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Essays

  • Ending hunger

    Ending hunger

    A New Mexico woman fights hunger by sending healthy snacks home with schoolchildren every Friday.

  • My brother, the bear

    My brother, the bear

    A Colorado woman copes with marauding bears, dead chickens and her beloved brother's schizophrenia.

  • The Eastern Frontier

    The Eastern Frontier

    New York City is really the West, buried under time's wrapping.

  • The kindness of hunters

    The kindness of hunters

    After a lifetime of despising and fearing guns, a woman is blindsided by the everyday kindness shown by two hunters.

  • My father's political career

    My father's political career

    A writer remembers her father's unlikely political career, running as a Democrat in a Republican part of Colorado.

  • A guide to the past -- and the future

    A guide to the past -- and the future

    The WPA Guide to 1930s Montana has become the author's favorite guidebook.

  • Coming home to the cosmos

    Coming home to the cosmos

    A wandering writer comes home to Utah after chasing meteorites around the world for years.

  • The dictionary reader

    The dictionary reader

    What kind of person spends the whole summer stuck inside a cabin reading the dictionary?

  • The bare bones of life

    The bare bones of life

    The rocky, remote landscapes of the Southwest have long served astronomers as a metaphor for the surfaces of other planets.

  • A tenderfoot in Taos

    A tenderfoot in Taos

    An exhausted young mother, her lively new baby, and a compassionate drunkard have a brief but lovely encounter on the plaza in Taos, N.M.

  • Northward

    Northward

    The unexpected loveliness of the song of the varied thrush reminds the author that the birds are on the move, driven by climate change.

  • Natural comfort

    Natural comfort

    It seems romantic to die alone in the wild, until you begin to lose the people you love

  • Time to breathe

    Time to breathe

    Stargazing and geology satisfy the spiritual needs of a Utah writer and teacher.

  • Schmear campaign

    Schmear campaign

    How do you find a really good bagel in a place like Missoula, Mont.?

  • The vitality of language

    The vitality of language

    A mother introduces her newly adopted child to the birds at a raptor rehabilitation center and teaches her their names.

  • Why I ride the Greyhound

    Why I ride the Greyhound

    Every passenger aboard a bus becomes a citizen of the world, contemplating the Western landscape as it passes by.

  • The Universe on Blacktop

    The Universe on Blacktop

    A Colorado family finds satisfaction -- and cash -- in scavenging metal for recycling.

  • Crown of horns

    Crown of horns

    Unexpected encounters with an injured bull elk and a couple of teenage boys lead a writer to consider the meaning of fatherhood.

  • The call of the tame

    The call of the tame

    Jack London devoted much of his short life to what we would now call sustainable agriculture on his beloved Beauty Ranch in California.

  • Carrying your own load

    Carrying your own load

    Sharon Levy’s friends, Kerby and Irene, lived off the grid in Northern California and taught her a lot about life.

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