Thomas Doty – Storyteller


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12/8/2018: Sunshine and a warm breeze at Ti'lomikh along the Rogue River. A perfect afternoon. Salmon People wave their tails at fishermen as they swim past their lures to a greater lure upriver.

5/15/2018: I watch the film, All the Mornings of the World. I contemplate pure harmonies of my art. At first light, a lost Muse sings to me in a story.

5/10/2018: My storytelling began today in 1981. I sit. I listen to memories. I speak a new story. On this day, and tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow....

5/2/2018: Clear night. Lots of light! Moonlight and starlight, and a hopeful glimmer of an early sunrise. Spring is awake! It's a good time to be up!

5/2/2018: After a dark winter at home, I'm on the road. So much May sunlight! When it comes to spring cleaning, Mother Landscape knows what she's doing.

5/2/2018: After a dark winter at home, I'm back on the road. In Oregon, in May. So many colors, so much light! When it comes to spring cleaning, Mother Landscape knows what she's doing.

4/30/2018: I hear whispers in this graveyard. So many stories have settled here. After listening and writing, I sit on a rock and rest my weary bones.

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.

1/24/2018: Autobiography of a Storyteller.... I gaze at my reflection in a pond, and I see a story. I toss a pebble, and another story appears. And another. Many stories make a mythology. Nothing is real. Everything is real. It is a gift that I cannot tell the difference.

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.

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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. Thielsen 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, five 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!