my way!

12/1/2012: Dark, windy, rainy days on the ridge. I'm turning sixty years old in a week. There's a new sunrise and clear skies just over the horizon.

11/25/2012: Midnight fog is filled with moonlight. The woods look wild, swelled with the swirly shadows of Fox, Bear, one-legged Tree Monster.... Yikes!

11/19/2012: Between storms, I take five minute walks in the woods. Wild wind makes the trees drip sideways. The next blast will be full of rain! Wheee!!

11/8/2012: First autumn snow on this mountain ridge. Not much is sticking. Earth is still warm with memories of Indian summer. Silence fills the woods.

10/15/2012: On this new-moon day, I watch the first fall rain soak this mountain ridge. My thoughts turn to a new story and I try out the first line....

10/2/2012: All night long, in autumn moonlight, constellations of geese fly over my home. My dreams swell with journeys. We all know where we're going!

9/21/2012: Desert break under the only tree in sight. Local Coyote wants me gone! He slinks a wide circle around HIS tree, too shy to share the shade.

9/21/2012: End-of-summer sunrise over Klamath Marsh glows with fall colors: red, orange, gold. I wander east toward the waning light of a new season.

9/1/2012: Full moon is a Blue Moon, and bright! Shadowy woods are roused. Mountain meadows lie wide awake. Dawn turns up the light, just a little bit.

8/15/2012: In my dream, the Horse People whisper, "Owning your mastery is a wild ride across a mountain meadow ... exhilarating and deeply satisfying."

7/27/2012: Rough road to Rollhead Owl Place. And slow. Bugs pass my rig! I stop every few feet, clear rocks, eyeball my route. On and on for miles....

7/12/2012: In the forest, I try out a new story on young pine trees. When I feel I have it right, I turn and tell it to their elders in the old growth.

7/11/2012: Short summer night.... Sunset colors linger and paint my dreams. Thinking he was here but a moment ago, the sun rushes back to rise on time.

6/21/2012: I'm wide awake at 4:30 on the morning after the shortest night. I wander into the woods. First light, first birdsongs, no one's sleeping in!

6/17/2012: Unquiet night on my ridge ... the forest full of shrieks, snapping twigs, animal steps on my roof.... Morning sweetly swells with birdsongs.

6/13/2012: Twilight. In an old dance ring, I stamp to my left, the same as Great Bear as he circles the seasons. Stars blink on and spin toward summer.

6/1/2012: After days of sharing stories on the road, I come home to more stories. Frog People gather in the woods, and everyone has something to say!

5/27/2012: Before dawn in the woods, a robin sings for the sun. Another joins in. Now a chorus. A solo voice starts it and sunlight swells the morning.

5/18/2012: Morning at the pond. Seven turtles sun themselves on a rock. Three white ducks and a wood duck float nearby, watching. Stories happen here!

5/16/2012: First, faint light. Mother Landscape shifts her breathing. Birds sing. Bluejay squawks. Sun opens his eye and peers over the ridge. Morning!

5/10/2012: May 10, 1981 was my first storytelling. So nervous I fast-talked through 10 tales in 30 minutes! These days? Two stories. Maybe three....

5/5/2012: Stickman quietly stalks my dreams ... tall, thin, praying-mantis-like. He's invisible when he turns sideways. Coyote eyeballs him with envy.

4/28/2012: Callahan to Forks of Salmon. Snow above, wildflowers below, a cliff-hanging road, and in the canyon, the snowmelt-swelled Salmon River. Yes!

4/24/2012: Long, lonely road to Wagontire. Highlights so far: Raven tugs at breakfast in the northbound lane, Coyote slinks through sage, and no cars.

4/20/2012: Sleepy day in the Shasta Valley. Lizard snoozes on a sunny rock. Trout swims slowly downstream. Whirligig dances his spiral in slow-motion.

4/17/2012: At sunrise, I sit outside and sip coffee. Jackrabbit and Turkey drop by for a chat. Bluejay squawks footnotes. Morning coffee with friends!

4/9/2012: Jackrabbit and I circle a rock, the heart of the Modoc world. A few paces and I stare at ancient carvings. A few hops and he stares at me!

4/9/2012: Yup, it's surely springtime in southern Oregon. I'm driving through the snow country in the High Cascades with my air conditioning on. Yup!

4/8/2012: The mountain stars are noisy tonight. Each one shouts a story before slipping over the ridge into silence. I listen and drift toward dreams.

4/4/2012: Nighttime journey to the Old Time cairns above Deer Creek. Rain and snow. More snow. A campfire. And renewal: I wait for the springtime sun.

4/3/2012: I walk in the April woods. Clouds cover the sun, muting the new spring colors. Now a misty rain. Now the woods turn wet, and colors return.

4/2/2012: Frogs fill the twilight. They pound drums in the woods. They chant in secret ponds. One big-mouthed frog booms his song down from the moon!

3/29/2012: All night, clouds sleep on mountain ridges. Gentle rain comes and goes. My dreams ebb and flow, whispering stories ... quietly, deeply....

3/28/2012: After a noisy night of whacked-out wind and rain stomping on my roof, stars show up. They tiptoe. They whisper. I hear my dreams again.

3/20/2012: "Happy spring!" I holler as my rig - with new all-weather tires -- mucks its way down the ridge in rain and snow "All-weather, indeed!"

3/18/2012: Another sauntering day, if the snow lets up. Yesterday to Sterlingville. Today, beyond Buncom to some wild place where a native story lives.

3/18/2012: Snow sneaks in before dawn. No wild wind rattles this ridge. In silence, clouds slip down from the Siskiyous and smother the valley lights.

3/17/2012: Pale light dims the stars. Hoot owls finish their nighttime stories. Songbirds are silent in their dreaming. Quiet morning in the mountains.

3/12/2012: Midnight on the ridge. Wind is a stomping madman! Me and the One Leggeds, the trees, are wide awake. At dawn we'll see who's left standing.

3/12/2012: Spring duck dance in Lithia Park. Lusty-eyed mallards thrash and splash. The pond is wild with waves, and there's no wind blowing. Wheee!

3/11/2012: Rain on the ridge melts drifts of snow from two weeks back. Junco and Bluejay dance under the feeder. In the woods, the first violets bloom.

3/10/2012: Ti'lomikh Falls is wild with snowmelt, a rapids more than a falls. Rogue River is gray-green and roguish! Geese ride the rapids and cackle.

3/10/2012: Raven shows up in the woods. We banter for a while. Then he flies, croaking to his neighbors, "Watch out for that one. He tells stories!"

3/10/2012: At midnight, I watch Moon make a fire in the forest. Owls gather in trees and share stories. Mister Fox hears his name and pauses to listen.

3/9/2012: Spring slowly saunters toward my mountain ridge. Warm breeze at sunrise. Shrinking snowdrifts. And morning birdsongs, even if it is Bluejay!

3/7/2012: Moonlight on my snowy ridge is brilliant. Mister Fox acts nervous on his nighttime rounds. It's a challenge to be stealthy in the spotlight!

3/6/2012: Wild winter wind. Sideways snow. Fox burrows into his lair. Grandfather Pine shakes snow from his limbs. My forest home shivers and creaks.

3/3/2012: First trek down the ridge in 5 days. The foot of snow on the road has churned to muddy mush but it's drivable. Almost spring in the Valley!

2/4/2012: Moon is wild-woman crazy tonight. She dances naked and sends the night shadows packing. Mister Fox sports shades on his midnight rounds.

1/15/2012: Smidgen of snow. Smug Mr. Fox prances across my deck, glancing back every few steps to admire his winter-fluffed tail AND his tracks. "Yes!"

1/10/2012: Sunrise. I walk into the woods with an old friend. Today it's Yeats. Deep in the grove, I ask questions. Walking back, an answer comes home.

1/3/2012: Warm winter day. Applegate River churns cloudy with snowmelt. Trees bud with vigor. Today acts the Prologue to next month's false spring.


12/10/2011: During the lunar eclipse, Mister Fox drifts by for a visit. In dim coppery light, he slinks like a spook. Fox and Moon are the same color!

12/8/2011: Midnight drive to the coast. More critters than cars. Moonlight makes the fog seem slight.

12/4/2011: Cold! Stars are winter-bright. Down the ridge, fog laps the foothills. Owl hoots stories in the woods. Late-rising Sun stirs in his sleep.

11/10/2011: Fall trek to an ancient village site. Snow is knee-deep. The only way in is the old way. I park my rig in another century.

11/10/2011: I'm sauntering, eyes open for Mister Wolf. He's on a walkabout, crossing state lines with a smirk. First wild wolf around here in decades!

10/31/2011: Moonlit drive over the Cascades. No Halloween ghosts in these woods. They must be in town tonight. But Old Time native spirits? Everywhere!

10/31/2011: Last snowless day at Crater Lake. My rig is alone in the lot. Lodge is shuttered. Nutcrackers are lonely. Mt. Thielson is wrapped in clouds.

10/21/2011: I watch Coyote prance. He messes with the joke: "I'm NOT out standing in my field!" He's always going somewhere, two steps ahead of himself.

10/13/2011: I walk through the Finley Wildlife Refuge. A Willamette Valley "drizzle" shifts this oak woodland into a rainforest. No more dry creek beds!

10/5/2011: Before dawn. Through a window I watch a rainstorm. Another window: stars! Puddles in the driveway and dust down the ridge. Fall has arrived!

9/27/2011: Before dawn I begin a new journey under a new moon. Down my ridge I meet Raccoon, Fox and Deer. I hear Red Tail's screech. Good traveling!

9/25/2011: Sunrise, sort of. First steady rain in a spell. Too late to spot Mister Fox. He's a night traveler. His wet footprints crisscross my deck.

9/18/2011: Raven sings the first "birdsong" this morning ... or tries to. At first faint light, his croaking floats over the ridge, silencing crickets.

9/13/2011: Surreal cab ride: Driver in a cowboy hat regales us with Hells Angels stories. Critter riding shotgun is a big-eared Chihuahua named Yoda.

9/12/2011: Before dawn, the woods slumber in moonlight. No crickets, no nights steps of critters, no breeze. Moon-shadows speckle our dreams. Shhh....

9/11/2011: Big moon in the mountains. I watch bats swoop past my window. The moon slips over the ridge. In the glimmer of sunrise, the bats head home.

8/2/2011: I rehearse native tales in an ancient forest. Miles from pavement, thinking I'm alone, I hear drumming in the trees. Visitors from Mythtime?

8/2/2011: In Hidden Valley, I wander into a high desert maze of giant pines and rabbit brush. The shady pine-needle forest floor is made for naps!

7/30/2011: This is a wild summer for wildflowers. They border mountain roads for miles ... every shape, smell, ten shades of every color.... Beautiful!

7/29/2011: On a 90 degree day I sit by the Rogue River. The water-chilled breeze is refreshing. An osprey circles overhead, thermals cool on his wings.

7/25/2011: I watch the sunrise through trees that burned two years ago. The sky flares orange. Charred bark glows. This morning, the fire burns again.

7/17/2011: Great Blue Herons fish at Bass Lake. Too windy for humans! With spear-like beaks, who needs a pole? Herons catch and swallow all day long.

7/14/2011: I sit on my deck and watch the orange sunset. Bats are swooping. Dragonflies are nervous. First stars blink on. We wait for the full moon.

7/14/2011: 3 a.m. Thump thump! I creep downstairs. On my deck, Mister Fox and his girlfriend two-step in moonlight. I quietly watch from the shadows.

6/20/2011: I gaze at the back of the moon I saw from the front last night. She stayed above the ridge. I drove around to the other side. Good journey!

6/20/2011: Midnight on the edge of Tule Lake. Wild wind roughs up the lake. Waves splash the shore. White in the moonlight, pelicans ride the surf.

6/16/2011: Stage is set: 3:00 a.m. Full moon. Windows open. Mister Fox thumps onto my deck and barks. I wake up and scribble this note. Well played!

6/12/2011: Raven croaks as he glides over the meadow. Bluejay watches from Grandfather Pine. Fox trots down the road. Lots of folks on the ridge today.

6/12/2011: Pre-dawn. Through an open window, I hear a shower of birdsongs, the padding of Fox across my deck, a breeze in the new leaves. Good morning!

6/8/2011: This wildfire draws folks from the Old Time myths. In the plume of smoke I see Coyote, Raven, Bear.... Everyone shows up to watch a fire!

6/8/2011: From the slope of an old volcano, I watch a fire torch the forest. Trees explode a half mile away. But all I hear are birdsongs on the wind.

6/7/2011: Even on a sunny June afternoon, this deep-shadowed forest feels spooky. I hear low growls. Maybe a log truck down the gully. Maybe not....

5/24/2011: 5:00 a.m. First light. After more spring rain than I can ever remember, a morning bird sings that "summer is a'cumin' in a few more days!"

5/24/2011: Late night trying to sleep by Ti'lomikh Falls. Stars swirling, moon whirling....Too much light! The river lulls me toward dreams, slowly....

5/19/2011: Driving through sun and rain, I see a dozen rainbows in 30 miles. One curves down to the road. I try to drive through it. Almost, almost....

5/10/2011: Above Wishram, an old man stares at the river. Does he see the drowned falls under the surface? Hear their thunder? I listen to the wind.

5/9/2011: During a break between tellings, I wander up the Columbia River to visit a rock painted with ancient symbols ... a story between stories....

5/7/2011: Early morning. "Bring on the light!" sing the birds, and spring sunshine is everywhere. For a few moments. Until the rain. Here in Portland.

4/29/2011: In the coastal rain forest, smothering sluggish ponds, skunk cabbage is at its springtime height. Phew! Not a place to pause for a breather.

4/29/2011: I walk into the redwoods at dawn. Fog swirls with each step. Tree People are mythic. Raven croaks the first words of a story about himself.

4/29/2011: First pale light along the Smith River. Sliver of a moon slips out of the clouds. Stars fade into the morning sky. The storm has passed!

4/28/2011: Late April snowstorm. Droopy daffodils look confused. I kick up the heat in my lair and wonder: Are neighborhood bears feeling sleepy again?

4/26/2011: April along the Rogue River. Cat's ears are blooming, and violets, buttercups, red bells. Poison oak looks healthy. Good day for everyone!

4/24/2011: Oak trees in morning fog. Bare branches reach beyond where I can see. Somewhere out there, a sunrise. Woodpecker drums darkness into day.

4/21/2011: April snow on my ridge! Driving down the road at 3 a.m. I swerve for a sleepy bear. We both pause and sniff the air. What season is this?

4/13/2011: First light comes early. On these shorter nights, Mister Fox makes one less visit on his nightly rounds. New buds are wide awake -- Spring!

4/10/2011: Sunset at Tule Lake. Red-Tailed Hawk dive-bombs Raven. He's too close to her nest. Tail feathers glow in the last light. Her eyes are fire.

4/5/2011: Morning downpour on my metal roof is like wearing headphones. No other sound gets in. This lullaby surrounds me and lulls me back to sleep.

3/28/2011: I wake up inside a story and start to write. Scribbling a dream is a real saunter through Mythtime. I don't dare switch on the morning news.

3/26/2011: Spring and Winter play tag on my ridge. Snowstorm, sunshine. Gray sky, blue. Muddy road, dust. Hail, thunder, wild wind! Whee! Who's IT now?

3/13/2011: Wild walk around Bass Lake. Wind roughs up the waves, streaks the rainclouds, makes my eyes water. With each step, the landscape shifts.

3/11/2011: I walk through the Jacksonville woods. There is new grass along my path, yellow buttercups, pink clusters of manzanita blossoms.... Spring!

3/6/2011: Winter dawn. Fog settles into Roca Canyon. The far ridge disappears. Black oaks are stark against a gray-white sky. Stars are a memory.

3/2/2011: Winter is hiding tonight. A warm wind shakes snow from the trees. Rain shrinks drifts and clears the road. I dream of mountain daffodils!

2/14/2011: Before dawn, a wild wind swirls the clouds. The moon dances from one cloud break to the next, and makes a quick exit over the ridge. Whoosh!

2/6/2011: As I walk around Bass Lake, I visit critters who are characters in old native stories: Owl, Porcupine, Raven, Coyote, Hawk. Mythtime is now!

2/4/2011: I wake up slowly from quiet dreams. Deep in the woods, owls talk in muted voices. Stars are faint behind thin clouds. It's a gentle morning.

2/1/2011: Sunrise. A cloud settles onto the ridge, another swirls into the valley. Feelings visit me. Some stay, others leave. I journey into the day.

1/31/2011: For the first time in my life, I visit the graves of my great-great grandparents. In the shadows of the Table Rocks, I feel I've come home.

1/30/2011: Rain hammers my mountain lair. Rain perks up the air, awakens the woods, rouses the creek with vibrant, wild-eyed rhythms -- a primal dance!

1/23/2011: After sunset is Mythtime in the redwoods. What was seen is now heard. As Tree People share their stories, old words dance in the shadows.

1/23/2011: Huge waves at the coast. This rocky beach is scoured and polished. The sea is all about cleansing and change, one crashing wave at a time.

1/22/2011: Twilight. I traipse down Cape Ferrelo into dark woods and a muddy creek crossing. Slow, small steps on a downed tree. Breath. Balance. Whew!

1/22/2011: Last night after midnight I walk in the woods. Pure moonlight angles through pines and firs, forming white patches on the ground. New snow!

1/20/2011: I wander the winter woods at sunrise. Stars fade and disappear, full moon journeys over the ridge, fog fills the valley.... Perfect morning!

1/2/2011: After days of snow and ice on my mountain ridge, I'm enjoying an afternoon of Willamette Valley mud. Gooey, sun-warmed, boot-sticking mud!


12/31/2010: I'm cozy in my snowed-in mountain lair, writing, rig parked a mile down the icy ridge. I could walk down and drive into town. More writing!

12/28/2010: In my home there are books in rooms, hallways, closets. A room I call the Library has the most. Books everywhere EXCEPT the bathrooms. Yeah!

12/27/2010: Wild walk up the ridge tonight through blowing snow. Left the loaner car at the bottom -- my 4x4 is in the shop. Whew! Whew! I miss my rig!

12/27/2010: Before dawn, I watch the winter sky. Stars emerge through holes in the clouds. I close my eyes and gaze inward. One by one, stories show up.

12/25/2010: Fierce wind on Christmas. Trees hurl branches out of the woods and onto my roof. The forest is cleaning house, making room for a new year.

12/24/2010: Quiet morning on the ridge. No wind stirs up a storm, no owls talk in the trees. With an hour until sunrise, darkness and silence are twins.

12/20/2010: Nighttime wakes me up. Through cloud-breaks, the nearly-full solstice moon lights my snowy ridge like high noon. No critters sleep tonight!

12/16/2010: Noisy on my ridge. Flicker drums on my roof. Fox barks at Flicker. Raven mocks Fox ... loudly. Fog fills the valley. Looks quiet down there!

12/15/2010: Winter's in dress rehearsal for her solstice premier. There's slush on my deck from last night's run through. Snow clouds lurk in the wings.

12/14/2010: Thunder or a blast of wind startles me from sleep. I can't tell which. And then a mountain downpour. Time to wake up, get wet and live wild!

12/12/2010: Night goes on and on. Under a sky sparkling with stars, my sleep is lit by one blazing dream after another. Night lights are everywhere!

12/11/2010: I'm walking and talking. To yourself, says Coyote. I'm rehearsing stories, I say. Right, says Coyote, and he whispers something to himself.

12/11/2010: Sunny break between storms. I sit still as I can, watching the slow-motion grace of a Great Blue Heron in the park. She glows in the sun.

12/7/2010: Exciting crossing over the Willamette River on the Wheatland Ferry. Heavy rain, wind, the river surging ... and a big BUMP on the far shore!

12/7/2010: At night I gaze at reflections on the Columbia River. Each light is a floating dream, a story, a wild adventure. Sunrise changes everything!

12/3/2010: Dark, snowy morning on the ridge. In my lair, it's cozy and quiet. Snow keeps the heat in, muffles sounds. First light arrives in silence.

12/1/2010: Snowmelt on the ridge -- dripping everywhere! Coyote says it's finally warm enough to whiz in the woods. I wear rain gear on our daily walk.

11/27/2010: Fog swirls into the snowy woods. Whiteness is complete. Gazing outward, gazing within, the view is the same. The trees and I breathe easy.

11/24/2010: Cold, clear morning. I wake up to the rhythm of dripping faucets. Outside, owls hoot in the trees. Their snowy world sparkles in moonlight.

11/23/2010: Spirited mountain storm! Clouds swirl, trees dance, critters take cover. Grandfather Pine shakes the snow off his limbs as fast as it falls.

11/22/2010: A dozen brown turkeys cross a snow-white meadow and disappear into the shadows of the woods. Good place to hide this close to Thanksgiving.

11/22/2010: Frigid morning. Full moon is sliced by icicles. Her icy-white stare freezes the snowy ridge. It's a polar run from my bed to the woodpile!

11/21/2010: Wild wind wakes me up. Clumps of snow thump onto my roof ... the stormy stomping of some mythic beast. I shiver and burrow under the covers.

11/16/2010: Night drive. Fog swirls on the rivers, starlight shines on Mount Shasta. So little traffic, I drive long stretches with my bright lights on.

11/15/2010: Dusk. Fog gathers on the ridge. I walk in woods that burned last fall. Pretending to be smoke, fog swirls around charred snags. Eerie sight!

11/7/2010: Midnight rain on my roof! Sporadic, like a drummer tuning drums, then settling into a rhythm. What woke me up now lulls me back to sleep.

11/3/2010: The Indian trail over Sexton Mountain is padded with moss. Below, trucks roar through the canyon. Honoring the old ways, I walk in silence.

11/2/2010: In the woods after a morning rain, the trees drip. Sun breaks through and frogs start singing, some treble, some bass. Frogs like it all!

10/30/2010: After performing stories for others, I sit quietly with my silent voice and no-action vocation. Silence and stillness shape a great story!

10/29/2010: Thick fog along the Rogue River. The outside world says look inside. The river sings her song: "I'm deeper than I think...." Catchy tune!

10/29/2010: As I wake up, I hear two owls talking in the trees. Neither one speaks my name. Native tradition says it's a good day to be alive. I agree!

10/27/2010: It's nippy on the ridge! Frost sparkles in the moonlight. Finishing his nightly rounds, Mister Fox trots down my driveway faster than usual.

10/25/2010: Storm at first light. The South Santiam River swims in fog. Mountains hide in the clouds. A hard rain blurs my view of everything else.

10/24/2010: Heavy rain last night. No more dust on the ridge. Fox tracks look great in the mud. After treks up and down my dusty road, my rig is clean!

10/24/2010: In a dream, I ask my memory: Ever look ahead? Queen to Alice: It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards. Coyote to me: And now?

10/23/2010: The only sound on the ridge tonight is the steady rhythm of rain on my roof ... settling the Indian summer dust, settling into my dreams....

10/22/2010: Before dawn, the sky is a swirl of dark clouds and moonlight. In the woods, Mister Fox barks and Owl hoots up a storm. Rain is on the way!

10/20/2010: I drive up the ridge under a brilliant moon. Headlights off, guided by the night sky and the eyes of animals, I barely notice it's night.

10/20/2010: As the moon dips behind the ridge, owls stop talking. No critters cross the meadow. No breeze. I hold my breath. A magical moment is shared.

10/17/2010: I walk along the creek. In just a day, the fall colors have changed. The landscape is newly painted. Autumn and me, we're both on a journey.

10/15/2010: Autumn evening. I watch two Grebes swim in Lake of the Woods. They jump up and perform a "spring" mating dance. Wow! Desire knows no season!

10/14/2010: Canyon twilight comes early. As the air dims, dark pools in the creek become lighter. I gaze at the depths. Above and below are balanced.

10/13/2010: I sit in sun-speckled woods along Bear Creek. Shade shifts slowly east. The fall breeze spins yellow leaves onto the riffles, one at a time.

10/11/2010: First juncos this fall, looking in my window, begging for bird seed. Sorry, guys, not until snow piles up and seed-loving bears are asleep.

10/10/2010: I stare into a midnight sky of swirling clouds and stars. Imagining a Van Gogh painting in black and white, I close my eyes and dream.

10/8/2010: Moonless night. The woods are quiet. Mister Fox makes his rounds in silence. Not even Owl is talking. Good night for a fire, and stories!

10/6/2010: On the ridge, Jackrabbit and I watch the sunset. I wish I had his night vision. In the dark, I go inside. He watches the horizon for more.

10/5/2010: I wake up and gaze at the stars. They call me outside. At first light, I walk into the wild and misty woods. Stories live here, even my own.

10/4/2010: Wild night! Lightning blazes! Thunder shakes the woods! Downpour is a cleansing. I fall back asleep and dream. First light is a fresh start.

10/2/2010: Evening rain. Dust settles on the ridge. Mister Fox pauses in the woods and sniffs the air. Deer browse in the damp grass of the meadow.

10/1/2010: A dream. Moon stores our myths. As she shapeshifts from full to new, she tips to one side and stories spill out. Wolf howls her full again.

10/1/2010: 4 a.m. Mister Fox cries and yelps and screams and whimpers and cries again. Must have lost his girlfriend. Nobody sleeps when that happens!

9/27/2010: In darkness, Raven croaks his morning song. First faint light. Another verse. Sunrise. Just as he does in the myths, Raven frees the sun.

9/27/2010: I walk the ridge in morning moonlight. Each step crackles on brittle leaves. Critters stir in the shadows. Everyone knows where everyone is.

9/24/2010: Moon is so bright, mountain stars look like city stars. Everyone is in the lunar spotlight: Deer, Fox, Rabbit, even me. Critters everywhere!

9/23/2010: Early morning. I continue last night's journey under the same moon. Sunrise is fire-red. Full moon blazes with color borrowed from the sun.

9/22/2010: Signs of fall on the ridge: Squirrel shuttles acorns and pine nuts. Jay taunts him. There's dew on my aging rig, and it's slow to start up.

9/20/2010: I gaze into the midnight sky. Each star is a story. Related stories form patterns. Storm clouds rewrite them as they settle into my dreams.

9/19/2010: Darkest morning on the ridge in months. Rain hammers my roof. The sound fills every room. My only view is into the gray heart of the storm.

9/18/2010: Cool morning along the creek after last night's rain. Fall leaves litter the path. The woods breathe deep. Fresh air is everywhere!

9/17/2010: I love the smell of the woods after a downpour, the brilliance of moon and stars when the clouds have cleared. After a storm, I feel clean!

9/16/2010: I watch a woman in a sycamore grove my grandfather planted. She traces a finger along the smooth trunk of an old tree. Generations wake up!

9/16/2010: On this ridge, I wake up before dawn and gaze at the night sky. Clouds part and make windows to the universe. First light is starlight. about an hour ago.

9/15/2010: Tonight my woods are strangely dark and quiet. Clouds trap the moonlight. No critters stir in the shadows. Not even a visit from Mister Fox.

9/14/2010: Racket in the woods: Squirrel and Jay squabble over acorns. Jay takes his best shot and imitates Red Tailed Hawk. Squirrel freaks and runs!

9/13/2010: Mister Fox trots by my lair with a female friend tonight. Earlier I heard him yowling a personals ad. Nippy nights ahead are looking good!

9/13/2010: I walk along Bear Creek looking for bears. No one shows up. So I tell bear myths as I lumber along, leaving tracks that aren't quite mine.

9/12/2010: Peaceful day on the ridge until I start to rehearse a story. Now jays gather on my deck and raise a verbal ruckus. These critics are harsh!

9/12/2010: Eye-opening dream: I am young and rush through my story. A woman tries to keep up. I wake up and savor the morning. Each moment is precious.

9/11/2010: In the woods I watch a hawk feather float out of the sky. It is beautiful in flight, unattached and free, as it gracefully lands at my feet.

9/10/2010: We walk the woods. Even in the shade, summer has turned the grasses white. Coyote chuckles. "And under your hat is a crop of white hair!"

9/10/2010: Poking around the museum's back room. Here stories wait to be told. I dust off a box, pry off the lid and a wondrous old world is revealed.

9/10/2010: I wake up and ponder my day, gazing at a pre-dawn sky filled with stars. I rise, embrace an idea, walk with it. Sunlight fills the morning.

9/9/2010: I hear owls in the woods tonight, calling from tree to tree. Following this end-of-summer storm, they gather to say, "Time to tell stories!"

9/9/2010: I soak in a claw foot tub and watch the mountain rain. At the end of a dry summer, a good story is all about water. Time for another dip!

9/8/2010: A dense raincloud smothers the ridge. Inside it is like being in fog. Pines in the meadow are ghosts. And beyond? There is no Rogue Valley.

9/8/2010: Light rain in the night. Small drops speckle the dust on my rig. After a sprinkle, the woods smell great. The parched meadow hopes for more.

9/6/2010: A BIG she-bear has been wandering in our woods lately, taunting the neighborhood dogs into frenzied romps. She sure runs fast down a gully!

9/5/2010: Summer is waning. At 5 a.m. it's chilly. Stars twinkle. I slip on my jacket, flip on lights.... First coffee and sunrise together? Old news.

9/3/2010: It's a summer night made for crickets. With windows open to the forest, crickets create surround sound with grace. Silence is not an option.

9/2/2010: Moonlit night on my ridge. Creatures dance on my roof, stomp on my deck. I'm a light sleeper and grab the earplugs I keep for noisy motels.

9/1/2010: Quiet days at home in the woods. Just me and my stories and the Animal People inside them, and whatever wild critters stop by for a visit.

8/30/2010: Wet morning in Eugene. First steady rain I've been in this summer. At sunrise, five crows sing in the street and dance the morning alive.

8/29/2010: I'm in St. Paul, OR at a memorial for a friend. Folks gather to celebrate her life. All around us, the first fall leaves turn gold.

8/29/2010: I slowly count them: 17 pelicans on a floating log in Cabell Marsh. Afternoon is muggy, lazy. Pelicans wait for the fish to come to them.

8/29/2010: Along Muddy Creek, gray moss hangs from the trees making this gray day darker. A brown otter slips down the mud and into the shadowy water.

8/26/2010: Blustery night on the ridge. Wild wind blurs the stars. Even the largest pine trees bend and sway. The wind is nippy, feeling like fall.

8/24/2010: Fire down the ridge. Full moon rises amber, an edge looks charred. I stand among dead trees from last year's fire and watch this one. Eerie.

8/24/2010: Hot afternoons return to the ridge. I feel sluggish, even in the shade. Under the deck, a young black-tailed buck naps in the shadows.

8/22/2010: I rehearse a story, pace around indoors, then into the woods and back. Haven't found the end yet, but like Coyote, I've got a regular route.

8/22/2010: Crisp, clear morning on the ridge. No smoke from the forest fire. And nippy. I'm wearing my jacket inside for the first time this summer!

8/21/2010: A summer tradition here on the ridge: smoke! Air cools, wind shifts, smoke from a nearby fire rushes up the valley. I slam the windows shut!

8/20/2010: Summer evening on my mountain ridge.... Great Bear sits low in the sky. As Mister Fox slinks through the shadows, the crickets keep singing.

8/15/2010: Lightning ignited trees last night in the woods below my home near last year's fire. Crews had it out by morning. Another close call. Whew!

8/15/2010: Wild thunder and lightning last night. And a 10 minute downpour. First rain in a long time. This morning, a faint smell of smoke in the air.

8/14/2010: At Ti'lomikh a few days after a dam broke upriver sending muck down the Rogue. Flow is high, a little cloudy. This river is quick to heal!

8/14/2010: Hot August day near Jacksonville. I see the first tint of fall colors in the woods. Even in this heat, here is a sign of cool days ahead.

8/12/2010: Peach-tinted sunset at Dragonfly Place. Lots of bats. Evening is perfect for bite-sized insects. Sunset fades and the bats keep swooping.

8/12/2010: Dragonflies follow me as I walk, blending in with the green grass that edges the lake. A contrast to the burnt brown of the summer hills.

8/12/2010: At Bass Lake, Coyote is never far away. Tracks on the shore show he's been chasing the Canada geese. Summer nights are one long Coyote song.

8/8/2010: As I wander, I make stories in my head. Deep in the woods, I rest in the cool air under the trees. So quiet, if a story whispers I hear it.

8/8/2010: Early morning. I watch a deer wade across Ashland Creek. She takes long drinks with each step. In half an hour, she reaches the other side.

8/8/2010: I watch Coyote squint at the sunrise. He must have already eaten. When Rabbit hops by, Coyote stretches out in the sun and closes his eyes.

8/8/2010: I remember dozens of Rogue Valley summers. Long-shadowed endless evenings. Short nights bright with stars. Hot days with no memory of rain.

8/4/2010: Hot summer afternoon along Ashland Creek. Even air near the water hangs heavy. Two mallards find a back-riffle and doze for an hour.

8/2/2010: Orange sunrise shimmers over Tule Lake. Coyote prances along the water's edge. Song by song, the shore birds wake up. Summer in the basin!

8/1/2010: First Rogue Valley sunrise I've seen in a month. Sun rises over the Cascades into a summer-blue sky ... a familiar scene from my childhood.

7/28/2010: Five minutes of rain today. First since I wandered into the Willamette Valley nearly a month ago. A few fat drops, and then summer again.

7/25/2010: Afternoon heat peaks. The neighborhood starts to wake up. Shouts from a soccer game in the park. Ice cream truck plays Turkey in the Straw.

7/25/2010: I sit in the shade of a spruce on a summer afternoon. Boughs hang heavy with heat. Birds are silent. A drowsy squirrel nods off in the duff.

7/25/2010: Summer weekend in Portland. All-night talks with old friends. Moonlight and stories push the shadows away. Memories greet each new dawn.

7/24/2010: Birdsongs drift through the Gabriel Forest. The distant din of traffic mimics ocean waves, the only hint that a million people live nearby.

7/24/2010: I walk in the woods. Today will push 100 degrees. Toasty for the Willamette Valley. In the early morning, I already search out shade.

7/20/2010: In my search for interesting names for things, here's another to add to my list. In Independence, OR is the Born Again Second Hand Store.

7/19/2010: Dawn at McFadden Marsh. Coastal clouds press low adding moisture to the wetlands. Heron fishes the shallows. Clouds will burn off by noon.

7/17/2010: Good trek: headwaters of McKenzie and Metolius, Cascade peaks, rugged lava flows, alpine meadows, 5 covered bridges, eagles and ospreys.

7/15/2010: Sad day. Sudden death of a close friend. The morning explodes and everything is different.

7/13/2010: Evening along the Willamette River in Independence. Long shadows smooth the river's ripples. Summer's harsh light softens into rich colors.

7/13/2010: Days in the city. I'm finding wilderness in the most unlikely places. Today I followed coyote tracks through a park near the state capitol.

7/11/2010: I walk the trail around Lake Marie. Coastal fog hugs the ridge, swirls through the trees. An otter surfaces, checks me out, and dives.

7/11/2010: Sunny afternoon on the Oregon coast. I'm wandering between bookstores and beaches, pushed along by the salt breeze, watched by gulls.

7/8/2010: I walk the Indian trail from Cascadia Cave in starlight. Birds sing in the depths of the woods. In this light, the river looks black.

7/7/2010: At sunrise in Independence, end of the Oregon Trail, I watch hundreds of Canada geese fly over, a long migration from one place to another.

7/6/2010: Early morning drive across the Willamette Valley. Long shadows at sunrise. Mist in the fields and along the rivers. A hot summer day begins!

7/5/2010: Rare daytime visit from Mr. Fox. He lingers on my deck before trotting up the hill. He knows I'm on the road today. Nice of him to drop by.

7/4/2010: At Dragonfly Place, after an orange sunset, I scribble stories outside. Wind blows through the pines. Bats dive after bugs. Words flow.

7/1/2010: I walk the river path. Eagle soars. "This is the way." At Medicine Rock, ancient symbols map my journey. "Climb to the top and dream."

6/30/2010: First light. A precious moment of the morning. I listen to scattered birdsongs swell into a choir as the summer sun rises over the ridge.

6/23/2010: My summer deer is here, a young buck again. During the lazy afternoons, he naps in the cool dirt under the deck. Life is good on the ridge!

6/22/2010: Sunny morning that turned into a gray afternoon. Fits the flow of my mood. Maybe darker clouds later, and some drizzly kind of rain.

6/15/2010: Each spring I watch sandhill cranes in this mountain meadow. Nearby Mt. McLoughlin sheds her snow, showing her craggy slopes. Another year.

6/15/2010: Mouth of Spring Creek. Water is so clear nothing reflects on the surface. Sunlight dives deep showing every pebble, every grain of sand.

6/15/2010: Clear morning on the Columbia Plateau above Klickitat. Perfect views of Mount Adams and Mount Hood. Wildflowers color the grasslands.

6/15/2010: Fiery sunrise along the Columbia River. The sky is a bed of orange coals. Red and yellow flames dance on rimrock above the gorge. Gorgeous!

6/12/2010: Clear spring morning on the ridge. Finally! Nothing but blue sky above the forest, and a chorus of birdsongs to go with it.

6/4/2010: I watch the sunset at Dragonfly Place. Behind me up the slope Mister Fox also watches the sunset. Brilliant colors, and everyone notices.

6/4/2010: On Lower Table Rock, Mister Bear is circling the seasons. There are wildflowers blooming, new spring smells, puddles from last night's rain.

6/3/2010: Fogged in on the ridge, and wet. More rain. Strange for June. Hills still green and lush are usually turning brown by now. The deer love it!

5/27/2010: I'm driving the Old McKenzie River Highway, a road so deep in the woods that moss grows on the pavement. Ruts lead deeper into the forest.

5/26/2010: Rainy morning at Battle Ground Lake. The air is as wet as the water. Dark clouds hang low, their reflections turning the lake almost black.

5/25/2010: Afternoon, Finley Refuge. Ready for a nap in my rig ... rain on the roof, breeze in the spring grasses, geese winging through the clouds.

5/24/2010: Heron fishing the shore of Lacamas Lake. Still water in the early morning. A fish rises, makes a ripple, and Heron makes her move. Speared!

5/24/2010: Dawn in the Willamette Valley. The only break in the clouds is over Mount Hood. Sunrise splashes the peak with gold and orange light.

5/21/2010: Surreal drive over Santiam Pass. In the burned area, in evening light, blowing snow turns black trees white. Steam swirls up from the road.

5/20/2010: I pay the dollar toll and cross the Columbia on the fabled Bridge of the Gods. Pretty good deal to cross where the Old Ones once crossed.

5/18/2010: At Smith Rock, even under gray clouds, the cliffs are brilliant ... deep-red, burnt-orange.... In the canyon, the river flows blue-green.

5/17/2010: By the Crooked River after a downpour. Desert smell of juniper, sage, rabbit brush.... Coyote yips close by. Now there's a guy with a nose!

5/17/2010: On the Barlow Road, I cross Eightmile Creek. Seven miles later, Fifteenmile Creek. On this old wagon road, creeks were the first mileposts.

5/17/2010: At Crates Point I watch osprey feed their young. The little ones are noisily persistent. No wonder their parents have fish hooks for claws.

5/17/2010: Along the Columbia River, wildflowers dance in the breeze. The river is rippled with waves. Some things haven't changed since the Old Time.

5/17/2010: After a night of thunder, morning is quiet at Multnomah Falls. Sun rises orange over the Columbia. First glint of light on the river.

5/15/2010: All at once, a calm, clear sky settles on the ridge to the west while rain still pounds on the roof ... a moment between storms....

5/15/2010: Spring thunderstorm at Dragonfly Place. Lightning flashes over the ridge -- crack! pow! Under black clouds, twilight comes early tonight.

5/13/2010: Middle of the night drive through northern California. No moon. Mount Shasta is faintly white ... spring starlight on her snowy slopes.

5/10/2010: I begin my 30th year of storytelling on this stormy night borrowed from winter. Long ago, on a night like this, the first story was told.

5/6/2010: Warm spring day, finally, after a few days of rain in the valley, snow on the ridge. Makes for long evening shadows, and happy daffodils!

5/4/2010: I walk with shore birds on the shore of Emigrant Lake. Each mama killdeer distracts me from her nest with a song. Good tunes for walking!

5/3/2010: Spring on the ridge: early sunrise, morning birdsongs, Grandfather Oak with new leaves, daffodils in the meadow, bear tracks in the woods.

4/27/2010: Rain, rain and more rain! Southern Oregon is well watered today. There are puddles as large as small lakes. I feel like giving them names.

4/22/2010: Snow blew in yesterday, went away today. Windows closed, windows open. The daffodils don't know what to do. Typical spring on the ridge!

4/17/2010: Last light on the ridge. Shadows and darkness stalk the depths of the woods. An owl hoots. And another. Together they call down the night.

4/12/2010: Early morning drive through Oregon, in and out of swirling fog and spring sunshine, deep woods speckled with shadows. Change is everywhere.

3/20/2010: Rogue Valley springtime. Colors everywhere ... fruit trees, wildflowers, new green grass.... Even on gray days, this valley is brilliant.

3/18/2010: First day warm enough to open the windows. Here on the ridge, a breeze warms my lair in an instant. Outside, Bluejay is noisy with spring.

3/16/2010: Before sunrise, I hear the first owls I have heard for months, hooting from tree to tree, sharing the last stories of the winter season.

3/15/2010: Spring-like day on the ridge. I'm writing outside in shirt sleeves. Two feet away is the last patch of snow and it's dwindling fast. Yes!

3/2/2010: Bright moonlight. In this mild winter, all the critters are awake. I watch Bear and his shadow lumber across the meadow and into the woods.

2/10/2010: Rainy trek through Willamette Valley refuges. My favorite walks are sodden. Not too many folks. Just the locals: Deer, Coyote, Goose....

2/10/2010: Nighttime drive through Oregon's landscape. Each strange shadow shapeshifts into the next. First light, and the mystery is harder to see.

2/9/2010: Sunset clouds are briefly on fire, red flames flickering, fast fading into night. Pale stars step out of the sky, subtle, shy with grace.

2/6/2010: Coyote, in monkey suit and mask, walks into an out-of-focus film. Fools folks until he yaps about his cleverness. Mister Big Foot in Mouth!

1/31/2010: Mountain downpour in the middle of the night. Full moon lights the storm. Raindrops sparkle and flash. Almost as brilliant as lightning.

1/24/2010: Rainy day on the ridge. Not even Coyote wants to go for a walk in the dripping woods. Good day for Mythtime folks to cozy up by the fire.

1/18/2010: Wild wind on the ridge, sideways rain, road bumpy with broken limbs. Before dawn I'm sauntering to the coast, into the heart of the storm.

1/6/2010: All night, mountain rain on the roof. I drift out of a dream, and the rain nudges me back ... a shadowy path, deep woods ahead, a step....


12/27/2009: At Ti'lomikh is a new path along the river with a view of the falls. Under the gravel are footprints of the Old Ones who came here to fish.

12/17/2009: Last storytellings today until January. In this Mythtime season of long, dark nights, I burrow into my lair and scribble new stories.

12/4/2009: On my ridge above the fog, nights are filled with moonlight. I watch Mister Fox (and his shadow) trot across the meadow and into the woods.

11/21/2009: Snowy night. Perfect for dreaming stories. I sleep. I dream. I wake up and scribble. I dream some more. All night, the snow falls steadily.

11/12/2009: Dark, rainy morning in Clatskanie. Puddles as wide as the river. First light is faint from a sun shrouded by clouds. Good day for stories!

11/11/2009: Night at the Raymond Carver Memorial, a poet who lived along the Clatskanie River. Too dark to read, I watch starlight ride the riffles.

11/11/2009: Traveling on a gray, introspective day. Clouds hide every ridgetop. Fall colors are pale in the mist. Even Sunny Valley is full of fog.

11/4/2009: Another fire! This time at a house in Roseburg where I'm staying. Fire engines, sirens, lights! We are fine though my autumn seems ablaze!

10/29/2009: Heading downriver. An old Indian trail ran the length of the Klamath. I've walked some stretches. Others are under the road I'm driving.

10/26/2009: Above my ridge, Great Bear in the Sky (Big Dipper) dances around his fire (North Star), circling the seasons, dancing alive a new fall day.

10/22/2009: In woods that rose from the Tillamook Burn, in silence and fiery fall colors, I muse on a friend's poem: These mountains have heard God....

10/20/2009: First hint of an orange sunrise above fog that layers the Willamette River. A few stars still shine. Looks to be an autumn-perfect day.

10/18/2009: Oregon blazes with fall colors. I scatter leaves as I drive back roads. In this season of transitions, I feel like I'm going somewhere.

10/12/2009: Shadows cover these Willamette Valley woods. Squirrels finish their winter caching for the day. Birds settle in. Crickets invite the dusk.

10/12/2009: Autumn in the Umpqua country. Even on this hazy, gray-clouded day, the fall colors are brilliant.

10/8/2009: Hunting season is upon us. Sign at a mountain lodge: "Please do not hang deer in public view." Seems like a Far Side cartoon in the making.

10/7/2009: Indian summer on the ridge. Squirrels and jays squabble over acorns. Juncos watch for the feeders I put up after the bears are asleep.

10/4/2009: Driving home through the woods after dark. Full moon creeps through the clouds. Eyes of night critters peer out from the shadows of trees.

9/29/2009: 3 a.m. Clouds slip down the mountains and gather on my ridge. Deep silence. Then the hammering of a downpour. The Siskiyou Fire is history!

9/28/2009: Wildfire smoke still settles on my ridge. I can't see landmarks down the valley. Today sizzles with smoke and heat, almost like creation.

9/27/2009: A week after the Siskiyou Fire, the ridge still smokes. Some oak trees turn golden-brown with fall, the same color as those that burned.

9/23/2009: After the Siskiyou Fire, I come across the grave of a treasured pet. Dog tags tacked to a carved log escaped the flames. Memories survive.

9/18/2009: In the Japanese Garden, I watch a mother deer and two fawns pause at the pond to drink. I breathe slow. The moment stays still for an hour.

9/17/2009: Coast-like air at dawn, my dusty ridge tamed with heavy mist. By mid-morning, clouds flee the horizon and the hot summer sun comes home.

9/17/2009: Almost fall. Oaks turn gold. Squirrels and jays squabble over acorns. Balmy breeze blows into the night and dies down with a nip.

9/16/2009: Strange morning. A few days after my ridge was ablaze, the thick smoke that blankets my world is from fires a hundred miles to the north.

9/7/2009: Cellist along Ashland Creek playing his own music. A leaf floats down the creek, riding the riffles. Each moment changes the journey.

9/7/2009: The creek down the ridge is dry. Madrone leaves fall and fill the creek bed. Mister Bear makes noisy steps as he shuffles "downcreek."

9/5/2009: Moonlight fills the mountain meadow. Mister Fox slinks through summer-dry grass. In the shadow of the pine, Jackrabbit sits still, unseen.

8/31/2009: Along the Rogue River, trees tinged with autumn colors. Riffles are sluggish. Snowmelt ended weeks ago. Cool air waits for fall storms.

8/26/2009: August night. I sit outside. Moon clears the ridge. Bats swoop through the shadows. I whisper a few words of a story. Hoot Owl calls back.

8/21/2009: Evening saunter in the woods. Orange madrone bark holds the color of the sunset as summer stars blink on. I walk home in near-darkness.

8/21/2009: On my pre-dawn walk along Ashland Creek, I feel a new nip in the air. First time this summer I have felt autumn visit the neighborhood.

8/6/2009: I wake up. Night was wild with stories ... Dreamtime dancing with Mythtime. Feeling light and full of energy, my morning walk is a breeze.

8/6/2009: In this story Coyote walks on his hind legs. The woods are full of Tree people. Each step on my path is a fresh view of the narrative.

8/6/2009: When I think I'm on Coyote's trail, I turn around and find that he's been tailing me. Tracking Coyote means sometimes walking backwards!

8/6/2009: The trick to looking young like me, says Coyote, is to have daily romps with punchlines. It's 5 am. I'm out the door. Catch me if you can!

8/4/2009: Morning coffee outside at Dragonfly Place. Fox, Deer and Jackrabbit stop by for visits. Sunrise is a wisp of orange cloud on the horizon.

8/3/2009: Hot afternoon, sleepy and sluggish. No birdsongs, no breeze, barely a ripple in the creek. I sit in the shade and my eyelids feel heavy.

8/1/2009: A thunderstorm blasts smoke out of the valley. Lightning sizzles from ridge to ridge. Wild wind and rain, a crimson sunset. And silence.

8/1/2009: Burnt-orange morning. Smoke from a Cascade fire swirls on the ridges, settles in the valley. Dramatic sunrise pales into a dull, gray day.

7/23/2009: Spooky night. Strange sounds in the woods -- thud, hiss, whistle. I am startled awake. I doze. I wander in and out of even stranger dreams.

7/21/2009: Foggy morning on the beach near the mouth of the Siltcoos River. No line between waves and sky. Great Blue Heron looks gray.

7/15/2009: Thumping on my deck. "Cats fighting again?" Nope! Two young foxes wrestle like puppies. One pins the other, and they romp up the ridge.

7/14/2009: Summer smells fill the canyon. A few sunrays gather on the ridge and dance, slowly stepping down the slope and into the creek.

7/12/2009: Heavy clouds this morning. No birdsongs. Walk in the woods seems an obstacle course. Back home, two cats I've never seen fight on my deck.

7/1/2009: Summer day in the shade of sycamore trees. The view skyward is cool green and infinite blue, and something beyond that only trees have seen.

6/20/2009: Longest day of the year. Morning moves in slow motion. Sunrise colors linger. Clouds hang around until noon. Sundown seems days away.

6/19/2009: First glimmer of sunlight. Clouds absorb the fire-red sunrise and slowly burn away. A robin sings her song. Morning swells with light.

6/7/2009: Pearl-white full moon climbs the sky. My mountain world is brightly lit. Mister Fox crosses the meadow. Time for sleep and vivid dreams.

5/31/2009: Thunderstorm on a hot afternoon. Black clouds billow and roll down the ridge. I smell the rain coming. Big drops sizzle on the metal roof.

5/30/2009: The Rogue River is swelled with snowmelt. Ti'lomikh Falls drums a spring song. The Salmon People are coming!

5/24/2009: Thinking through stories as I walk through the landscape, retelling them in my head as this spring day reshapes itself into a new version.

5/22/2009: Red-headed woodpecker on the cedar across the creek. He circles the trunk, searching for the right spot. Sharp chirp then rat-a-tat-tat!

5/22/2009: In the sycamore grove in Lithia Park. My grandfather planted these trees early last century. Generations flutter in the spring breeze.

5/16/2009: Hot day on the ridge. A young doe walks out of the meadow. She crawls into the shade under the porch for an afternoon nap in the cool dirt.

5/10/2009: On the 28th anniversary of my first storytelling, I recall my first lesson: share stories that matter to me in ways that matter to others.

5/8/2009: After a midnight drive through moonlight, I am home at Dragonfly Place.

5/7/2009: During the past two days I have told a native sun myth five times. Now it is here, sparkling on Cabell Marsh, inviting ducks to be frisky.

5/7/2009: Crossing the Willamette during high water, the Wheatland Ferry chugs against the current. Logs surface. Thump! Shudder! We make it across.

5/7/2009: In the woods on Bald Peak. Sunlight slants through the trees. First sun after days of northern Oregon rain. Feels and looks like creation.

5/6/2009: Vancouver rain. Dark clouds are low on the river. Long ago, on mornings like this, the first myths were made. Great weather for stories!

5/5/2009: In Alturas, the heart of Pit River Indian country, is a car repair shop called Modoc Engines. Funny, says Coyote. Hmpff, I say.

5/5/2009: Near Dundee, the Amish Furniture Shop is next to RV and Farm Tractor Sales and Service. Then a billboard: "A closed mouth gathers no foot."

5/5/2009: Critters on the refuge. Osprey fishes the marsh, Cottontail nibbles new grass, Eagle and Vulture share a sheep carcass. Good pickings!

5/5/2009: Haunted forest. Old mossy oaks with twisted shapes put a yoga master to shame. At dusk, limbs sway and reach for a breeze that isn't there.

5/5/2009: Finley Refuge, walking the Woodpecker Loop Trail. Warm, damp day deep in the woods. By the pond, the first mosquito celebrates my arrival.

5/5/2009: Willamette Valley. After the rain, Coyote Creek looks like Coyote after a fat meal: brown and smugly full.

5/5/2009: Wild wind and rain last night. At dawn, clouds pull apart and sunrise slants through. I bump down the ridge in my rig and follow the sun.

5/3/2009: Snow at sunrise. Now rain as the morning warms. Clouds cling to ridgetops before the next rush of wind scatters them down the valley.

5/2/2009: My day begins with a story idea sparked by a dream or a stray thought. I walk through the woods in the rain and the story surrounds me.

4/26/2009: In Jacksonville Cemetery, as spring remakes the world, I read old stones and find new stories. When I leave, I carry the stories with me.

4/24/2009: I gaze into a moonless night. No speckles of light or shifting shadows. No colors. A black stage invites my dream to make a vivid entrance.

4/22/2009: Dawn. Great Blue Heron steps slowly through the pond, making sleepy ripples. The sun clears the ridge, dissolving what's left of the night.

4/17/2009: In spring sunshine, I wander through old haunts from my childhood. A breeze kicks up and my nose remembers a moment from long ago.

4/9/2009: April showers kind of day. Good for scribbling between short saunters. Good for sharing stories. Really good for smooching in a cozy spot.

4/8/2009: Vivid dream. A journey through a familiar landscape that resculpts itself at each turn of the story. My world without boundaries. Perfect!

4/7/2009: Story Woman is strong. In the dark woods she tells you the tale of your worst fear. She walks you home. Your fear is gone. Good healing.

4/6/2009: Spring morning. Birds are everywhere ... juncos at the feeders, jays in the pine tree, robins splashing in the puddles along the road.

4/1/2009: Coyote "missed" April Fool's Day. This trickster who honed prankster skills before amateurs stepped into the spotlight had a typical day.

3/29/2009: At first light, winter stomps up the steps and bangs on my door. Puffed-out juncos crowd the feeders. New snow makes the daffodils shiver.

3/29/2009: Wild wind shakes my home and tosses chairs on the porch. Grandpa Pine does a dance. I slink downstairs to sleep, away from the big windows.

3/28/2009: At sunrise I rewrite a story. The old draft seems stale and overtold. I leave it in the woods and walk out of the trees toward the sun.

3/22/2009: Walking the Wildwood Trail. Sky clears after a spring shower. Sloshing through wilderness mud clears the muck from my mind.

3/22/2009: Sudden spring downpour in Portland's Japanese Garden. Water rushes down the hillside and splashes into the pond. Rain pours off my hat.

3/21/2009: Stories from my parents emerge from diaries, photos, inscriptions in books.... We begin a new journey and find fresh voices in old words.

3/19/2009: Deep in the woods along Butternut Creek, small sounds take over: rain, riffles, birdsongs. Beyond the trees, traffic is barely a whisper.

3/19/2009: A storyteller creates the atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself. Meaning? Get the storyteller out of the story. Easy, right? Uh, uh....

3/18/2009: Warm Willamette Valley day. Geese glide onto the fields like winter never happened. Cherry blossoms welcome them home.

3/18/2009: Traveling across Oregon in March, the landscape turns greener between blinks. St. Patrick's Day has nothing on the greening of Oregon.

3/18/2009: As I sort through boxes of family stuff I contemplate the concept of impermanence. Or try to. Some things grab my heart and won't let go.

3/18/2009: Though my parents are gone, their stories leave footprints in their home. In a box, I find the shoes my mother wore at her 1940 wedding.

3/13/2009: In a Takelma myth, Jackrabbit clearcuts the woods. Coyote tells a half-truth. The first war begins from landscape abuse and misinformation.

3/13/2009: Dawn at Dragonfly Place. Stars fade into pale light. On mountain peaks circling the valley, the first sun flares into morning.

3/11/2009: I am in a smoky winter lodge. Stories travel the night as the moon travels the sky. At first light, the setting moon leaves a whiff of myth.

3/10/2009: Moonlight is brilliant on the snow. Critters crisscross the meadow ... Deer, Mister Fox, Jackrabbit. Their tracks make a map of the night.

3/9/2009: I love telling stories while it's snowing. I imagine folks crowding close to a fire in an Old Time house as my mind moves into Mythtime.

3/9/2009: Earth Woman, Changing Woman, Mother Landscape.... She steps through each day with grace. Names run short of breath. Seasons keep dancing.

3/9/2009: Earth Woman is restless. Snow dumps on Dragonfly Place, rare for March. But aren't most days unusual until my memory puts them in a pattern?

3/8/2009: In the dark woods, Earth Woman dreams and shifts the seasons. She tosses and turns. The wind turns cold. She snuggles in and it's spring.

3/7/2009: Coyote is bored. He paces and smirks in the sunshine. He sasses a squirrel and bad-mouths a jay as he looks around for something to do.

3/7/2009: After moonset, mountain stars flare. Best time to mess with stories is when I see each scene blaze in my mind. I rehearse until sunrise.

3/6/2009: Between stories, she sits by the fire in her winter lodge. A storm dies, leaving silence. Under the ice, the Rogue River roars to the sea.

3/6/2009: It is March. Millions of marching ants give motion to mountains. Enough to rouse anyone who hibernates. This bear is wide awake in his lair!

3/4/2009: Coyote is living his legend. I write a story. Coyote rewrites it, making himself the hero. Then he speaks it out loud. Now it won't go away.

3/4/2009: Snow falls on a night made for myths. Before dawn, as I rehearse stories, the sky clears. In the stars, I see the eyes of the Old Ones.

3/3/2009: Saying goodbye to the straw bale house on Little Applegate, a crescent moon comes out of the clouds. Driving home, Coyote crosses the road.

3/2/2009: Rain on the last day of moving in the Applegate. I head down my ridge through darkness and mud. A cozy fire crackles at the end of the day.

3/1/2009: Wild wind at the Applegate stables. Horses are frisky, running and bucking. Black stable cats watch from their safe spot under the eaves.

2/28/2009: Applegate Valley night. First faint smell of blossoms. A little shy, Spring peers out from the shadows and steps lightly across the field.

2/26/2009: Here's a metaphor for a cut-over economy: An A-frame that was the office of Southern Oregon Timber Industries is now a funeral home.

2/26/2009: Seasons are shapeshifting. A morning snowstorm blows down the Siskiyou Mountains. Yesterday I was out and about without a jacket.

2/26/2009: After reading a Sherlock Holmes tale, I dream I am scribble-scribe to legendary Sleuth Hound Coyote. Together we crack the Great Mystery!

2/26/2009: Nighttime. Mountain stars are brilliant. At dawn I'll walk in the woods searching for stories. Each word is a point of light along my path.

2/24/2009: Light follows an actor. A storyteller plays with light, creating texture and tone. In a myth, sun and stories come into the world together.

2/24/2009: Footsteps on my porch. I look out. Mister Fox feasts on bird seed spilled from the feeders, laps a drink from the bird bath and is gone.

2/23/2009: In the Applegate, after hours of rain, the night sky is washed clean of clouds. Air is so clear, new stars dance shapes I've never seen.

2/23/2009: Into the Applegate country. Trekking in and out of blustery storms. Shifting clouds and shafts of sunlight make each moment a new dawn.

2/22/2009: After a day in the Applegate hauling heavy stuff into storage, I am tired. I relax to the deep sound of steady rain. Deep sleep draws near.

2/22/2009: Dark morning. Rain-heavy mountain storm. At what I guess to be sunrise, I gaze down the ridge. Black clouds tuck the town out of sight.

2/20/2009: Warm afternoon in the woods along Ashland Creek. Sunlight sparkles like spring. Two mallards ride the riffles side by side.

2/20/2009: Snow has melted. The road is clear. Though I can drive to my front door, I miss the night walks up the ridge through snow and moonlight.

2/3/2009: Journal and Journey. Similar folk? When they remove their masks they sure look like twins to me.

2/2/2009: Coyote's dull nose to the grindstone this morning. Time to sharpen business stuff so I can keep on sharing stories. Still a gorgeous day.

2/1/2009: Early morning trek into town. Left the sunshine behind. Fog is everywhere and muffles the noise. As quiet as the day before the beginning.

2/1/2009: Walking the woods. No headline news. The weather report is here and now. Adventure looms. Trees toss a lure. I reach and step into my story.

1/31/2009: Warm enough to rehearse in the woods outside my home. I pace through stories between patches of last week's snow.

1/30/2009: Ashland Creek riffles make three different sounds, each tumbling over the next. High overhead, Crow sings his one song again and again.

1/30/2009: Enjoying the winter sun a thousand feet above the valley. Not much is visible down there. A sea of fog stretches to the distant mountains.

1/30/2009: Early morning at home. I rehearse stories on my mountain ridge. Outside, juncos swarm to the feeder ... new stories and a meal on a new day.

1/30/2009: Before dawn, a glimpse of childhood. Tommy and pooch Tippy run out of the neighborhood graveyard after a night of spooky scares. Good dream!